Emil's Epilogue - October 2008
Gustie Psych News & Events

Welcome to the October issue of this year's Psychology Department on-line student newsletter, Emil's Epilogue, the first of the academic year.halloween clipart

[In addition to reading through the articles each month - please look closely at the links in the left hand column -- as a wealth of information lies beneath. Reader comments and suggestions are always welcome.]

Conference Dates & Deadlines

National Conference on Undergraduate Research
  • NCUR 2009 -- April 16-18th, 2009
    University of Wisconsin – La Crosse
    La Crosse, Wisconsin
  • Minnesota Undergraduate Psychology Conference (MUPC)-- Date TBA
MidBrains Conference
  • Date TBA -- This 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!

Department Happenings

Gustavus Psychology Research Symposium - Friday, December 5
Frost Your Own" Holiday Cookies and Cider Day (Final Day of Classes) - Friday December 12
Psychology Course Offerings for Spring 2009

The following three seminar courses will be offered during the upcoming spring 2009 semester.  [Whereas the psychology major requires students to complete at least one PSY 344 or PSY 345 course, students are encouraged to take more than one of these courses over the course of their major.  Doing so is not only beneficial to students' knowledge in psychology but can be useful in fulfilling one of the two elective course requirements of the major as well.]

  • PSY 345, Special Topic: Cognitive Neuroscience, J. Wotton   Are the psychological abilities of language, imagination and empathy limited to humans?  What can we learn about the minds of other animals through research?  What changes occur in the brain when we lose our cognitive abilities?  We will read experimental research literature on topics such as learning and memory, decision-making, perception, attention and consciousness.  Discussion will focus on the evolution of cognitive abilities, the mechanisms underlying these processes and the consequences of brain disorders/damage.  Students will be expected to participate in and lead discussions in this seminar.  Experimental research will be a significant component of the course and students will write a substantial paper on a subtopic of their choice.
    PSY 344, Special Topic: Psychology of Language, K. Chambers
    How are lolspeak and txtng similar?  Do birds, bees, and monkeys talk? Are your thoughts determined by the language you speak?  Are women more talkative than men?  Where does language come from?  Does being bilingual rot your mind?  Are dogs better than children at learning words?  These are just a few of the topics that we will consider in this seminar that takes an in-depth look at both the enduring and hot topics in language research.  In this seminar, we won't watch what we say, but we'll definitely study it.
    PSY 344, Special Topic: Psychology of Music, M. Kruger In this course, students will explore questions asked by Psychologists and Musicians about music and behavior. What is music?  Have we evolved to be musical? What is the connection between music and language?  Why are some people more musical? How do we develop musical tastes and preferences? Can we improve musical pedagogy or musical performance by better understanding the behavior of experts?  What impact does music have on moods, consumer behavior, and the behavior of clients in therapy?  How is music perceived and remembered? The course is a seminar. Consequently, students will be expected to develop material for presentation in class, write a substantial research paper, and participate in laboratory exercises that illustrate research strategies in this field.  This course is intended for upper level students. Psychology students who wish to take this course for Psychology major should have completed PSY-225 before taking this course.  Music students with background in Music Theory and who have taken PSY 100 are welcome. 

The department is also pleased to announce two sections of Abnormal Psychology (PSY 240) to be offered spring semester.  

  • PSY 240, Abnormal Psychology,  S. Barnett and S. Brandt.   The Abnormal sections will occur on Tuesday and Thursdays at 3:00 - 4:20 and 4:30 - 5:50. We are fortunate to have the expertise of practicing clinical psychologists, Dr. Michelle Barnett and Dr. Shelia Brandt collaborating to teach each of these sections.

Psychology Course Descriptions as listed in the academic catalog.

Thinking of an Internship and/or Career Exploration (PSY 268, PSY 368)?
  • Students planning to complete an internship during January should contact Dr. Walker (office -SSC 18, ext - 7412, or mwalker@gustavus) to register.

Did you Know? Spotlight on Faculty...

