Emil's Epilogue - December 2008treetreetree
Gustie Psych News & Events

Welcome to the December issue of the Psychology Department on-line student newsletter, Emil's Epilogue.

Department Happenings

Psychology Department Research Symposium - Fall 2008symposium

The fall research symposium was held on Friday, December 5 in the lower level hallway of SSC with 16 research projects represented. Psychology department research symposiums are held near the conclusion of fall and spring semesters and provide opportunities for Gustavus students to acquaint themselves with research conducted in the psychology department. More photos.

Child Development Night - Monday evening, December 8

Child Development Night, an educational fair with activities for children and information for adults, was held Monday, December 8th in the Jackson Campus Center. This 1semester's Developmental Psychology students designed and created booths that explored different topics in child development. For example, Are toys designed with a child's development in mind? How do children learn to read? Do children benefit from baby signs? Are imaginary friends okay to have? What's it like to have a baby in a different culture? The booths presented the latest research on the topic to the parents and included an engaging activity for children who attended the fair. Parents and children seemed to have a wonderful time--"[The fair was] very enjoyable and educational. The students were well informed" and "Lots of fun for all!" More (great) photos.

"Frost Your Own Holiday Cookies and Cider Day" -- Friday, December 12
  • Psychology students are once again invited to join in the department's traditional holiday hospitality between classes on Friday, December 12. Please stop by the psychology faculty office area in SSC to frost a cookie and enjoy a cup of hot cider with your professors and your peers.
2009 Kendall Lecture Series Event -- Monday, March 2, 2009Kendall
  • Dr. Renee Baillargeon, Alumni Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and well known researcher in the area of infant cognition, will present the 2009 John Kendall Lecture Series address on Monday, March 2, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. in the Nobel Hall Wallenburg Auditorium.

Did you Know? Spotlight on two Alums...

Leah Barry Pitzenberger '02
  • When I think about my time at Gustavus, I feel like I spent the majority of it underground.  Being a Psych major, I’m sure you understand that feeling.  Sitting in the office area getting extra help from my Statistics Professor, because for the life of me, I just couldn’t grasp the concept of Correlation Coefficients and the importance they have in my life as a college student.  Little did I know that all that time underground would bring clarity to my life that would allow me to emerge from SSC with a plan for the future.  After graduation, I attended the University of St. Thomas and got my degree in Counseling.  That program afforded me the opportunity to really specialize in what I wanted to… a more career oriented field.  Much like the professors at Gustavus, those at St. Thomas encouraged me to find my passion and follow it.  Upon completion of that program, my husband was transferred to Denver, CO for work.  Jobless, I packed up all our belongings and drove half-way across the country to look for my place in these new surroundings.  Within 24 hours, I had a great job that allowed me to actually apply all that knowledge I gained from sitting around that little table in the basement of SSC.  I am currently the HR/OD Supervisor for a company called ASF International.  I was hired on as the Training Supervisor and then assumed all the HR duties within a couple months.  I get to apply my knowledge of psychology in the business world through an amazing Employee Development Program we have here.  I oversee a staff devoted solely to improving performance through coaching.  In addition, we have a full-time trainer that works in conjunction with myself and the Director of HR/OD to provide any and all training that happens within our company.  We have New Hire Programs, Up-Training for existing employees, Manager Training for the management staff, Soft-Skills Training, and are currently developing a corporate university that would allow our employees to obtain “degrees” that would provide them opportunities to move up within the company.  I am challenged on a daily basis to pull out my knowledge of assessment, evaluation and measurement methods, Adult Learning Theory, and Counseling Psychology to work with my staff to consistently provide our employees with a great work/life balance and the knowledge and support necessary to help them be successful, in their jobs and their careers.  When I think back to my time at Gustavus I realize that all of this wouldn’t have been possible without the urging of my professors there to push myself beyond what I thought I could achieve, and, more importantly, this life wouldn’t ever have been my reality without that silly little table in the basement of SSC.

