Emil's Epilogue - March 2008
Gustie Psych News & Events
- Department Happenings
- Did you Know?... Spotlight on Majors
- Did you Know?... Spotlight on Faculty
- Psi Chi Sponsored Updates
- "Need to Reads"
- Just for Fun
National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) April 10-12, 2008 NCUR® 22 will bring together undergraduates involved in scholarly and artistic activities from more than 300 colleges and universities in the nation. Since the first conference in 1987, NCUR® has grown to become a major annual event drawing well over 2200 undergraduates, faculty and administrators to promote undergraduate research in all fields of study.
Minnesota Undergraduate Psychology Conference (MUPC) -- In addition to poster and paper presentations of undergraduate research projects, programming for MUPC also includes a keynote address by Professor Karl. S. Rosengren, Professor of Psychology at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Rosengren conducts research on cognitive and perceptual motor development such as children's reasoning about events and cognitive, perceptual and motoric influences on ordinary tasks such as walking or catching. Saturday, April 26, 2008 -- Hamline University
MidBrains Conference - Macalester College - May 3, 2008 - The conference is a joint effort of the MidBrains Neuroscience Consortium-- a network of faculty from undergraduate neuroscience programs in the upper midwest. This annual event provides a forum for undergraduate students in the Midwest to present research findings, to attend research lectures and special panels, and to meet other undergraduate students interested in the neurosciences. Representatives from several major research universities are also present to discuss graduate school opportunities. Students are encouraged to submit abstracts in all fields of the neurosciences and related disciplines!
Gustavus Honors Day - May 3, 2008
Three dates have been arranged for senior psychology majors graduating this spring to complete the on-line Psychology Area GRE graduation requirement. Appointments at 7:00 p.m. in SSC 27 have been confirmed for the following dates: Tuesday - March 4, Wednesday - March 5, and Thursday - March 6. Contact Dr. Mark Kruger (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Lee Sande (email@example.com) with questions or concerns.
Psychology hosts Frans de Waal, Rydell Professor...
by Naomi Garbisch, senior psychology honors major
“He’s Not Just Monkey-ing Around”
As humans, we like to anthropomorphize everything. We often will give human traits and characteristics to nonhuman objects in order to gain a better understanding of them. Easy examples of this are found in children’s cartoons of animals with human emotions and characteristics, like the mice in Cinderella, or how we often dress up our pet dogs and cats in sweaters. However, the question of whether or not we can see animal characteristics in ourselves is a question to which Frans de Waal (Dutch primatologist and ethologist) has devoted his time and research. Born October 29, 1948, de Waal received his doctorate in biology from Utrecht University and specializes in primate behavior and psychology. In his career he has written twelve published books and articles on the innate capacity for empathy among primates. Frans de Waal was the featured speaker at the Nobel Conference here at Gustavus in 1995 and will be returning to campus in April as the 2008 Rydell Professor.
This year, de Waal will be co-teaching the course Neuroscience Capstone with Professor Janine Wotton beginning April 1st and ending April 10th. Wotton’s class has been reading some of his literature including Primates and Philosophers and Our Inner Ape, which examines human behavior through the eyes of a primatologist, using the behavior of common chimpanzees and bonobos as metaphors for human psychology. de Waal will present “On the Possibility of Animal Empathy” at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 3, in Alumni Hall in the O.J. Johnson Student Union. He will also present “Our Inner Ape: Human Nature as Seen by a Primatologist” at 7 p.m. April 8, at the Great Clips IMAX Theater at the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley, Minn. Both lectures are open to the public and free of charge.
