There are many interesting fields of psychology that cater to different interests! An example of this is sports psychology. In this field, the interaction between psychology and sports is studied. Sports psychology includes a broad array of topics including athlete well-being, the relationship between sports and social interactions, and the issues associated with sports and their respective organizations. Sports psychology can be used to help many different people including kids and Olympic athletes. Additionally, sports psychology is a complex field with many different areas of reach. For example, sports psychologists may work with participants with eating disorders, a team that is struggling to work together, or even assist with concentration and attention techniques. This field is incredibly interesting and limitless!
To view the American Psychological Association’s post click here!
To learn about a career in Sports Psychology click here!
Sports Psychology. (2008). Retrieved September 30, 2020, from https://www.apa.org/ed/graduate/specialize/sports
Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame announced 2019 inductees. (2019, June 3). Retrieved September 30, 2020, from https://www.halifaxtoday.ca/local-news/nova-scotia-sport-hall-of-fame-announced-2019-inductees-1487559
On Saturday, October 17th, Towson University will be hosting a virtual Graduate Studies Open House! Roanoke College alumni Diane Nyugen is currently attending Towson University to earn her M.A. in Experimental Psychology! Attendees of the open house will hear from current students and faculty, and will have the opportunity to ask questions. Finally, students who attend the open house will have the fee waived on their Towson University Graduate Application! For more information, visit the links below.
The Psychology Department would like to welcome Dr. Anthony Cate to our faculty as our newest professor. The following is an interview with Dr. Cate where he answers some questions about himself, his interests in psychology, and what he’s looking forward to in terms of teaching at Roanoke College.
Where are you from?
I was born in New Jersey, and I moved a lot when I was young. I have lived in every state between Washington, D.C. and Boston, except for Delaware. After I got my Ph.D. I also lived in Canada (Ontario) and northern California.
Where did you receive your undergraduate degree from and what did you study in undergraduate? What was that experience like?
I got my undergraduate degree from Yale University. I began as a religious studies major, but I thought that those classes involved too much memorization of names and dates, so I switched to psychology. Actually, I switched to being a triple major, at least on paper: psychology, linguistics, and East Asian studies. I shed majors when I figured out that psychology interested me the most.
I was lucky that I was able to help out in three research labs that had different missions and lab cultures. I learned that I was bad at doing brain surgery in a rat lab. I lost some patients. Everyone there seemed anxious all the time too, which was poignant because anxiety was part of what they studied. I conducted my first research project in a lab that studied human fear conditioning. My advisor was a very kind scientist who helped me feel like an important part of the lab, but I disliked having to give participants electric shocks. I also frequented the lab of my favorite professor, who had taught my perception course. That lab was very welcoming. People could just walk in to say hi and check out the experiments, there was a dog, and the students were very productive. All of those experiences taught me to consider the social environment when I was choosing a graduate program.
Have you received any other additional degrees? Where did you receive them from?
I went to Carnegie Mellon University to get my Ph.D. in psychology, which was part of a joint neuroscience program with the University of Pittsburgh.
Have you taught anywhere else besides Roanoke College?
I first taught when I was a postdoctoral researcher at Western University in Canada. My advisor talked me and two other postdocs into teaching one third of a course each, which seemed like a lot at the time. Later I taught at Virginia Tech, where I worked for nine years before moving here to Roanoke.
What are you most excited about teaching at Roanoke College?
I am very excited to teach at Roanoke for many reasons! It has been hard for me not to talk a mile a minute while teaching during these first few weeks. It is exciting when students ask me questions, including when I don’t know the answer, because then I get to track the answers down later. I was very eager to start teaching smaller class sizes. I think personal interactions form the most effective ways to learn, and instructors get to learn from their students this way, too. It is also a privilege to join an excellent psychology department where the faculty and staff are so engaged in their mission.
What are your research interests? Why are you interested in this/these field(s)?
My research investigates how visual perception works, and how it influences other cognitive skills like memory and reasoning about numbers. I am particularly interested in understanding how different parts of the brain work together. I have studied techniques for visualizing computer models of brains in order to make maps of which cognitive skills are associated with different brain regions.
Can you tell us about any research you have already completed in these areas?
I have published some research about how we perceive the 3D structure of objects, and about how brain damage can alter these perceptions. I enjoyed learning how to make 3D images using computer graphics, and I especially liked getting to learn what people living with brain damage had to teach me about perception.
What course or courses are you currently teaching?
