All posts by Heather Farnsworth

Course Highlight: PSYC-327 Interpersonal Relationships

Dr. Powell’s Interpersonal Relationships course discusses family, peer, and romantic relationships. Delving into the science of relationships, students read an empirical article related to the day’s topic and then discuss the article, as well as other research, on the day’s topic in class. Throughout the semester, students are assisted in the development of an infographic on a topic of their choosing. A sampling of the infographics completed by the students this past fall semester are shared below!

Christopher Resendiz’ Infographic, “Online Dating: Deception and Modality Switching”

Sydney Wagner’s Infographic, “Debunking the Myth that ‘Opposites Attract'”

Jenna Santos’ Infographic, “FOMO In Social Media & Relationships”

Get Connected!

Blog: https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology

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FREE APA VIRTUAL GRADUATE SCHOOL FAIR APRIL 17, 2024!

Interested in graduate school? If so, the APA Education Directorate has announced that they will be hosting a Virtual Psychology Graduate School Fair on Wednesday, April 17th from 12pm-4pm! This may be 3 months away, but save your spot by registering today! Registration for all prospective psychology graduate students is FREE through this link.

Students who register will have the opportunity to meet virtually with recruiters from any of the participating programs during the event hours. Individuals can come for a short time and meet with a select few recruiters or stay for the whole event and meet with everyone, depending on their schedule and interest. Similarly, participating graduate schools will be able to contact registered student both before and after the event to distribute information about their program or to arrange meetings with prospects at the event.

Goals of The Event:

APA intends to virtually connect graduate psychology programs with a diverse group of students seeking to further their education beyond their current degree. The APA Psychology Graduate School Fair is open to all graduate psychology degree (MA/MS/PsyD/PhD/EdD/Other) granting institutions in the U.S. and Canada, and all areas of psychology are encouraged to participate, including health service psychology, scientific and applied psychology, and general psychology programs.

Get Connected!

Blog: https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology

Instagram: rcpsychology

Roanoke Alum, Maryam Nishtar, Has Been Published!

Abstract:

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is a progressive, neurodegenerative disorder where two-thirds of the affected population are women. Along with cognitive impairments, AD is associated with behavioral changes such as aggression towards caretakers. The limbic system consists of various brain structures that play a role in emotions and behavioral reactions. Some of the limbic system- related areas are the amygdala, hippocampus, thalamus, corpus collosum (CC), and white matter (WM). Cognitive changes with AD can be measured using the clinical dementia rating (CDR) scale. Physical changes in living patients require brain imaging tools, such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). As there is currently sparse research present for these areas relating to the female brain, we used clinical data and FreeSurfer-processed imaging data from an open-access database, OASIS-3, to explore the associations between dementia severity and the volume of the limbic system-related brain components in women. A control group consisted of participants with no dementia and multiple brain scans while comparison groups consisted of participants with a single brain scan and 1) no dementia 2) mild dementia or 3) moderate/severe dementia. Hemisphere differences with increasing CDR were found for the thalamus as well as simple hemisphere differences for the hippocampus, thalamus, and WM. When using age-matched controls and normalized volume data, the amygdala, hippocampus, thalamus, and CC volumes for subjects with AD were different than those in the control group, with the amygdala and hippocampus also showing statistically significant volume loss with increasing dementia severity. As the areas included in this study are related to the limbic system, this provides insight into the physical changes occurring in the brain of women with increasing AD, who often show changes in emotions. This can be an area to longitudinally explore whether there are associated behavioral changes as physical changes at the individual level occur over time.

Get Connected!

Blog: https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology

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Dr. Lauren Kennedy-Metz, Assistant Professor, Has Been Published!

Blog: https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology

Instagram: rcpsychology

2023-24 Fall Undergraduate Research Grant Recipient: Raegan Middelthon

It is with great enthusiasm that we announce the achievement of Raegan Middelthon, a senior in the psychology department! She has been awarded a 2023-24 Fall Undergraduate Research Grant from Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology. Her research proposal titled “The Influence of Tik Tok on Perceptions of Relationships: Is Tik Tok Associated with Relationship Dissatisfaction, Sexism, and the Desire for a Partner”, has earned a well-deserved place among the select few recognized by the Psi Chi Grants Committee and the Board of Directors. She has been working with Dr. Buchholz on this project, and they were even given the opportunity to present their research at a recent conference!

