On Saturday, October 6th, beginning at 11 am, the community walked in support of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). There were more intrinsic reasons, of course, for their choice to walk; these were often reflected in the different colored necklaces participants hung around their necks, each representing something important to them.
Members of Psi Chi and RCPA were there, representing the college and their respective organizations. Professors were there to show their support as well.
Overall, it was a successful event and we look forward to participating in the years to follow.
During the spring of 2018, I had the incredible opportunity to study abroad in Palmerston North, New Zealand. While abroad I had the chance to take ‘Abnormal and Therapeutic Psychology,’ which gave an interesting overview to how different countries treat different psychological conditions. My favorite part of the class came through the literature review project we had at the end of the semester. I chose to complete my literature review on eating disorders. My future career plans are veering more towards social work and a law degree, but my background in psychology will help me to understand some of the situations my future clients may be going through. My favorite memory while abroad is skydiving from 17,000 feet over Lake Taupo!
Thanks to Rebecca Thompson for providing this cool description of her study abroad experience in Palmerston North, New Zealand! It sounds like an incredible and worthwhile adventure, though we are glad to have you back on campus.
Dr. Dane Hilton will be discussing mental health in rural Appalachia tomorrow (Wednesday, October 3rd) at 7:00 pm in Life Science 502. Specifically, in terms of prevalent mental health diagnoses and problems with accessibility to treatment in these areas.
This talk is sponsored by the Roanoke College Honors Program.
Roanoke College’s Psi Chi chapter was recently featured in the latest edition of Eye on Psi Chi,the official International Honors Society’s magazine.
In this Fall 2018 edition, all chapters throughout the country were able to share their accomplishments from the previous semester. These categories include: Community Service, Convention/Conference, Fundraising, Induction Ceremony, Meeting/Speaker Event, Recruitment, and Social Events.
Dr. Lindsey Osterman was recently interviewed by a student assistant on a podcast about ESP or extrasensory perception.
ESP is believed to be akin to a “second sight” or “sixth sense”.
For their 149th episode, the podcast, Serious Inquiries Only, focused on a meta-study published in the American Psychologist that indicates there might be some truth to the existence of ESP.
As a follow-up to their initial podcast, they asked Dr. Osterman, an expert in Experimental Psychology, to discuss the article and whether the findings reported in the meta-study were legitimate.
According to Dr. Osterman,
“…the podcast itself [Serious Inquiries Only] is a show about science, philosophy, and current events, all discussed from a ‘skeptical’ perspective in the truest sense of the term ‘skeptical.’ The host (Thomas Smith) is committed to approaching all the topics he covers with both curiosity and a critical evaluation of the evidence, and he does his best to correct for (and be transparent about) the preexisting biases that might be contributing to his thinking about those topics.”
Dr. Osterman had been featured on Serious Inquiries Only two years previously, where she discussed a critique on the history of evolutionary psychology published by a historian.
Both of my appearances served a similar goal, which was to provide a nuanced and evidence-based opinion about a scientific-sounding claim that was not actually rooted in high-quality evidence. In the first one [from two years ago], I responded to an interview that Thomas conducted with a historian, who had published a very-detailed — but in my opinion, very ill-informed — critique of evolutionary psychology.
Similarly, in this latest podcast, Dr. Osterman responded to a conversation…
[Smith] recorded with a professor of philosophy and a clinical psychologist about a review paper (published in American Psychologist, a respected, peer-reviewed journal), which argued that the empirical evidence for psi (or paranormal cognitive abilities, like being able to see the future) is very strong and consistent. My contention was that the article omitted critical details about the evidence, and in turn, presented a case that looked much stronger than it actually was.
Thank you to Dr. Osterman for being awesome as usual.
For those interested in knowing more details about the article and what Dr. Osterman found within it, the links to the podcasts are below. The first episode has been included for those who want to know what sparked the debate and to have a better idea of what Dr. Osterman and Thomas are discussing in the later episode.
In addition, click here for the link to the PDF of the article that sparked this debate.
The Psychology Department hosted their research poster session on Thursday, April 19th 2018. Many students presented on their research projects and internships; students were also able to donate to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention while choosing which professor they’d like to see pied with whipping cream and sprinkles. Great job to everyone who presented and thanks to everyone who came!
Today is the day. The day you get to see your professors pied! From 5pm-6pm at Sutton Terrace RCPA and Psi Chi will make your dreams come true by pieing 6 of our beloved professors for your enjoyment, all while raising money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Pieing will occur at 5:30pm, with the opportunity for students to pay $10 to personally pie a professor of their choice. Bring your friends!
So, naturally, the psychology department decided to celebrate Belated April Fools the following day.
What resulted was nothing less than genius.
Part of this included a revenge plot that had been brewing for years.
Dr. O tells her side of the story below:
Weeeeeell… It all started many moons ago, in Spring 2014, when Dr. Nichols was on his way to do an optical illusion demonstration in his Research Methods class and got the bright idea to don his George W. Bush mask (a prop in the demonstration), his trench coat, and his fedora (all together, a rather intimidating combination), and slowly peeked around the doorway of my office in an attempt to get me to pee my pants.
It very nearly worked.