I am teaching Introduction to Psychology and Cognitive Psychology this semester, which is a great combination. I have been teaching Cognitive Psychology for over nine years, and it is so familiar to me that I get excited when my favorite topics are about to come up in class. I have never taught Intro Psych before. It feels like a big responsibility to introduce the entire field.
Are you interested in taking on students as research assistants?
Yes! Students make research better. I realized a few years ago that when undergraduates helped me with a project, we considered the problems less narrowly. The projects were much more enjoyable because of all the conversations we got to have.
What qualities are you looking for in any students who are interested in joining your lab?
Mainly curiosity, and an appreciation of research for its own sake. My research questions are usually less about “how can we apply this science?” and more about “how does this work?” I have had wonderful contributions from students with backgrounds in art and design, but that’s because we had similar interests, and not because students need any particular artistic abilities. The same has been true for students who are interested in neuroanatomy and computer science. A passion for those topics makes for a good fit, but students definitely don’t need to have expertise already.
Welcome to Roanoke College Dr. Cate! Thank you again for taking the time to answer our questions. We are excited to have you here and look forward to learning more about you in the semesters to come!
As a part of Dr. Powell’s HNRS 260 – Psychology in the Media course, students read Van Bavel and colleagues’ (2020) article, Using social and behavioural science to support COVID-19 pandemic response, and created flyers that they thought would grab RC students’ attention to reduce the spread of COVID-19 on campus.
See what some students came up with below!
Do the Right Thing
Combatting the Pandemic
Great job to all the students who completed this project and created new graphics to share on campus!
Continue to stay safe, and remember, keep wearing a mask, wash your hands, and social distance to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep all of the Roanoke College community safe!
With mid-terms fast approaching (sadly with no relief of a fall break), it can be easy for stress to quickly overcome the life of a college student. Here are some simple reminders and helpful tips on how to reduce stress in your life.
As always, our student health and counseling services are still available to all students through telemedicine services.
Students can drop into counseling for a short duration through Let’s Talk on Tuesdays from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM, Thursdays 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM, and Fridays 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM.
If you’re interested in talking in a group about stress or anxiety, Love Your Selfie is on Mondays via Zoom from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM.
Click here for the full counseling services schedule where you can also find meeting information.
Using your school email address, you also have access to Therapy Assistance Online (TAO) Self-Help which is a private online library of behavioral health resources. Modules and practice tools can assist in learning how to manage stress and mindfulness skills.
Organizations and the college may also have events that pop up this week or the next so watch out for those!
Manage your time – Placing all required assignments and due dates on a calendar is only half the battle. Setting up a schedule and setting time aside to study and complete assignments reduces stress because it makes procrastination way less likely. Breaking large assignments into smaller, more manageable parts also helps.
Learn to say no – This doesn’t just mean to fun things. In fact, having fun during stressful times can be beneficial if you are accounting for work you do have to complete. Sometimes smaller assignments that aren’t worth as much can be put aside.
Make Time for Yourself- Make sure when you’re building a schedule, you block in breaks throughout the day. Spending thirty minutes studying and taking a one to two-minute break is great for focusing. Outside of studying, make sure you’re doing things you enjoy as well. Even when socially distancing, you can still have fun on campus. Kaelyn Spickler ’21 has written a great resource about some ideas on the Roanoke College’s website.
Get more (and better sleep)- Sleep is a great stress reducer but also helps the brain and body run at full power. It is recommended that we get 7 or more hours of sleep per night. Putting down electronics thirty minutes before bed and allowing the mind to rest from stimulation can help you get a better night’s sleep. If you do use electronics at night, try using a blue light filter as blue light can affect your sleep.
Exercise- Exercise is another great stress reducer as it releases endorphins. Don’t think you have to exercise for too long, thirty minutes is enough to reap these benefits. Regular exercise also has cognitive benefits especially related to memory and learning.
Mindfulness/Deep Breathing- Even taking two minutes to sit with yourself free of distractions and allowing your mind to drift to more calming things will reduce stress. Mindfulness can also be used in tandem with deep breathing where you only focus on your breath.
Remember midterms are just a reminder that you are halfway through the semester and you have come so far! This list of some potential stress reducers is simply a reminder but there are way more. Feel free to share any other ideas of stress relief during midterms week in the comments below!
Congratulations to Dr. Nichols on his recent publishing in the Frontiers in Applied Mathematics and Statistics Journal, titled “Validation of Critical Ages in Regional Adult Brain Maturation.”