Psi Chi is contributing $1,500 to Raegan’s research project, aimed to unveil the influence of social media, and its potential impact on relationship perceptions. The psychology department echoes our sincerest congratulations to both Raegan Middelthon and Dr. Buchholz. Their dedication to advancing psychological research is commendable and inspiring!

Are you interested in doing research while studying at Roanoke? Talk to your psychology advisor to learn more about the opportunities that await you!

Get Connected!

Blog: https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology

Instagram: rcpsychology

Essential Visionaries Renewable $5,000 and $10,000 Scholarships!

Renewable $5,000 and $10,000/year Scholarships for future Teachers, Counselors, Social Workers, Psychologists, and Nurses.

The Essential Visionaries Scholarship is awarding 100 renewable scholarships to help students pursuing degrees in Education, Counseling, Social Work, Psychology or Pre-Nursing/Nursing. 

To apply applicants must: 

  • Be high school seniors or graduates or current college undergraduates in the United States
  • Plan to enroll in part-time or full-time undergraduate study at an accredited two- or four-year college, university or vocational-technical school for the entire upcoming academic year
  • Be seeking a degree or certificate in Education, Counseling,  Social Work, Psychology or Pre-Nursing/Nursing
  • Demonstrate Financial Need
  • Have a minimum grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale (or its equivalent)

To learn more and apply, click here. Deadline to apply is January 8, 2024. 

Get Connected!

Blog: https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology

Instagram: rcpsychology

Volunteer Opportunity with Conversations to Remember: Free, Virtual, and Meaningful

Conversations to Remember is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, dedicated towards combating loneliness and isolation felt by senior citizens. The organization has created a virtual visit program which 2-3 college students with residents of long-term care, assisted living, and memory care communities for virtual video visits.

These residents have been suffering from isolation, and you could really brighten their days just by speaking with them. Conversations to Remember provides training and support throughout your service. Since these visits are virtual, you can do it without any travel! This is both convenient, and allows more of your valuable time to be spent volunteering, rather than commuting to the volunteering location. This program is offered free of charge to seniors across the country, and there are active student volunteers from around the country as well.

Typically, you will volunteer 1-2 hours per week. Each call lasts up to one hour, based on the senior’s attention span and mood on each day. Conversations to Remember expects students to volunteer for approximately 16 weeks, so that you can build a friendship with the senior. This does not need to coincide with the start of a semester, as new seniors start all the time, and new volunteers are trained weekly. Volunteers are matched based on the times that they’re available, with a senior who is available at the same time, and they will have a regular, weekly appointment for their visit. Students wishing for more visits or other opportunities that allow them to volunteer more frequently can be accommodated with different ways to volunteer, such as assisting us with the organization’s social media, call support, or outreach.

Please feel free to look through the organization’s website here. You can register to volunteer by filling out a volunteer interest form here.

Get Connected!

Blog: https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology

Instagram: rcpsychology

Roanoke Faculty and Alumnus at The National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) 2023 Annual Conference

The psychology department is excited to share a glimpse into a recent conference experience that not only showcased a depth of academic exploration but also highlighted the power of collaboration and shared passion. This year Dr. Powell presented the work of herself and co-authors, Dr. FVN, and Kosovare Fetinci (’23) at the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) 2023 Annual Conference in Florida. She also presented a second research poster with Dr. Mayer (sport management), and their son!

The above image displays on a remarkable poster featuring Dr. Powell and co-authors, Dr. FVN and, Roanoke alum, Kosovare Fetinci (’23). The collaborative effort was rooted in Kosovare’s senior independent study project, a testament to the dedication and enthusiasm that students bring to their academic endeavors. The title of the project was “Friendship Dissolutions in Emerging Adulthood: Differing Reactions Based on Type and Role in Dissolution”.

A second presentation by Dr. Powell was a joint effort with Dr. Mayer, a dynamic combination of expertise that undoubtedly brought a unique perspective to the conference. What’s even more special is that their son joined in on the presentation, turning it into a family affair! This research was titled “Parental Leave Options For Professional Athletes: Negative Media Reactions May Not Be Reality of Fans’ Attitudes”

The great positive feedback received from fellow conference attendees is a testament to the quality and impact of their work. It’s always gratifying when your efforts are not only recognized but also appreciated by your peers. The exchange of ideas and the validation of hard work create an inspiring environment that fuels further academic exploration. Conferences are a great way to expand your knowledge and share your research!