Nicki Shay '03
  • After more than 5 years I return to writing for Emil’s Epilogue, although I am considerably more educated than I was back then and have experienced many more natural disasters (a tornado and a serious flood)!  After graduating in 2003, I went directly to graduate school at the University of Iowa in Clinical Psychology.  The program at UI has a very strong research emphasis, so I have spent many, many days in the lab running subjects, crunching data, and writing.   My area of research emphasis has generally been in child abuse and neglect, with a more narrow area of interest focusing on the effect of maternal depression on risk for abuse and resultant psychological disorders in children.  The research that I have been working on is funded by NIMH and NICHD, via my advisor, and is a longitudinal project, which means that I have had the chance to meet many families in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids over the years.  I currently have one publication: Shay, N. L. & Knutson, J. F. (2008).  Maternal depression and trait anger as risk factors for escalated physical discipline.  Child Maltreatment, 13, 39-49; three publications in the works; and am finishing up data collection on my dissertation.  Although the UI program is very research based, I have had many opportunities to get involved in clinic work.  In my clinical practica I worked in an Autism clinic, an ADHD/Learning Disabilities clinic, and on an inpatient consultation service.  I found that I really enjoy the clinical aspect along with research and am planning to pursue a mixed research/clinical position when I am completed with my schooling.  I am not currently living in Iowa, as I am currently on my internship at Henry Ford Behavioral Health in Detroit, MI.  My internship specialization is in Pediatric Neuropsychology and I am planning to pursue postdoctoral training in the same field.  I will be completing my dissertation, defense and all, by the end of summer, meaning that I will have my PhD by next December, and will be continuing on for a 2-year postdoc in a currently unknown location starting September 2009.  I am currently working on applications and will know by March where I will be going next year. 

  • Did you Know? Spotlight on our Majors...

    Rebecca Carlson hails from Cumberland, Wisconsin. She is a senior Psychology Honors Becky Carlsonmajor and a Religion minor. Her involvement at Gustavus includes participation in the Servant Leadership Program and she is a member of the Relay for Life Committee. Rebecca is also involved in Study Buddies and is a Chapel Sacristan. Rebecca's post-Gustavus plans include the possibility of participating in a yearlong volunteer program or perhaps working to gain experience before deciding on what to study in graduate school. She is particularly interested in nonprofit organizations and also in the Human Resource area. Rebecca will report on the Psychology Honors research that she is currently running in the March or April edition of this newsletter.

  • Christine Grotjohn is from Morris, Minnesota. She is a Psychology Honors major Christineand an English minor. An active participant in Psi Chi and Gustie Greeters, she also serves as a Gustie Buddie Coordinator, a Career Center host and an Admissions tour guide. Christine plans to work for 1-3 years before enrolling in graduate school for either I/O Psychology or Student Affairs. She will make available her Psychology Honors research conclusion in the March or April edition of this newsletter.
  • Lor Moua, a Senior Psychology/Neuroscience major has been Lorselected to participate in the HHMI EXROP program. Exceptional Research Opportunities Program (EXROP)EXROP provides talented undergraduates with summer research experiences in the labs of HHMI investigators and HHMI professors. The students are selected by HHMI professors and invited directors of HHMI-funded undergraduate programs at colleges and universities. EXROP students also attend meetings at HHMI headquarters where they present their research in a poster session, network with their peers and HHMI scientists, and hear from scientific researchers from various backgrounds and stages in their careers. Congratulations, Lor!

Career Opportunities

    The National Science Foundation awarded the University of Nebraska, Lincoln Law and Psychology Program a grant to house and train undergraduate psychology students interested in psychology and law.  This Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program brings 8 to 10 undergraduate students to UNL to study law and psychology in our program for a year.  Undergraduate students are provided with room and board, along with a stipend for working in our law and psychology research laboratories.  They spend time working with our joint law and psychology doctoral (JD/Ph.D and MLS/Ph.D.) students.  Program description and application materials are available on the following website: http://www.unl.edu/psychlawreu/
  • Recently received notices of career openings ads and paid summer internship information have been forwarded to the Career Center. While the department does not necessarily endorse these announcements - we encourage interested students to learn more about them through the Career Center.
  • http://www.epicsystems.com/applicants-epic.php
  • http://www.breakthroughsaintpaul.org/teachers_become.html
  • December grads may want to take note: Dr. Liz Brannon in The Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at Duke University is seeking a full-time research assistant to run fMRI studies with children. Emily.Hopkins@duke.edu.

Conference Dates & Deadlines

National Conference on Undergraduate Research
Applying to Graduate School?
Articles that students may want to reference....
  • Appleby, D. C. & Appleby, K.M. (2006). Kisses of death in the graduate school application process. Teaching of Psychology, 33(1), 19-24.
References available (in SSC 04) for checkout...
  • Graduate Study in Psychology - 2007, APA
  • Insider's Guide to Graduate Programs in Clinical and Counseling Psychology - 2008/2009, Guilford Publishing
  • Graduate Study in Psychology - 101 Questions and answers, Blackwell Publishing
  • Life After Graduate School in Psychology, Psychology Press
  • Successful Strategies for Getting Into Graduate School in Psychology: An audio tape training series by Dr. Greg Neimeyer.
A very Merry Christmas and happy holidays to one and all!