What is the connection between social play and cocaine? What exactly causes adolescent dating anxiety?
Over thirty graduates and half a dozen undergraduates from the department of psychology displayed their recent work on such projects at the second Annual Psychology Research fair last Saturday.
These research projects were supervised by mentors within the psychology department.
“It’s a chance for undergraduate students to get hooked up with a research project, with a prepared, informed knowledge base,” said coordinator and psychology lecturer Victoria Noriega. “A chance to explore the possibilities, see what’s out there, and get to know the people who are doing this research.”
Noriega, her peer advisors, and other faculty in the psychology department, planned for and set up the second annual Psychology Research Fair, located upstairs in the University Center.
There were four oral presentations, round table discussions, and poster exhibits. Breakfast and lunch were served.
“Interactive events [like the research fair] will accomplish great things for the psychology department,” said undergraduate peer advisor Jennifer Hestand as she defended a poster on the interactions between social information processing and Sickle Cell Disease.
Hestand, along with many others at the fair, said they put great faith in the community atmosphere that is developing within the department.
Annmarie Bramwell, one of the graduate student speakers, presented her study on the efficacy of neuroprotective treatments, such as hypothermia and immuno-suppressants, on neuronal cell death in rats following closed head injury.
Through her research, Bramwell is studying possible procedures to be used to relieve brain damage following severe trauma.
“Here we can expose students to what’s going on in the department. People are too focused on what they are doing,” Bramwell said. “As they become more specialized, they become more separated.”
Noriega said she hopes that social events like these will “help to make the department a community in itself, where the people who belong to it feel like they belong to it.”
In combining social events with academics, Noriega said she hopes to get her students and faculty members to click.
Chairman Dr. Rod Wellens said that the new building for the department, located near the parking garage, and scheduled for completion next spring, will bring further unity to the highly diverse department, which currently occupies over half a dozen buildings.
He said that communication and coordination will be simpler, faster, and smoother, with the assistance of programs such as the Research Fair, he said.
Other oral presentations covered such topics as HIV disease progression, the development of the Mental Stimulation Questionnaire, and adolescent dating anxiety.
Other students featured their research on varied topics of stress and coping, chronic fatigue syndrome, learning, and social play interaction among cocaine exposed toddlers.