The Rydell Professorship at Gustavus Adolphus College is a scholar-in-residence program formed by Drs. Robert E. and Susan T. Rydell. It is designed to bring Nobel laureates, Nobel Conference presenters, and other distinguished scholars and scientists to the campus as a way to enhance learning and teaching for the campus and the community. This is the eleventh scholar to have the privilege of the Rydell Professorship. Spread the word and join us as we learn more about two important topics of empathy and morality in an intriguing way. For more information contact: Janine Wotton: firstname.lastname@example.org or Tom LoFaro: email@example.com
Spring 2008 Gustavus Psychology Symposium - Friday, May 16
The Spring 2008 Psychology Symposium will provide opportunities for psychology majors (and others who are interested) to learn about the research being conducted by students in the department this year. Methods students, research apprentices, and those conducting directed research projects will prepare and explain poster presentations describing their research. Senior Psychology Honors students will give oral presentations mid afternoon in SSC 28 (times are to be determined). Please make plans to stop by the department and acquaint yourself with research currently being conducted by fellow psych students.
Rachel Elvebak '07
[Rachel Elvebak is a 2007 psychology honors major and neuroscience minor with completion of the pre-med requisites. She is currently working as a research assistant at the Mayo Clinic in the Human and Integrative Physiology lab...
- Time has really flown by since graduating from Gustavus last May. Since then I’ve been working at Mayo Clinic in the department of Anesthesiology; more specifically in the Human and Integrative Physiology lab headed by Dr. Michael Joyner. The research I contribute to is designed to investigate how peripheral circulation and autonomic reflexes adapt to physical stresses. As a research assistant I am responsible for equipment setup, assisting with arterial line placement, monitoring and recording vital signs, and analyzing data using Windaq and Powerlab software. The physicians in the lab are also practicing anesthesiologists. It is a wonderful opportunity to see how clinical practice and research influence each other.
- In addition to psychology, my background at Gustavus includes the neuroscience minor, the pre-medical requisites, and the Honors program. Since all the research I do is clinical, the major in psychology is very useful. A significant part of my job is reassuring anxious patients during the informed consent and experimental trials. The neuroscience background is great too because many of the studies I assist with monitor changes in sympathetic nervous system activity. Some of the software and techniques used in the neuroscience labs are also used here at Mayo. One of the most beneficial experiences I had at Gustavus was conducting my own research through the Honors program offered by the department. I would recommend it to all motivated psychology majors because it provides a unique opportunity to do human research at an undergraduate level. My experiences working with Dr. Wotton opened up many doors for me, my current position being one of them!
- Best wishes to you all this spring and with your future aspirations. There is so much you can do with a psychology major. Get in on all the opportunities the department has to offer!
Katie Vohs '96
- Katie Vohs, psychology '96, assistant professor of marketing, University of Minnesota -- Carlson School of Management, was recently named as an inaugural recipient of a Young Investigators Award from the Foundation for Personality and Social Psychology. This award, given to individuals 3 to 7 years into their first independent academic appointment, is accompanied with a $5000 stipend to be used for research funding. During the summer of 2007, Vohs was also awarded the McKnight Land Grant Professorship, the University of Minnesota’s highest honor for assistant professors. The purpose of the professorship program is to nurture the careers of the most promising junior faculty members in order to strengthen the faculty for the future. This is only the second time in 20 years that a professor in the Carlson School of Management has been awarded this honor.
Experiencing India -- Brittney Lovdahl
[Brittney Lovdahl is a senior psychology and communications honors major who traveled to India as a participant in the January Interim Experience with Dr. Barbara Simpson] (The course will be offered again in January of 2009.)
- Only a few weeks have passed since leaving India and already it seems like another world. Largely because it was. I was lucky enough to participate in the first J-term to India through Gustavus and it was a wonderful experience.
- The course was designed with psychology students in mind, though there were other majors that contributed additional view points and perceptions. The psychological bent meant that many of the guest speakers, activities, and assignments revolved around the concept of mental health and well being. One of my favorite sessions came early in the course when we worked with a Reiki master. Reiki is a stress reduction and relaxation technique that also promotes healing. Our teacher was the embodiment of wisdom. Wisdom that encouraged us, not to listen and believe everything he said, but to question and explore our own thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. He spoke to what he believed to be true and then allowed us to draw our own conclusions. Much of the course focused on self reliance, individual experiences, and personal exploration.
