This past summer Rachel Harmon was selected as a recipient of the 2018-2019 Summer Mamie Phipps Clark Diversity Undergraduate Research Grant from Psi Chi, the international psychology honorary, where she spent several weeks in Mexico working on her project titled, “Cross-Cultural Comparison of Caregiver Concerns and Resources for Children with Disabilities.”
Rachel Harmon was in the list of top 11 applications and so Dr. Powell was awarded a faculty stipend as well.
A brief interview was done with Harmon to learn more about this project and process:
Thank you for taking time to answer some questions, to start off, can you describe what the grant process was like and how you discovered it?
I began the grant application process in December of last year but ended up not submitting the grant until the May due date. I heard about the grant through Dr. Powell, who recommended applying, and advised me throughout the process. The grant required me to provide a concise version of my Literature Review and a brief Methodology section, and all the scales that I would use. I found that the grant helped me to determine the specific methodology I would use for my project and helped me to determine the specific scales that I would use.
Can you tell me more about your project?
The title of my project is “Cross-Cultural Comparison of Caregiver Concerns and Resources for Children with Disabilities”. I have collected both observational and quantitative data in both Mexico and the United States to compare the resources that are available for children with disabilities in each country and how this impacts caregiver stress levels and the emotions they feel, regarding caring for their child with a disability. I originally got the idea for my project when I traveled to Nicaragua the summer before my freshman year. While I was walking through a market in Managua, I saw a woman who was working and had her daughter who had a disability in what we would consider a baby stroller. I have worked a lot with individuals, specifically with children with disabilities and developmental delays, and I was naturally compelled to investigate the topic further.
What drew you to Mexico for this project?
I was originally supposed to return to Nicaragua for my project, but due to the current political environment, it was not ideal for travel. Jesse Griffin, who serves on the committee of my project knew of several connections that our college has with research facilities and other institutions in the Yucatán. One of the facilities was conveniently across the street from a Centro de AtenciónMúltiple, which is a government funded special education school, which was a great resource for collecting observational data and distributing surveys.
What did a normal day look like for you in Mexico as you worked on this project?
For the first month I spent in Mexico I was in Oxkutzcab, which was a small, rural town. This was where the C.A.M. school was. Each weekday I would go to the school at 7:30, and I would rotate which classroom I was in each day. The school has seven classes serving student from ages 2-28. Depending on which classroom I was in, I would either observe the class, and participate in class activities, or work one on one with students who needed more individualized attention. The school days in Mexico only last from 7:30 to 12:30, so in the afternoons I would explore or relax, and work on other research tasks.
I spent the second month in the capital of the Yucatán, Mérida. Here, I was working with an internationally run non-profit called SOLYLUNA. The organization provides special education opportunities and access to physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy for children who have a diagnosis of multiple disabilities and their caregivers. The dynamic of the organization was very different than the C.A.M. school, so it was an adjustment. The organization requires that a caregiver accompanies the child for the full day from 7:30-1:30. My job as a volunteer was to assist the parents when needed, and to observe the teachers and therapists. I also worked with the volunteer coordinator and director of the organization to create a document about potential resources to provide for caregivers, and I took pictures for them to use for promotion purposes. Since I was now in a larger city there was a lot more to explore in the afternoons, and I enjoyed travelling on the weekends.
You mentioned that you had opportunities to explore while in Mexico, what was the coolest place you visited/most favorite?
I did have a lot of time to explore while I was in Mexico, especially on the weekends. I enjoyed exploring nearby townsand venturing further to other landmarks. I think my favorite place I traveled to while in Mexico was Isla las Mujeres. This was an island off the coast of Cancún, where we were able to hear lots of live music, enjoy the beach, and go snorkeling. I met a group of other students from Millsaps College, in Mississippi while I was there, and I enjoyed traveling with them and meeting them at different places on some weekends.
If given the opportunity would you go back and work, there again?
Absolutely! While I was there, I formed a lot of connections with the kids, caregivers, teachers and therapists that I was working with and I would love to see them again (I miss them a lot)! It was hard to leave such amazing people, and such an amazing place.
