Emil's Epilogue - March 2009
Gustie Psych News & Events
Department Happenings and Other Important Events to Note on Your Calendar...
John Kendall Lecture Series Presentation
by Susie Kramer
- This past week, the Gustavus Psychology Department was honored to host Dr. Renée Baillargeon as the John Kendall Lecture Series speaker. Hailing from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Dr. Renée Baillargeon is a prominent researcher in Infant Cognitive Development. On Monday, March 2, Dr. Baillargeon presented a 7:00 p.m. lecture to a crowded Wallenberg auditorium where she spoke about her current and and past research.
- To briefly summarize, Dr. Baillargeon performs research with infants and toddlers that investigates their expectations about an agent’s beliefs and actions. Thelecture was an absolute delight to attend as Dr. Baillargeon eloquently explained her provocative findings with a great sense of humor. The research findings of Dr. Baillargeon and the other members of her lab have greatly enhanced the field of psychology, by revealing that even infants realize that people’s actions are based on their beliefs even when their beliefs do not mirror reality.
- Susie Kramer is a junior psychology honors major with a neuroscience minor. She is a student assistant in the psychology department and a member of the Peer Assistants, Delta Phi Omega, Philharmonic Orchestra, Psi Chi, and a volunteer at the The Third Floor Youth Center. Among her many interests are her friends and family (including her puppies!), nutrition, exercise, music, and anything related to psychology!
Did you Know? Spotlight on Majors...
A Semester in Chile by Emma Espel
- Hola! ¿Cómo ‘tai po’? My name is Emma Espel, and I am a senior psychology major, neuroscience minor from Fargo, North Dakota. I spent last semester studying abroad in the amazing Santiago, Chile. I studied Spanish (Chileans speak very fast and add their own words, yikes!) and took classes, among other exciting adventures like travelling, learning how to hail a cab, and dancing salsa.
- My semester abroad was not a hiatus from the Psychology world, however. Along with observing the culture in everyday life, I had the opportunity to conduct a research project for the Honors Psychology program. The project analyzes several constructs of happiness within the Chilean culture. Happiness has many important benefits, including improved functioning in daily life and overall better well-being. I plan to take these results and compare them to a sample from the United States. Overall, the research question is: What makes these cultures happy?
- Individualism and collectivism are factors commonly studied when comparing cultures. Previous research has suggested that Chile is a collectivistic culture. This means that they are group-oriented and focus less on individual achievement than individualistic cultures, such as the United States. In recent years, Chile has become a blend of individualism and collectivism. My results showed that now, Chileans associate both individualism and collectivism with being happy. There are other correlations as well that I plan on comparing to a sample from Gustavus, so the next step of the process will be to collect data and analyze results to finish up the project! I plan to present at the Spring Psychology Symposium and the Sigma Xi symposium as well.
- I learned so much from my study abroad experience and cannot even begin to describe some of the opportunities I had. The research part was amazing but another of the highlights was learning the independence of being in another culture. The Chilean people are so humble and genuine, and they truly allowed me into their lives. I know I made some lifelong friends and had adventures I will never forget! I hope to use this valuable experience and research to my advantage as I start looking at careers. Next year will bring either graduate school for Developmental Psychology or finding a job in a related field. I wish you all the best of luck, and keep on smiling! ¡Chao!
Pamela, Valeria and I out to eat. I couldn't have asked for better host sisters!!!
January Interim at 3M by Isaac Perry
- J-Term is a time for many students at Gustavus to explore different subjects, to not take a class and have an extended winter break, or do an internship that is involved with their major. This January I was able to do an internship at 3M’s Human Resources Measurement Systems department. Many Industrial Organizational Psychologists work there and are able to practice psychology in the real world everyday. I have always been interested in the corporate world and how psychology is applied in real-world situations.
- I started my internship on Monday, January 5th. The first day I met everybody and took a tour of the buildings that I would be working in and began the cubicle life. Living the office life is much different than life at Gustavus. Adjusting to the hours of the business world was difficult at first. I was used to starting class every morning at 9:00 or 10:30 and only having 2-4 hours of class each day. At 3M, the workday started at 8:00 a.m. and ended at 5:00 p.m.. My hours were not as strenuous as the regular employees, so I was able to leave early if necessary.
- While I was there I was able to work on all of the things that they do in the HR Measurement Systems department. They deal with the tests, surveys and assessments for prospective and current employees at 3M. They send these tests, surveys and assessments around the world to all different kinds of jobs at 3M. The tests were used primarily for the prospective employees, or for current employees who wanted a chance for advancement. I was able to score these tests and see how the whole process works. I spent most of my time working with 3M’s Standard Opinion Survey. This survey is sent out to all of 3M’s employees, at every factory, lab, and headquarters around the world. It reveals the employees’ attitudes and feelings about their factory and 3M in general. I helped create, edit, deploy, publish, analyze, and submit reports regarding these surveys. The results of the surveys are helpful for managers of every 3M factory as it can help with motivation as well as in other areas. I/O Psychologists are needed to create these tests, surveys and assessments, score them, validate them, and show what the results mean.
- One of the other things that I did was research new tests and assessments that could be used for 3M. I primarily researched the ability to predict entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship can be very helpful for a company that values creativity and innovation. There has been some promising research done in that field regarding entrepreneurship and the ability to predict it.
