Category Archives: Awards

Unveiling the Journey of a Roanoke College Psychology Student: Navigating Research, Success, and the Pursuit of Knowledge

Roanoke College is a hub of academic excellence, nurturing young minds to realize their full potential. Among its many accomplished students, one stands out: a psychology major with a passion for understanding human development. Meet Raegan Middlethon, whose journey at Roanoke College is an inspiring testament to the pursuit of knowledge, research excellence, and the desire to make a difference.

A Passion for Psychology

Raegan, a psychology major with a concentration in human development, has always been drawn to the complexities of the human mind. She eloquently describes her fascination with psychology, stating, “When it comes to psychology, I like learning a little bit of everything.” This curiosity has driven her to explore diverse topics within the field, from social relationships and development to the effects of drugs on the brain and psychophysiology.

Research Endeavors

A defining aspect of Raegan’s Roanoke College experience has been her involvement in research. She has worked closely with Dr. Buchholz since her junior year, embarking on a journey to study parasocial relationships (PSRs). These one-sided bonds that humans form with celebrities, athletes, or fictional characters intrigued her. Her dedication led to the presentation of their findings at a conference in Washington, D.C.

Following this success, Raegan and Dr. Buchholz turned their attention to the ever-evolving influence of TikTok, exploring its impact on society and individual well-being. Her commitment to research extends to her membership in Dr. Powell’s lab, where she investigates how watching videos of children playing on YouTube influences creativity, imagination, and parent-child relationships.

Summer Scholars Program

Raegan reflects on her participation in the Summer Scholars program as a pivotal experience. She relished the opportunity to delve deeply into her research without the distraction of regular coursework. “I really enjoyed being able to focus on my research without thinking about a bunch of other things, like my class assignments,” she says. This immersive experience offered valuable insights into her own work habits and academic strategies.

A Morehead Winner

Her journey at Roanoke College took an unexpected turn when Raegan became a Morehead winner. She modestly recalls, “I actually didn’t think I was a Morehead winner for a few months, so it was a big surprise when I got the email!” Her recognition as a Morehead winner is a testament to her dedication and echoes the legacy of President John Morehead, who did so much for the college.

Convocation Speaker

Raegan’s journey also led her to the prestigious role of being a convocation speaker, an experience she describes as a “great honor.” She recognizes that her story may have seemed cheesy to her freshman self, but she hopes it inspired others to explore their potential. “Any psychology major will tell you that humans have the tendency to underestimate a lot of things, including ourselves,” she wisely observes.

Future Aspirations

As Raegan approaches her graduation date in May 2024, she has big dreams for the future. She is currently in the process of applying to several PhD programs, a testament to her unwavering commitment to research and making a difference in the world of psychology. Her vision is clear: “I’d like to produce research dealing with children and adolescents that helps inform clinicians, schools, parents, and policy makers.” Furthermore, she aspires to become a professor one day, potentially even returning to Roanoke College to inspire future generations of students.

In conclusion, Raegan’s journey as a psychology student at Roanoke College is a remarkable story of dedication, curiosity, and a relentless pursuit of knowledge. Her research endeavors, accolades, and future aspirations reflect the caliber of students Roanoke College fosters. As she continues to make strides in the field of psychology, we can only anticipate the positive impact she will have on the world.

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Dr. Buchholz Selected for Dean’s Exemplary Service Award 2022-2023

Congratulations are in order for Dr. Buchholz who received the Roanoke College Dean’s Exemplary Service Award last week.

Dr. Christopher Buchholz

The annual Dean’s awards are granted based on nominations from the college community and include awards for exemplary teaching professional life, and service.

“The Dean’s Exemplary Service Award recognizes outstanding faculty service – either at Roanoke College or in the larger community – in ways that advance the mission of the College in seeking to develop students as whole persons and prepare them for lives of purpose and meaning.  Professional service may involve many factors, such as the number, quality, range or focus of service activities; honors or awards received from off-campus organizations; and the time invested relative to the time available for service activities.”

The announcement from the Dean last week highlighted the incredible dedication Dr. Buchholz shows to the College through service:

“This year’s Dean’s Exemplary Service Award recipient (…) lives and breathes Roanoke College and models to others [the] pillar of service. He currently serves on —count them–nine different college-wide committees, task forces, and groups, along with being a Faculty Marshal. This doesn’t even count the myriad service opportunities he participates in within his department.” 

Dr. Powell, Interim Chair of the Psychology Department, stated: “In each of these endeavors, he is thoughtful – considering the needs of the students and the resources of the college; is reliable – if he says he’s going to do it, he does it in an exceptionally timely manner; and is diligent – ensuring all facets are accounted for and completed appropriately.” 

Another colleague commented: “I have also observed (…) him being a stabilizing agent – consistently working to consider, respect, and understand various perspectives on a range of issues, and modeling such behavior not only to students, but also to junior faculty who are themselves striving to serve students.” 

The psychology department is proud to have Dr. Buchholz on our faculty. His dedication has impacted countless colleagues and students and we can’t thank him enough. Congratulations, Dr. Buchholz, and thank you for your service to our community!

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Phi Beta Kappa News

Congratulations to all Roanoke College students who have been elected into Phi Beta Kappa during their undergrad years. PBK recognized and celebrates excellence in the liberal arts and sciences and championed freedom of thought. As America’s most prestigious academic honor society, PBK is uniquely equipped to advocate for the value and benefits of liberal arts and sciences education.