Is there anything else you would like us to know?
Overall, my experiences in Mexico taught me more than I could have ever imagined. I especially learned a lot about collecting data in another culture, which is an experience I consider myself lucky to have had at this point in my academic career. Whether it is through research, or a different study abroad program, I highly recommend spending time in another country to everyone, because it allows you to learn so much about yourself and the world.
Congratulations again to Rachel Harmon and Dr. Powell and thank you for taking time to answer some questions!
Last month, Kiah Coflin and Dr. Powell were awarded funding for Coflin’s HIM project, “Factors impacting emerging adults’ bid responses in romantic relationships,” from Psi Chi, the International Psychology Honors Society. They were selected as recipients for one of the 2018-2019 Fall Undergraduate Research Grants.
Generally, funding is only provided to the student. However, because Coflin’s proposal scored within the top 11 applications, Dr. Powell was also awarded a faculty stipend.
Kiah Coflin describes her project below and how she felt upon learning she had gotten the research grant:
For my project, I am conducting a survey on Emerging Adults (ages 18-25) on their romantic relationships/dating trends. We will be looking to see how the individuals chose to react and communicate in a series of vignettes that I have created in a set up similar to the ‘Choose your own Adventure’ books we read as children. With this, I’m hoping to gain a better understanding of the reasons and process behind why individuals choose to break up with their significant other.
Upon receiving the email from Psi Chi, I was incredibly appreciative of their interest in my project and their kind words. It was a wonderful email to receive in the midst of finals week, and makes me feel even more driven than I previously was to go through with this project. Of course, I have always been interested in this HIM proposal, but I was glad to find out others believed it was equally as interesting and notable among all of the other grant applications they received.
Our student assistant was recently able to catch up with recent graduate Kaitlin Busse about life after graduation and her favorite memories from Roanoke College! A Fulbright recipient, Busse is currently studying Industrial and Organizational Psychology in Denmark.
Thank you so much for answering my questions! We’ll start with the basics first. Can you tell me a little about yourself?
I graduated back in May of 2018, which is so hard to believe that it was six months ago! During my time at Roanoke, I majored in Psychology, minored in Sociology, and concentrated in Human Resource Management. I was the President of Psi Chi, Vice President of Chi Omega, and a member of the Honors Program. I also worked on campus as a Maroon Ambassador, a Psychology Student Assistant, and as a research assistant for the HR Department. I really liked research and was extremely involved with projects in the Psychology Department, where I was part of Dr. Powell’s lab.
Over the course of my college career, I had three internships that have given me experience in learning and development, talent management, and counseling. One of my favorite experiences that Roanoke College provided me with was the opportunity to study abroad. I completed my May Term in Sri Lanka studying the landscape and culture and also spent a semester in the Netherlands.
Can you tell me more about where you interned?
My first internship was at a local outpatient counseling facility back home in NJ. During my time, I learned about what is was like to work as a counselor and gained some insight into how counseling sessions were run. While I enjoyed the internship, I found that after the experience my interests shifted more towards the organizational issues in the workplace. It was then I decided to take an Organizational Behavior class at Roanoke and completely fell in love with it!
That summer, I interned as a Talent Management intern at Digitas, an advertising agency in NYC. I gained so much experience there, which also reaffirmed [my interest in] the field of I/O. My favorite projects were analyzing company turnover rates and developing a national survey for interns and managers regarding job satisfaction and progress.
The next summer I interned at Wyndham Worldwide as a Learning and Development intern in their corporate office. While I was there, my favorite project involved researching ways that employees could develop the core values of the organization, which then led to the creation of a professional development website.
In both my internship programs, I participated in group case study projects where we worked together to create a strategy to solve a problem in the organization. This is where I became interested in a possible career as an organizational consultant.
What was your May Term and study abroad like?