In addition the two noted presentations, Morgan Hamilton’s (Roanoke alum, ’21) oral presentation based on her master’s thesis was also a great success. Titled “Now I understand who I am and where I came from: The tribal reunification of indigenous fostered/adopted relatives,” Morgan’s presentation delved into a crucial and often overlooked aspect of identity and belonging. Congratulations Morgan – you are absolutely representing the Roanoke psychology department well!

As we reflect on these academic triumphs, let us celebrate the dedication, passion, and collaborative spirit that drive the pursuit of knowledge. To all the authors and presenters of the NCFR conference, congratulations!

Get Connected!

Blog: https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology

Instagram: rcpsychology

Undergraduate Scholars Program: A Great Opportunity for Underrepresented Ethnic/Racial Minorities

Please consider this amazing opportunity for mentored studies and career development! The program focuses on supporting undergraduate students who are looking to pursue graduate work or a career in adolescent development. You can find the link to more information and the application at the bottom of this post.



IT’S TIME TO APPLY FOR THE 2024 UNDERGRADUATE SCHOLARS PROGRAM!
The Undergraduate Scholars Program is designed to support junior and senior undergraduate students from racial/ethnic minority groups in North America to pursue graduate work and careers in adolescent development. Selected scholars attend the SRA Annual Meeting and participate in special activities that focus on careers in adolescent researchapplying to graduate school and fundingcurriculum vitae workshops, and navigating the Annual Meeting. The Undergraduate Scholars will receive mentorship from graduate students and senior scholars who are active in the field of adolescent research. Junior/senior undergraduate students from North America who are interested in pursuing a career in the field of adolescence and are a member of an underrepresented ethnic/racial minority group (African American, Latino/Hispanic, Native American/American Indian, Asian and/or Pacific Islander) are eligible. Applicants must become SRA members. 

As a scholar, students will:
– Attend the SRA Annual Meeting, including Undergraduate Scholars Program events.
– Receive complimentary travel to the meeting and hotel accommodations. 
– Receive mentorship by graduate students and senior scholars before, during, and after the meeting.
– Maintain contact with mentors before, during, and after attending the meeting.
– Keep the SRA office informed of contact information for five years following the meeting.

Complete application (including letter of reference) is due on December 8, 2023. APPLICATION AND INFORMATION ARE FOUND HERE! DON’T MISS OUT!

Get Connected!

Blog: https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology

Instagram: rcpsychology

Roanoke Students & Faculty at the Society of Southeastern Social Psychologists 2023 Annual Conference

The image above depicts Eddie Rygalski (left) and Dr. Buchholz (right) presenting their research during the poster session. All featured Roanoke authors included: Eddie Rygalski, Reagan Middelthon, Dr. Findley-Van-Nostrand, Dr. Carter, and Dr. Buchholz.

Over this past weekend, the Roanoke College psychology department was represented well at the Society of Southeastern Social Psychologists (SSSP) 2023 Annual Conference in Charlotte, NC. Two students and three faculty members were named authors on research presented during the conference. Congratulations to all of our presenters, the psychology department commends you for your excellent research and dedication to the field. Please find their research titles and abstracts below.

PERSONALIZED ACCOUNTS OF HARM LEAD TO INCREASED EMPATHY FOR WOMEN WHO HAVE SUFFERED BECAUSE OF THE OVERTURNING OF ROE V. WADE (Raegan Middelthon, Eddie Rygalski, and Dr. Chris Buchholz) Many women have been harmed by the limitations placed on abortion after the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Research in empathy has pointed to a spotlight effect, where we feel more empathy in response to personalized accounts of suffering than more generalized accounts. In this study, we randomly assigned participants to read a personalized account of a woman who suffered medical complications because of the restrictive nature of abortion access in her state, a more generalized account, or a control group. As expected, liberals expressed significantly higher levels of empathy for women who have suffered as a result of the overturning of Roe v. Wade. We also found a significant effect for condition, where the highest empathy was reported for the personalized story followed by the generalized story and finally the control group. This pattern held up for conservatives; they reported significantly more empathy when they read the personalized story. Women expressed significantly more empathy than men. Interestingly, women expressed high levels of empathy regardless of which story they read, while men reported the highest empathy for the personal story.