After I recovered from my extreme fright, I told Dr. Nichols in no uncertain terms that wearing a mask in public on a non-Halloween day was highly illegal behavior (which we later confirmed), and that I wouldn’t tolerate it in my workplace. I also vowed, privately, to seek revenge upon him at the first opportunity.
And I bided my time, quietly, patiently. Until one day, in February 2018, I walked into Life Science 502 a few minutes before the start of my Quantitative Methods class and noticed atop the “technology tower” in the corner of the room… The Mask, completely unattended (and very creepily staring at the ceiling with its vacant, soulless eye-sockets). Immediately, I grabbed The Mask and ran back to my office to conceal it until April 1st.
Over the intervening weeks, I discussed with esteemed colleagues on what prank I might involve the mask. Many excellent ideas were put forward (e.g., perhaps we could dangle the mask by a string from the ceiling; perhaps one of us could put on the mask and startle Dr. Nichols as he had startled me), but eventually, we landed on the following plan:
We would construct a lifelike “scarecrow” from garbage bags, recycled paper, and dress the scarecrow in the mask, trench-coat, and fedora (the latter of which Dr. Nichols usually leaves in his office). We would sit the scarecrow in Dr. Nichols’s desk chair, and Dr. Buchholz would construct a complicated pulley system connecting the office door to the desk chair, so that when Dr. Nichols entered his office, the chair would spin around to face him, and hopefully cause Dr. Nichols to shout in alarm.
The plan went off without a hitch, but I found Dr. Nichols’s reaction somewhat underwhelming. So, over the course of that fine Monday, the scarecrow moved around from office-to-office, scaring a number of colleagues (including myself, somehow), and I came up with one final step in the plan.
At the end of the day, Dr. Nichols was teaching his Neuroscience lab, and a few minutes before the end of class, I donned the scarecrow’s disguise, and seated myself, perfectly still, in Dr. Nichols’s chair. When Dr. Nichols entered his office, he thought it was just the scarecrow, and was not alarmed until my hands sprang into the air like scary claws and I yelled “RAAAAWR” and Dr. Nichols said “Ah!” and it was my very favorite moment of my entire life.
And that is the story of the mask.
Dr. Nichols confirmed the events of that fateful day, telling his side of the story:
The mask is something that I use in PSYC 202 to tell a hopefully amusing story about some silliness my friends and I did in college. However, I scared Dr. Osterman with it in her first year at Roanoke College when I wore it down the hall on my way to class. Since then, I include in class a life lesson that apparently wearing a mask in public outside of Halloween is illegal in many states, including Virginia. Apparently, the last time I used the mask in PSYC 202, I left it in the classroom and Dr. Osterman found it, planning a frightening surprise when the chance arose.
On Monday morning, April 2nd, I came into the office a little bit later than I usually do since my kids were on Spring Break and I didn’t have to get up as early as I normally do. I said ‘hi’ to Dr. Buchholz, who ‘just so happened’ to be out in the hall on my way in. I opened my door and noticed that someone seemed to be sitting in my chair with a hat and trench coat on and remembered thinking something like ‘That’s weird that there is someone sitting in my office chair in the dark. Huh, how about that?’. Then when I opened the door completely, the chair swung around and it looked quite realistic. I started slightly before realizing it was my mask. I was quite impressed by the system of fishing line that was rigged up to get the chair to move that way!
Then, at the end of the day after the dummy had been moved around to the offices of other department faculty, I came back to my office after my afternoon class was over. The day had not gone well at all because of technical difficulties preparing for Neuro lab, so I was feeling exhausted but glad that the lab had gone alright in the end. Dr. Allen was waiting out in the hall and took out her camera to film me entering my office, which seemed suspicious. I remember saying something like ‘I’ve seen it already’ because I expected the dummy to be back in my office, though suspected something else to possibly be going on.
When I entered the office, the dummy sprung to life as it jumped out of my chair! I started on the inside but didn’t have too much of a physical reaction, though it was a very good set-up with Dr. Osterman inside a padded suit so that it looked pretty much just like the original dummy, even though someone was now inside it.
I very much appreciated the thought and planning that went into both surprises! It’s great to work in a department that enjoys one another so much. 🙂
Stop by the table outside of Colket or by the box in the hallway of the 5th floor to choose your victim(s) to get pied! The professor with the most money in their jar will get a special pie, with sprinkles.
All proceeds will go to The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
The first weekend of spring break, Drs. Buchholz, Osterman, Carter, and Findley-Van Nostrand, in addition to several students, traveled to Atlanta to present their studies at the 2018 Society for Personality and Social Psychology Conference.
The students in attendance included:
Cody Dillon-Owens ’19, who presented on “Understanding moral decision making using self-driving cars.” This study was supervised by Dr. Buchholz and included several other students, including Megan Miller ’18, Allison Smith, Lauren Powell ’21, and Seth Poore ’20. They found that participants generally thought positively of self-driving cars. Faced with a moral dilemma on who to save during an impending crash, the participants were generally more likely to save themselves and their mothers over anyone else. Participants were also more likely to save “significant” individuals rather than strangers.
To learn more about the study, please contact Dr. Buchholz at email@example.com.
