How the Psychology Department Celebrated April Fools 2019

Dr. Camac and Ellen Dyer laughing at something Dr. Osterman said

Walking past the elevator, you might notice the new pictures for the faculty members, where their representations if they were South Park characters have been carefully designed by the Master of Photoshop, Dr. Lindsey Osterman.

Further in to the Psychology Department, you might notice the googly eyes staring back at you from Dr. Osterman’s door frame. If you walk inside her office, you will quickly realize that you are being stared at from multiple googly eyes, including those on her phone, lampshade, chairs, books and the different memes she has on her walls for decoration.

“They missed a few good opportunities. I’m kind of disappointed,” said Dr. Osterman as we examined her room a few weeks ago and found more and more googly eyes.

If you were part of Dr. Allen’s class, you were likely suddenly told that you had an exam without any previous mention and were given a link that took you directly to a certain music video titled “Never Gonna Get Over You.”

You were properly rickrolled.

This is how the Psychology Department celebrated April Fools Day 2019.

What will happen next year? No one knows, but that’s the fun of it.

Dr. Osterman confirmed that she is already planning her revenge.

Want to see what happened last year, including another tale of revenge that occurred after years of planning? Click here.

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Still Looking for Graduate School Opportunities?

Still looking for graduate school opportunities?

UVA Educational Psych – Applied Developmental Science Master’s Program is still accepting applications!

If you are interested in learning more about how developmental processes impact learning in an educational and community environment, and enjoy conducting research to improve the lives of youth, then this program would be a great fit for you!

The Applied Developmental Science Master’s Program at UVA is 12 month long and gives you the opportunity to work with and learn from their supportive faculty. You will learn more about human development, educational psychology, and research methods. As part of this program, you are expected to complete a 6 credit (200 hour) internship with a local lab or community-based organization.

What can you do with this degree? Graduates go on to become educators, researchers, or consultants working in a variety of settings including schools, labs, and non-profit organizations.

Applications are due May 15th, and the program has a new start date of June 3rd. To learn more about the program click HERE.

Have questions? Contact Dr. Beverly Sweeney by phone at  434-243-1995 or via email at .

Written by Rachel Harmon, contributed to and edited by Brittney Rowe

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The Psychology Department at the Academic Awards Ceremony 2019

On April 3rd, high achieving students at Roanoke College were presented with awards from their departments as part of the 2019 Academic Awards Ceremony.

“The Academic Awards Ceremony is a time to celebrate some of our top Psychology Majors, as well as leadership in student groups and our two concentrations: Neuroscience and Human Development. We have a lot of hardworking and talented students in our program and I am proud of this year’s award recipients,” said Dr. Buchholz.

This year, the Psychology Department distributed awards to seventeen students overall. These students were:

  • Sophia Bacon (Outstanding Junior Psychology Majors)
  • Kiah Coflin (Psi Chi Achievement Award)
  • Hailey Davis (Outstanding Junior Psychology Majors)
  • Kathryn Flinchum (Curt R. Camac Student Research Award)
  • Aislinn Foutz (Curt R. Camac Student Research Award)
  • Casey J. Gough (Outstanding Junior Psychology Majors)
  • Rachel Harmon (Outstanding Junior Psychology Majors)
  • Theresa Hecmanczuk (Curt R. Camac Student Research Award)
  • Matthew Johnson (Outstanding Student in Neuroscience Concentration)
  • Riker Lawrence (Outstanding Junior Psychology Majors)
  • Nicole Moughrabi (The Charles E. Early Award)
  • Hayley Mulford (Outstanding Junior Psychology Majors)
  • Cody Dillon-Owens (Senior Scholar; The Jan H. Lynch Human Development Concentration Award; Psi Chi Achievement Award; and the Karl W. Beck Memorial Prize)
  • Thomas Thomas (Outstanding Junior Psychology Majors)
  • Kestrel Thorne-Kaunelis (The Charles E. Early Award)
  • Noelle Warfford (Karl W. Beck Memorial Prize)
  • Molly Zydel (The Jan H. Lynch Human Development Concentration Award)

When asked for a statement, Dr. Osterman added that “We are all so proud of the accomplishments of our students. It was a pleasure to be able to celebrate all of their hard work and dedication with them at the awards ceremony. We can’t wait to see what they do next.”

