Oglethorpe Psych Students Excel at Research Conference

The annual Georgia Undergraduate Research in Psychology Conference was recently hosted by nearby Kennesaw State University. More than 110 students from nearly 20 universities presented either research posters or talks. Many were honor students from their respective universities—which this year included universities from surrounding states as well.

The Oglethorpe Psychology Department was represented by seven students who had their work accepted for the conference: Jahnavi Delmonico, Julia Fukuda, Cassie Hendrix, Allison Moore, Justin Sabree, Brittany Weiner and Janet Wood. They presented a mixture of research posters and talks based on the original data they had collected in their respective studies from the past year. In addition, all of them participated in a juried competition sponsored by the Georgia Psychological Association (GPA) for best research at the conference. Judges consisted of executive members of the GPA and professors of research methodology.

For the fourth year in a row, an Oglethorpe student earned first place! Specifically, Cassie Hendrix submitted a study she completed during her “Theories of Personality” course on the effects of anxiety on people’s ability to correctly interpret the emotions expressed in facial expressions. She presented her research in a 250-seat auditorium, where she led the audience through a Powerpoint presentation of her study, followed by a question and answer session. Cassie and I (as her faculty sponsor) received certificates of recognition and Cassie received a cash award. She joins previous GPA-sponsored conference winners Ilana Olin and Mary Beth Bidgood (2009), Alyx Buonanotte (2010), and Balbir Khalsa and Brittany Weiner (2011).

Participants had the opportunity to attend all the talks and poster sessions, as well as listen to a keynote address and attend a career/graduate school panel discussion. It was an excellent opportunity to meet students and professors from other schools and to learn from fellow excellent researchers.

All of the students gained valuable experience, practiced publicly presenting and defending their work, and had a good time spending the day with each other and the department faculty. Congratulations to all of you!

Editor’s Note: The Oglethorpe University Psychology Department routinely encourages its students to submit original research they have designed and conducted to professional research conferences. Our students typically attend several conferences during their undergraduate education. Submitting one’s work for peer review by experts in the field and then defending that work in a professional setting is wonderful training for graduate school, professional schools (e.g., medical and law) and many careers.

OU Psychology Students Achieve 100% Acceptance Rate at Professional Conference

Brittany Weiner '12 (left) celebrates her award-winning research with Ashleigh Brizzle '10 at last year's SEPA Conference

Earlier this fall, five Oglethorpe University psychology majors submitted research projects for presentation at the 58th annual meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) in New Orleans in spring 2012. 

All submissions to this professional conference are peer-reviewed by faculty experts in their respective fields.  As is always the case with Oglethorpe psychology majors, they did not self-identify as “students” and submit to an undergraduate student conference.  Instead, they submitted their work alongside that of professors and graduate students to a professional research conference. 

All five students recently were informed that their projects were accepted for presentation.  Their accomplishments continue the strong record of performance by OU psychology majors on state, regional, and national levels.

The five students and their respective projects are listed below.

Cassie Hendrix ’12“The Effects of Media Exposure on Infants’ Ability to Learn”

Balbir Khalsa ’12 -“Detecting Subtle-microexpressions: Can we see them?”

Marie King ’12How People Perceive Profanity Users”

Justin Sabree ’12 – Versatility of psychophysiological paradigms for assessing post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms”

Brittany Weiner ’12 – “Whose Fault is it Anyway? Perfectionists’ Experience of Test Anxiety”

Congratulations and have fun in New Orleans this spring!