Category Archives: Student Highlight

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.

Get Connected!

 Blog:  https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology

Twitter: @RC_Psychology

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Website:  http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology

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An Interview with Thompson ’19

What is your name, class year, and your majors/minors/concentrations?

My name is Becca Thompson and I am a senior. I will be graduating with a major in Psychology and concentration in Human Development. I also have minors in Spanish and Sociology.

Where did you study abroad?

I studied abroad in Palmerston North, New Zealand.

What was your favorite moment while abroad?

My favorite moments while abroad (because they are tied!!) would be going to an All Blacks Rugby game, skydiving from 17,000 feet over the gorgeous Lake Taupo, and exploring the only active marine volcano in New Zealand on an island named White Island or Whakaari.

What were you most worried about in terms of studying abroad?

I was worried about being literally on the other side of the world from my family (Maryland to NZ, couldn’t have gone any further away!) I was also worried about missing my pets, let’s be honest.

What did you learn while abroad? (Not just in terms of coursework, but about the culture and, cheesy as it is, yourself?)

I learned about different mental healthcare practices through my abnormal psychology class, which I found very interesting. I also learned about the indigenous people to New Zealand, the Māori. About myself, I learned how strong I am and I furthered my passion of traveling!

Palmerston North

Did anything happen that you weren’t expecting? Similarly, were there any moments that particularly struck you while abroad?

I definitely did not expect to meet some of my best friends while abroad. Although we are located all over the place, we still talk often and cannot wait to plan a reunion. There were many twists and turns during my time abroad, but each adventure had its own purpose and lessons.

What are your plans for the future and how will you use what you learned while studying abroad to help you?

Studying abroad helped me to realize my interest in social work through the introduction class I took with one of the best professors I’ve ever had. This class helped me to realize that I would like to pursue child advocacy/family law in order to create change here in America. I would love to go to school in NZ to gain a better and more in-depth understanding of their social work practices, which strive to include all cultures and all people in a respectful manner.

Any advice for other students interested in studying abroad?

Just GO! Studying abroad changed my life and opened up so many doors for me. My time in New Zealand helped me to realize what I would like to pursue after college. I met so many incredible people and I now have an incredible core group of friends spread throughout the United States, as well as an extended family in Palmerston North.

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Get Connected!

 Blog:  https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology

Twitter: @RC_Psychology

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Website:  http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology

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A Quick Look: Thompson in New Zealand

Rebecca Thompson ’19

During the spring of 2018, I had the incredible opportunity to study abroad in Palmerston North, New Zealand. While abroad I had the chance to take ‘Abnormal and Therapeutic Psychology,’ which gave an interesting overview to how different countries treat different psychological conditions. My favorite part of the class came through the literature review project we had at the end of the semester. I chose to complete my literature review on eating disorders. My future career plans are veering more towards social work and a law degree, but my background in psychology will help me to understand some of the situations my future clients may be going through. My favorite memory while abroad is skydiving from 17,000 feet over Lake Taupo!

Thanks to Rebecca Thompson for providing this cool description of her study abroad experience in Palmerston North, New Zealand! It sounds like an incredible and worthwhile adventure, though we are glad to have you back on campus.

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

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.

 

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

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: rosti@roanoke.edu.

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

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 the 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 20 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 an experience the culture. So, it’s a lot like a May Term, but a week longer than my Japan trip.

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!

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

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.

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

New Majors Orientation in March!

Four students recently attended New Majors Orientation where they were able to sign their names onto the psychology board and learn about different opportunities available as a psychology major.

The orientation was led by Dr. Powell, who will be leading another orientation on April 5th at 5:00 pm in LS 502.

New majors are required to attend orientation, so if you recently declared a major in psychology, please sign-up for the final orientation through SONA!

Hope to see you there!

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

Psi Chi Inductions 2018

Congratulations to the new members of Psi Chi!

On March 13th, 2018, the psychology department held their Psi Chi Induction Ceremony. Thirty-four students were inducted this semester into Psi Chi, the international honor society for psychology and one of the largest honor societies in the United States.

Following lunch, Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand began the ceremony by making the opening remarks. Students were then given their certificates and the nominations for the new executive board for Psi Chi were held. Dr. Osterman ended the ceremony by leading the recognition of the outgoing and incoming executive boards.