Lauren Furlow ’19 and Nicole Moughrabi ’19 presented on the “Allocation of Mate Budgets as Function of Environmental Threat and Life History Strategy.” From Dr. Osterman’s lab, Furlow and Moughrabi added to further research to the field discussing how “women’s mating psychologies shift as a function of early environment and current environment demands.”
To learn more about this study, email Dr. Osterman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sabrina McAllister ’18, a member of Dr. Nichols’s lab, discussed the results of her study titled “Time Perspective as a State-Based Measure.” To learn more about her study, follow this link. (If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Nichols at email@example.com.)
Lauren Powell ’21, also a member of Dr. Buchholz’s lab, discussed the study titled “The moral dilemma of self-driving cars.” As this study was conducted alongside the first discussed study, the same researchers also worked on this inquiry. The main goal in this study was to see how gender and empathy would affect how the participants answered the moral dilemmas. However, the results showed that neither gender nor empathy predicted the answers, but that there was a “three-way interaction between gender, cognitive empathy, and affective resonance.” They also found that men possessed significantly more positive attitudes towards self-driving cars than women.
In addition, Drs. Osterman and Findley-Van Nostrand also presented their research. Specifically, Dr. O presented findings found in conjunction with Dr. Gornick of the Virginia Military Institute, Mr. Brian Matera, and Mr. Alexander Carr, titled “Trait Empathy Moderates Belief Bias in Emotionally-Evocative Reasoning Tasks.” To learn more, please contact Dr. Osterman at the above mentioned email address.
Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand’s study was titled: “Sense of Belonging Drives Intentions to Leave STEM in Undergraduate Students: Mediated and Short-Term Longitudinal Association.” She worked alongside Drs. Sophie Kuchynka, Jennifer Bosson, and Richard Pollenz, all from the University of South Florida. If you are curious about the study and want to learn more, Dr. FVN can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, the day before the official SPSP conference began, Dr. Carter presented his study on “The Effect of the American Flag on Political Attitudes Has Declined Over Time: A Case Study of the Effect of Historical Context on Priming Effects,” at the JDM preconference.
The preconferences are one-day, mini conferences that allow for colleagues to gather to discuss their specific areas of interest. For Dr. Carter, this was to discuss the changes since the first study he and his fellow researchers had conducted in 2011, wherein his research revealed that using the American flag as a primer has become less effective in shifting participants towards more politically conservative attitudes and beliefs. The effect is shown to be roughly zero at present. To learn more, please contact Dr. Carter at email@example.com.
(Unfortunately, no pictures were taken of Dr. Carter while he was presenting at the JDM preconference. Instead, Dr. O provided a dramatic reenactment via hard work and editing skills.)
When asked about the experience, Dr. Osterman said…
We had a fantastic time at SPSP, and all of our student presenters did a wonderful job of talking about their research with other scholars. They represented the college and department exceedingly well.
Cody seconded this, saying:
SPSP went really well! It was a wonderful opportunity to present research to a large body of our peers in psychology, as well as learn about a lot of the exciting new research that’s being conducted in the field. I definitely look forward to attending my next conference!
Congratulations to our students and professors for their successful SPSP conference!
On March 13th, 2018, the psychology department held their Psi Chi Induction Ceremony. Thirty-four students were inducted this semester into Psi Chi, the international honor society for psychology and one of the largest honor societies in the United States.
Following lunch, Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand began the ceremony by making the opening remarks. Students were then given their certificates and the nominations for the new executive board for Psi Chi were held. Dr. Osterman ended the ceremony by leading the recognition of the outgoing and incoming executive boards.
Pictures of the new members of Psi Chi followed the conclusion of the ceremony, including:
Students who were not able to attend the ceremony but are new members of Psi Chi are as follows:
Ciprianna O. Azar
Alexander J. Glando
Elizabeth Q. Helminski
Jeanette L. Kurtic
Logan E. Miner
Jeanne M. Skulstad
Natalie M. Slemp
Allison L. Smith
Thomas E. Thomas
Caroline G. Wagoner
Taylor C. Ward
Griffith E. Wood
Emily A. Wright
In order to be accepted to Psi Chi as an undergraduate student, one must:
be enrolled as a major or minor in a psychology program or a program psychological in nature
have completed at least 3 semesters or equivalent of full-time college coursework
have completed at least 9 semester credit hours or equivalent of psychology courses
have earned a cumulative GPA that is in the top 35% of their class (sophomore, junior, or senior) compared to their classmates across the entire university or the college that houses psychology (minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4-point scale)3
have a minimum 3.0 GPA average for psychology courses
Some of the benefits include:
International recognition for academic excellence in psychology.
Distinguished members can be found here, including Albert Bandura, B. F. Skinner, and Philip G. Zimbardo.
Over $400,000 are available annually in awards and grants.
Psi Chi’s Career Center
Free access to three publications:
Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research
Eye on Psi Chi
Psi Chi Digest
For more information, follow this link to the official Psi Chi website.
Congratulations again to our new members of Psi Chi! They’ve worked hard and we look forward to seeing what they will do in the future.
Last December, Christmas was made particularly special for a class at Oak Grove Elementary School in Roanoke, Virginia.