This semester, Roanoke College held its election for new junior and senior members, and the Psychology Department is happy to report that the following Psych majors were elected:

Alice Chandler 
Maya Lamprinakos
Carey Linkous
Angela Ross
Anne Schoelkopf

We are so proud of the students above and of the additional Psychology majors that have been elected in prior semesters. You are all doing a great job at representing your college and our department. Thank you!

Congratulation PNG Transparent Images | PNG All

We look forward to celebrating with you at the formal initiation ceremony, which will take place at 2:30pm in Antrim Chapel on Friday, May 6th, 2022. If you are a student recently elected into PBK, please check your email for a link to RSVP for the initiation ceremony.




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Founded in 1776 by students at the College of William and Mary, Phi Beta Kappa is recognized as the oldest, largest, and most prestigious honor society in the nation. PBK’s main objective is to emphasize the importance of liberal arts and sciences while also recognizing those who strive for excellence in academics.

Membership in Phi Beta Kappa is a distinct honor.  Only 10% of the nation’s colleges and universities have chapters, and Phi Beta Kappa graduates include some of the country’s most distinguished citizens, including 17 U.S. Presidents, 42 Supreme Court Justices, more than 150 Nobel Laureates, and many other notable figures.

The Psychology Department would like to congratulate Kira Hunt, Abbie Joseph, Grace Page, Kaillee Philleo, Carly Schepacarter, and Lynsey Wyatt on their induction into the Nu Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. Continue reading to hear from some of the students themselves! 

Kira Hunt
I am a senior psychology major with a concentration in neuroscience and a minor in sociology. I was really ecstatic to hear that I was selected because I had been working towards this since hearing about it in my freshman year. While at Roanoke, I’ve been a student assistant in the psychology department as well as an academic coach in the Center for Learning and Teaching. I am also a member of Alpha Lambda Delta and Psi Chi. In addition, I have also participated in research in Dr. Powell’s lab as well as with Dr. Nichols, which is one of the things I am most proud of. I haven’t finished my Honors Distinction Project yet but I’m really proud of the progress I have made on it. After graduation, I plan on being in Teach for America while I prepare to go to graduate school to become a Certified Child Life Specialist.

Abbie Joseph  
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I am a senior psychology major with a concentration in human development and a minor in Spanish. I was very excited when I found out that I was elected into membership of Phi Beta Kappa, and it felt good knowing that I was being recognized for all my hard work throughout my time here. Here at Roanoke, I am a Subject Tutor in the Center for Learning and Teaching, a member of Stat Crew, and a Spanish cohort/activity leader. I am also a member of Psi Chi, Xi Theta Chi, and Alpha Lambda Delta honor societies. I am involved in research in the psychology department as a research assistant in Dr. Powell’s developmental self-knowledge lab. One of my biggest accomplishments while at Roanoke has been my independent study for my Honors in the Major project titled, “Cyberstalking behaviors after the use of ghosting.” After I graduate, I plan to attend graduate school for my master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

Kaillee Philleo

I am a senior psychology and criminal justice double major. I received a voicemail from Dr. Peppers letting me know that I was selected for membership into PBK and I was ecstatic! I have been working towards membership into PBK since freshman year and I was so pleased that my hard work had finally paid off. While at Roanoke I have been involved in many things – from running on the Track and Field team, singing in the Roanotes acapella group, co-hosting a radio show, working as the campus activities director and creating fundraising events for Make-A-Wish in Chi Omega, working as the trip supervisor and guide with Outdoor Adventures, working as a student assistant in the psychology department, conducting research with Dr. Osterman, leading Psi Chi, NSLS, and Alpha Lambda Delta as president, as well as also being a member in Alpha Phi Sigma, Xi Theta Chi, Order of Omega, and Omicron Delta Kappa. It’s safe to say my time at Roanoke College has been far from boring. That all being said, my biggest accomplishments, besides being selected into PBK, are definitely presenting at the SPSP conference in New Orleans last spring, having the opportunity to ask Justice Sotomayor a question during her Zoom visit with Roanoke College, and working towards completing my honor in the major project. Upon graduating from Roanoke, I intend to enter into a Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program and eventually become a forensic psychologist for juveniles.

Carly Schepacarter

Image.jpegI am pursuing a Bachelor of Science with a double major in Art and Psychology. When I received the news on Phi Beta Kappa, I was ecstatic. I have worked closely with Dr. Carter on research and a number of other things while on campus, so when he made a point of emailing me personally to let me know that I was selected it really had an additional layer of excitement with it. On-campus, I am a member and past President of the Honors Program, the current President of Alpha Phi Omega, a student assistant at Resource Development, and I do social psychology research with Dr. Carter in the Psychology Department. This semester, I am also an Artist in Residence in Olin Gallery, where I am currently creating and displaying the paintings I am producing for my Honors Distinction Project. One of my proudest accomplishments beyond Phi Beta Kappa was being selected as a Fintel Senior Scholar this summer, as well as being named the Senior Scholar for the Art Department this past year. Beyond awards, I am very proud of the work of the Alpha Phi Omega executive board during quarantine disruptions, where we worked tirelessly to still provide a valuable experience to new and existing brothers while at such an unexpected time. Upon graduation this May, I am looking to enroll in a Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program or an Art Therapy Master’s program, with hopes to work in Family Services.

Congratulations again to everyone and we look forward to seeing what you accomplish in the future! 




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During this past week, students were presented with awards from the psychology department! While students are typically presented these awards at the annual academic award ceremony, due to the recent events, the ceremony was unable to be held this year. However, the psychology department went on to recognize the following students and their accomplishments.

