happy thanksgivingEmil's Epilogue - November 2012

Gustie Psych News and Events

Heralding a Name Change - Fall 2012k

bannerOn Friday, November 2, department majors gathered outside ttthe Braatz student interaction room to celebrate the new Department of Psychological Science name change with ice cream sundaes and complimentary commemorative tumblers. If you are a major and haven't picked yours up - stop by the Department offices.



Meet Dr. Russell Webster...

By Madison Heckel

As you may or may not have noticed, we have a new professor in the Psychological Science Department.  His name is Dr. Russ Webster, and he is currently teaching General Psych and Stats and Research Methods I while Dr. Mark Kruger is on sabbatical.  Professor Webster earned his B.A. in Psychology and French at North Central College in the Chicago suburbs.  He went on to get his M.A. in Cognitive and Social Processes at Ball State University in Muncie, IN and his Ph.D. in Social/Personality Psychology from Kansas State University.  He focused on Developmental Psychology as an undergrad, so he has a very well rounded knowledge of psychology.

WebsterProfessor Webster’s research examines how both social situations and individual differences contribute to prejudice/discrimination and magical thinking (e.g., fantasy and superstition).  He prefers to not refer to himself as a “Big 5” personality researcher, because his research focuses on “individual differences” across the personality spectrum (demographic characteristics, perceptions, motivations, and attitudes).

Professor Webster will teach Red States vs. Blue States: Bridging the Political Divide (PSY-275) this January.  He believes that in today’s partisan climate, it is a good idea to sit back and see what the perceived and real differences are between liberals and conservatives.  “In reality, they are not all that different.  Both parties have the same end goals: a better life for their children.  The disagreement lies in how we get there,” he says.  Students in this course will decipher how to measure political orientation given that many people hold specific views on certain issues that may not align with their self-identified orientation (as liberal, moderate, or conservative).  Students will also be looking at “social vigilantism”, the tendency to impress beliefs onto others for the greater good, which affects people’s willingness to compromise.  Although this is a psychological science course, a good part of it aligns with sociology and political science.

Spring 2013, Professor Webster will teach Psychology of Evil as a senior seminar.  “Evil” is a commonly used and (according to Professor Webster) abused term, but Professor Webster wants to recapture the word and bring it back to science by giving it a proper scientific definition.  In this course, students will look at what fundamentally motivates people to be evil, and how social situations and personality help eliminate social restraints to allow evil behavior.  He will note early in the class that although evil is a very strong word, “it may happen on a small scale.  When we [consider that we] intentionally harm someone who doesn’t deserve it, we do evil everyday.”  The class will then move to the study of large scale evil, discussing things such as corporate evil and genocide.  Professor Webster will also incorporate into the class his research on how beliefs in pure evil and pure good relate to people’s tendencies to be aggressive.

Professor Webster says that he is enjoying his time at Gustavus.  “You forget the intimacy and the type of student that is drawn to a liberal arts school when you’re going to a state school”, he says, after spending the last 8 years at larger public schools.  Professor Webster was indecisive as an undergraduate major, at first debating between Psychology, Political Science, English, and Education.  He chose Psychology, however, because he truly fell in love with the research process.mmm  “It’s the research process that I have fun with,” he says.  “I love developing an idea that I go out and actually get to test.  If I can spend my life asking questions and finding answers, how is that not a cool thing?”

[Madison '14 is an Honors Psychological Science and Sociology/Anthropology double major with a minor in Biology. She is a student assistant in the Psychological Science Department and the Fall 2012 student editor/coordinator of the Department Newsletter, Emil's Epilogue.]  


So, just what is the difference between a PhD and a PsyD? We asked Dr. Mark Carlson...

By Mandy Feeks

On Thursday, November 8th, Mark Carlson from Argosy University came at Gustavus to speak to Psychological Science students. Dr. Carlson earned his PhD in Clinical Psychology at Wayne State University in Detroit. He has Dr. Mark Carlsonworked in community mental health for over thirty years as a psychotherapist and consultant. In 2008, he joined the Argosy faculty. Prior to this, he supervised Adult Day Treatment, Adult Rehabilitative Mental Health Services and Supported Employment programs. He has a special interest in couples issues and co-occurring mental health and chemical health problems.