During my May Term, I studied the landscape and culture in Sri Lanka. During the three weeks that we were there, we traveled all over the country, which was nice because we gained a well-rounded understanding of the culture. We visited different sites of worship where we gained an understanding the religious diversity of the country. We had the opportunity to interacts with the locals. My most memorable experience was volunteering at a school for a day where we taught English, did arts and crafts, and played sports with the kids. It was really interesting to visit the tea plantations and learn about its significance to the economy. My favorite part of the trip was learning about the wildlife, where we had the opportunity to go to safaris and a baby elephant orphanage!
I studied abroad in Tilburg, Netherlands in the fall semester of 2016. I chose the Netherlands because I wanted to study in a country that was known for their high quality of life and good working conditions. Tilburg University was the perfect school where I could take classes in the field of organizational studies through a psychological, sociological, and HR background (which combined all of my majors, minors, and concentrations)! I got to take a qualitative research class, an HRM class, and a class about the importance of building relationships within the workplace.
[…] I spent my weekends traveling throughout different European countries. Traveling to different places in Europe was so cheap and I got to experience so much history, culture, and beautiful architecture and landscapes.
During my time at Tilburg, the most meaningful memories I made were with the people I met. I was active in the international club, where I got the opportunity to interact with both Dutch people as well as different exchange students from all over the world. I lived in an international dorm where I also had the opportunity to learn about different cultures and build strong friendships with my roommates, who I still keep in touch with! (Fun fact: two of my friends that I studied abroad with actually live in Copenhagen and are students at CBS)!
What was graduating like? (Stepping on seal, the ceremony, etc.)
Graduation was such a special experience. Everyone was smiling and cheering each other on as they walked across the stage and got their diplomas. My whole family had driven all the way from New Jersey and Florida to share this moment with me which was so meaningful to me. At the end of the ceremony, it was a really special moment to walk past all of my professors who had supported me along this journey. Stepping on the seal was definitely felt a little strange as I made sure I stayed away from it all four years.
What are you doing now after graduating?
After graduation, I took the summer off from working to do some traveling both within the States and internationally. Whenever I have free time, I love to explore new places and experience different parts of the world. It’s funny because I actually spent more time traveling than I did at home this summer. I traveled around the US with my best friend, who was also a recent graduate of RC! We went to Charleston, South Carolina, went all over California (San Francisco, Napa Valley, and Los Angeles), and Kennebunkport, Maine. It was funny because I live in NJ and my friend lived in Maine, and since we weren’t ready to say goodbye to each other just yet, we would book trips every few weeks so we could see each other fairly often! I got to visit family in Cocoa Beach, FL, where I have gone every single year since I was born. I also got to travel to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for a couple weeks to visit my boyfriend and quite a few of the friends that I studied abroad with.
I am now in Copenhagen, Denmark as I was awarded a Fulbright to studying and research at Copenhagen Business School for one year. It has truly been such amazing experience. I take classes within organizational studies and am researching workplace-related issues such as Nordic gender equality and sexual harassment in the workforce. During my time here, I have also started volunteering with an organization that focuses on students’ professional and personal development. I usually spend my weekends exploring new places throughout the city and country with friends. Although Denmark is such a small country, there is so many beautiful things to see and things to do. I’ve also taken up yoga in Denmark, which has been really cool to get into, especially in Denmark!
Where have you traveled to in Denmark?
Since I’ve been in Copenhagen, I’ve been able to do some travelingboth domestically and internationally. The first few weeks I got here, I spent my time around the Copenhagen area getting to know the city a little better. My favorite things in Copenhagen are walking along the pretty painted houses of the Nyhavn, sitting on the dock at the beach in Amager Strand, exploring the different parks with all the fall foliage, and going to Tivoli at different times of the year (so far, I’ve got to experience the decorations for Summer, Halloween, Christmas). Outside of Copenhagen, I’ve done a road trip to Mons Klint, which are the cliffs in Denmark, which are absolutely stunning. I’ve also been to Odense to visit another Fulbrighter, which is an old town and also home to the birthplace of Hans Christian Anderson, one of Denmark’s most popular authors (he wrote the Little Mermaid). Outside of Denmark, I’ve been to Oslo, Norway which was another beautiful Scandinavian city. I also had some time to explore Malmö, Sweden, which is a 30 minute train ride from Denmark (you can actually see from Copenhagen)! My favorite trip I’ve been on so far is to Switzerland to visit one of the friends I lived with when I studied abroad in the Netherlands. She is now an intern for the United Nations in Geneva and it was so nice to catch up with her, explore the city, and meet some of her friends. Switzerland is absolutely gorgeous with the mountains and the lakes!