“Congratulations to all of the students who won awards in the Psychology Department this year! These are all great honors and well-deserved. We are all proud of your accomplishments and all that you do to make our department great. ” – Dr. Buchholz

This year, the Psychology Department distributed awards to fifteen students:

Lauren Furlow – Senior Scholar – Psychology

Rachel L. Harmon – Karl W. Beck Memorial Prize

Sophia R. Bacon – Curt R. Camac Student Research Award

Riker F. Lawrence – Curt R. Camac Student Research Award

Brittney A. Rowe – The Charles E. Early Award

Morgan J. Hamilton – Outstanding Junior Psychology Major

Kira N. Hunt – Outstanding Junior Psychology Major

Abbie L. Joseph – Outstanding Junior Psychology Major

Grace E. Page – Outstanding Junior Psychology Major

Vanessa L. Pearson – Outstanding Junior Psychology Major

Kaillee M. Philleo – Outstanding Junior Psychology Major

Carly M. Schepacarter – Outstanding Junior Psychology Major

Mason L. Wheeler – Outstanding Junior Psychology Major

Rachel L. Harmon – The Jan H. Lynch Human Development Concentration Award

Sophia R. Bacon – The Jan H. Lynch Human Development Concentration Award

Emily B. Townley – The Jan H. Lynch Human Development Concentration Award

Casey J. Gough – Psi Chi Achievement Award

To learn more about the awards and honors or their descriptions follow this link!

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




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Ellen Dyer Receives 2019 STAR Award

Pictured left-to-right: Ellen Dyer, Rick Fox, and Sandy McGhee, recipients of the 2019 Roanoke College STAR Award. Photograph courtesy of Roanoke College News.

In 2019, the Psychology and Biology Department’s very own Ellen Dyer received the STAR Award!

“I was quite surprised and felt very honored to get [the STAR] Award. It’s nice to know that you are appreciated” said Ellen when asked on how she felt upon receiving the award.

The “Service to All Roanoke” or STAR is given annually to Roanoke College employees who have an “outstanding positive influence” on the College campus and with their local community as well, going above and beyond what is required.

The STAR Award is competitive, with only one recipient chosen from each employee category: exempt, non-exempt, and hourly.

Dr. Osterman, who wrote the nomination for Ellen, said this:

Ellen is amazing, embodying the perfect intersection of competence and kindness. We have all been hopeful that she would win the STAR Award for a number of years now and we were so thrilled to see her recognized for all of the outstanding work that she does with us. We’re really lucky to have her.

Mrs. Ellen Dyer, secretary of the Roanoke College Psychology and Biology Departments, with award. Photograph courtesy of Dr. Buchholz.

Dr. Buchholz, department chair of the Psychology department, agreed, saying:

Ellen is amazing! She is essential to the daily functioning of the Psychology (and Biology) departments. She is kind, considerate, and a really great human being. She is truly deserving of this award.

Continue reading Ellen Dyer Receives 2019 STAR Award


The Psychology Department would like to congratulate Rachel Harmon, Riker Lawrence, Emily Townley, and Brittney Rowe on their induction into Phi Beta Kappa. Continue reading to hear from the students themselves! 

Rachel Harmon 

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I am a Senior Psychology Major with a concentration in Human Development. When I received the news that I had been elected into membership of Phi Beta Kappa I was ecstatic and was reassured that all the hard work I have completed while at Roanoke College has paid off. Outside of classes I am the Head Psychology Student Assistant and I am also a Subject Tutor in the Center for Learning and Teaching on campus. I am also a member of Alpha Lambda Delta, Psi Chi, and am the Vice President of Omicron Delta Kappa. I also participate in research in the Psychology department and am a research assistant in Dr. Powell’s Developmental Self-knowledge Laboratory. My biggest accomplishment while at Roanoke College has been my independent study for my Honors Distinction Project titled, “Cross-Cultural Comparison of Caregiver Concerns and Resources for Children with Disabilities”. My original proposal was awarded the Perry and Jessica Downing Distinction Project Award by the director of the Honors Program, and this summer I was a recipient of a 2018-2019 Summer Mamie Phipps Clark Diversity Undergraduate Research Grant from Psi Chi. After graduation I plan to spend a year abroad before pursuing a PhD in Human Development and Family Studies or Clinical Psychology. 

Riker Lawrence 

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My name is Riker Lawrence and I am majoring in psychology as well as getting a concentration in human resource management. Hearing that I was accepted in Phi Beta Kappa was a big moment for me because I have been working towards that since my freshman year of college. It is an honor to be accepted and I couldn’t have done it without Dr. Powell and the rest of my lab mates in her lab. For the majority of my 3+ years at Roanoke College, I have been doing research in the psychology department. I experienced many accomplishments since starting in Dr. Powell’s lab. Although, I think my most proud one is being accepted into Phi Beta Kappa. I have shifted my focus on conducting my own study to present as my honors-in-the-major project that specifically focuses on prenatal leisure time and parent expectations. Conducting this study effectively will be my next goal to accomplish. After I graduate in spring 2020, I will be working with a recruiting team for a newer company back home in Northern Virginia. 