On behalf of the Psychology Department, congratulations again to all of our students. You have worked hard and done well and we look forward to seeing what you will achieve in the future!

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New Majors “Signing In”

Earlier this month, newly declared Psychology majors attended the New Majors Orientation and  “officially” signed in to the department! If you are a newly declared Psychology major and you have not attended an orientation yet, be sure to lookout for New Majors Orientation dates this upcoming Fall 2019!

Written by Rachel Harmon, video by Brittney Rowe

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Dr. Powell’s Research Lab at SRCD Conference 2019

Image result for srcd 2019
Click on the image to go to SRCD’s official website.

Overview:

The second part of the blog posts discussing the students and professors who traveled to Baltimore on March 21st through 23rd to present research at the Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Conference, this post will focus on Dr. Powell’s Research Lab.

Students and professors presented research through six different poster presentations, as well as one essay presentation that was part of a symposium. Dr. FVN and Dr. Powell presented one poster together, titled “Variations on a Lifespan Development Project Intended to Enhance Quality of Student Outcomes and Reflection of Reality.”  Dr. Buchholz’s and Dr. FVN’s labs collaborated to present their work on “Early Adolescent Cognitive and Affective Empathy: Direct and Interactive Ties to Social-Emotional Adjustment.”

The students who traveled include: Taylor Kracht ’18 (alumna; Dr. Powell’s lab), Cody Dillon-Owens ’19 (worked with both Dr. FVN and Dr. Buchholz; officially part of Dr. Buchholz’s lab), Aislinn Foutz ’19 (Dr. FVN’s lab), Kiah Coflin ’19 (Dr. Powell’s lab), Ciprianna Azar ’19 (Dr. FVN’s lab), Rachel Harmon ’20 (Dr. Powell’s lab) , and Alaina Birkel ’21 (Dr. Powell’s lab).

Descriptions of the presentations have been included to learn more about the types of research the two labs are doing.

Left to right: Dr. Powell. Alaina Birkel, and Taylor Kracht

Dr. Powell’s Research Lab

Statements: 

Dr. Powell: 

The first disciplinary conference that I attended was SRCD during my senior year of college. I was not presenting that year, but rather I tagged along with the faculty member and graduate students with whom I was working. I am very appreciative that Roanoke College also supports undergraduates to attend and present at disciplinary conferences! Hearing the students enthusiastically discuss the scholars they heard from and the ideas it provoked related to their research between sessions and over group dinners is exactly why I encourage my research assistants to attend a disciplinary conference.

SRCD’s biennial conference is quite large and so it can be difficult choosing between sessions to attend, as so many overlap at a single time. However, I was able to attend several that are related to my research agenda as well as a few related to topics that I teach in my Life-Span and Child Development courses. Another thing that I make it a point to do at conferences is to reconnect with colleagues. My Alma mater, WVU, hosted a social for current students and alumni of their developmental program, and I was able to grab lunch with a few other colleagues. It was enjoyable catching up with them and updating each other on the status of our careers.

Left to right: Dr. Powell, Rachel Harmon, and Kiah Coflin

Kiah Coflin ’19: 

This year’s biennial SRCD conference was held at the Baltimore convention center and it was huge! I have attended a poster presentation before, but my expectations were exceeded by SRCD, its number of intriguing speakers and talk topics, and its overall expanse across the convention center. It was certainly unique to see so many approaches to childhood and development, and an incredible experience to network with other students, professors, and scholars!