What drew you to Denmark? Now that you have been there for a few months, what is living there like?
Living in Copenhagen is pretty awesome! The Danes are extremely kind and are also very chill. It is such a lovely place to live […]. There’s this concept in Danish called “hygge” which is really hard to describe, but it translates directly to cozy. It’s sort of this warm, cozy feeling of being relaxed and surrounded by people you care about and often involves food and drink. I think this is my favorite part about Denmark! Everyone rides their bikes pretty much everywhere, so it has been fun getting to know the city on bike. I live in international housing where I have my own room and share a kitchen with nine of master’s students from all over the world. It has been great to get to know everyone and learn about their cultures! Work-life balance is really emphasized in Denmark as well, which has been nice with balancing class, research, friends, volunteering, and leisure activities.
Copenhagen is a foodie city, so I have definitely made an effort to try lots of cool places to eat (Copenhagen street food and food markets are incredible)! The only downfall to Copenhagen is that it rains more than it does back in the States!
That sound amazing! What kind of food do they have there?
Danish food is […] quite good! Rye bread is big here and so is seafood like small shrimp and salmon. Pork is also very popular (fun fact: there are more pigs than people in Denmark).
Although the Danes eat similar food that we do on a day-to-day basis, I’ve had the opportunity to try some of the more traditional dishes. Smørrebrød is probably my favorite dish. It’s a beautiful open face sandwich with all different kinds of meats, vegetables, and topping on it. Danish pastries are also SO GOOD! I’ve also tried roasted pork with crackling which has also been quite tasty as well! My favorite are the Danish version of cinnamon buns, which are incredible! While we have hot dogs in the US, the Danish hot dogs have a ton of topping on them like onions, pickles, and a bunch of different sauces. Aside from food, beer is also huge in Denmark and they have tons of local beers. Tuborg and Carlsberg are the two most popular and a couple of weeks ago, the beer companies released their Christmas beers which was an (un)official holiday in Denmark!
What do you miss about Roanoke College? What is your favorite thing about having graduated?
I love life after graduation, [though] I do miss Roanoke! I miss seeing my friends and professors every single day the most! I also miss how beautiful campus is and sitting outside of Commons on a nice day…
My favorite thing about having graduated is the newness of everything. In the past six months, I’ve moved to a completely new country and had the chance to experience many different things.While I still spend most of my day in a university setting, I am a part-time student so there is a bit less of a work-load in the evenings. With that being said, I have more free time to do things that interest me like spending time friends, reading leisurely, and enjoying different events in the city.
I saw that two of your friends came to visit you recently in Copenhagen and you took over RC Snapchat while they were there! That sounds like a lot of fun. Can you tell me more about it? What did you guys do?
It was so nice to have two of my friends visit me during their Fall Break at RC. It was so nice to catch up and show them around Copenhagen! We had a great time getting to explore the different parts of the city and trying good places to eat! My favorite place that we went to was Tivoli Gardens, which is a cute little amusement park in the middle of the city. Since it was October, the whole park was covered in Halloween decor which was so pretty! My Danish friend also came along and it was really nice for my two friends to meet some of my friends here in Copenhagen as well! I’m really grateful to have made such amazing friends at RC and miss them already!
What plans do you have for the future?
After I return back to the States from Denmark, I plan go to graduate school and get a degree in industrial/organizational psychology. I would like to work as an organizational consultant and focus on improving the work life of employees.
Is there anything else you would like to tell us?
I’ve been extremely grateful for all of the opportunities I had at Roanoke College, especially within the Psychology Department. I would not be who I am without the support and guidance from my professors and advisors. To current students reading this, take advantage of the opportunities that come your way… you never know what they will lead to!
Kaitlin Busse, a senior majoring in psychology and a student assistant for the department, was recently awarded an open study/research Fulbright grant for Denmark.
