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Psychology News

Hi! My name is Ethel Zepeda and I am a transfer student. I studied at York College for 1.5 years and transferred to Stevenson University in Spring 2019.


Like all other transitions, coming to a new school was tough. A lot of my friends also went to York College, so coming to Stevenson alone was a completely new experience. To be honest, making new friends was hard, but I decided to get involved in clubs and student organizations on campus immediately. It was a right decision as it has completely opened me up to new friends and experiences. Today, I am proud to say (with a lot of excitement and enthusiasm) that I am a Mustang!

One thing that strikes me at Stevenson is the number of opportunities they have available for students. The faculty, staff, and students are amazing, and I love connecting with people who share similar goals and dreams. I have definitely grown a strong sense of belonging since I came here.

By: Ethel Zepeda (’22 Psychology)

At one point or another, we have watched yet another episode of our favorite show on Netflix or spent extra time scrolling through our phone instead of studying for an exam. We’ve all been there. However, we know that the habit of procrastinating actually does more harm than good. So how do we stop procrastinating and start to become more productive? In this blog post, I am sharing with you five tips (see Bailey et al., 2019).


1. Work within your resistance level. In other words, break down the task into manageable components. If you simply cannot imagine yourself reviewing a chapter for three hours, can you do it for an hour? Or even forty-five minutes? If you work on the task consistently, in a few days you will for sure have the task completed!

2. Do something—no matter how small—to get started. Getting started is tough. However, once you get started, you will realize that it isn’t as horrible as you initially thought. You will then more likely to continue and complete the work.

3. Disconnect from the digital world. Let’s be honest. Most of us are, at the very least, slightly addicted to our phones/laptops/TVs. But once we decide to start a task, these devices offer nothing but distractions. As such, you should put away these devices so that you can focus on the task at hand.

4. Set Clear Goals. Write down your goals. Start making a daily to-do list so that you know exactly what needs your attention. The less time you spend wondering about what you need to do, the more time you will have in completing your tasks. Some people prefer starting their day off by making a to-do list, but others prefer to set aside certain times during the day (e.g., after classes) to plan out the “whats” and “whens”. Remember, it is actually okay to make slight changes to your plans every once in a while.

5. Pomodoro Technique. This is a technique I came across at the start of my college journey. According to this technique, you will spend 25 minutes working a task, and then you will give yourself a 5-minute break. You will then repeat the process, and for every four cycles, you reward yourself with a longer break. You can adjust the timing as well as the cycles as necessary to fit your preferences.

Overall, there are a lot of ways to break our habit of procrastination. Trust me, although it doesn’t always start out easy, it’ll get more manageable over time! Remember: thinking about doing something, is not the same as doing something. I hope these five tips work for you!

By: Amina Antar ('23 Psychology)

On Feburary 28, 2020, Stevenson University hosted its annual Paul D. Lack Scholars’ Showcase. Among the students from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Psychology Senior E’Lashia Pinkard was selected to present her poster on “Confronting Microaggressions: The role of race and authority.”


E'Lashia Pinkard ('20 Psychology)

“This work was based on my Senior Research Thesis for PSY 470,” explained E’Lashia. “I chose this topic because I have always been interested in understanding more about microaggressions. This is a great topic to explore and I am excited to help build awareness on microaggressions among my fellow students.”

Using Stevenson University students as her participants, E’Lashia collected survey data on how her participants reacted to microaggressions and confrontations. She also measured the authority level of the microaggressor as well as the race of the confronter. Her results revealed that African Americans were more willing to confront microaggressors, had more positive attitudes about the use of confrontation, saw confrontation to be more acceptable, agreed that people should speak up more, and found microaggressors to be more insensitive compared to Caucasian Americans. These race differences were interesting and future research should take other factors, such as the severity of microaggression and the influence of upbringing, community closeness, and cultural sensitivity into account.

We thank E’Lashia for her wonderful work, and congratulations again for being chosen to present at the 2020 Paul D. Lack Scholars’ Showcase!

Throughout the world, International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8. It is a special day to “highlight women’s achievement, raise awareness against bias, and take action for equality” (International Women’s Day, 2020). The history dated back to March 8, 1908 when 15,000 female garment workers marched through New York City's Lower East Side and rallied at Union Square, demanding economic and political rights (Crouch, 2020).

We would like to take this opportunity to celebrate International Women’s Day by highlighting three influential female psychologists.

Mary Calkins

Mary Whiton Calkins (Photo credit: APA)

Calkins was the 14th President of the American Psychological Association (APA). Importantly, she was the first woman to serve as President for APA. As a student of William James, Calkins earned her PhD, but was refused by Harvard University to grant her degree because of her gender. That said, Calkins became a key figure of the first-generation American psychologists and established the first psychological lab at Wellesley College. She was celebrated as one of the 50 most eminent psychologists in 1903.

Anna Freud

Anna Freud (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Anna Freud, the daughter of Sigmund Freud, was one of the founders of child psychoanalysis (the other founder was Melanie Klein). She was the author of several important books, such as An Introduction to the Technique of Child Analysis (1927), The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defense (1936), and Normality and Pathology in Childhood (1965).

Mamie P Clark

Mamie Phipps Clark (Photo credit: Women You Should Know)

An African American woman during the time of racial segregation in America, Clark was a pioneer in understanding the interplay among race, self-esteem, and child development. Her work with Black Arkansas preschool children examined the relationship between children’s race attitudes and their racial self-identification. Her findings were pivotal in the Brown vs Board of Education Supreme Court legal case in 1954, which ruled that U.S. state laws that established racial segregation in public schools were unconstitutional.                           

By: Nya Medley

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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