Oglethorpe Psychology Students Participate and Compete at the 2012 Georgia Undergraduate Research in Psychology Conference at Kennesaw State University
The annual Georgia Undergraduate Research in Psychology Conference was held at Kennesaw State University on Saturday, April 14. Over 110 students from nearly 20 universities presented either research posters or talks. Many were honor students from their respective universities. Agnes Scott, Emory, GA State University, and the University of Georgia were among the Georgia schools represented. However, to make the conference more inclusive this year, the organizers opened it to surrounding states. As a result, students from Florida State, the University of Alabama, the University of South Carolina, and other schools competed as well.
The OU 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 her faculty sponsor (Dr. Carton) received certificates 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! 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.