Personally, I presented a poster with my fellow lab mate, Rachel Harmon, on preliminary data exploring the impact of short-term, study-abroad programs on the Intercultural Competencies (ICCs) of Emerging Adults (EAs)… AKA I got to talk about my amazing May Term! We discussed the changes my May Term class perceived in our ICCs from a month before our trip, the middle of our trip, and a week after we returned. Our poster was well received and many were interested in how the data collection will progress when Dr. Powell continues to bring more students on future May Terms to Thailand!

Who says conferences can’t be fun? – Left to right: Kiah Coflin, Rachel Harmon, Alaina Birkel, and Dr. Powell

Posters:

Overall, there were three posters presented from this lab, though one was presented by Dr. FVN and Dr. Powell.

This particular poster was presented at the “Developmental Teaching Institute pre-conference on possible modifications to the life-span paper project.”

Left to right: Dr. Powell and Dr. FVN

The other two posters were presented by students and Dr. Powell. As mentioned above, Kiah Coflin, Dr. Powell, and Rachel Harmon discussed their findings in conjunction with Dr. Nipat Pichayayothin of Chulalongkorn University “on the development of students’ intercultural competencies” during their May Term course to Thailand in 2017.

The other poster was presented by Taylor Kracht (an alumna, now studying at William & Mary), and Alaina Birkel, who presented a poster based on Kracht’s “Honors in the Major project at the conference on how emerging adults’ implicit theories of relationships can be modified after watching certain types of romantic media.”

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Dr. FVN’s Research Lab at SRCD Conference 2019

Overview:

On March 21st through 23rd, Drs. Findley-Van Nostrand and Powell took seven students (including one alumnus) to the Society for Research in Child Development to present research through poster sessions, presentations, and a symposium. These students included Taylor Kracht ’18, Cody Dillon-Owens ’19, Aislinn Foutz ’19, Kiah Coflin ’19, Ciprianna Azar ’19, Rachel Harmon ’20, and Alaina Birkel, ’21.

Students and professors presented research through six different poster presentations, as well as one essay presentation that was part of a symposium. Dr. FVN and Dr. Powell presented one poster together, titled “Variations on a Lifespan Development Project Intended to Enhance Quality of Student Outcomes and Reflection of Reality.”  Dr. Buchholz’s and Dr. FVN’s labs collaborated to present their work on “Early Adolescent Cognitive and Affective Empathy: Direct and Interactive Ties to Social-Emotional Adjustment.”

Descriptions of the presentations have been included below to learn more about the types of research the two labs are doing.

Dr. FVN’s and Dr. Powell’s research labs are presented separately. In this post, Dr. FVN’s Research Lab is the focus; Dr. Powell’s Research Lab will follow shortly.

Image result for convention center baltimore md

Dr. FVN’s Research Lab

Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand: 

I think the conference went really well. It was great to catch up with old friends and colleagues, and even better to get the students exposure to the work being conducted by SRCD members. It is a large and prestigious meeting, so they should be proud of their accomplishments. There were not many undergraduate students in attendance, let alone presenting their work! So very proud of all them from both labs being represented. I also appreciated that interactions with audience members and folks stopping by posters gave us several

good ideas for future research and even refinement of the research we presented. This was also my first time attending the SRCD Teaching Institute, which was a great opportunity. I left with good ideas and was able to share some of ours (mine and Dr. Powell’s) as well!

Cody Dillon-Owens: 

At SRCD 2019 I had the amazing opportunity to present my lab’s research on how different forms of empathy can affect the social-emotional adjustment of adolescents. Being such a large conference, there were a vast number of symposiums to choose from that incorporated many other topics of interest besides developmental psychology. I had the chance to learn about new research ranging from community initiatives’ effects on adolescents’ political involvement, to how gut microbiota can affect our health across time, to how racial discrimination can affect children’s perceptions of the world. The conference was also a great time to network with other researchers and find out more about where our field is headed!