Emily Townley

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I am a psychology major with a concentration in human development and an art history minor. I was really excited when I heard the news and immediately called my mom (who unfortunately did not pick up initially) so we could celebrate together! As for how I’ve spent my time at Roanoke, I am in the Honors Program and have been working on my Distinction Project this past summer and this semester. I’m also a manager and on-call tutor at Subject Tutoring, a campus photographer, and am the historian/in charge of public relations for Psi Chi! Being invited to Phi Beta Kappa is definitely one of my biggest accomplishments, up there with getting the Bittle Scholarship and studying abroad for a semester in Italy. I will be applying to graduate schools in the coming months and I’m hoping to be accepted into a Clinical Psychology PhD program. 

Brittney Rowe

Brittney Rowe is another psychology department student assistant who has also been inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and is currently studying abroad!  

Congratulations again to everyone! We look forward to seeing what you accomplish in the future! 




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The Psychology Department at the Academic Awards Ceremony 2019

Academic Award Ceremony 2019 – Slideshow!

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)

Award Recipients – Slideshow!

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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Phi Beta Kappa Inductees!

The Psychology Department would like to congratulate Sarah Waldinger, Molly Zydel, Megan Blackwell, Erin “Micky” McDonnell, and Alicia Mitchell on their induction to Phi Beta Kappa. Continue reading to hear from the students themselves.

Sarah Waldinger

My name is Sarah Waldinger and I am a double major in Psychology and Political Science.  I was surprised and honored to be invited to join Phi Beta Kappa, and am so thankful for all of the opportunities Roanoke College has given me.  Throughout my time here I have been able to travel to Poland and Ukraine on a May Term, go to leadership conferences through my sorority, work on campus in the Writing Center, and volunteer extensively downtown.  [In particular,] I volunteered with REACH, which is a nonprofit that focuses on the Southeast of Roanoke.  We worked with the Rescue Mission, CYP, Pathways, the SPCA, and renovated abandoned homes.  That is definitely not an exhaustive list, but REACH was the name of the main program.

I am happy to say that next year I will be working with Teach for America in Alabama – I would like to thank everyone in the Psychology department and throughout the college who helped me to achieve everything I could have wanted in the past four years!

Molly Zydel

My name is Molly Zydel, and I am a Psychology major with a minor in Sociology. I am so excited and honors to have been invited to Phi Beta Kappa! Dr. Powell, since she is my advisor, actually got the chance to tell me in person before she sent out the emails! That was really cool, and I am glad to have experienced that the way I did. Throughout my time here at Roanoke, I have been involved in research, gone on May Term to Thailand, served on the Honors Executive Board as the Mentor Program Chairperson, and volunteered at the West End Center for Youth and the Community Youth Program. Currently, I am also a member of Psi Chi (the International Honors Society for Psychology), Alpha Kappa Delta (the International Honors Society for Sociology), and the Roanoke College Honors Program. Specifically with research, I have been working on my Honors Distinction Project, which focuses on former foster care youth and their perceptions of themselves concerning their academic self-efficacy, resiliency, and their attachment style. Essentially, I am surveying this population on their beliefs about themselves concerning their ability to accomplish school-related tasks. I am also surveying foster parents on their perceptions of foster care youth on the same constructs. After graduation this May, I hope to be joining the workforce, possibly working in Human Resources and Recruiting. I am so excited to become a part of Phi Beta Kappa!

Megan Blackwell

My name is Megan Blackwell. I’m a senior Psychology and Biology double major with a concentration in Neuroscience. I’m ecstatic about my invitation to join Phi Beta Kappa! It was a huge surprise for me and I could not be happier about it. It’s a huge honor and affirmation that my hard work here at Roanoke has paid off. In my time here, I’ve been involved with several student groups including Psi Chi, Omicron Delta Kappa, Alpha Sigma Alpha, SAACS, and many others. I’ve served as the Vice President of Psi Chi, the secretary of Omicron Delta Kappa, the secretary of SAACS, and at various times the secretary, treasurer, and coffee shop coordinator of our Honors Program. I also had the opportunity to travel to Switzerland and Denmark to study the origins of modern physics for my May Term. For the past two years, I have been doing research at the Salem Veteran Affairs Medical Center. I’ve been involved on several protocols as a research assistant there and have had the opportunity to carry out my own research project, “Cognitive Reserve and Resilience in Veterans with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.” As of right now, I don’t know what my next steps are after graduation, but I’m confident in saying my experiences at Roanoke have more than prepared me for a career and life after I move on from here.

Erin “Micky” McDonnell

I am Erin McDonnell, or “Micky”, as I’m more commonly known as around campus. I am a Psychology major, concentrating in Neuroscience. I came to Roanoke not having a clue as to what I wanted to do or even study. Roanoke College has afforded me the opportunities to explore, the tools to succeed, and the motivation to pursue everything without discounting any of my interests. Phi Beta Kappa is an enormous honor that I am so thankful to have received and am excited to be a part of. These four years, in addition to the unique curriculum, I have been able to conduct my own research, travel all over Greece, work in theater, volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, and hold many different leadership positions within various organizations.

In my final year, I have been preparing to enter the field of scientific research by working inter-departmentally to complete a Behavioral Neuroscience Independent Study research project. This project involves exposing varying concentration levels of a tin compound to Danio rerio (AKA zebrafish) in order to see how it affects brain development and response to startling stimuli. It will be a privilege to continue working, now through the community that is Phi Beta Kappa. Thank you to everyone who got me to where I am today and will be in the future.

And other our inductee, Alicia Mitchell, who graduated from Roanoke College in December of 2018.

Congratulations to everyone! We look forward to seeing what you accomplish in the future and we’ll be cheering you on from the fifth floor of Life Science (until it’s renovated, then from different floors!)




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A Reunion in Copenhagen: Interview with Kaitlin Busse ’18

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!