POSITIVE INTEGRATION AND ADVERSE EFFECTS ASSOCIATED WITH RECREATIONAL PSILOCYBIN USE: A CORRELATIONAL STUDY (Edward Rygalski and Dr. Christopher Buchholz) This exploratory study sought to determine the relationship between positive integration of the psilocybin experience, occurrence of adverse effects, dosage, and factors including age, gender, as well as a variety of other measurements. Clinical literature suggests that psilocybin, when paired with psychotherapy, is a relatively safe and effective treatment for conditions such as depression, anxiety, and addiction. As many people use psychedelics outside the clinic, we sought to determine whether predictors of adverse events and positive integration were consistent between clinical and recreational use. Using two studies, first a content analysis of online reports, and second an international survey of those with experience with psilocybin, we determined that doses greater than 5g expose individuals to increased and unnecessary risk and that a lack of trust in co-present individuals may exacerbate adverse effects. Finally, we found that those who scored higher on measures of empathy tended to also report positive integration, and those who scored lower on measures of purpose in life reported more adverse effects. However, directional causality remains unresolved.

FACT OR FICTION: DO FACIAL AUGMENTATION FILTERS ON TIK TOK IMPACT SELF ESTEEM AND PERCEPTIONS OF ATTRACTIVENESS? (Raegan Middelthon, and Dr. Christopher Buchholz) The popular social sharing app “Tik Tok” has become a cultural staple. Alongside its increasing popularity, public concern has risen over its unique hyper-realistic facial augmentation filters. Many users have claimed that these filters are facilitating the creation of unattainable beauty standards, and damaging self esteem. While work has been done exploring social media’s role in these areas, to our knowledge, the current study is the first to explore the impact of Tik Tok’s filters on self esteem and the perception of both individual and others’ attractiveness. In a series of 3 studies, we presented subjects on Prolific with women in filtered and unfiltered videos. Though many are worried that users cannot detect a filter on a video, we found that users were generally able to tell when one was being used. The presence of a filter did not impact ratings of self attractiveness. However, we discovered that men’s state self esteem was negatively affected when confronted with filtered videos; this effect was not found in women, contrary to our hypothesis. Filtered videos were also rated as more attractive, mainly due to male ratings.

SHORT-TERM LONGITUDINAL ASSOCIATIONS AMONG YOUNG ADULTS’ SOCIAL GOALS, RELATIONAL AGGRESSION, FORMS OF PROSOCIAL BEHAVIORS, AND SELF-PERCEIVED STATUS (Dr. Danielle Findley-Van Nostrand) Adolescent relational aggression (RA) is consistently related to popularity and status striving, and adolescent use of prosociality for self-gain is related to higher striving for status and peer-reported popularity, whereas prosociality aimed at benefitting others is related to higher communal motives and being liked by peers. Emerging adults also experience RA by peers, and show distinctive use of forms of prosociality. However, these peer dynamics are not well-understood in emerging adults. The present study tested whether social goals for popularity and social preference predict changes in self-reported RA and forms of prosocial behaviors (altruistic and public forms) across two time points, 8 months apart (data collected via Prolific; N=215; using existing and reliable assessments). Path modeling found popularity goals predict increases in RA and public prosociality and decreases in altruistic prosociality, whereas preference goals show the inverse of each of these associations over time. RA partially mediated effects of both popularity and preference goals at T1 on dominance at T2. Results suggest that use of RA for enhancing peer social status is not limited to adolescence.

REFLECTING ON EXPERIENTIAL PURCHASES HAS DOWNSTREAM CONSEQUENCES ON COGNITION (Dr. Travis Carter) Prior research has found that experiences tend to be more satisfying than material possessions in part because they are more closely associated with the self-concept. The present studies aim to examine whether spending some time reflecting on material or experiential purchase would impact downstream cognitive processing. In Study 1, participants who first reflected on an experience, rather than a possession, exhibited more global (vs. local) processing of stimuli on the Navon (1977) letter task. In Study 2, after a purchase reflection, participants performed an approach/avoidance task, using a joystick to categorize trait words as positive or negative. There was an interaction such that participants in the experiential condition were generally faster to categorize self-relevant traits across trial types. However, material participants were only faster to categorize self-relevant traits on the congruent trials, but not incongruent trials. Thus, the act of reflecting on a recent experiential (vs. a material) purchase had downstream consequences on cognitive tasks: participants adopted a more global mindset (Study 1) and processed self-relevant stimuli more quickly (Study 2).