As reported by the local WDBJ7 news station, Roanoke College students and biology professor, Dr. Frances Bosch, delivered toys they had altered to Mrs. Gruber’s special education classroom.
For children with disabilities, finding toys that look like them can be difficult and they can sometimes feel left out as a result.
As Dr. Bosch points out,
[… because only] twenty percent of the population have a disability of some sort, it is unlikely that major manufacturers would make toys to truly give every child a toy like them.
Yet, for students of this classroom, and for many other children as a result of the Toy Like Me project in Roanoke and the UK, finding toys that represent them has been made a little easier.
The Toy Like Me project at Roanoke College began when Dr. Bosch was researching for her 2015 May Term class, and she read about the Toy Like Me program started by Rebecca Atkinson in the UK.
Atkinson recognized the need for more diversified toys and started the program in order to lobby major toy manufacturers into producing toys more diverse toys.
The following year, while planning for her 2016 May Term class, Dr. Bosch decided not to wait for toy manufacturers to start diversifying their products.
I contacted Rebecca and asked if we could modify toys and give them away in the name of Toy Like Me.
So, the May 2016 class modified $300 worth of toys, and we gave most of them to Carilion Clinic’s Children’s Hospital in Roanoke.
This was not the end, however, as this project would spark continued projects in the name of Toy Like Me at Roanoke College. As Dr. Bosch describes,
Last school year, we did a Santa Claus Toy drive, and gave away $1600 worth of toys. [We] then gave toys away for Valentine’s [Day], and again in April.
My May 2017 class modified $700 worth of toys for the Pediatric Oncology ward at UVA through RC alumna Karra (Slaughter) Lee, who is a PA in that ward.
This year’s Santa Claus toy drive saw toys go to children in several schools in Roanoke City and County.
Including Oak Grove Elementary.
Last semester, we partnered with Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand’s Developmental Psychology classes. They modified toys with us, then participated in the delivery of toys to Oak Grove Elementary.
According to Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand, her students worked with Professor Bosch, the “heart and soul of the program” in order modify the toys based on each individual student.
If someone is in a wheelchair, a doll can be modified to include a wheelchair; if a child has a feeding tube, a tube can be inserted in toys; if a child wears glasses or has crutches, they add those […]
For Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand, the Toy Like Me program was “a memorable experience” as she “loved seeing the kids get so surprised and excited over the toys, and it was a great opportunity for my students as well.”
Dr. Bosch notes plans to partner with Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand’s class again this semester, as well as with Psi Chi, the Honors Society for psychology.
Last December, Roanoke College’s psychology department hosted a school outreach program. Students were able to learn more about psychology through group sessions with individual professors and were able to see first-hand how optical illusions work through an experiment. Following this, students were also able to enjoy a lunch with both psychology professors and current psychology majors at Roanoke.
Thank you to everyone who took part in the program. It looks like it was a lot of fun!
The following is a transcription from an in-person interview with Victoria Preston at Fruitions where a student assistant was able to talk with her about her research and internship experiences at Roanoke College and Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare.
Can you tell me a little about yourself? (Such as interesting hobbies and your favorite color?)
I’m a psych major. I don’t think I have any interesting hobbies. I like animals and my favorite color is green.
What kind of classes are you taking this semester?
This is my last semester, so I’m at the very end of what I need to be taking. I’m taking a seminar course [for psychology], and then I’m taking a sociology class because it’s interesting to me. I [also] work for Dr. Powell on a research lab.
How do you like seminar?
It’s kind of challenging just because you’re working in a group to come up with a project. Most of the groups are four people, [but] we’ve got three, so it’s just kind of difficult to get everyone on the same page, to get everyone to meet on time, [and] to get the work done, but it seems to be going well so far.
How do you like Dr. Powell’s lab?
I love it. This is my second year working for her, second semester I guess, and her lab is about an emerging adult study or doing something with adolescents. Last semester I just worked in helping other students with their research- I didn’t do anything of my own. (…) This year I’m doing my own study from a previous student’s and some of her work. I have someone working for me this time. So, (…) I really enjoy it and you get the experience of what working in a research setting would be and you get her attention to help with anything else that you need.
So, what are you doing specifically in the lab?
There’s a Roanoke College student who graduated last year who did a study on emerging adults and talking, ghosting, friends with benefits, that kind of relationship. I’m doing a secondary data analysis of her study. Dr. Powell and Dr. Friedman did a study on a ghosting, so I’m taking some of their information and putting it together and running my own analysis of it: dealing with if there’s a time frame, what blocking is, if we can accurately define what “talking” really means. [Talking is] different for every person. That’s basically what I am doing this semester.
In addition to working in the lab, you also completed an internship. Can you tell me about that?
I interned at Blue Ridge Behavioral Health Care in the Child and Family Services [Department]. I was toying with the idea of working with children and families and I wanted to intern at a place that was local enough to where I could potentially work there because I am from Salem. [Interning at Blue Ridge] was just the best option and was something I was vaguely familiar with.
What did you learn from your experience at Blue Ridge?