Many students eagerly arrived on this Thursday evening to learn more about the program of Clinical Psychology. Dr. Carlson specifically addressed the differences between a PhD, a PsyD and a Master’s degree. He shared the path that he took to arrive where he is now in his career and offered an insightful perspective into this specific field of Psychology. He also shared some of his personal experiences with clients andpsi chi the rewards that come along with being a psychologist. Mark concluded by sharing a letter from a client that was especially moving.

This was an incredibly helpful opportunity for students who had questions about graduate school. The event was sponsored by Psi Chi and planned by officers Katelyn Warburton, Mandy Feeks, Emily Lindberg, Suzanna Massaro and supervisor Lauren Hecht. Psi Chi intends to plan additional events tailored to the Psychological Science major's needs. A possible future topic will be an opportunity to hear a presention by a marriage and family therapist as that was an area of interest expressed by majors.

We encourage Psychological Science majors to share their interests and suggestions for future speakers. This Psi Chiseries of speakers throughout the year will offer students an opportunity to learn about the many fields of Psychology, further schooling options and potential future careers.

Please watch for reminders about the next speaker!
Psi Chi co-president
Mandy Feeks

[Amanda (Mandy) Feeks is a senior Psychological Science Honors major, Neuroscience minor, Psi Chi officer, departmental assistant, academic assistant and a member of the newsletter staff.]

Psych Science Majors in the News!

By Erica Hett

Not only are Psychological Science majors busy with classes, but they’re also involved in many other activities and events!  October was an eventful month, with many Psychological Science Majors performing in various shows, concerts, and athletic events!  November is also filled with musical concerts and athletic games.

 In October, the Department of Theatre and Dance opened its 2012-2013 season with the contemporary dark comedy Behold the Coach, In a Blazer, Uninsured (and Other Good Intentions).  The show opened on Thursday, October 25th and continued through the weekend.  Emileah ZumBerge, a junior Psychological Science major and also a student assistant for the department, was involved with setting up the set for the show throughout the performance.  Another October event in which Psychological Science Majors were involved was the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) Championships for Cross Country.  The meet was held at Como Golf Course on Saturday, October 27th.  Members of the Men’s Cross Country team who are also Psychological psych majorsScience Majors are Eric Jorgenson, Sam Fransen.  The Women’s Cross Country team consists of two Psychological Science Majors: Nora Christensen and Erica Hett.  The women’s team ran a great race at Conference and were crowned!  Both the Men’s and Women’s teams competed at the NCAA Regional Championships on Saturday, November 10th at St. Olaf College.  The Women’s team tied for fourth place & so they qualified for the Division III National Cross Country Championships in Terra Haute, Indiana, which was this past Saturday, November 17th!

psych majors Also in November, are many musical concerts involving several Psychological Science Majors.  On Saturday, November 10th was the annual Gustavus Symphony Orchestra concert.  Members of the Symphony Orchestra who are Psychological Science Majors include Emily Hinz, Ellie Frischmann, and Pepper Ennis who play horn, trombone, and violin, respectively.  Saturday, November 17th was the date of the annual Gustavus Wind Orchestra and Vasa Wind Orchestra Fall Concert.   Wind Orchestra members from the Psychological Science Department include Suzanna Massaro, who plays the clarinet and is also an officer of Psi Chi, Katelyn Warburton, who plays bass clarinet and is also the co-president of Psi Chi, and Emily Hinz, who plays horn.  Psychological Science Majors in the Vasa Wind Orchestra include Paul Thao and Matt Erdahl, playing the tenor saxophone and euphonium,Erica respectively.  Looking forward to December, winter sports will be in full swing and the music department will have more concerts.  So be sure to keep your eye on Gustavus News for future activities and events that Psychological Science Majors are involved in!

[Erica Hett is a senior Psychological Science major, Biology Major and Neuroscience minor. She is a member of the Women's Cross Country team, Nordic Ski team, a departmental assistant and a contributor to the on-line newsletter. She is currently considering options to pursue a degree in physical therapy.]