Because of involvement like this, the psychology department at Roanoke College remains well-renowned. Congratulations, again, to all of our presenters!

Get Connected!

Blog: https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology

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A Summary of Last Week’s Faculty Panel on Graduate School Programs

Making the decision to go to graduate school is a big one. It requires a great deal of research and reflection to ensure you are making the best decision for yourself and your future. On Wednesday, October 25th, Dr. Carter led a faculty panel to discuss grad school and provide tips and advice for prospective applicants. If you weren’t able to attend the panel, please review the following notes if you think they could be of interest to you!

Dr. Daniel Nasrallah is an assistant professor in the Chemistry department here at Roanoke College. He applied to 11 schools nationwide and was accepted to four of them, eventually landing himself to earn a PhD from the University of Michigan. He chose the University of Michigan over other schools because there were five faculty that he was interested in working with. It is extremely important to research faculty at the schools you are looking at, because if there isn’t at least a couple that you would be happy working with, that school might not be right for you. To kick off your grad school search, he recommended researching the top 10 programs in your desired field, and then reaching out to undergraduate faculty and current graduate students in those programs to get more insight. Dr. Nasrallah suggested knowing what your end goals are, and keeping your motivations in sight throughout your time in school. He also found it important to note the differences between graduate school and medical school—in terms of money—when making your decision. Medical school acquires debt, whereas he was offered a stipend through agreeing to teach throughout his time at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Wen Bu, who went to law school and practiced as a lawyer before going back to get her PhD at the University of Minnesota, offered tips on transitioning from being a successful student to balancing coursework and producing research. Dr. Bu is now an assistant professor in the psychology department. In graduate school it is equally important to avidly complete coursework and to complete meaningful research. She also discussed the differences between a terminal master’s degree and a PhD. If you are applying for a PhD program, some schools will allow you to earn an MA on the way, and others won’t. This is important to consider because if you were to drop out after, say, 3 years, at some schools, you can leave with an MA, and at others, you would leave with no degree.

Dr. Matthew Trumbo-Tual, from the Roanoke College modern language department, earned a PhD at the University of Virginia. He provided advice for graduate school applicants interested more specifically in the humanities. He suggested taking advice from your Roanoke faculty, but also remembering that graduate school is ever-changing, meaning do your own research in addition to considering the experience of past grad school students. He also recommended getting work experience outside of academia before applying for a PhD, as this is the path that he followed. This allowed him to not feel “stuck” at any point in the process, and he knew he would have options down the line, if grad school didn’t work out, or if his goals changed. A final remark spoke to being intentional in each step of the grad school process – know why you want to be there and make progress that gets you closer to your goals.

Finally, Dr. Wale Sekoni works in the computer science department at Roanoke College. He earned a PhD from the University of Wyoming and suggested prospective applicants find someone they want to work with and be flexible with their goals. He also mentioned the importance of putting thought into your application and having strong letters of recommendation. Many of the other panelists also supported the idea that strong letters of recommendation make a big difference, so make use of your time with professionals you meet throughout your time prior to graduate school.

Overall, the panel offered insight on how to stand out in your grad school applications. In the humanities, being knowledgeable in multiple languages can help you stand out. For chemistry applicants, published work and research experience can help you stand out, as well as having strong and specific letters of recommendation. For law school, undergraduate GPA, LSAT scores, and letters of recommendation are very important.

No matter what field you are looking to pursue, doing your research and being aware of all the details of the graduate school process can help you make the best decision for yourself and your future. If you have further questions or would like to discuss any these panelists experiences with them, please find their contact information on the Roanoke College website.

Get Connected!

Blog: https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology

Instagram: rcpsychology

Paid Research Position: Accepting Application Now!

Dr. Meike Van der Heijden is a new researcher joining the faculty at Fralin Biomedical Research Institute this January.  She uses mouse models to study cerebellar contributors to health and disease and she’s looking for a paid Research Assistant (and is open to interviewing undergraduate students for that role) to start in early January. 

To apply and view more information about the open position, such as qualifications, start date, and job description, please visit https://careers.pageuppeople.com/968/cw/en-us/job/527207/research-assistant.

To explore her lab website to look into more specifics about Dr. Meike Van der Heijden and her research, please visit https://vanderheijdenlab.com/.

Get Connected!