A lot of what I did there was observing group therapy or sitting in on family assessment planning. If there was a kid that needed some sort of services but couldn’t afford it, they would go to this board and make their argument for the government or organization to pay for it. What I learned was that there are a majority of people who need the help that Blue Ridge is giving but they can’t afford it. That was kind of surprising to me because you think “oh, you know everybody has insurance, that insurance just pays for it” but that was not the case. [I also] just figured out my own personal biases in working with kids because I still want to work with children – I eventually want to be family therapist. Maybe. Working with kids, you think it’s going to be one thing and then it’s an entirely different thing.
I did learn a lot about what it was like to work in an actual office setting, which was really important to me because the only other job I’ve had I was working at a jewelry store. That was just really interesting to me to just see how complicated the behind-the-scenes of mental health is and trying to get people the services that they need.
Were there any moments during your internship that really surprised or struck you?
Since there are children and family services in that building, I thought it was only going to be kids needing some sort of residential treatment or psychiatric testing but it’s anything that has to do with children. […] I’m not sure… There were a lot of interesting experiences that I never anticipated or expected to see.
How do you plan on applying what you learned in your internship to what you’d like to do in the future?
The reason why I wanted to intern at a local place was because I plan on applying for a job there, so basically just taking all of the things I observed and kind of deciding if that’s the path that I want to go down since I’ll only have a bachelors [degree]. You can’t really do a lot, so I’ll probably end up being a case-worker. Just taking the things that I saw and learned in my psych classes, counseling classes, or my abnormal classes- even some of my sociology classes. I’ve taken a lot of juvenile delinquency and behavior classes and the things I’ve learned in my classes [I’ve also] seen first hand. When you do an internship, you have to write daily reflections of what you did and how it applies to what you learned and I could apply 90% of what I saw [interning at Blue Ridge] to something that I learned in my classes.
What’s some advice that you have for students who want to complete an internship?
Definitely do it. If I hadn’t taken the internship, then I would have no idea where to go or where to apply. Experiencing something is good but also being able to network and having people that you can then go to or have them be a reference for [is good as well]. I only interned for two months, so you don’t have to have a long internship to get a full experience . You can just do it for a summer. I would tell everyone to do an internship if they can, especially if they are not a hundred percent certain- even they are a hundred percent certain, but maybe they [realize they] don’t like it that much.
Thanks Victoria for taking time to meet to talk about your research experiences and your internship with Blue Ridge. Congratulations on completing your degree!
For those interested in applying to an internship or wanting to know more about research opportunities, please contact Dr. Camac in the Psychology Department and/or Dr. Lassiter in the Biology Department.
On Tuesday, December 5th at 7:00 in Life Science 515, Psi Chi will be hosting their annual Movie Night! This year’s movie is Girl, Interrupted. This is a great chance to relax before finals and hang out with other psych students and professors! Snacks will be provided.
“Do you like watching movies? Do you like winning free money? Would you like a chance to do both at the same time?”
Sound like a dream come true?
Then please plan on attending Psi Chi’s annual movie night on Tuesday, November 28th. Prior to this, submissions for any movie recommendation relating to psychology (like last year’s winner, Inside Out) are open until the end of Tuesday, November 14th. Voting will then continue until November 21st. The winner will receive a $5 gift card to Mill Mountain to contribute towards their coffee fund and preparation for finals.
Think you have a winning movie? Want free coffee or a hot chocolate (or whatever your heart desires from Mill Mountain)? Then please send your suggestion to firstname.lastname@example.org Tuesday, November 14th.
In Part I, we talked about the more academic side of the trip and some differences noticed between cultures. In Part II of the Thailand May Term, we will discuss the more inherently fun and less academic parts of the trip, because, even though this was a class, it was still an experience of a lifetime.
For Dr. Darcey Powell, in addition to the conversations the group had with locals, her two favorite experiences were the Muay Thai boxing class and their day as mahouts:
[…] In the Muay Thai boxing class, we learned about that style of boxing and practiced the techniques. As mahouts, we learned how to take care of elephants with respect to feeding and bathing, as well as how to ride elephants, and then put what we learned into practice with our own elephant for the day.
Dr. Darcey Powell
Students’ experiences as mahouts at the Patara Elephant Farm in Chiang Mai was definitely one of the most favorite and memorable experiences of the trip, as Peyton Holahan ’19 recounts:
We spent the entire day playing with and learning about elephants. It really does not get much better than that in my opinion. We were greeted in the morning by the director of Patara who explained their mission as an elephant sanctuary focused on educating individuals about the health and well-being of these beautiful animals. Each person got assigned an elephant (or two) to spend the day with and it was pure magic. I was one of the lucky ones to get assigned both a mom elephant and her two-year-old baby. They told us that they assigned the elephants based on our personalities but I am certainly not planning on having kids anytime soon. I learned how to groom, feed, and bathe my elephants. Bathing them was by far the most fun because this involved getting on their backs and scrubbing them with a brush in the river. This was also really refreshing because Thailand’s climate is HOT.
Along with our elephants we were partnered with mahouts who are the elephants’ caretakers and trainers. Our mahouts assisted us throughout the day in helping us ride the elephants and showing us how to take care of them. Patara is such a unique elephant sanctuary in Thailand in that they do not cage the elephants but rather let them roam freely because their mission is focused on recovery, reproduction, and reintroduction of elephants into the wild. Patara is one of the most humane elephant farms in Thailand for that reason and I am so glad that Dr. Powell chose this once in lifetime opportunity for us all to experience.