Symposium & Posters:

There were four posters and one symposium from Dr. FVN’s lab. Included in the poster session was a collaboration between Dr. Powell and Dr. FVN where they presented together on “a number of variations we have made to a cumulative assignment that is commonly used in Lifespan Development courses, all which aim to improve learning outcomes and interest from students.”

The symposium was titled “Circle Up: Using interpersonal theory and the interpersonal circumplex to study interpersonal relationships across development.” Dr. FVN and her colleague presented on “Social Goal Development during Middle School: Normative Changes and Prediction by Self-Esteem and Narcissism” as part of this symposium. This manuscript is in review for publication.

My colleague and I presented research examining trajectories of social goals across early adolescence in the framework of the interpersonal circumplex model. Specifically, we discussed how agentic (striving for social status, respect, dominance) goals and communal (striving for closeness, friendship, affiliation) change across three time points, beginning to end of middle school. We also examined growth trajectories of combinations of these overarching goals. Finally, we examined how self-esteem and narcissism deferentially predict later goals. In short, narcissism predicts heightened agentic goal strivings, but primarily the social dominance (low communal) form of agency.”

Dr. Findley – Van Nostrand

Ciprianna Azar ’19 (left) and Aislinn Foutz ’19 (right)

There were three student posters from Dr. FVN’s lab. Aislinn Foutz and Ciprianna Azar presented a poster based on Aislinn’s Honors project, titled “Associations among Parental Perspectives of Children’s Theory of Mind, Relationships with Parents, and Social Difficulties.” The manuscript of this research is currently in preparation for publication. To learn more about Aislinn’s Honors research, click here. Aislinn also presented another poster at the conference with Dr. FVN, discussing research that they and Dr. Ojanen, Dr. FVN’s graduate school advisor, completed. This was titled “Early Adolescent Self-Concept Clarity: Negative Affect, Aggression, and Mediation by Self-Esteem.”

For the latter poster, Dr. FVN elaborates on the topic, saying: “Self-concept clarity refers to the degree to which an individuals’ self-concepts are clear and consistent to an individual. This construct has long been associated with positive emotional adjustment and behaviors in adults, but research on adolescents is limited. Research on youth in Dutch samples has established that self-concept clarity is related to lowered depression, and greater identity commitment, but this research has not concurrently assessed self-concept clarity and self-esteem and has not been extended to US samples. This study establishes self-concept clarity as a predictor of lowered negative affect, and this association is mediated by self-esteem. Further, when examining both self-concept clarity and self-esteem, self-concept clarity alone is related to lower levels of peer-group aggression.”

Dr. FVN also adds that: A manuscript reflecting a similar set of studies in young adults is presently in review for publication. This manuscript is in preparation for publication.

Cody Dillon-Owens ’19

The final poster was presented by Cody Dillon-Owens on research conducted by himself, Dr. FVN, Dr. Buchholz, and Dr. Ojanen. The title of this work is: “Early Adolescent Cognitive and Affective Empathy: Direct and Interactive Ties to Social-Emotional Adjustment.”

In this study, we examined cognitive (e.g., perspective-taking) and affective (emotional) empathy in relation to a number of indices of social-emotional adjustment in a diverse sample of middle school students. These two forms of empathy show diverging relations with adjustment: whereas cognitive empathy seems to be almost universally good, emotional or affective empathy can sometimes elicit problems when experienced. Recent research in adults utilizing a common assessment of empathy, the Basic Empathy Scale, have found that this measure actually better reflects three sub-factors of empathy: cognitive empathy, emotional disconnection, and emotional contagion, the latter of which explaining some of the associations found between emotional empathy and social-emotional problems. We validated this three-factor structure of the Basic Empathy Scale in early adolescence, a period in which development of empathic understanding might be particularly important. Results suggest that emotional contagion is related problems like negative affect, victimization by peers, and low social self-efficacy, but to higher friendship quality, whereas cognitive empathy was related to positive social-emotional adjustment.