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A Brief Interview with Vanessa Pearson ’21, A Gilman Scholarship Recipient!

A student assistant recently interviewed Vanessa Pearson ’21, a Gilman Scholarship recipient, on her plans for studying abroad this upcoming Spring semester and what the application process for the Gilman was like. 

To start off, can you tell me a little about yourself? 

I am a sophomore here at Roanoke. I am majoring in Psychology and Education with a concentration in Human Development. I am originally from Franklin County, VA, about forty minutes away from Salem. On campus, I am a part of Colleges Against Cancer and Habitat for Humanity. Off campus, I work a part time job as a waitress/cook/manager at a restaurant in my hometown. I also play rec volleyball in my free time.

Congratulations on receiving the Gilman Scholarship! Can you tell me a little about program, what the application process was like, and where you are going to be studying?

I am going through an international student exchange program to Australia. I will be studying at James Cook University in Queensland. The application process for James Cook University was surprisingly easy. I did not have to write any admission papers on anything like that. I think the hardest part about that application was trying to figure out what classes I wanted to take since they had to go on the application so that they could get approved. 

The application for the Gilman Scholarship was a little more complex. There were a bunch of different parts to it. The biggest part of the Gilman was the essay section. You needed to have two essays explaining why you are a good candidate for it and what will you do to promote the Gilman and study abroad if you receive it.

What drew you to studying abroad in Australia?

I am not one hundred percent sure what drew me to studying in Australia. I was at a study abroad meeting and Dr. Boggs-Parker was going over all of the different places you could study [and] when she said Australia it clicked. [I felt like] that was it, that was where I needed to go.

Also, the warmer weather doesn’t hurt.

Another part of me going to Australia is that I want to work in the education system. I thought it would be really interesting to see how education works on a different side of the globe. I also needed to go somewhere that I would be able to understand what others are saying since I would not be studying a language while abroad.

What are you the most excited about in terms of studying abroad (both in general and specific to Australia)?

I am excited to experience something new. I am a commuter at Roanoke, so I [want] to [know] what it feels like to live on campus. I am also excited to travel around the world.

In terms of sightseeing, I really want to go to the Great Barrier Reef and also hike around several places. I am excited to make new friendships and I really want to pet a kangaroo and hold a koala bear.

What courses are you most interested in taking while there?

I am really excited about taking Modern Australian History. I think that it is cool that I will be learning about history through the eyes of a different country. I am also excited to take my education class because I want to see and learn from different education systems.

What advice would you have for those interested in applying to competitive scholarships/grants like Gilman?

I would say do not wait until the last minute. Start the application process as soon as possible; have someone read over your draft and, for lack of better words, tear it apart. I wrote four drafts before making small corrections to the final one. I would also go through the application and make sure you are not going to have any last-minute questions [to complete] before the deadline, that way you can ensure they are answered.

Is there anything else you would like add?

The only thing that I would add is that there is always hope for getting a scholarship you want. Write your application with purpose and meaning. Also, get Dr. Rosti to read over your application, that woman is a saint.

Thank you, Vanessa, for taking time to answer our questions! We know you will have a fantastic time studying abroad and hope you will share some of your favorite memories upon returning to campus next school year (including petting kangaroos and holding koalas)!

For those interested in learning more about the Gilman Scholarship, click on the logo below to go to their official website.

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Congrats to Cody Dillon-Owens!

Cody Dillon-Owens ’19

A student assistant recently caught up with senior Cody Dillon-Owens, who was selected as one of eight recipients of a 2018-19 Psi Chi Undergraduate Scholarship worth $3,000!

For Cody,

…Being a part of Psi Chi gave me the opportunity to apply to this scholarship, which I did so at the suggestion of one of my professors. I didn’t know if I would get it because it was a national level scholarship, but I am super grateful that I was one of the few selected to receive it. This scholarship actually allowed me to more or less cover the rest of my costs for senior year, so I’ll be able to focus on saving up for graduate school and getting an apartment next year. That reduced financial burden is a huge stress reliever and I’ll be able to better focus on my studies.

According to Psi Chi’s Scholarship Review Committee and the Board of Directors, Cody’s application “truly stood out to the judges as this year’s Undergraduate Scholarships had just over 165 applications.”

Congratulations Cody from everyone at the psychology department!

More Information:

Cody is the Head Student Assistant in the Psychology Department and works with Dr. Buchholz on Alumni Relations and Career Development. He is currently pursuing a B.S. in Psychology, with a concentration in Human Development; Cody was awarded the Fintel Senior Scholarship, among other awards. You can find his LinkedIn page here.


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Kaitlin Busse: Honors in the Major Defense

Kaitlin Busse successfully defended her Honors in the Major/Honors Distinction project entitled “Examining the differences in organizational climate and job dissatisfaction: A comparative study between the United Kingdom and United States” under the supervision of Dr. Darcey Powell. Also pictured above are the other members of her committed: Dr. Sweet, Dr. Anderson, and Dr. Whitson.

Congratulations, Kaitlin!

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Taylor Kracht: Honors in the Major Defense


Taylor Kracht  successfully defended  her Honors in the Major project entitled “Media Consumption: Association with Expectations and Implicit Theories of Romantic Relationships” under the supervision of Dr. Darcey Powell. Congratulations, Taylor!