Sarah Hughes agrees with Holahan, giving her own description of her experience at the elephant farm.
I had been looking forward to going to the elephant farm since I had signed up for the trip, so I was tremendously thrilled when I found out that we each would have our own elephant for the day. We had the opportunity to feed our elephant sugar cane and bananas, inspect them for good health, bathe them, and ride them for their daily walk. I quickly learned that elephants like to eat a lot and eat quickly. This was because every time I would feed my elephant she would get mad at me and start to yell because I was not feeding her enough at a time and not quick[ly] enough. We then had the chance to speak to them in Thai and make sure they had slept properly the night before and were happy and healthy.
The next part was my favorite part of the trip. […] We had the opportunity to scrub them and play in the water with each of our elephants. It was interesting to see that some of the elephants really liked the water and others did not. Afterwards we rode our elephants to lunch. This ride was not what I was expecting, as we rode for thirty minutes straight up a mountain and only had a rope to hold on to.
Molly Zydel ’19 seconded the opinions of her fellow students, adding that:
The trip as a whole was absolutely amazing. I couldn’t have asked for a better first experience out of the country. As for favorite parts of the trip, I absolutely adored our time in Chaing Mai. The city was gorgeous, and not near[ly] as overwhelming as Bangkok was. It reminded me a lot of home, which is why I think I loved it so much. While we were in that city, we also had an excursion where we got to be elephant care takers for a day. We each had our own elephant and we got to feed them, bathe them, and ride them. That day was phenomenal. It feels so surreal, even though I have pictures to prove it happened.
Hughes also mentioned a number of other fun activities that students were able to experience.
Some other things we did during the trip were visiting many temples all over Thailand, including the Grand Palace. We went to an adventure park at our hotel in Phetchabun, which is in the mountains, visited a factory, and went to Koh Samui, which is a gorgeous island in Thailand. We also were able to take a Muay Thai Boxing class, go to a rooftop restaurant, explore local night markets, and speak with monks.
Molly Zydel described her experience in Thailand as
[…] phenomenal. […] I could say so many things, but they all lead back to the statement of if you get the chance to travel abroad like this, do it. You won’t regret it. Even if it scares you half to death, do it. You find out somewhere in the middle of all of it that the experience is more exhilarating and eye-opening than it is scary. You change so much as a result of spending 3 weeks in another country that has such a different culture. Thailand was amazing. I just want to go back.
Ultimately, as Kiah Coflin ’19 concludes,
There are only so many aspects of a culture you can learn through a classroom […] [as seeing things] first hand teaches lessons better than any textbook ever can.
To see more pictures, go here to the official Facebook for the Thailand May Term. If you haven’t read the first part of the Thailand blog post, click here.
Thank you to everyone who helped with this post and were willing to write and submit pictures.
Twelve students from multiple disciplines, including psychology, went to Thailand this past summer with psychology professor, Dr. Darcey Powell to study emerging adulthood as part of a May Term program at Roanoke College.
Over the course of three weeks, students were able to compare the empirical articles they had read before departure with their own experiences as they traveled across Thailand to cities including Bangkok, Phetchabun, Chiang Mai, and Koh Samui. While there, they discussed cultural similarities and differences with local emerging adults in Thailand. By traveling from city to city, students were able to see how socioeconomic settings and geography affect the lives of different emerging Thai adults.
As Peyton Holahan ’19 recalls,
The readings for our May Term were really interesting and relevant to the cultures and places we encountered. The topics in our readings varied from the collectivist[…] ideals in Thai society, to the importance of education, to the role of the transgender community in Thailand. Almost every day, we would have group discussions about our assigned readings and consider how the readings related to what we experienced or could possibly experience in our daily ventures.
When asked to talk about one of the most interesting parts of their trip, multiple students talked about their visit to Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok where they were able to interact with Thai students. Through talking one-on-one with each other and asking questions about their social and academic lives, they came to realize that perhaps they were not so different after all.
Holahan describes how her group quickly learned that social media plays a huge role in Thai student’s everyday lives, just as media does in the United States. In fact, because of the interactions with the Chulalongkorn students, Ms. Holahan came to realize that:
[…]the Thai students in Bangkok had very similar lives to our own in that most of them were working towards getting a degree and were still financially dependent on their parents. Spending the day at Chula and getting to know Thai students on a personal level completely contradicted my initial belief that our cultures were so far apart.
Sarah Hughes ’19 also mentioned her experiences talking with the psychology graduate students at Chulalongkorn University.
[…] It was funny[;] the first question they asked was about our current president and our political systems. They did not understand that our political system creates conflicts because in Thailand everyone worships the Royal Family. […] One conversation that stood out to me was when a student asked if our traffic jams in the U.S. only lasted approximately thirty minutes. I thought this was a strange question, but I shortly learned that it is easier to walk somewhere than drive because traffic jams can last for three hours.
Sarah Hughes ’19
Molly Zydel ’19 noted that for all the similarities, Thai and USA cultures are fundamentally different.
