PSYCH INSIGHT Spring/Summer Edition 2011

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1 AUGUSTA STATE UNIVERSITY PSYCHOLOGY DEPARTMENT Spring/Summer Edition 2011 Outstanding Graduate Student Margo Villaroso The Outstanding Graduate Student Award was presented to Margo Villaroso. The recipient of this award is chosen based on various accomplishments, which include: exceptional academic performance, involvement in research, taking an active role in the program, and potential for future success. "I am very honored to receive this award. I want to thank a number of the faculty members for allowing me to help them in their research, as it was a major step preparing me for a Ph.D. program in Clinical Psych. Specifically, I want to thank Dr. Bell, Dr. Rossi, Dr. Reeves, Dr. Widner, and Dr. Janit for allowing me to participate in their research projects. These professors gave me an opportunity to learn about research in a range of psychological areas and I appreciate their guidance throughout my time in the program." Outstanding Undergraduate Student Erik Emmons Erik Emmons is the recipient of the Outstanding Undergraduate Senior Psychology Award. To receive this award, Erik needed at least a 3.0 GPA, to be actively involved in research, and to participate in an extracurricular activity. I am thrilled and humbled by this award. Considering the rich talent and experience present in the Psychology Department, this is quite an honor. I'm grateful to the entire faculty and staff for the collective and consistent attitude of support and encouragement! Inside this issue: Faculty/ Part-Time Spotlight 2 PSYCH Headlines 3 PSYCH Story 4 SEPA 5/6 PSI CHI Corner 7 PSYCH Puzzle 8 Mark Your Calendar: April 4-10: Spring Break April 11-15: Registration April 27: Last Day of Class April 29 May 4: Final Exams May 9: Graduation May 18 July 29: Summer Session I May 18 June 21: Summer Session II June 24 July 29: Summer Session III May 18 July 12 Summer Session IV

2 2011 Faculty/Part-Time Spotlight Career Questions 1. Why did you choose Psychology as your career? I actually started college as a psychology major because I was interested in understanding why people behaved the ways that they did. I knew I had picked the right major when I took my social psychology classes, which further led me into graduate school. 2. What has been the most rewarding part of teaching for you? I love the interaction with students. Students question what they are told which is a good thing. The excitement they bring to learning helps to energize me. The look on their faces when they think about new information is fantastic. 3. What were your interests while in Graduate School? When I was in graduate school I was very interested in understanding aggressive behavior, conflict and intimate relationships. 4. What is your educational background? I got my undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Georgia. All degrees are in psychology BA, MS, PhD. 5. What has been the most memorable moment of teaching? This is a hard one. I have been teaching for so long that there are many memorable moments. I think some of the best moments are when students realize the value of what they are learning in my classes. Often times, they are stunned themselves about how much information they use. Career Questions 1. Why did you choose Psychology as your career? Initially, I was attracted to psychology because I wanted to provide bereavement counseling. As an undergraduate, I was quite naïve and didn t realize the discipline that went beyond the assessment and treatment of mental health. 2. What has been the most rewarding part of teaching for you? Occasionally I will get an from a student telling me that a course positively affected his/her life in some way. Dr. Georgina Hammock Prof. Michelle Johnson 3. Other than teaching, do you have another job related to the field of Psychology? No, I do not have another job besides teaching. 4. What is your educational background? I received my B.A. and M.S. degrees in psychology at Augusta State University. I am currently a doctoral student at the University of Georgia. I hope to complete the requirements for a Ph.D. in developmental psychology in late spring or early summer. My dissertation will examine the effects of dementia care giving on the psychological and physical health of the caregiver. 5. What has been the most rewarding moment of teaching? One semester I asked a student in my general psychology course to fall down and drop his books in front of a group. As expected, no one offered him assistance. However, someone did mop the floor thinking that there was a spill, which restored some faith in humanity. Just For Fun 1. What do you like to do in your free time? What free time! Seriously I love spending time with my family. We recently bought bikes and are having loads of fun riding together. I also love to create things. I crochet and make jewelry. I also love to read and go through a number of books in a month. 2. If you were allowed to have dinner with a famous person, who would it be and why? I didn t think this would be hard, but it is. I would love to meet Eleanor Roosevelt. She was such a humanitarian and visionary. She was not afraid to go out on a limb for what she believed. I have incredible respect for her. 3. What is your biggest pet peeve? Lack of respect. I don t always agree with everyone. I n fact, I can be very opinionated. But I try to respect others and give them a chance to air their opinions. 4. What kind of music do you like to listen to? I love listening to music. It depends on the mood and the setting. If I am feeling happy and ready to dance and party nothing beats the music of the 60 s and 70 s. I love the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Motown, etc. If I am sitting and talking to people then I would prefer classical music or jazz. 5. Do you have any children or pets? I have a daughter that is 4. Without a doubt, she is one of the best things in my life. I also have 2 cats. Just For Fun 1. What do you like to do in your free time? I enjoy the outdoors. Last fall, my husband and I participated in an adventure race where we had to bike, run and canoe. In the fall, I also completed my first half-marathon. I will also be doing another half-marathon in the spring. I also like to read vegetarian cookbooks and attend wine tastings. 2. If you were allowed to have dinner with a famous person, who would it be and why? Hillary Clinton. I was impressed with her tenacity during her presidential campaign. I would like to know her thoughts on being the U.S. Secretary of State, her true feelings about Obama, and whether or not she plans to run again. 3. What is your biggest pet peeve? Texting. I don t get it. The constant deluge of information, most of it useless, is rewiring the brain in ways that make me uncomfortable. 4. What kind of music do you like to listen to? I only listen to music when I run. I generally like upbeat tempos like Black Eyed Peas, Amanda Blank, Christina Aguilera, and Lil Wayne. 5. Do you have any pets (how many and what kind)? My husband and I have one daughter, Isabella, who will be 8 in March. She s a great and funny kid. I also have 3 stepchildren, Rita (27), Eric (26), and Kaylee (22). We also have a rescue dog named Casey. Page 2