Abstract: It is proposed, by this study, that romantic media can influence romantic beliefs, expectations, and partner idealizations. Participants were emerging adults from a small liberal arts college, Roanoke College. They first completed a pre-video survey (N = 121) assessing their prior romantic media exposure and their current romantic beliefs, relationship expectations, and partner idealizations. Participants then came into a lab and watched one of three videos; two romantic and one non-romantic. Immediately after the video they filled out a post-video survey (N = 81) assessing their romantic media exposure, romantic beliefs, relationship expectations, and partner idealizations. Overall, it was found that romantic beliefs had an influence on certain relationship expectations. It was also found that the assigned romantic media had a significant influence on the change in romantic beliefs. However, there were no significant results, for either prior media consumption or assigned media, influencing relationship expectations or partner idealizations.

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An Interview with Fulbright Scholar, Kaitlin Busse ’18

Kaitlin Busse ’18 (far left)

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.

Click on the picture above to learn more about Crossing Borders.

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:

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Brittney Rowe Wins the Freeman Award

The following is a transcription from an in-person interview with Brittney Rowe where a fellow student assistant was able to talk with her about her team winning the Freeman Award, a scholarship that helps fund research in Asian countries.

Click on the above image to go to the official ASIANetwork site with the full description of their project, titled “Strangers in Their Imagined Motherland: North Korean Refugees in South Korea.”

Tell me a little bit about the Freeman Award.

The Freeman Award funds around $40,000 towards conducting research in an Asian country. For our trip, we focused on South Korea, but you can also apply to go to China, which is where Dr. Xu led a team a few years ago, and to Japan as well.  [The program is sponsored] through the government and it’s supposed to help promote awareness of Asian cultures.

What or who made you want to apply?

I went on the May Term to Japan last summer with Drs. Xu and Leeson who are also leading this team. A friend who went on the May Term told me about this project over the summer right before school started. So, I emailed Dr. Xu and asked about what they were planning and if I could join. 

Courtesy of Roanoke College News. To find the original article, click on the image above.

What are your plans to do when you get to South Korea?

There’s going to be multiple components. Our overarching topic is going to be focusing on North Korean refugees in South Korea. There are six students going, including myself. We each have different topics that cover aspects of our main topic. [For instance,] Anna Ford will be focusing on how North Koreans are portrayed in South Korean film and TV shows, and Carolyn Marciniec and Phantesa Ingram will be looking into their experiences relating to education. 

I am going to be focusing on how North Korean women are represented in South Korean media and about their lives in South Korea. I plan to interview around fifteen women, maybe more, we’ll see, about their lives since arriving in the South, how they perceive South Korean media’s portrayal of them, and their opinions on unification as well. I will be presenting on my findings at the ASIANetwork Conference in San Diego next April. 

In order to better inform my topic, there’s a TV show that I’ve been focusing on, Now on My Way to Meet You, where they kind of take the typical South Korean talk show. They have guests dance and show off their skills, but they also have the North Koreans talk about their experiences in North Korea. Something that we’ve noticed is that they never get to talk about their struggles in South Korea. It’s always like, rainbows and sunshine and sparkles – when in reality it’s not; a lot of North Korean refugees have trouble adjusting to the highly competitive, capitalist South.

Another thing that we’ve noticed is that typically, it’s pretty, young women who are chosen [to appear on the show]. It’s like a national thing where you send in your personal statement about your life and what you would talk about on the show. And then the show-runners go through the applications and choose who has the most appealing story to South Koreans. They then bring in the women and they dress them up to look like South Koreans to appeal to that South Korean audience. It’s just really interesting to see how that goes.

Brittney Rowe ’20 during her May Term in Japan. Almost all of the students going to South Korea were also part of the May Term.

How long will you be studying in South Korea?

About twenty days in May.

Outside of research, is there anything in particular you’re looking forward to?

Just being in South Korea. Being able to eat South Korean food and experience their culture. We’re also going to be going on little excursions to actually go out and experience the culture. So, it’s a lot like a May Term, but a week longer than my Japan May Term.

Do you have any advice to anyone considering applying to the Freeman Award in the future?

Edit, edit, edit. Go to Jennifer Rosti.

Are you excited?

I really, really am. I’m also going to be studying abroad next semester in South Korea, so. And we’re also going to try and see if we can travel after the original period is up, maybe go to Japan.

Congratulations, Brittney! We wish you the best and hope you enjoy your time in South Korea!

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Congratulations to Kaitlin Busse on Her Fulbright Acceptance!

Congratulations from the Department

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.

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Congratulations to Molly Zydel!

Molly Zydel ’19, courtesy of Dr. Powell

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!

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A Brief Interview with Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand

Dr. Findley Van-Nostrand is pictured above. She is a new Psychology professor here at Roanoke College.

A student assistant was recently able to interview Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand amidst the chaos and confusion that is midterms about herself and her research interests, as well as her recent manuscript acceptance in the journal Psychology of Violence.

So, how do you like Roanoke so far? Is it very different from Florida?

It’s great! Definitely different from Tampa. Smaller city, slower pace, cooler weather…all good things for me.

Can you tell me about your academic background?

I did my undergraduate degree at the University of South Florida. I also remained there, for a variety of reasons, for my Ph.D. (and Masters along the way). Towards the end of my doctorate, I broadened my interests some and was involved in a couple of projects outside of the Psychology department that involved applying psychology to the problem of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) student persistence. These projects ended up leading to an offer to remain as a postdoctoral researcher after wrapping up my dissertation. So, after my postdoc, here I am!

What classes are you teaching right now and what types of courses will you be teaching in the future?