Thai culture is very different from US culture, in so many ways. First off, it is a collectivist[…] culture, meaning they emphasize the collective whole rather than the individual. This was observed in many ways, but especially in the way they treated each other. I never once saw a Thai person yelling. Thai people are also much more conservative. They don’t really like talking about themselves.
Molly Zydel ’19
This was most noticeable during the talk with graduate students from Chulalongkorn University, as Zydel continued on to say.
[…] As Americans, we were much more open to answering questions about ourselves, but when we asked them questions, the Thai students often struggled in speaking up to answer them, especially when we asked questions that were uncomfortable in the first place (e.g. we asked about sex outside of marriage and if it happened, and that question clearly made them uncomfortable).
Through their traveling, students were further exposed to various ways of thinking about life and their own culture. For Sarah Hughes ’19, the first few moments in Thailand were a startling contrast with her home in Maryland.
As soon as we landed in Bangkok I noticed many differences. For starters[,] the airport was half-inside and half-outside. We had been traveling for 23 hours in nice cold air conditioning and the second you stepped into the airport it felt like 100 degrees or more because of the humidity. Before our trip, everyone had told us to prepare for the heat but none of us expected it to be as hot and as humid as it was. I am from Maryland near Washington D.C. and I thought I knew what humidity was, but oh[,] I was wrong. The humidity in Thailand was something I have never experienced before.
Sarah Hughes ’19
Later, Ms. Hughes began to notice something else about the differences between the United States of America and Thailand.
In the United States we tend to separate poor areas from the rich areas, but in Thailand you will have a gorgeous temple that the Rama (king) built next to shacks that people live in. It stood out to me because you would have thousands of tourist[s] admiring these stunning buildings and next door are [the homeless] or people that live in a small shack without running water.
These observations fall in line with the readings, as Peyton Holahan noted…
I remember leading a group discussion on two readings about the importance of social class in society. These readings directly related to our experiences because it was clear that social class in Thai society affected the paths of Thai emerging adults as to whether they got an education or started working at a young age to support themselves. Social class was a key factor in many of the places we visited because we witnessed higher social classes in urban areas like Bangkok.
In cities like Bangkok, education was emphasized for emerging adults because they were in an urban setting with plenty of accessible resources that stressed academic goals for better jobs and opportunities. On the other hand, we also witnessed the extent of lower social classes in more rural areas like Phetchabun. In such areas, emerging adults usually resorted to working at young ages to support their families instead of pursuing higher education because it was rarely an option within their socioeconomic sphere.
In addition to these observations and experiences, students were also able to have some fun as well. Continue to part II to learn about some of the student’s and professor’s favorite parts of the trip, including getting to spend the day with elephants.
To see more pictures of the trip, click here to go to the official RC May Term Facebook Page.
The Psychology Department will be hosting their annual Wii dance party this Wednesday, May 3 in Life Science 502 from 2-4pm. All students are invited who have taken a Psychology course or are friends with someone who has taken a Psychology course or think they know someone who may have taken a course with a Psychology professor.
As the year winds down, the Psychology department would like to welcome and congratulate 29 of its newest members of our Psychology Honor Society, Psi Chi. Psi Chi is the International Honor Society in Psychology, which was founded in 1929 for the purposes of “encouraging, stimulating, and maintaining excellence in scholarship, and advancing the science of psychology.”
Members have access to wide number of resources, including scholarships, grants, and discounted services!
Florida International University Center for Children and Families 2017 Summer Treatment Program — Counselor Positions
The Center for Children and Families at Florida International University announces Summer Treatment Program Counselor positions for 2017. The Summer Treatment Program (STP) provides services to children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Conduct Disorder, Oppositional-Defiant Disorder, learning problems, and related behavior problems. The program provides treatment tailored to children’s individual behavioral and learning difficulties. Counselors will work in the STP-PreK, for children in preschool or entering Kindergarten, or the STP-E, for children ages 6-12 in elementary school. The Center for Children and Families is directed by William E. Pelham, Jr., Ph.D., who is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at Florida International University. Paulo Graziano, Ph.D., and Katie Hart, Ph.D., are the Program Directors for the STP-PreK, and Erika Coles, Ph.D., is the Program Director for the STP-E.
The dates of employment for the Counselor position are Monday, June 5, 2017 through Saturday, August 12, 2017. Counselor hours of employment are 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM, Monday through Friday, and on Saturday, August 12. In addition, Counselors continue to work with the children until 8:30 PM one evening each week while parents participate in weekly parent training groups.
Counselors are paid a salary of $4,000 for the summer. In addition, current students may be able to arrange for academic course credit through their university departments.
Go ahead and please click this link to read Dr. Osterman’s PSYC 376: Evolutionary Psychology class’s fourth and final post on a psychological adaptation. This one is on evolved taste preferences and aversions.
Come out tomorrow, September 15th from 4:30-6:00pm to enjoy some ice cream with RCPA and Psi Chi! The social will take place on the Science Quad and is an awesome opportunity to learn more about each organization and the Psychology Department in general!