Blog: https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: 
@RC_Psychology
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: 
http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology
Instagram: rcpsychology

Helpful Hints From Psych Department Professors! They Know A Thing Or Two…

Are you an undergraduate student looking for tips and tricks to help you succeed in your studies? Look no further!

The Psychology Department at Roanoke College has gathered advice from our experienced professors to help you get the most out of your undergraduate career. In this post, we will discuss the top tips and tricks for undergraduate success, courtesy of our very own professors. We have also asked professors to advise specifically to the feat of preparing and applying for graduate schools. There is a lot of great information that will truly help you make the most out of your time and successfully prepare yourself for what is to come! You can only benefit in learning from those who have achieved before you.

Dr. Buchholz quotes Albert Einstein in saying that “Genius is 1% talent and 99% percent hard work. Thinking is hard work; that’s why so few do it.”  

  • According to research into growth mindset and academic success, the biggest factor in academic success is effort; and effort does not always mean the amount of time you spend. While many things like writing a paper or studying for a test do take time, it is crucial that the time you spend is spent wisely—some methods of studying are more effective than others.
  • Reach out to your instructors and advisors for help navigating how to be both efficient and effective. Your professors spent many years figuring out how do this well and all of us chose to teach at Roanoke College because we care about helping our students thrive.  
  • In addition to putting in the work, wellbeing is another critical component to academic success and thriving as a human being. Take care of yourself, get enough sleep, develop self-compassion for your shortcomings, try mindfulness practices like meditation, exercise, and most importantly, spend time with others.  

Dr. Allen speaks to cultivating relationships, getting letters of recommendation and building a resume for yourself:

  • Cultivate relationships with faculty so that professors can write you a meaningful letter of recommendation when the time comes. These letters of recommendation are so important! Your quantifiable information like GPA and GREs can get you on a short list, but then it’s activities and your letter and your LORs that make the difference whether you get the nod or not. 
  • If you can, get an internship in a relevant organization.  That way you can get a LOR from someone who has seen you in a situation that’s different from what your professors have seen.

Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand provides students with numerous tips on preparing for graduate school and life after Roanoke:

  • Think about grad school as prep for your career… what do you want to do longer term? Make sure your program gets you there (especially in Psych, where programs have a very wide range of intended outcomes).
  • If you want a Ph.D. – why? Many students aim for this without recognizing that the career they want might not require a Ph.D. (for instance, counseling or social work!)
  • Differences between kinds of helping professions are important – talk to us about social work, counseling, psychiatry, psychology, etc.
  • Do well in your classes, but also think about what other experiences you can aim for to make yourself competitive. Internships and supervised research are at the top of that list for psych and psych-adjacent programs! Try not to wait until your senior year – given application timelines, the earlier you can jump on experiential learning, the better.
  • Make an individualized plan, and give yourself timelines to achieve different parts of the plan. Assume that applications will start being due the November prior to any Fall start date (for instance- want to start Fall 2025? Assume your materials should be together by Nov 2024). This is a conservative timeline since some programs accept applications all the way up until April or May of the same-year start – but it ensures you are prepared.
  • Look into what the application requires. Personal statement? Get as many professional eyes on it as possible – from career service folks, but also your professors who are in the field. GRE? Many don’t require it anymore, but some do… if they do, prep for the test and don’t take it cold (don’t waste your money with the attitude of “I can always take it again”). Do you need recommendation letters? Give your letter writers plenty of time and all details about you and the places you are applying (many require 2-3 letters, some require those letters to be from professors specifically… think about who can best evaluate your ability to succeed in the program and career you are aiming for).
  • Don’t apply to the shiny named schools only – some of the best experiences will be had in programs that are not in fact on a Google-able “top 10” list.
  • If you are aiming for a career that requires licensure, be sure to think about that process in addition to the academic components, and also pay attention to state-by-state licensing rules.
  • Don’t be nervous about whether you are good enough, and if you get a rejection, don’t let it derail you. It’s a numbers game that doesn’t always land in your favor and is often not at all about you. Shake off the imposter syndrome! What feels hard now will help you improve your future life.