Right now I am teaching PSCY221- Developmental Psychology, and PSYC321- Child Development. In the near(ish) future I will teach these, as well as Intro to Psychology, Adolescent Development, and a Research Seminar in Developmental Psychology.

What are some of your past and current research experiences and interests?

My research interests are related but twofold. In my primary research, I am interested in peer relationships and social behaviors during adolescence and early adulthood. In this line, I have

focused on aggression among peers, underlying motivational factors, and the ways in which aggression is tied to social status among peers. I also have continuing research aimed at understanding the role of the self in aggression and prosociality, and my studies in these area are driven by both developmental and social psychology literatures and studies. In my second line of research, I’m also interested in understanding how social experiences, like felt belonging, as well as self-concepts and motivation may drive interest and persistence in STEM disciplines. Much of the research in this area is also related to academic persistence and achievement more broadly, but has some specific nuances related to the STEM context.

I recently heard that you have been approved to publish an article in a journal, can you tell me more about that?

Sure! The paper will be published in the journal Psychology of Violence, and includes two studies (one in early adolescence, and one in young adulthood) examining two forms of psychopathy, social goals, and forms of aggression. In previous research, we’ve demonstrated that social goals for status predict heightened aggression (especially relational aggression) over time in adolescents, and social goals for closeness and affiliation are related to lower levels of aggression. In a separate line of research, psychopathy and callous-unemotional traits are consistently tied to high aggression. In our study, we demonstrated differences in relationships between psychopathy and social goals based on form of psychopathy (one form entailing interpersonal manipulation was related to social goals, whereas the other form entailing behavioral impulsivity was not), and that social goals mediated the links between psychopathy and aggression in both age groups. So, within the context of psychopathy as a risk factor, targeting social goals may help in aggression-related interventions.

What are some random/cool facts about you?

First, my husband and I have an 1 ½ year old son, who keeps us busy and I’m forever in awe of. Second, I am a huge Formula 1 racing fan! We have a lot of awkward hours in our house where we will wake up to watch the European races live. It’s a much more complex sport than you might think, and the psychology of the drivers, their competitiveness, decision making, team dynamics, etc. is really fascinating.

Is there anything else that you’d like to mention?

Everyone here has been super welcoming. So thanks!

Congratulations Dr. FVN for your recent manuscript acceptance and thank you for taking time to answer our questions!


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Congratulations to the New Members of Phi Beta Kappa!

We are incredibly proud and excited to announce that four psychology students were recently accepted as new members to Phi Beta Kappa, the United State’s most prestigious honor society for the liberal arts and sciences.

When asked how they felt about their acceptance, students replied:

“I’m so honored to be accepted into Phi Beta Kappa and be recognized for my accomplishments at Roanoke!” – Megan Miller ’18

“When I found out I got Phi Beta Kappa I was very excited and proud of myself. I have worked very hard over these past years and it’s an honor to be recognized for it.” – Taylor Kracht ’18

“I am honored to learn my Roanoke Professors nominated me for Phi Beta Kappa. Acceptance into this honor society is especially meaningful because it recognizes the broad array of pursuits that I have had the good fortune to enjoy at RC.” – Laura Sullivan ’18.

Congratulations to Megan Miller ’18, Laura Sullivan ’18, Taylor Kracht ’18, and Sabrina McAllister ’18! We are incredibly proud of you and look forward to seeing what you will accomplish in the future!


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2017 Summer Scholar Sabrina McAllister ’18 Talks About Her Experiences

Pictured above: Sabrina McAllister ’18, Psychology major, 2017 Summer Scholar

In a recent interview with Marcus Stewart for undergraduate research at Roanoke College, Sabrina McAllister ’18 talked about her research project titled “Time Perspective as a State-Based Measure” and gave advice for other prospective Summer Scholars.

For her research as part of the Summer Scholars program, McAllister worked over the summer with her faculty advisor, Dr. David Nichols, a professor of Psychology at Roanoke College whose primary research includes topics in neuroscience, vision perception, and time perception. Together, they examined the structure of the Zimbardo’s Time Perspective Inventory (ZTPI), a questionnaire that determines amounts of focus on past, present, and future,  for ways to improve the inventory for more accurate results.

To learn more about what they discovered, as well as the the link for Dr. Nichols’ research lab, follow the links at the bottom of the page.

The Summer Scholar Program awards thirteen applicants from all majors with funding every year for independent study under the supervision of a professor. If all conditions are met, the scholar will receive one unit of credit for independent study, which can be counted towards the Honors project if part of the Honors Program. The program typically coincides with Summer Sessions I and II (June & July), but more time can be given if the student’s project requires it.

The deadline for applying to the Summer Scholar Program is March 15 and decisions are made by April 1st.

For more information regarding McAllister’s project, Dr.  Nichols lab, or the requirements and application for the Summer Scholars Program, please follow the appropriate links.

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Congratulations to Stephanie Gaines – Psi Chi Research Grant Awardee!

Stephanie Gaines with her  advisor, Dr. Powell
Stephanie Gaines with her advisor, Dr. Powell

Ms. Stephanie Gaines, a junior at Roanoke College,
has been named as one of the recipients of the
Psi Chi Undergraduate Research Grant!

Her independent study project was conducted to gather information on emerging adults’ anticipated self-efficacy regarding future roles. The aims were two-fold. First, to replicate the previous research on transitional roles such as getting married or becoming a parent. Second, to expand the research on gradual roles such as becoming financially independent and managing one’s own healthcare.  She was particularly interested in how emerging adults’ current self-efficacy, mastery and vicarious experiences, as well as subjective norms were associated with their anticipated self-efficacy for adult roles. Participants were recruited from Roanoke College Psychology classes, the larger student body, and from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Analyses are currently underway.