Pictures of the new members of Psi Chi followed the conclusion of the ceremony, including:

Students who were not able to attend the ceremony but are new members of Psi Chi are as follows:

  • Ciprianna O. Azar
  • Alexander J. Glando
  • Elizabeth Q. Helminski
  • Jeanette L. Kurtic
  • Logan E. Miner
  • Hannah Pfeffer
  • Jeanne M. Skulstad
  • Natalie M. Slemp
  • Allison L. Smith
  • Thomas E. Thomas
  • Kestrel Thorne-Kaunelis
  • Caroline G. Wagoner
  • Taylor C. Ward
  • Griffith E. Wood
  • Emily A. Wright

In order to be accepted to Psi Chi as an undergraduate student, one must:

  • be enrolled as a major or minor in a psychology program or a program psychological in nature
  • have completed at least 3 semesters or equivalent of full-time college coursework
  • have completed at least 9 semester credit hours or equivalent of psychology courses
  • have earned a cumulative GPA that is in the top 35% of their class (sophomore, junior, or senior) compared to their classmates across the entire university or the college that houses psychology (minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4-point scale)3
  • have a minimum 3.0 GPA average for psychology courses

Some of the benefits include:

  • International recognition for academic excellence in psychology.
    • Distinguished members can be found here, including Albert Bandura, B. F. Skinner, and Philip G. Zimbardo.
  • Over $400,000 are available annually in awards and grants.
  • Psi Chi’s Career Center
  • Free access to three publications:
    • Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research
    • Eye on Psi Chi
    • Psi Chi Digest

For more information, follow this link to the official Psi Chi website.

Congratulations again to our new members of Psi Chi! They’ve worked hard and we look forward to seeing what they will do in the future.

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

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!

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

Students Present at the Academy of Human Resource Development Conference

Riker Lawrence ’20 (left) and Kaitlin Busse ’18 (right) presented two posters at the Academy of Human Resource Development conference in Richmond, VA, this past week..

Congratulations to Kaitlin Busse ’18 and Riker Lawrence ’20 for their successful poster sessions at the Academy of Human Resource Development (AHRD) Conference in Richmond, Virginia!

Part of Dr. Powell’s lab, Busse and Lawrence presented two posters on their findings from researching work-life balance and perceptions of organizational climate and job satisfaction in employees from the United States and the United Kingdom.

The conference began on Wednesday, February the 14th, ending on the 18th. AHRD, a global organization, focuses on “leading human resource development through research.” 

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

Student Publication & Updates

Last semester, students from Dr. Nichols lab published a paper titled “Exploration of Methodological and Participant-Related Influences on the Number of Artifacts in ERP Data.”

Under the direction of Dr. Nichols, Ms. Stephanie M. Shields and Ms. Caitlin E. Morse conducted a study in order to see how the number of trials needed to collect enough data for Event-related Potential (ERP) could be minimized through the reduction of artifacts.

Typically, this type of research requires a number of trials in order to collect enough data. Oftentimes, several of these trials have to be discarded as a result of artifacts, or errors.

Shields, Morse, and Nichols focused specifically on the connections between “the number of trials that have to be eliminated due to artifacts and a set of methodological variables, physical considerations, and individual differences.”

To read more about what they found as a result of their research, follow this link to the original article.

Related: Ms. Shields was awarded a Fulbright grant to return to Germany to study bat vocalizations and vocal learning in Munich, Germany from September 2017-July 2018. Prior to this, she spent a summer in Hamburg, Germany through the German Academic Exchange Service Research Internship in Science and Engineering. While there, she completed a research project with Ph.D. student Signe Luisa Schneider on electroencephalography (EEG), learning, and memory. (To find out more about this latter project, follow this link.) Shields also completed over three years of research in the psychology department and had other articles published as well. She graduated with a major in psychology, a concentration in neuroscience, and a minor in German. She plans on earning a Ph.D. in Neuroscience.

Related: Ms. Morse currently works as a Licensed Nursing Assistant at Portsmouth Regional Hospital in New Hampshire. Graduating from Roanoke College with a degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Science in 2017, she followed this by attending the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences where she completed a Bachelor of Science degree in order to become a registered nurse. While at Roanoke College, she worked as a research assistant in the psychology department for around three and a half years, starting in 2013. She has also participated in two other published articles through Dr. Nichols lab, alongside Ms. Shields and other students. Her Linked In account can be found here.

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

An Interview with Victoria Preston

The following is a transcription from an in-person interview with Victoria Preston at Fruitions where a student assistant was able to talk with her about her research and internship experiences at Roanoke College and Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare.

Victoria Preston ’17, presenting her findings at the recent Psychology Poster Session

Can you tell me a little about yourself? (Such as interesting hobbies and your favorite color?)

I’m a psych major. I don’t think I have any interesting hobbies. I like animals and my favorite color is green.

What kind of classes are you taking this semester?

This is my last semester, so I’m at the very end of what I need to be taking. I’m taking a seminar course [for psychology], and then I’m taking a sociology class because it’s interesting to me. I [also] work for Dr. Powell on a research lab.