In this post, Busse discusses with a student assistant what she will be doing while in Denmark, how she learned about the Fulbright program, and advice she has for students considering applying to Fulbright and any other research/internship opportunity.
Can you tell me a little about yourself and what you will be doing in Denmark?
I am a psychology major, sociology minor, and human resources concentration, and my interests are in organizational psychology. I was awarded an open study/research Fulbright grant to Denmark and I will be in Copenhagen from August 2018 until June 2019. I will take master level classes at Copenhagen Business School, where I plan to take classes about leadership and organizational change, employee identity, and diversity management, and about Danish culture and how it influences their organizations.
While there, I am also planning to assist my affiliate, Dr. Sara Louise Muhr, with a project she is working on about improving organizational cultures for women in academia in the European Union. Part of the Fulbright experience involves a project in which you immerse yourself in the community. I am planning to partner with an organization called, Crossing Borders, where I will help teach professional development skills to refugees in Denmark.
How did you learn about the opportunity?
I actually learned about Fulbright while on my May Term to Sri Lanka. My professor, Dr. Katherine Hoffman, was a Fulbright ETA (she taught English) in Sri Lanka, and we interacted with their Fulbright Commission. I did not actually think about applying for a Fulbright until the second semester of my Junior year. I had just gotten back from studying abroad in the Netherlands and I loved immersing myself in another culture. After I came back, I received an email from Dr. Rosti about a Fulbright Information Session meeting.
What made you choose Denmark?
I wanted to go to Denmark because they are known for the great working environments and are constantly ranked one of the best places to work (and also one of the happiest countries)! My research interests lie in creating better work environments, especially in relation to work-family issues, which is what the Danes are known for! Also, I initially planned to study abroad in Denmark, but the program was cancelled during the semester that I wanted to go abroad.
Can you give any advice for those interested in applying for the Fulbright, or for research/internship experiences in general?
To people who are thinking about applying for Fulbright, I would say DO IT! It is a lot of work and it is extremely competitive to receive an award, but you develop so much personally, academically, and professionally from the application process. Even if you do not receive the Fulbright award, you end up with a great personal statement from the process.
For those thinking about research and internship experiences, I would also say DO IT! It was actually through one of my internships at a counseling agency that I learned I did not want to be a counselor and was instead most concerned with improving the work environment. Internships have also helped me get to know a little bit more about what organizational psychology and the HR field are about.
For those looking for internships, my advice would be to reach out to your networks and Roanoke College alumni (I actually [found] my first internship at a Roanoke College Career Night in NYC). I would also recommend research too because it allowed me to go in deeper to my studies and learn more about a particular area that I am passionate about.
Roanoke has an amazing research focus in the psychology program, which also gives you the opportunity to have a strong network relationship, present at conferences, and learn more about the research process.
Thank you to Kaitlin for taking her time to answer our questions, and congratulations again on receiving the Fulbright grant! Keep in touch and let us know how it goes! We’ll be cheering you on from the fifth floor of Life Science.
Also, for those interested in the Fulbright Program, click on this link to go to their official website. You can also talk to Dr. Jenny Rosti, who is the Director of Major Scholarships and an Adjunct Senior Lecturer. Her email is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kaitlin Busse, a psychology major and student assistant, was recently awarded an open study/research Fulbright grant in Denmark!
Psychology faculty congratulated her on receiving the Fulbright grant, saying:
We are very proud of Kaitlin’s achievement; it is truly an honor. Kaitlin is the third Psychology major to receive a Fulbright in the last two years. Congratulations Kaitlin and good luck in Denmark! – Dr. Buchholz
Dr. Powell added:
Kaitlin is driven by an intrinsic motivation to succeed and to make the most of the educational opportunities available. Here at Roanoke, she has worked with myself and another faculty member in the Business Department to diversify her research experiences, which has led to her presenting projects at several disciplinary conferences. she also studied abroad at an institution well-known for their Industrial Organizational Psychology faculty and courses, and she acquired competitive summer internships to further expand her social capital and see the concepts she’s learned in action. A Fulbright Scholarship is an extraordinary next step for her! As she completes additional coursework and conducts a study under Dr. Muhr’s supervision, I am confident that she will thrive in Denmark. I am incredibly proud of what she has accomplished and look forward to hearing how it goes!