Dr. Cate provides insightful tips, and personal experience, regarding Ph.D. programs:

  • Attending a Ph.D. program is free, in the sense that 1) you don’t pay tuition, and 2) you usually get paid a very modest stipend.  The stipend is almost always in return for teaching courses as a teaching assistant, or doing similar work (such as research assistant for your advisor).  I didn’t know this at first when I was in college, and it ended up having a big influence on my decision to get a Ph.D. versus another kind of degree.
  • The best thing you can do when applying to Ph.D. programs is to have some kind of personal contact with a faculty member.  Applying to Ph.D. programs is not at all like applying to college.  When it comes down to it, you will be accepted by one individual faculty member at your school, and not by a committee.  This means that someone has to know your name, either because your application materials are outstanding, or because they talked with/read an email/heard about you.
  • Actually, even if your application is outstanding, there is no guarantee that anyone will read it, so I can’t emphasize getting your name into faculty inboxes enough.  I think a great way to introduce yourself is to send a brief message to interesting-looking faculty, asking them whether they are planning to accept graduate students this year.  (Do this before applications are due.)  You don’t necessarily need to say anything else about yourself (but it wouldn’t hurt!).  The point is to get the faculty member familiar with your name so that they will make the effort to look over your application later.  Your application will have good things in it, and you will want people to read it! 
  • Even if you’re not sure whom you would like to be your advisor yet, it’s good to get in touch with someone.  When I worked at Virginia Tech, I accepted a great grad student based on the recommendation of a colleague who had read their application and thought we were a good match. 

A couple addition notes:

Juniors – Fall Break can be a great time to begin researching graduate programs, even if you aren’t applying until next year. Plan on talking with your advisors after Fall Break about what’s involved in applying to graduate school or what would be helpful to do to prepare for a job after graduation.

All – Please reach out to your advisors or other college faculty and staff if you would like more support in your post-graduate decisions and endeavors. Roanoke College is intended to get you to graduate, but we also want each of you to succeed for years to come. Please utilize the resources available to you and speak with your experienced and knowing advisors/professors/PLACE staff, etc.

Get Connected!

Blog: https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology

Instagram: rcpsychology

DR. POWELL, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR IN PSYCHOLOGY DEPARTMENT, HAS BEEN PUBLISHED!

Our very own Dr. Powell has been published! Her collaborative work entitled, “A Longitudinal Examination of Mothers’ Early Postnatal Adaptation: Relative Stability Across the First Eight Weeks” was published just last week after a review period of two years. Dr. Powell has definitely earned our congratulations both for her achievement, and her patience! Please read the abstract below, or view the article here.

Abstract:

Objective

Using person-centered analyses, this study examined the trajectories of women’s early postnatal adaptation and explored whether there were differences in their trajectories based on women’s status as a first-time or more experienced mother.

Methods

Data were collected from women (N = 137; Mage = 28.6 years, SD = 4.49; 48.2% first-time mothers) at 2-, 4-, 6-, and 8-weeks postpartum. At each wave of data collection, mothers reported on their parenting self-efficacy, parenting satisfaction, anxiety, parenting stress, and depressive feelings.

Results

The creation of an amalgamated measure of postnatal adaptation demonstrated acceptable fit. Latent class growth analysis revealed four distinct trajectories of postnatal adaptation; two revealed stability across the early postnatal period and two had relative stability except for a change between weeks four to six. Women’s parity was not associated with differences in their trajectories.

Conclusions for Practice

These findings reiterate the importance of collecting data from women in the early postnatal period and identifying if a woman is struggling in those early weeks, as the women in our sample demonstrated relative stability in their postnatal adaptation across the first eight weeks. Furthermore, the findings suggest that work should be taken to dismantle the commonly held belief that parenting is “easier” after having already navigated the early postnatal period with an infant once before.

Get Connected!

Blog: https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology

Instagram: rcpsychology

The Marcus Alert Program: Providing Roanoke Valley Officers with More Resources in Handling Mental Health Crises

Mental health crises have always been a difficult issue for law enforcement to address. However, with the recent introduction of the Marcus Alert Program in the Roanoke Valley, police officers now have additional tools to help them better assess and respond to calls related to mental health crises.

The Marcus Alert Program is a statewide system designed to improve responses to mental and behavioral health crises using therapists to assist police. It was named after Marcus-David Peters, a young Black man who was shot and killed by police amid a mental health crisis in 2018. The implementation of the program began in 2020, and the Roanoke region launched the program on July 1 of this year.

The Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare CSB oversees the counties of Roanoke, Botetourt and Craig, the cities of Roanoke and Salem, and the town of Vinton, and their Marcus Alert team has already responded to 160 scenes since the program’s launch. The team consists of five clinicians, or co-response therapists, who are trained to respond to mental health crises if requested by a police officer. Clinicians can provide an in-person response, a telephone consult, or resources for follow-up within 72 hours of the initial call.

While the program has been met with an “overwhelmingly positive” response from Roanoke Valley residents, it is only the beginning. The New River Valley CSB is also planning to launch the Marcus Alert Program by July 1, 2024, and the General Assembly has plans to implement the program across the entire state by 2028.

Mental health crises are a difficult issue to address, and the implementation of the Marcus Alert Program is a big step in the right direction towards providing better resources and assistance to those in need. For more information, read the article posted here.

Get Connected!

Blog: https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology

Instagram: rcpsychology

Attention Juniors & Seniors in Psychology: Check Out These Resources!

Stay informed and be on the look out for resources and opportunities! The following newsletters have information regarding research, internships, conferences, and graduate school. Joining newsletters and remaining informed is one of the best tools that you can arm yourself with as an undergraduate students. Make the most of your time and attention!

Psychology Student Network (PSN) newsletter – Free online newsletter with articles and announcements for psychology students. Recent articles have focused on undergraduate researchinternships, and applying to graduate school.

Psychology Student Network (PSN) listserv – A listserv for sharing more time-sensitive announcements about opportunities for internships, undergraduate research opportunities, and undergraduate conferences.  Interested students may join through this link.

Get Connected!

Blog: https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology

Instagram: rcpsychology

Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand, Associate Professor in Psychology Department, Has Been Published!

Dr. FVN has now been published for her collaborative work entitled “Is Bullying Always about Status? Status Goals, Forms of Bullying, Popularity and Peer Rejection during Adolescence”. Congratulations Dr. FVN, we are so proud to say you are a Roanoke College professor! Please read the abstract of her work below, or visit the article here.

Abstract: Bullying has been associated with status goals among peers, but this research has not distinguished among forms of bullying, nor included actual status or popularity among peers in an integrated analysis. To this aim, in concurrent correlational data, we examined adolescent status goals as predictors of peer-reported physical, verbal, exclusionary and electronic bullying, and these further as predictors of popularity and peer rejection (N = 256; 67.2% girls; M age = 12.2 years). We also explored potential indirect associations of status goals with popularity and peer rejection via forms of bullying. The findings indicated that verbal bullying was the most common form of bullying. Status goals were positively related to all but physical bullying, yet only verbal bullying partially mediated this association with popularity. Electronic bullying was unrelated to popularity and peer rejection, when controlling for other bullying forms (but was positively related to rejection at the bi-variate level). The findings underscore the importance of assessing bullying as a heterogeneous construct, as related goals and adjustment among peers may depend on its specific form.

Get Connected!

Blog: https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology

Instagram: rcpsychology

PRINCETON REVIEW NAMES ROANOKE COLLEGE A “GREAT SCHOOL FOR PSYCH MAJORS”!

Continuing a streak, Roanoke College has been featured as a Great School For Psych Majors by the Princeton Review! The psychology department has been recognized by the best colleges guide every year since the book’s 2015 edition.

The full story can be found here: https://www.roanoke.edu/news/princeton_review_2023

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Virtual APA Psychology Graduate School Fair

The APA Education Directorate is pleased to announce that the first Virtual APA Psychology Graduate School Fair is happening on Thursday, November 2nd from noon-6pm (Eastern)! Registration for all prospective psychology graduate students is FREE, and psychology graduate programs that wish to recruit at this event can register for a modest fee.

The goal of the APA Psychology Graduate School Fair is to virtually connect graduate psychology programs with a diverse group of students, including current undergraduates, graduate students seeking to further their education beyond their current degree, and individuals returning for their graduate education. The APA Psychology Graduate School Fair is open to all graduate psychology degree (MA/MS/PsyD/PhD/EdD/Other) granting institutions in the U.S. and Canada, and all areas of psychology are encouraged to participate, including health service psychology, scientific and applied psychology, and general psychology programs.

Students who register will have the opportunity to meet virtually with recruiters from any of the participating programs. Individuals can come for a short time and meet with a select few recruiters or stay for the whole event and meet with everyone, depending on their schedule and interest. To learn more and to register for the event, visit https://www.careereco.com/events/APA.

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