Meet Dr. Kyle Chambers -- by Susie Kramer

  • The psychology department extends a warm welcome to Assistant Professor Dr. Kyle Chambers. Dr. Chambers came to Gustavus from Reed College in Portland, Oregon where he was a visiting professor last year. Before moving to Portland, Dr. Chambers lived in western New York where he completed his postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Rochester. Originally from Enid, Oklahoma, Dr. Chambers completed his undergraduate studies at Oklahoma State University. He attended graduate school at the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign, two hours south of Chicago. Kyle Chambers photo
    Dr. Chambers' focus is on language development, specifically phonological development in children. Research performed by Dr. Chambers and his associates at the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign focused on children's ability to pick up on patterns and regularities in their linguistic environment. At Gustavus, he is setting up a developmental lab in which he intends to continue his research on language development.
    An active political eater, Dr. Chambers enjoys making homemade bread, yogurt, and has even recently attempted making chocolate. "Do it yourself" is definitely his motto when it comes to food preparation. During the evening, Dr. Chambers enjoys yoga classes which relieve stress as well as provide him with opportunities to meet neighbors! Dr. Chambers and his wife are really into urban hikes, walking around cities while enjoying the architecture. Photography is another passion and some of Dr. Chambers' work is displayed in one of the New York art galleries!
    Currently Dr. Chambers is teaching both general and developmental psychology. In both of these two classes his intent is to alternate between teaching about theories and actually applying them in context. He plans to continue to develop innovative ways of encouraging students to wrestle with issues, think about how they apply to daily life and spread their knowledge to different communities and contexts. Dr. Chambers' office hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 2:00-3:00 p.m.. Please stop by the psychology department and say hi!
  • [Susie Kramer is a junior psychology honors major, neuroscience minor, peer assistant, member of Psi Chi, Delta Phi Omega, Philharmonic Orchestra, departmental student assistant who loves to read, loves the outdoors and has two adorable dogs!]
Dr. Timothy Robinson steps down as the Nobel Conference Director

Dr. Timothy Robinson, Professor of Psychology at Gustavus Adolphus College, stepped down as Director of the Nobel Conference at the conclusion of this year’s conference.

Tim Robinson photoRobinson is a 1965 alumnus of Gustavus who joined the College’s faculty in 1969. He first served in a leadership role for the Nobel Conference in 1975 when he was a committee member for the 11th Nobel Conference titled “Future of Science.” He later served as a committee member for three neuroscience-related Nobel Conferences: “Place of Mind in Nature,” “How We Know,” and “Unlocking the Brain” in 1981, 1984, and 1994 respectively.

In 2000, Robinson became the College’s second Director of the Nobel Conference, assuming the role that its founder, Chaplain Richard Elvee had held since 1965.

“On behalf of the Gustavus community, I thank Tim Robinson for his able and insightful leadership over the past nine years,” said Mary E. Morton, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. “The Nobel Conference is and continues to be a premier educational conference and Tim has played a significant role.”

For more than four decades, Gustavus has organized and hosted the two-day Nobel Conference, which draws about 6,000 people to the college campus in St. Peter, Minn. The conference links a general audience, including high school students and teachers, with the world’s foremost scholars and researchers in discussion centered on contemporary issues relating to the natural and social sciences.

The Nobel Conference is the first ongoing education conference in the United States to have the official authorization of The Nobel Foundation in Stockholm, Sweden.

Psi Chi Sponsored Updates

Psi ChiNews of Psi Chi:
Current members of the Gustavus Chapter of Psi Chi are:

Holly Andersen, Kelly Anderson, Erica Dobson, Emma Espel, Christine Grotjohn, Krista Loenen, Eryn Nelson, Katie Nelson, Jennifer Pelowski, Garrett Rorem, Carly Ernst, Jessica Malmquist, Ashley Martin, Lor Moua, Amy Veerkamp, Joshua Busacker, Rebecca Carlson, Kelly Chaudoin, Jennifer Grundman, Maggie Hansvick, Emma Iverson, Kari Jacobsen, Susan Kramer, Theodore Roth, Megan Taylor, Erin Watt.

New members joining this fall are: Lauren Clausen, Rebecca Hormann, Lisa Julin, Kathryn Layman, Meredythe Marcotte, Jorge Munoz Pineda, Cathryn Nelson, Abbe Paulhe, Caitlin Petersen, Stephanie Peterson, Rita Stevermer and Lindsay Werder.

A message from Kari Jacobsen, Psi Chi Representative:

    Hi Psychology Majors,
    My name is Kari Jacobsen and I am in charge of the annual Psychology Major t-shirt project this year.  Ordering and receiving department t-shirts has long been a tradition in the Psychology Department.  We are announcing a design contest for the t-shirts and the person with the winning design will receive a free t-shirt!  I'm letting you know now so that you can start submitting your ideas for the t-shirt designs.  The submission deadline for designs is Friday, October 24th.
    Designs can be:
    1.emailed to me at kjacobse@gustavus.edu
    2.Put in my PO Box ..6006
    3.Given to Lee Sande in the department office in SSS 04
    Just a reminder when designing to think about the whole shirt, if you want something on the front and back, sleeve, color, etc.
    If you have any questions or concerns please let me know at kjacobse@gustavus.edu