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Psychology News

Keyword: exceptional experience

We are happy to feature Olivia Gooch (’22 Psychology) this week!

Olivia Gooch

Olivia is currently in her junior year. She is majoring in Psychology and minoring in Counseling and Human Services. As a student athlete, she is a mid-distance runner on the track and field team. She is now training very hard to qualify for the MAC championship!

Olivia is doing very well in her courses. In fact, she was invited to serve as the Teaching Support for courses such as Cognitive Psychology and Experimental Design and Analysis I. She is completing a research study that that focuses on political satisfaction and race with Dr. Metzger. Olivia is planning to apply for graduate programs in school psychology in the future.

When she is not in the classroom, research lab, or track, you can find Olivia working as a student leader. She is serving as a Secretary for the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, as well as a member of the Mid-Atlantic Student Athletic Advisory Committee. These two committees are discussing about the implementation of NCAA regulations for event planning. Olivia is also an active participant of student clubs and organizations such as R.E.A.C.H. and Psychology Club.

We asked Olivia to provide some advice for fellow students about how to thrive in school, athletics, and extracurricular activities. Olivia said, “Time management is the best advice that I can give. I personally write everything down to plan out my day. In addition, your teammates are the best people you can talk to if you ever need help or support.” In her spare time, Olivia loves doing arts and craft to de-stress.

Interested in learning more about Stevenson’s very own track team? Visit the Go Mustangs Sports website to see their playing schedule.

Written by: Funmi Dada

During the Spring 2020 semester, Psychology Junior Angel Longus applied for the highly competitive summer research program offered by the Research Experiences for Undergraduates program of the National Science Foundation. Angel was selected to intern at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) together with five other undergraduate students. Because of COVID-19, Angel completed the program remotely. Below is an interview that we had with Angel.

Angel Longus 1 

What projects did you work on during this program?

I was involved in multiple projects, such as Talking College and Speech-Language Pathology (SLP). I also conducted my own research project. I worked with graduate student DeAndre Miles-Hercules from the Department of Linguistics at UCSB.

That sounds fascinating! Could you tell me more about your research project?

Titled “Searching the Silences: Black Discourse on Mental Health," my project aims to examine the Black community's tendency to dismiss or minimize issues related to mental illnesses. I interviewed several family members and friends, and then analyzed their interviews to explore the major themes. This project was especially important because the Black community is at a greater risk of mental health concerns. Oftentimes, this goes back to the lack of access to mental health care, prejudice and racism inherent in the daily lives of Black individuals, and the historical trauma enacted on the Black community by the medical field. I presented the results of my project at the Annual Advancing African American Linguistics Symposium. This symposium hosted webinars on the professional experiences of African American linguists including publication, tenure, promotion, and strengthening the network of scholars who study African American language, literacy, and culture.

Congratulations! That is a huge accomplishment! Could you tell me about the SLP project you mentioned earlier?

Sure! For this project, I was responsible for interviewing several speech-language pathologists to see how race has played a part in their careers. I analyzed the data and presented my work titled "Understanding the Experiences of Black Speech-Language Pathologists Across the Professional Trajectory" at the same Symposium.

Do you have any suggestions for students who are interested in applying to this research program? 

I would say check out UCSB HBCU program. I have learned so much during this summer and would highly recommend students to check this website out. I am also sure that there will be similar programs offered in the future so always keep an eye out!

Stevenson students who enroll in ROTC are members of the John Hopkins University Blue Jay Battalion. Cole Simmons (’20 Psychology) was commissioned a Second Lieutenant at a recent ceremony in Baltimore.

Cole Simmons Commission

Cole was the current Cadet Battalion Commander and was awarded the George C. Marshall Award as the top Cadet in the Battalion academically. Through careful arrangements, the Commissioning was conducted in person, with his family and several friends attending. Lt. Simmons will enter training in artillery in June, and join his permanent unit, The 82nd Airborne, late in the year.

Best of luck to you Cole! Did you know that Cole was also the recipient of the Dorothy Stang Award at the May 2020 Stevenson University graduation? Read more about it HERE.

Psychology major Jordan Shapero completed an internship not long ago. Through this internship, he had developed new friendships. These friendships were anything but ordinary. Specifically, he had become friends with D O L P H I N S!

Jordan Shapero

Jordan Shapero

Jordan first noticed an internship posting from the National Aquarium website. He thought such an opportunity, as amazing as it seemed, would be a long shot, but he applied for it nonetheless. A few weeks later, Jordan received the internship offer. 

In this internship, Jordan's primary responsibility was to take care of two male dolphins.  He would usually sit in a small room that allowed him a view of the pool where the two dolphins were kept.  His job was to take objective and detailed notes on their behavior and physiology. Each day, he would meet with one of the staff members to discuss the well-being of these dolphins. During this internship, he had plenty of opportunities to listen to presentations about dolphins. As a result, he had learned about issues related to their diet, health, and training. He now even had knowledge about how to properly relocate a dolphin from one site to another!

Overall, Jordan was really grateful for this one-of-a-kind internship experience, especially since his ultimate goal is to become an animal behaviorist. Not all Psychology undergraduate programs are created equal, but at Stevenson, all our Psychology students graduate after completing an internship... an amazing, rewarding experience like Jordan's.

The Psychology faculty at Stevenson University are dedicated to provide a unique, exceptional classroom experience for our students. This week, Dr. Colleen Spada (who teaches PSY 350 Multicultural Psychology) creatively used speed dating as a class activity.

speed dating2

Students engaging in speed dating in Dr. Spada’s class

“My goal was to have the students explore cultural identity,” explained Dr. Spada. “Oftentimes, we tend to make assumptions about others based on outward appearances. In this activity, the students had to come up with thoughtful questions that would help them learn more about their classmates’ culture. For example, they could ask their classmates to describe their favorite holiday and traditions, family of origin, favorite foods, or something that we wouldn’t necessarily know by looking at them.”

After coming up with their questions, the students were paired up with one another to begin speed dating. They were given three minutes to ask some of the questions that they had prepared before moving on to the next student.

speed dating1

Dr. Spada led a class discussion after this speed dating activity. The students were very engaged and everybody seemed to have learned something new. For example, most students did not know that Eid al-Fitr is often selected as the favorite holiday among Muslim students. Not only does Eid mark the end of a fast, but it is also a celebration with rich traditions. In addition, paying attention to individual differences is also important in understanding culture. Specifically, even for things that are considered to be “American”, such as serving mac and cheese on Thanksgiving, not all Americans have mac and cheese for Thanksgiving.

The small class size at Stevenson allows instructors to use fun and engaging activities like this to enhance their students’ experiences. It is truly making a difference in students’ learning!

 
 
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