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Psychology News

Keyword: exceptional experience

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!

This week the Psychology student that we are featuring is Kelly Dunworth (’20 Psychology). Originally a Nursing major, Kelly developed her strong interest in Psychology during her freshman year and made the decision to switch during her sophomore year. Among the many Psychology courses that she has taken, she likes Exceptional Child as well as Child and Adolescent Psychopathology the most. For the past three years, she has learned about the career as a Child Life Specialist and decides that this is the career path that she would like to pursue.

Kelly Dunworth

Kelly Dunworth (’20 Psychology) at her PSY 333 poster at the Spring 2019 Psychology Student Research Showcase

Kelly is actively involved in her Stevenson community and beyond. If she is not helping out with Relay for Life on campus, she is either working as a Child Life Volunteer at Johns Hopkins Hospital or a Child-care Teacher with ABC Care Inc. At Johns Hopkins Hospital, Kelly volunteers in the School Age and Burn Unit, where she provides her young patients with games and activities in order to make them feel comfortable while they undergo treatment. Being able to balance school and volunteering work is definitely one of Kelly’s biggest achievements!

When it comes to the Psychology faculty, Kelly believes that Dr. Gary Popoli has influenced her the most.

Dr. Popoli

Dr. Gary Popoli

Dr. Popoli has taught Kelly PSY 101: Introduction to Psychology, PSY 108: Human Growth and Development, and PSY 136: Statistics for Behavioral & Social Sciences. Not only has Dr. Popoli taught Kelly important psychological concepts and skills, he has also encouraged her to reach her fullest potential. Due to her hard work in Dr. Popoli’s classes, Kelly was chosen to become his Teaching Assistant for his PSY 101 and PSY 136 courses. According to Kelly, Dr. Popoli really cares about his students. His encouragement as well as genuineness have greatly influenced all the students that he teaches.

Thinking about her next step after graduation in May 2020, Kelly plans on going to graduate school to pursue her Master’s Degree in Child Life. She has applied to Towson University, College of Charleston, and UNC Charlotte, and has already been accepted to UNC Charlotte’s graduate program for a Master’s Degree in Education and Child & Family Studies!

Congratulations Kelly, and all the best with your new beginning!

By: Semira Nock

 
 
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