Dr. Findley – Van Nostrand

Dr. FVN also adds that this manuscript is in preparation to submit for publication.

Stay tuned for the next blog post, which will highlight Dr. Powell’s research lab at SRCD!

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10 Healthy Ways to Manage Stress: College Edition

Dr. Osterman’s social psychology class was tasked with creating “Buzzfeed-Style” research articles on a social psychological topic. Throughout the semester students worked in groups to build empirical evidence through peer reviewed sources to bust myths and increase knowledge of social psychology concepts on a colloquial level.

Please enjoy the first in a series of social psychology articles, written by Alice Chandler, Casey Jo Gough, Kayla Hogan, Tesa Ingram, and Mattie Joseph.

10 Healthy Ways to Manage Stress: College Edition is a helpful read as we approach finals week, enjoy!

Written by Casey Jo Gough ’20 and contributed to by Brittney Rowe ’20

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College is stressful, like, REALLY stressful. Getting zero hours of sleep and chugging 5 mugs of black coffee aren’t going to help. You won’t have time to research how to minimize stress through effective coping especially since you still have to write that paper due at midnight, so we did it for you.

Pitch Perfect / Via GIPHY

Interested? Click below to learn more.

10 Healthy Ways to Manage Stress: College Edition

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Dr. FVN Speaks on Bullying and Teenage Aggression at Andrew Lewis Middle School

Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand was recently able to speak  to teachers and students at Andrew Lewis Middle School about bullying and teenage aggression as part of a guest speaker series called “One Book, One School Community.”

As part of a statement, Dr. FVN said:

On Friday, March 29, I spoke to Andrew Lewis Middle School (here in Salem) students and teachers about adolescent aggression and bullying. I was invited to be a speaker as a part of their “one book one school” program. I addressed research on non-traditional forms of bullying, consequences of bullying (for victims, bullies, and others exposed to but not directly involved), individual differences in adolescent aggression, and several common misconceptions about bullying and aggression. Students had great questions and hopefully learned a thing or two!

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The Literacy Lab

Written by Rachel Harmon, edited by Brittney Rowe

Interested in doing a year of service? Continue reading to learn more about the Literacy Lab!

What? The Literacy Lab is an AmeriCorps partner program that helps to build strong readers in the Greater Richmond area, Hampton Roads, and other cities across the country. The Literacy Lab works to ensure that all students receive the help they need to read at a proficient level. The Literacy Lab trains and places full-time literacy tutors in schools to assess and coach students.

When? Full-time capacity for 11-months from August 2019-July 2020.

Why? The benefits of completing a year of service with the Literacy Lab include a modest living allowance, federal student loan forbearance, earning the Segal Education Award, transferable professional development skills and more!

How? If you fit all of the requirements, and wish to apply for the Literacy Lab click here and hit the green APPLY button in the top right corner!

To learn more about the Literacy lab click here or email recruitment@theliteracylab.org.

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Riker Lawrence ’21 at the Mid-Atlantic Undergraduate Research Conference 2019

Riker Lawrence ’21 discusses her experience presenting at the Mid-Atlantic Undergraduate Research Conference below.

Attending the Mid-Atlantic Undergraduate Research Conference last weekend was an interesting experience for me. In the past, I have attended conferences that mainly focused on behavioral science. This conference included multiple different fields of research, so I learned many new concepts in fields such as physics, wood science, and chemistry. I enjoyed learning about information that I wouldn’t normally research on in my specific field. My poster presentation focused on Psychological Capital (PsyCap) and workplace attitudes. Specifically, my lab mate and I examined associations between PsyCap, well-being, and how employees write about their jobs. We also explored the usefulness of Maslow’s (1943) Hierarchy of Needs in coding participants’ writings about their jobs, because his theory can be used to explain human needs. Overall, I thought the conference was well organized and provided a good research experience to undergraduates.

Congratulations to Lawrence for her successful presentation on Psychological Capital and workplace attitudes!

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