Congratulations, Stephanie!
We look forward to seeing your results. Keep up the great work! 

Students & Faculty feasted!

Students and faculty came together on Sunday for the Fall Feast!
Dr. Whitson’s Bok Choy salad won the “best savory dish” award
and Dr. Freedman’s pumpkin & chocolate cake won the
“best sweet dish” award.

We hope your Thanksgiving feast is as
sweet (and savory) as ours was!

RC Recognized as a Top Liberal Arts School Based on Professor Rankings

Does the title say it all when it come to Roanoke College?   “Accessible & Approachable Professors” Check out the news article here:

There are 6 psychology professors ( 3 male, 3 female, and one staff member – our miracle working secretary) in the photo below; can you find them? The rest of those lovely faces are our students who could make it to this particular photo shoot! You have to love those GET PSYCHED shirts. They really capture our persona as a community.



The Princeton Review’s Best 380 Colleges

roanokecollegeSalem, Va. – The Princeton Review has named Roanoke College one of the best colleges in the United States for the fifth year in a row. In addition, Roanoke was named a great school for students who major in business/finance, computer science and psychology.

According to the Princeton Review survey, students say Roanoke has great career services, a great library and happy students.

“Princeton Review is a student voice among the rating systems,” Roanoke College President Michael Maxey said.   “We are excited that the voices of students at Roanoke praise our balance of ‘comfort and challenge.’  We help students find what they love to do through equal measures of support and challenge.”

“Every college in our book has outstanding academics,” said Robert Franek, Princeton Review’s senior vice president-publisher. “Our goal is to help applicants choose and get into their dream college—the college best for them.”

 Follow Roanoke College on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For additional information, call the Roanoke College Public Relations Office at (540) 375-2282.

Members of the media, please note the new location of Roanoke College news on the new site:

Outstanding Junior Psychology Majors


Congratulations to Alexandra Grant, Diane Nguyen, Joana Peders, Christy Blevins, & Brandy Plouff. They received the award for Outstanding Junior Psychology Majors. This award is given to the junior student or students deemed by the faculty as having demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and potential for continued success in Psychology.

Congratulations Ladies & Keep up the good work!

Summer Scholars Applications


Would you rather flip hamburgers (or paint houses or mow lawns) or spend a summer on the Roanoke campus using your mind? Would you like to get paid $2,500 (and free housing and independent study credit) for feeding your curiosity?

The Summer Scholar Program at Roanoke College is a grant program that enables thirteen students of any major with a GPA of 3.0 or higher to conduct rigorous, independent research for eight to twelve weeks during the summer. This is a full-time, tuition-free, paid position with free housing provided. In addition to the research project, summer scholars will be trained to give professional presentations. Learn more:

Application materials and guidelines can be found here:

Applications are due March 15th. The above link details where to send the completed application materials. Check it out!

Departmental Kudos – Dr. Friedman



Dr. Friedman pictured with Carolyn Miesen and Jessica Gladfelter, members of her research lab

Students Comments:

“Dr. Friedman has gone above and beyond as my advisor! She inspires me to be the best I can.”

“Dr. Friedman has had a lot to manage this semester and has been great at it. She is an amazing chair.”

“Dr. Friedman and Dr. Buchholz are super supportive and helpful. :)”

Psych students elected to PBK

“Founded in 1776 by students at the College of William and Mary, Phi Beta Kappa is recognized as the oldest, largest and most prestigious honor society in the nation. PBK’s main objective is to emphasize the importance of a liberal arts and sciences while also recognizing those who strive for excellence in academics.” This year, the psychology department had several students selected to join the ranks of PBK.

Congratulations to:

Elizabeth Evans

Nikki Hurless

Lauren Kennedy

Tayler Kiser

Dana Averill

We are proud of your accomplishments!

Our New Psi Chi Inductees AY 2013-2014

DSC_4141Congratulations to our new inductees:

Christy Blevins                         

Marie Isoe

Rachel Capps

Shannon O’Neill

Laura Cox

Joanna Peders

Holly Craft

Brandy Plouff

Christina DeRito

Leigha Schimmoeller

Natalie Dixon

Mackenzie Slater

Alexandra Ekirch

Rebecca Smith

Rebecca Ellis

Lauren Stone

Mariam Foster

Lauren Thomason

Alexandra Grant

Grace Vandegrift

Leslie Grimes

Laura Wood

Also pictured: Faculty Advisor, Dr. Lindsey Osterman


The Karl Beck Memorial Prize Goes To:


Julia Boudrye. Julia is recognized for her scholarship. She has been a member of Dr. Friedman’s lab and the URAP program for four years. She has presented at a number of conferences, regional and national, has completed research practicums, independent studies, and honors in the major. Additionally, she has served as the lab coordinator for the past year.



Chava Urecki. Chava has been a member of Dr. Buchholz’s lab and the URAP program for the last four years. She has been lab manager for the past two years, conducting her own independent research and overseeing underclassmen. She has presented at several conferences and recently defended her honors thesis!

The faculty selects a psychology major to receive the Karl W. Beck Memorial Prize, which is given for excellence in psychology. The recipient is awarded a prize of money, which is made possible by gifts of friends in memory of the late Dr. Karl W. Beck, professor and first chairperson of the Roanoke College Psychology Department. The recipient’s name is engraved on a plaque which is located in the department reception room.