Moving for Bodies and Brains

by Emileah ZumBerge

You might study Psychological Science and Dance if you have a tennis ball for rolling out tight muscles and a Shared Spacesquishy stress ball to calm anxieties in your backpack at any given time. Well, at least I (Emileah ZumBerge) do. But, I am not the only one here at Gustavus that is drawn to both the study of the beautiful brain and the art of dance. Several Psychological Science majors including Rebecca Stewart, Mallory Waytashek, Katherine Arndt, Marlee Lindberg, Mariah Welsh, and Suzanna Massaro all are participating in this production of Shared Space 2012, Connections In Space. We all began dancing at young ages and find meaning in movement. Welsh sums it up well with her statement, “Dancing keeps me sane.”

shared space 3Shared Space is a dance concert performed, choreographed, and directed by entirely by students. The Emileahperformances will be held in Kresge Studio on December 6 and 7, at 8:00 p.m. and Saturday, December 8, at 2:00 p.m.and 8:00 p.m..

Come, support your fellow Psychological Science majors and watch us perform in Connections In Space. We make connections with Psychological Science and Dance and our brains and our bodies, so we encourage you to come make some connections of your own.

[Emileah ZumBerge is a junior Psychological Science major and Dance minor. She is a Gustie Greeter, a departmental student assistant and a member of the on-line newsletter staff.]

Psych Science Major to intern at Mayo - January Interim 2013

PepperMy name is Pepper Ennis and I am a senior Pychological Science Honors major.  I am looking forward to this J-Term because I will be doing an internship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN assisting Thomas Bergquist, a neuropsychologist and Gustavus alumni.  I have not received the specifics of what I will be doing during the month of January, but I do know that I will be shadowing Dr. Bergquist during his daily routine and assisting with his research.  I am looking forward to this exciting opportunity! 

Thomas F. Bergquist, Ph.D., ABPP is training coordinator for the fellowship Neuropsychology and Rehabilitation Photo of Thomas Bergquist ., Ph.D., L.P.Psychology. He is Assistant Professor in Psychology in the Mayo Medical School. He is a consultant in both Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Psychiatry and Psychology at Mayo Clinic. Dr. Bergquist received his doctoral degree in Clinical and Medical Psychology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and completed a fellowship in Clinical Neuropsychology at Mayo Clinic. He is co-investigator of a NIDDR funded study on use of the Internet to deliver cognitive rehabilitation services to rural populations. His principal research interests include outcome following brain injury rehabilitation and coping with disability.

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Interested in reading interesting articles and timely posts from fellow psych majors? Of course you are!


Jean-Paul Noel '12 sends up update - from Switzerland!!

Hey Gusties!

I thought I would just check in and update you all on my life as a recent Gustie Graduate Psych Major. For those of you who didn’t know me, my name is Jean-Paul Noel and graduated last spring with a major in Psychology Honors and a minor in Neuroscience. Since, I’ve been living in Lausanne, Switzerland, where I work at the Cognitive Neuroscience Lab at the Swiss National Institute for Technology under the Fulbright Scholarship. https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/480141_4204836034262_547976466_n.jpg

I must be honest; I browsed through old editions of Emil’s Epilogue in order to get a sense for what alumni typically have to say in their updates to the newsletter. Most of them give advice on grad school, which is great, but I am not in grad school, and therefore have no advice to give! Plus, not everyone wants to go to graduate school. Nonetheless, I guess I do have some tips and warnings about life after GAC in general…

First of all, I must say, transition after being on the hill isn’t easy. No other place after college you’ll feel so comfortable in an environment as you did at Gustavus. I feel like there were a lot of not-so-little things at GAC that I took for granted, and would very much enjoy now. For instance, how nice is it that it takes you 5 minutes to walk from your bed to the place were you sit at your 8am class? Now, in my case, this trajectory implies an hour of bus and metro. Also, how nice is it that the caf and library are open pretty much all day? No need to leave work early to rush to the supermarket!

Academic work after college changes as well. And this change is for the good, but must be appreciated as so (which isn’t exactly easy). At my job now I work with more electric engineers and computer scientists than I do with psychologists and neuroscientists. At first I think it’s natural to feel inadequate, as I did. As someone with a psychology background and coming from a small liberal arts school, NO OF COURSE I DON’T KNOW HOW TO PROGRAM PARALLEL PORTS IN BINARY CODE! However, you soon realize that everyone has their particular background, and you might not know a lot of what others take for granted, but you certainly have expertise in other areas. The beauty, and the challenge, of higher education is to put into context and synergy your capacities and skills with those of the people around you.