- While the speakers, trips and activities were significant aspects of the course, it was India itself that gave us our most powerful lessons. A nation as rich in history and tradition as India can not help but impact someone foreign to the country. What amazed me more than anything were the contrasting lifestyles that exist within mere feet of each other. Nothing was consistent; what was true for one person was not true for the next. Time was a loose concept, food was constantly an adventure, and an education in international communication was always right around the corner. Some places were comfortable and familiar (such as a Starbucks-like place called Café Coffee Day) while others were challenging. We learned that feminism is a somewhat new and changing concept and that there exists a vast difference in lifestyles and beliefs. Overall, I learned of the power of the individual and how that supports the community as a whole.
- I am now back in the US and have returned to western toilets, constant electricity, wind chill, and predictability. Some things I welcome, some things I miss. Now that I have had a few weeks to process my time in India, I realize how unique an experience it was. I am thankful that I was able to explore and grow in such a unique and powerful country. I only had a month there; too short of a time to claim a great knowledge of India, or even the city of Bangalore, but enough time to understand that I would not hesitate to go back and continue the education I began there.
Dr. Jennifer Ackil presented findings from her research in a poster titled "Is forced confabulation more dangerous than memory implantation?" at the Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society in Long Beach, CA.
Dr. Patricia Costello will present "Priming During Binocular Suppression" at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society meeting in April 2008. Three Gustavus students are co-authors (psych majors Kristine McGlennen and Chris Stark, and bio major Brandon Baartman)
Shaping Vocation: Exploring Holden Village as a Mentoring Community - (Kelly Anderson, junior psychology honors major and departmental assistant interviewed Dr. Walker for this article)
- Dr. Marie Walker, psychology, and a team of researchers from Macalester, Augsburg, and Gustavus Adolphus College (Dr. Chris Johnson, CVR) are studying how the experiences and processes of exploration, discernment, transformation, and renewal at Holden Village, a Lutheran Christian renewal center located in Chelan, Washington, have helped shape the lives and vocation of former villagers. The study was commissioned by Holden Village with the assistance of the "Strong Center, Open Door" grant from the Lilly Endowment. Holden (http://holdenvillage.org/) has a rich oral tradition and cherishes its heritage of powerful stories. This project is designed to assist Holden to specify, understand, and interpret the experiences and processes that lie behind these stories. Results will help Holden's board and staff to better understand how mentoring communities can foster faithful lives of service and leadership in church and society.
- Dr. Walker and the team of researchers have conducted one-on-one interviews with past villagers and are presently examining this data with Psychology Department research apprentices Becky Carlson, Emma Espel and Eryn Nelson. Additionally, they have conducted focus groups, learning circles, written surveys, and convocations to delve into the richly "storied" tradition of Holden. They hope to find common themes in the focus areas of personal identity, value development, spiritual development, and community development, all occurring within a historical and geographical context.
Psi Chi Sponsored Updates
The annual spring Psi Chi Induction for new members will be held on Thursday, April 17 at 7:00 p.m. in the Saint Peter Banquet Room
"Need to Reads"....
The Minnapolis Star Trib has provided a new website in which students can search for jobs, research companies, participate in a "Healthy Discussion" message board/blog, view healthcare events calendar and more. (Please let the department know if this is a helpful link or if this is an unhelpful link.)
School Psychology Resources for Psychologists, Parents and Educators. Research learning disabilities, ADHD, functional behavioral assessment, autism, adolescence, parenting, psychological assessment, special education, mental retardation, mental health, and more.
Welcome to Social Psychology Network,
the largest social psychology database on the Internet. In these pages, you'll find more than 5,000 links related to psychology.
The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology
Just for Fun...
I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not sure.