The Psychology Department will be hosting their annual Wii dance party this Wednesday, May 4 in Life Science 502 from 2-4pm. All students are invited who have taken a Psychology course or are friends with someone who has taken a Psychology course or think they know someone who may have taken a course with a Psychology professor.
Go see our Facebook page for some videos from recent years!
“Want to ace that test tomorrow? Here’s a tip: Put down the coffee and hit the sack.”
Don’t believe me? Tons of recent research has shown that pulling all-nighters, and the sleep deprivation that results, will actually harm you rather than help you.
“Sleepless night can make us cranky and moody. But a lesser known side effect of sleep deprivation is short-term euphoria, which can potentially lead to poor judgment and addictive behavior, according to new research from the University of California, Berkeley.”
Lack of sleep can result in decreased immune system function and reduced ability to consolidate recently formed memories, says Boston College. Therefore you are more susceptible to catching whatever icky bug is floating around campus and all that information you’re trying to stuff into your head as the wee hours of the morning tick by probably won’t stick as well as you hope.
I could go on. But before you leave, please promise me that you’ll get some sleep every single night this week. Taking a three hour study break to catch some Z’s is actually more helpful than taping your eyelids open and attempting to memorize the neurotransmitters and their functions with a double espresso in your hand. Your grades, and your sanity, will thank you.
On Saturday, April 9th, Alumni of the Psychology department came together to share stories and partake in fun activities. This year, more alumni showed up than ever! Alumni entered into contests and trivia games as well. Peter Hill ’65 was the alumni who graduated the longest time ago, Kelly Paton ’12 traveled over 1000 miles, and Lauren Kennedy ’14 won our trivia games!
On February 9, the Psychology Department, Psi Chi, RCPA, and Dr. Pranzarone hosted a Valentine’s Day event in which the psychology of love, love maps, lust, and limerence were discussed! The lecture was a blast and all had a great time crafting Valentine’s Day cards for the local nursing home residents.
Dr. Shenal (Adjunct Associate Professor) began teaching at Roanoke College in 2012. He received his B.S. (’95), his M.S. (’98), and his Ph.D. (’01) from Virginia Tech. Dr. Shenal completed his clinical internship and fellowship at the University of Florida. He is a practicing neuropsychologist and an Associate Professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. His research interests include the neuropsychology of emotion, lateralization/cerebral asymmetry, and teleneuropsychology.
For those of you who missed out on this awesome opportunity to get more involved in the department and learn about all of its valuable resources, don’t worry! We’ll be holding more sessions in the spring, which you should definitely attend. We take pride in our department and we want to share it with you!
Students and faculty came together on Sunday for the Fall Feast!
Dr. Whitson’s Bok Choy salad won the “best savory dish” award
and Dr. Freedman’s pumpkin & chocolate cake won the
“best sweet dish” award.
We hope your Thanksgiving feast is as
sweet (and savory) as ours was!
Join the Psychology Department this Sunday November 22nd for a Fall Feast. Faculty will be cooking savory and sweet treats. All students are welcome. Come join in the fun and socialize to celebrate the season.
This Wednesday and Thursday night from 6:30 – 8pm the psych department is hosting an event to welcome all newly declared psych majors! Both are in room 502. Come to one and see what the department has to offer!
On the Thursday before midterm exams began RC Psychology Association and Psi Chi, with support from Zentangle Inc., hosted a Zentangle: De-stress & Refocus event for students at the college. Psychology students could earn research credit and Honors program students could earn class I credit for attendance. More than 35 students came out to Zentangle! During the event, students heard about the technique known as Zentangle (https://www.zentangle.com/) and created their own Zentangle square. Additionally, the students left the session with a Zentangling pen and a couple squares so they could continue Zentangling on their own as they geared up for midterms. Everyone seemed to enjoy the session, so we hope to have Sacil back on campus in the future for another de-stressing and refocusing event!
Some of you may know that we have a student lounge on the fifth floor of Life Science for anyone to hang out and possibly nap on the comfy couches. This semester we’ve been able to open up another room designated more for studying and other quiet activities! It used to be faculty office space, but is now a place for students to use. It is located on the left side of the same hallway the other student lounge is. Come check it out!
There are 6 psychology professors ( 3 male, 3 female, and one staff member – our miracle working secretary) in the photo below; can you find them? The rest of those lovely faces are our students who could make it to this particular photo shoot! You have to love those GET PSYCHED shirts. They really capture our persona as a community.
Charis Flamburis ’15 was accepted as a counselor at The Goodtimes Project! How exciting!
“Each year over 13,000 children in the US are diagnosed with cancer. Camp Goodtimes was established in 1984 to provide a no cost camp environment for children affected by cancer where they can recapture the joys of childhood.”
The Psychology Department will be having an alumni reception over Alumni Weekend (Saturday, April 11th) on the outdoor balcony of Lucas Hall (2nd floor) from 4:00 to 5:30pm. (Rain Location: Lucas 215)
Please stop by for some drinks, snacks, and fun activities with the Psychology Department! This year we will also be honoring the years of dedicated service from Dr. Jan Lynch and Dr. Chuck Early, who will both retire at the end of this year. Contact Chris Buchholz (email@example.com, 540-375-4904) for more information.