How do you like seminar?

It’s kind of challenging just because you’re working in a group to come up with a project. Most of the groups are four people, [but] we’ve got three, so it’s just kind of difficult to get everyone on the same page, to get everyone to meet on time, [and] to get the work done, but it seems to be going well so far.

How do you like Dr. Powell’s lab?

I  love it. This is my second year working for her, second semester I guess, and her lab is about an emerging adult study or doing something with adolescents. Last semester I just worked in helping other students with their research- I didn’t do anything of my own. (…) This year I’m doing my own study from a previous student’s and some of her work. I have someone working for me this time. So, (…) I really enjoy it and you get the experience of what working in a research setting would be and you get her attention to help with anything else that you need.

So, what are you doing specifically in the lab?

There’s a Roanoke College student who graduated last year who did a study on emerging adults and talking, ghosting, friends with benefits, that kind of relationship. I’m doing a secondary data analysis of her study. Dr. Powell and Dr. Friedman did a study on a ghosting, so I’m taking some of their information and putting it together and running my own analysis of it: dealing with if there’s a time frame, what blocking is, if we can accurately define what “talking” really means. [Talking is] different for every person. That’s basically what I am doing this semester.

In addition to working in the lab, you also completed an internship. Can you tell me about that?

I interned at Blue Ridge Behavioral Health Care in the Child and Family Services [Department]. I was toying with the idea of working with children and families and I wanted to intern at a place that was local enough to where I could potentially work there because I am from Salem. [Interning at Blue Ridge] was just the best option and was something I was vaguely familiar with.

What did you learn from your experience at Blue Ridge?

A lot of what I did there was observing group therapy or sitting in on family assessment planning. If there was a kid that needed some sort of services but couldn’t afford it, they would go to this board and make their argument for the government or organization to pay for it. What I learned was that there are a majority of people who need the help that Blue Ridge is giving but they can’t afford it. That was kind of surprising to me because you think “oh, you know everybody has insurance, that insurance just pays for it” but that was not the case. [I also] just figured out my own personal biases in working with kids because I still want to work with children – I eventually want to be family therapist. Maybe. Working with kids, you think it’s going to be one thing and then it’s an entirely different thing.

I did learn a lot about what it was like to work in an actual office setting, which was really important to me because the only other job I’ve had I was working at a jewelry store. That was just really interesting to me to just see how complicated the behind-the-scenes of mental health is and trying to get people the services that they need.

Were there any moments during your internship that really surprised or struck you?

Since there are children and family services in that building, I thought it was only going to be kids needing some sort of residential treatment or psychiatric testing but it’s anything that has to do with children. […] I’m not sure… There were a lot of interesting experiences that I never anticipated or expected to see.

How do you plan on applying what you learned in your internship to what you’d like to do in the future?

The reason why I wanted to intern at a local place was because I plan on applying for a job there, so basically just taking all of the things I observed and kind of deciding if that’s the path that I want to go down since I’ll only have a bachelors [degree]. You can’t really do a lot, so I’ll probably end up being a case-worker. Just taking the things that I saw and learned in my psych classes, counseling classes, or my abnormal classes- even some of my sociology classes. I’ve taken a lot of juvenile delinquency and behavior classes and the things I’ve learned in my classes [I’ve also] seen first hand. When you do an internship, you have to write daily reflections of what you did and how it applies to what you learned and I could apply 90% of what I saw [interning at Blue Ridge] to something that I learned in my classes.

What’s some advice that you have for students who want to complete an internship?

Definitely do it. If I hadn’t taken the internship, then I would have no idea where to go or where to apply. Experiencing something is good but also being able to network and having people that you can then go to or have them be a reference for [is good as well]. I only interned for two months, so you don’t have to have a long internship to get a full experience . You can just do it for a summer. I would tell everyone to do an internship if they can, especially if they are not a hundred percent certain- even they are a hundred percent certain, but maybe they [realize they] don’t like it that much.

Thanks Victoria for taking time to meet to talk about your research experiences and your internship with Blue Ridge. Congratulations on completing your degree!

For those interested in applying to an internship or wanting to know more about research opportunities, please contact Dr. Camac in the Psychology Department and/or Dr. Lassiter in the Biology Department.

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Charis Flamburis, The Goodtimes Project

Charis Flamburis 2015

 

Charis Flamburis ’15 was accepted as a counselor at The Goodtimes Project! How exciting!

“Each year over 13,000 children in the US are diagnosed with cancer. Camp Goodtimes was established in 1984 to provide a no cost camp environment for children affected by cancer where they can recapture the joys of childhood.”

Learn more about the project here: http://www.thegoodtimesproject.org/

Outstanding Junior Psychology Majors

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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!