Anyway, enough of the abstract and more of the concrete!  I am currently trying to juggle four different projects. Leading a project together with a Master student and a neurosurgeon student in Geneva looking at doing intracranial recording from the Intraparietal Sulcus and the Ventral Premotor Cortex as a measure of Peripersonal space, and another with a PhD student looking to correlate measures of Peripersonal space with the Full Body Illusion (similar to the Rubber Hand Illusion, but applied to the whole body). Additionally, I am working with a Post-Doc and another PhD student on a project related to ‘thought-insertion’ phenomena typically exhibited in schizophrenia, and finally collaborating with computer scientists on developing a sort of ‘episodic google’. Yes, I know, all this is very abstract and vague, but I thought I would share in case anyone is interested in talking a bit more about research!

Please feel free to email me (some of you have already!) (jeanpaulnc@gmail.com) if you want to talk about options for psych majors after GAC or about anything else really!

Keep warm,

Miss you all very much!

Eric Miller '08 reports that he is in the 5th year of the Graduate Program in Neuroscience Ph.D. program at the University of Minnesota and will graduate at the end of this summer. He is the first author of the linked article "Differential Modulation of Drug-Induced Structural and Functional Plasticity of Dendritic Spines".http://molpharm.aspetjournals.org/content/82/2/333.abstract

Click here for previous Alumni Updates

Faculty News/Presentations/Publications

Barbara Simpson (Psychological Science) chaired a Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association accreditation site visit, October 15-17 to Defiance College, Defiance Ohio.

Lauren Hecht (Psychological Science) has been appointed as the campus representative to the Midstates Consortium for Mathematics and Science (MCMS). Programs organized by the Consortium focus on improving undergraduate science and math education. These programs provide opportunities for our students to develop professional skills for presenting the results of their research at two annual symposia, one for life sciences and one for physical sciences and math. Faculty development opportunities include a summer workshop for new science and math faculty. Member schools include eleven undergraduate colleges, as well as Washington University and the University of Chicago. Lauren takes the reins from John Lammert (Biology). She will work closely with Gustavus faculty members and students, as well as Brandy Russell (Chemistry), the new national Director of the MCMS.

Kyle E. Chambers (Psychological Science) gave an invited talk "The Statistician with a Pacifier: What Babies Learn about Language & How it Changes Them" in the Institute for Child Development at the University of Minnesota.

Professional Opportunities

Upcoming Events:

  • Fall 2012 Gustavus Psychological Science Research Symposium - Friday, December 7, 2012
  • 27th National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) - April 11-13, 2013
    University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
  • Be the first to email lsande@gustavus.edu for a $5 DQ certificate (sorry but departmental assistants are not eligible - and neither are profs...).

Newsletter staff and Psychological Science Departmental Assistants assistantspopcorn

Don'torget to stop by on Popcorn Friday - every Friday in Beck 271!


From left to right:

Erica Hett, Pepper Ennis,

Mandy Feeks, Emileah ZumBerge and Madison Heckel




Why is this newsletter named Emil's Epilogue and who is Carl Emil Seashore ?

Emil's Epilogue descriptionIn the entry lobby of the psychology department there is a bust of Carl Emil Seashore, an 1891 graduate of Gustavus. Widely recognized as one of the early leaders in psychology in America, Dr. Seashore spent most of his professional life at the University of Iowa. He was a member of the faculty at Iowa from 1897 until his retirement in 1937. In addition to his duties as professor and chairman of his department, he was made Dean of the Graduate School, University of Iowa, in 1908 and held that position concurrently with his other duties for 28 years. He retired in 1937 at the age of seventy but was recalled as Dean Pro Tempore of the Graduate School in 1942 and finally retired for the second time in 1946 at the age of 80. Most people who recognize his name today associate it with the Seashore Tests of Musical Ability which are still widely used. He was a man of wide ranging abilities and achievements and certainly one of the outstanding alumni of Gustavus. Click here  for additional biographical information on Carl Emil Seashore...