3 Psych Headlines Bert Yancey Golf Tournament The department of psychology again played a major role in putting on the annual Bert Yancey Mental Health Golf Tournament this past October. The tournament is the major means of raising funds for the three local mental health educational, support and advocacy groups: Mental Health America, National Alliance on Mental Illness, and the Depression-Bipolar Support Alliance. First year graduate students solicited prizes for tournament players and also helped at the tournament itself with such tasks as hanging out lunches to players, driving beverage carts during play, and monitoring hole-in-one contests. The efforts were coordinated by second year graduate students Laura Aquilino, Ashley Hagee, and Kellye Lewis, along with professor emeritus Steve Hobbs. Everyone had a great time and the effort raised approximately $16,000 for the beneficiary organizations. Psychology Department Reigning Champs of Annual Decorating Contest In recognition of spirit, creativity and design, the psychology department recently won the 2010 Augusta State University s Annual Holiday Decorating Contest. The psychology department won for the live performance category. The psychology department s theme this year was The Nutcracker. Kristi Lytton, Amy Jones, Corey Burchett and Ashley Hagee (all graduate students) played the roles of the Mouse King, Sugar Plum Fairy, the Nutcracker, and Clara. Thanks to Kristi Lytton, and April Johnston for decorating and Amy Jones for providing the costumes and the props. Again, thank you to everyone else who assisted in the creation of this project and donated to Toys for Tots. Page 3

4 Psych Story College Students Often Feel a Calling to Certain Careers Years Before Graduating Far from being undecided about what direction to take in life, many students just starting in college already know their career callings, a new University of Florida study finds. More than forty percent of freshman surveyed at a large East Coast university indicated they had a career calling and another thirty percent said they were searching for one, said Ryan Duffy, a UF psychology professor who led the research. I often think we have a stereotype of the typical student changing majors ten times over the course of their college career. That a sizeable minority of these undergraduate students, whose average age is about nineteen years old, believe that having a career calling dispels this idea. Believing one is meant for a particular profession often correlates with academic achievement in college and eventual success in the workplace, said Duffy. It provides students with meaning and purpose that can help guide them in their career path across the college years, he said. If you have a calling, you re more likely to be satisfied in you major, feel comfortable with your career decisions and have a lot more self-clarity as to how your interests and values relate to your life s work. Duffy went on to say that he was surprised to find so many students with a career calling, expecting it to be closer to ten percent. Career counselors should consider asking students if they feel like they have a career calling and let them take that lead. Making the right career decision has long lasting and even lifetime effects. Work occupies the majority of our waking time as adults, so ideally we want people going into jobs that they enjoy, are productive at and perform well at he said. Duffy and William Sedlacek, an emeritus education professor at University of Maryland, surveyed 5,523 students who were entering the university in Forty-four percent said having a career calling was mostly true or totally true of themselves. Its presence was determined by how strongly respondents agreed or disagreed on a five-point scale with the statement I have a calling to a particular kind of work. Those seeking advanced degrees, such as in medicine or law, or a doctorate in other fields, were more likely to feel called to a certain line of work, Duffy said. The opportunity for personal meaning in terms of helping others may make work as a professor, doctor or lawyer especially attractive to young people experiencing a career calling, he said. Surprisingly, students who reported a calling were only minimally more satisfied with their lives than those not drawn to a particular career, but that could be because they are several years away from full-time employment. Unlike adults, students who have a calling aren t doing it yet, so its impact on life satisfaction is not going to be that large. What we do not do much of is ask students what work could you do that best meet society s needs, taking into account both personal and social fit. he said. We know that people who pay attention to both these things are much happier in their jobs. Despite its relevance to people s lives, the idea of a career calling has been the subject of little to no research, Duffy said. In an ideal world, we would want everyone to have a calling because it s such a motivating force in people s lives. For more information please visit the University of Florida website: Reprinted from: option=com_content&view=article&id=198:college-students-often-feel-call-to-certaincareers-years-before-graduating&catid=1:frontpage-new Page 4