- When I was able to take time from my busy life of researching and working with the tests and surveys, I was able to talk with many of the I/O Psychologists at 3M. I talked to them about many things including, how they became an I/O Psychologist, their path to and from graduate school, and what their job entailed at 3M. They also gave me very helpful advice regarding graduate school.
- I had a great time interning at 3M this January. The whole experience was very valuable. The work environment at 3M was great and many great people work there. Everyone seemed like they wanted to help me with numerous things, and they never had a problem leaving the work they were doing at the time. I highly recommend, if you want to see psychology applied in the real world, that you take advantage of this internship.
January Interim at the Mayo Clinic by Jorge Munoz
- I interned at the Mayo Clinic from Monday, January 5 through Wednesday, January 28, 2009. I specifically worked with Dr. Tom Bergquist, a clinician and researcher in the field of neuropsychology. Overall, my projects and responsibilities consisted of shadowing Dr. Bergquist when possible, attending grand rounds for the Neurology and Psychology/Psychiatry departments, aiding in the research of Dr. Bergquist’s current study on telerehabilitation for patients of traumatic brain injury, and a form of career exploration and exposure.
- I followed and observed Dr. Bergquist’s daily tasks when it was convenient for him. Direct patient contact was not possible due to rules that Dr. Bergquist explained. However, he discussed the kinds of assessments he makes when working with patients. He introduced me to a variety of the staff that he works with and gave me a good idea of how the general interactions and collaborations in this field occur. I attended numerous grand rounds with the goal of exploring different fields and learning about various topics that the physicians lectured about. With regards to his telerehabilitation study, I was responsible for researching and evaluate current and past literature on the particular subject of patient satisfaction with telerehabilitative consultations. I was also in charge of compiling, organizing, and analyzing data on patient satisfaction from the same study. The aspect of career exploration and varied exposure consisted of attending grand rounds and organizing meetings with specialists in fields from speech therapy to neuroscience. My final responsibility was to pick, research, and present a paper on a particular topic relevant to neuropsychology. I chose to do it on aphasia in polyglots (multilinguals). It was an enjoyable experience that broadened my educational and career horizons. I hope to work with Mayo and/or Dr. Bergquist in the future.
Psychology Honors Program Research, Spring 2009
Christine Grotjohn is from Morris, Minnesota. She is a Senior Psychology Honors major and an English minor.
- My study is based off of research previously done by Dr. Cahill from the University of California in Irvine. I am looking at the enhancement of human memory consolidation with post-learning stress. In the past, stress induced immediately following the viewing of several images has increased participants long-term memory of emotional arousing images over neutral material. During my two-part study, students view 21 images, some more arousing that others. Immediately following the images, they are asked to immerse their arm in either ice-cold or warm water. A week later they return for a free-recall test of the images seen a week earlier. If all goes well, those participants who immersed there arm in the ice-cold water (the induced stress) will remember more of the emotionally arousing images. With my study, I hope to replicate Dr. Cahill's findings. In addition, I intend to look at gender difference in memory. I am excited to be participating in this research opportunity during my senior year...wish me luck!
Spotlight on our Alums
Alyssa DeHaan is a 2005 Psychology Honors graduate currently living in Broomfield, Colorado. She writes:
- I am in my third year of graduate school at the University of Colorado-Boulder. I am working on three different doctoral degrees: an AuD (clinical doctorate in audiology) and a dual PhD in cognitive neuroscience and speech, language, and hearing sciences. Clinically, I am currently interning at a medical site that specializes in cochlear implants. Additionally, I am involved in several different research projects. My research focus is auditory evoked potentials, which are responses to sound measured at various points in the brain. Specifically, I am examining the processing of speech in the brainstem in individuals with auditory neuropathy, which is dysynchronous firing of the auditory nerve. I am also studying cortical maturation in children that have had auditory deprivation (were deaf and then received a cochlear implant) or receive degraded auditory information, as in auditory neuropathy. My husband Colin (not a GAC alum), is also a student at the University of Colorado. He is working on his PhD in astrophysics.
Spotlight on Faculty
Dr. Patricia Costello has had an article accepted for publication in the journal Consciousness and Cognition. She is the lead author of the article, which is titled "Semantic Priming during Binocular Suppression." Credits also go to two student co-authors, Kristine McGlennen '08, a psychology major, and Brandon Baartman '09, a biology major, and two other co-authors, Sheng He and Yi Jiang, who work at the University of Minnesota.
Conferences & Events
Building Bridges Conference 2009
- Rita Stevermer, senior psychology major, is co-chair of Building Bridges Conference 2009 (For more information on Building Bridges and how to receive a ticket, please visit gustavus.edu/diversity/buildingbridges.)
- Saturday, March 14, 2009
- 10:00 AM
- Christ Chapel
Minnesota Undergraduate Psychology Conference (MUPC)
- Saturday, April 18, 2009
- College of Saint Benedict, Saint Joseph, MN
- Keynote Speaker: Dr. Laura A. King - University of Missouri, Columbia
Celebration of Creative Inquiry - call for abstracts
- Gustavus Adolphus College - Friday, May 1, 2009
- Abstract deadline is March 18. You can find more information and the online submission form at http://gustavus.edu/kendallcenter/undergraduate-research/creative-inquiry.php
- May 2, 2009
Macalester College, Saint Paul, MN
- Saturday, May 2, 2009
Psychology Spring Research Symposium
- Friday, May 15, 2009