In this article, Dr. Nichols identified that there are linear and non-linear maturation rates that impact different biological mechanisms. With this, he simulated data with known maturation patterns and a single critical age characterizing a qualitative change in maturation to establish the validity of a non-parametric fitting method, the smoothing spline, combined with processing steps for determining the form of the pattern and the associated critical age. In this study, both biological data and generated data were examined through multiple models. The findings suggest that smoothing splines were shown to be a valid means of identifying a set of maturation patterns for adult ages and were shown to contain the essential information required to determine a single critical age for the patterns. Moreover, it was found that for a majority of non-linear areas, new critical ages were identified. However, Dr. Nichols suggests that further modifications to the analysis procedure could include a wider set of maturation patterns and the inclusion of multiple critical ages to help determine distinctions between brain areas in the timing of developmental or degenerative events that influence their volume.
For more information on the article, followthis linkand once again congratulations Dr. Nichols for this recent publication!
We are so excited to have so many familiar faces back on campus, and all of the new ones as well! This semester is going to look far different than any before, so some of the professors in the psychology department are here to offer up their best advice from when they were undergraduates!
-Get organized. Build a schedule but leave plenty of extra time because things often take longer than you may expect.
-Ask for help, even if it is embarrassing.
-Prioritize assignments and other things that you want to accomplish. That way if something comes up and you can’t do it all, you will know what to focus on. Relatedly, pay attention to the syllabus and how much each assignment is worth. If time is short, don’t waste time on things that are not worth that much, focus on doing a good job on the things that count.
-Have fun. Most of you will look back on this time as one of the best times of your life. Get out there, make friends, take risks (safely).
-Talk to your professors, and don’t wait until the situation is desperate. We are human.
-Try to set good habits from the beginning. It’s a lot easier to form a good habit than to break a bad one, and I say that as someone who is trying to break a couple of them.
-And something I often find myself telling students who’ve messed up, even in a big way: admit you made a mistake, ask what you have learned from this (I sometimes learn that I need more sleep) and then move forward. Don’t keep beating yourself up about the mistake other than to remind yourself that you don’t want to make it again.
-Say yes to more things that make you nervous/a little scared. I have learned so much from doing things that initially scared me. Sometimes fear is trying to help us learn things about ourselves and the only way to learn it is to lean into that discomfort (within reason obviously)
-Invest more in other people. I was very driven (as I know our psych students are as well) and sometimes I chose to pursue academic/career goals over relational goals. I have come to recognize that relationships provide meaning to everything else we do and I sometimes wish I had said yes more often to late nights, last minute trips, coffee meetups, etc., instead of working.
-Be kind to yourself. Set lofty goals but also be nice to yourself when you fall short. Failing is part of learning and growing…not something to be avoided but a step along the way.
-Go to class! Even if you think you can keep up with the readings and learning on your own, it’s helpful to keep yourself on track and keep up to date on any announcements if you go to class every day. Honestly, sometimes I would sit in class and do homework for other classes, balance my checkbook, or write love letters to my girlfriend (it was easier to get away with such things at a large state school), but I felt better prepared for each of my classes when I attended them regularly.
-Talk to your professors! At first I didn’t speak to my professors, then I pestered them with questions after class that challenged half of the psychology studies presented in the slides, and finally I learned to attend office hours and have a more civil conversation. Your professors are passionate about the topics they teach and would love to help you learn the material better and most likely know some other ways to present the material than what was done in class, so use office hours to chat and/or learn.
-Talk to students in your class! As a student I was a weird mix of quiet/shy/isolated thinker who tended to sit in the back and not talk to anyone combined with class-clown/passing notes/whispering jokes, depending on the topic and whether I had friends in class. However, I learned to enjoy the friendships that developed by talking to students before or after class that I didn’t know going into the semester. Oftentimes we ended up studying together or inviting each other to parties, but it was nice even to just chit-chat with someone to feel more connected to the class.
-Seek out professors who do work that’s interesting to you, and find a way to work for/with them. It’s amazing how those experiences help shape and reveal your interests, and how they can translate into opportunities later.
-Learn how to go to bed at a reasonable hour. It turns out a lot of stuff happens before 10am.
-Always get apartments on the top floor of the building. That way the neighbors can never stomp on the floor when you make the slightest bit of noise. That’s the worst
This semester is uncharted, but the advice offered by some of our professors will help us all make it through! Also, remember to have grace for yourself and your professors, because we are all trying to figure this out and no one has all of the right answers. Good luck Maroons!