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Psychology News

Keyword: research

I have always enjoyed presenting posters. I first presented a poster project when I was eight and poster projects have always been my favorite part of school. Being able to research a specific topic and add my own creative influence to a plain white board has always made we feel so accomplished. I never knew that attending poster presentations would be so rewarding as well... On March 29 2019, I attended the wonderful Paul D. Lack Scholars’ Day poster presentation at the Manning Academic Center.

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Psychology Student Jenny Tran

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Psychology Student Danielle Gershman

When I first heard about this event, I knew that this showcase would highlight many research topics from varying students and faculty, but I was not sure the exact topics that would be presented. When I started to walk around the posters, I was flabbergasted by how the presenters were speaking so fluently, energetically, and cheerfully about their work. I discussed with many presenters about their different research topics and have learned so many new things. For example, I now know how music can affect alcohol consumption, why people cannot recognize celebrities with tinted glasses on, and even how we should monitor what we say on social media when a celebrity dies due to suicide.

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Counseling and Human Services faculty Dr. Finkenberg and Psychology faculty Dr. Schurtz

As I toured around the different posters, one that has caught my attention was presented by Dr. Shirna Gullo. Dr. Gullo is a nursing professor here at Stevenson University, and she conducted her own study about the effects of online testing for nursing students in college. She expressed to me that in the past, nursing students were required to take exams on paper tests, however this seemed to be a severe disadvantage for the students. What teachers were seeing was that despite having passed the written exam, many students were underperforming in the actual workforce. As such, she conducted a study to see if computerized testing was more beneficial for nursing students. To see Dr. Gullo to be passionate about her research was very inspiring.

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Dr. Gullo from Nursing

Overall, I was so happy to attend to the showcase. Poster presentations are not only color or glitter on a board, but they represent a significant way to positively impact a person’s career or even their future.

By: Nya Medley

As a science, Psychology is heavily based on research. Among our amazing faculty, Dr. Metzger has an active research program in the area of cognitive psychology.

Dr. Metzger’s Background

Dr. Metzger received his Ph.D. in Experimental Cognitive Psychology from the University of North Dakota and completed his post-doctoral training at the Institute for Child Development at the University of Minnesota and the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of North Carolina. Before coming to Stevenson University, he has worked as a faculty member at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga as well as Pennsylvania State University.

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Dr. Metzger and his students from left to right Danielle Gershman, Bryce Merkt, and Cole Simmons

Dr. Metzger’s Research Projects

As a progressive thinker, Dr. Metzger has been looking into the idea of quantum physics in psychology. He states, “You don’t need to know the math, but the understanding is important.” He has applied these ideas to cognitive psychology, mentioning how twins can have similar thought process because of the principle of superposition. Dr. Metzger currently has three different research groups, Psych and Law, Cognition and Emotion, and Health Behaviors.

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Dr. Metzger led a group of students to attend the Southeast Psychological Association (SEPA) conference in March 2019. From left to right: Savanna Angel, Akera Williams, Jenny Tran, Kelly Sweeney, and Nick Mehiel

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From left to right: Cole Simmons, Samantha Burney, and Nick Mehiel

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Congratulations to Hanne Wilburn for winning the Psi Chi Regional Research Award at SEPA!

With all these research opportunities, Dr. Metzger has gathered a group of dedicated psychology students who are eager to learn more. For the past semesters, his students have collaborated with the researchers at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga to investigate how well faces of an already known individual can be identified. The goal is to determine the reliability of facial recognition and how it can be applied to witness statements in court. Stevenson students have taken part in the data management and collection for the studies.

Without a doubt, research is a process that requires a lot of work. Dr. Metzger’s students are learning so much. For example, research assistant Danielle Gershman finds that through this research experience, she is gaining a better understanding of her interest and is equipped with the skills she needs for grad school.

Dr. Metzger’s Mentoring Style

Every professor is unique. Students repeatedly report that they enjoy working with Dr. Metzger because of his consistent supportive guidance. One student Cole Simmons mentions, “Dr. Metzger is different and very smart. He cares about the students who work with him. He listens to them and supports their ideas.”

Overall, Dr. Metzger has been fostering the growth of many Stevenson Psychology students. Interested in learning more about Dr. Metzger’s work? Email him at rmetzger@stevenson.edu

By: Olivia Webb

When Caitlin Kennedy is not in class, you will probably find her in the lab conducting experiments to investigate how pollutants such as zinc may have an effect on crayfish.

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Caitlin (right) and her mentor Dr. Angie Setzer (left)

Caitlin’s interest in neuroscience flourished when she took a class in Biological Psychology during her first year at Stevenson. Very soon, she jumped right into the opportunity to work with Dr. Tulloch’s behavioral neuroscience lab. Their collaboration has led to two poster presentations:

Kennedy, C.G., Nash, A.C., Wasicko, N.J., Leister, B.A., & Tulloch, I.K. (2018, November) Multi-generational behavioral response to alcohol in Drosophila melanogaster larvae. Poster presented at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Kennedy, C.G., Leister, B.A., & Tulloch, I.K. (2017, December). Effects of acute alcohol exposure on Drosophila melanogaster larvae locomotor activity. Poster presented at the Stevenson University Psychology Department Showcase in Stevenson, MD, and the Eastern Psychological Association annual meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

For the past year, Caitlin has also been working with Dr. Danna (Biological Sciences) and Dr. Setzer (Psychology). These opportunities brought her two additional poster presentations:

Leister, B.A., Kennedy, C.G., Nash, A.C., Tulloch, I.K., Danna, C.J. (2019, February) Neurodevelopmental effects of early alcohol exposure in transgenic drosophila melanogaster. Poster presented at the Eastern Psychological Association annual meeting in New York City, New York.

Briscoe, A., Dennis, M., Kennedy, C.G., Setzer, A. (2018, December). Crayfish Alcohol Maze Study. Poster presented at the Stevenson University Psychology Department Showcase, Owings Mills, MD.

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Caitlin presenting at the Eastern Psychological Association Conference

In addition to her extensive research experiences, Caitlin played a key role in organizing the Brain Bee event last month (see our previous blog entry here). She took care of all the details such as coordinating with the high school teachers and administrators, creating marketing materials, and keeping track of all the paperwork.

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Caitlin and other Psych Club officers (2019)

Caitlin was recently accepted into a Ph.D. behavioral neuroscience program. As she reflected on her past experiences, she said that she appreciated the close faculty-student relationships, especially with her mentors.

Congratulations Caitlin! Finish strong this semester and we wish you your very best as you take your next exciting step!

#wearethebest #successyoucanmeasure

Founded in 1998 by Dr. Norbert Myslinski, the International Brain Bee is a world-wide neuroscience competition for high school students between the ages of 13 to 19....Click here to read more.

One Friday afternoon, a group of Psychology students gathered around a lab bench....