Keep a lookout for a follow-up post wherein Kaitlin will discuss what her project will entail, how she came to know about Fulbright, and advice for students interested in pursuing a Fulbright or any internship/research opportunity.
Congratulations to Molly Zydel ’19 for being awarded the Mamie Phipps Clark Diversity Research Grant!
Zydel will use this grant towards funding her Distinction Project, titled “Perceptions of Foster Care Youth’s Academic Identity: Comparing Reports from Foster Parents and Former Foster Care Youth.” Specifically, she will be using the grant in order to offset the costs of compensating participants for their time.
She has been a member of Dr. Powell’s research lab since fall 2016.
Zydel also went to Thailand as part of Dr. Powell’s May Term last summer. You can read about the trip here.
The Mamie Phipps Clark Diversity Research Grant was founded in honor of Mamie Phipps Clark. Graduating in 1943, Clark was the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. in psychology from Columbia University.
As such, this grant is awarded to Psi Chi students and faculty advisors who are seeking to study diverse populations and issues.
For more information about the research grant, click here.
Congratulations again to Molly Zydel! We’re proud of you and look forward to learning about the results of your Distinction Project!
Congratulations to Alex DiFelice ’17 for being award a Psi Chi Research Grant with Dr. Powell. Please see below for a description of the research the two are working on!
“The activities that adolescents participate in can be integral to their development (Lerner, 2005). One activity that a large proportion of adolescents participate in is athletics (Kelley & Carchia, 2013, p.1). Prior researchers have established a link between Bandura’s concept of efficacy, both individual efficacy (IE) and collective efficacy (CE), and their sport performance (Morritz et al., 2000; Fransen et al., 2012). We examined the extent to which the contributors to efficacy: past performance, verbal persuasion, vicarious experiences, and emotional state (as posited by Bandura, 1977), predict adolescents’ sport IE and CE. Female youth athletes (N=170, Mage=15.04, 72.4% Caucasian) who attended World Camp USA field hockey sessions provided information about their current IE and CE for playing field hockey before the upcoming intensive training camp. Participants completed modified versions of IE and CE measures (Weigand, 2000; Short et al., 2005) and the sources of efficacy questionnaire (Chase et al., 2003). For the sources questionnaire, the adolescents responded yes/no to three questions for each of the four sources. The purpose of this study is to understand the impacts of Positive Youth Development Programs on the self- and collective- efficacy on an adolescent, and a team of adolescents. Like it is mentioned above, better understanding of how sports participation can impact an adolescent’s development can lead to improved programs to foster this development.”
The American Association of University Women currently has 3 scholarships, one that is $2000 and two that are $1500, that you can apply for!
The scholarships are as follows:
Non-traditional: women who are 21 years or older, and have not previously obtained a bachelor’s degree
Norman & Myrtle Shifflett: women who are pursuing a career in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM)
Dorothy Kayser Provine: women who are pursuing a career in the humanities
Two further requirements are that the student must reside Roanoke City, Salem City, Town of Vinton, Roanoke County, Botetourt County, or Craig County and must demonstrate financial need. And to be competitive, it is recommend that the student have at least a 3.4 overall GPA (higher would be better!).
Find out more here: http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/convention/call-for-submissions#.VGlqp_nF9oN. If you are interested in attending, please contact Dr. Denise Friedman. We are currently organizing travel and accommodations to try and make costs manageable. Travel grants are available for most students!
Sara Dorrance and her research mentor, Dr. Friedman, received a competitive summer research grant from the national honor society in psychology for their work in the field of cyberpsychology. Their project will focus on how time away from technology impacts well-being in college students. Congrats, Sara!
Sara Dorrance received a summer scholar award to investigate the benefits of time away from technology on psychological and physical outcomes in college students. She will be working with Dr. Denise Friedman this summer to design and pilot her study.