5 Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) Courtesy of Convention: March 2 5 Selected Poster Presentations Lolita Turner & Ashley Hagee Ashley Hagee, Amanda Perkins, Lolita Turner, & Deborah Richardson: Hostile and benevolent sexism among African American and Caucasian females. Kellye Lewis Margo Villarosa, Kellye Lewis, Kristina Lytton, Jennifer Salamanca & Deborah Richardson: Effects of Hispanic stereotypes: The public policy outcome. Rebecca Rogers Rebecca Rogers, Brandi Dorsey, and Ming Hii: Effects of physician race/ethnicity on patient satisfaction ratings. Brittany Bush & Jamie Cox Laura Aquilino, Brittany Bush, Jamie Cox & Deborah S. Richardson: The effects of consistent versus inconsistent communication on gender stereotypes. Page 5

6 Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) Courtesy of Convention: March 2 5 Selected Poster Presentations Elise Varnadore & Kirsten Wildermuth Erin Klosson, Kirsten Wildermuth, Elise Varnadore, Katie Wilson & Deborah Richardson: Perceptions of happiness among couple and non-couple individuals. Mahleeha Ahmad & Stephanie McCollum Mahleeha Ahmad, Stephanie McCollum, Nicole Rossi & Chris Bell: Coping mechanisms as predictors for forms of self-criticizing Celeste Williams Celeste Williams, Georgina Hammock, Deborah Richardson & Adrian Janit: What would you do? Reactions to physical and psychological aggression. Sabina Widner & Selina McLaughlin Selina McLaughlin, Sabina Widner & Robert Reeves: Predictors of buying behaviors in a controlled setting. Page 6

7 Psi Chi Corner Welcome New Members * Miranda Clifton * Rebecca Johnson * Elizabeth Cowart * Callie Jowers * William Crissman * Kathleen Kennedy * Mi Esha Frierson * Candice Litsey * Erica Gilbert * Fallon Montgomery * Katie Harden * Whitney Norman * Ingrid Jackson * Miranda Outhwaite * Raquel Jackson * Laura Pittman Psi Chi Upcoming Events March 28th - Psi Chi elections will begin March 30th - Graduation regalia forms are due April 26th - End of the year party and new officers will be announced Page 7

8 Psych Puzzle Across 2. The region of the brain stem that regulates breathing, walking, and heartbeat. 3. A psychological phenomenon that refers to behaviors and attitudes of males and females. 5. A perceptual organizing process that leads individuals to see incomplete figures as complete. 7. The extent to which a test measures what it was intended to measure. 8. Pro-social behaviors a person carries out without considering his or her own safety or interests. 10. The process of expressing strongly felt but usually repressed emotions. 14. The stage in a classical conditioning experiment during which the conditioned response is first elicited by the conditioned stimulus. Page 8 Down 1. The body s response to noxious stimuli that are intense enough to cause, or threaten to cause, tissue damage. 4. False or irrational beliefs maintained despite clear evidence to the contrary. 6. The recovery of stored information from memory. 9.. The domain of the psyche that stores repressed urges and primitive impulses. 11. A state of focused awareness on a subset of the available perceptual information. 12. The retention of encoded material over time. 13. The physical memory trace for information in the brain.

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