Recap of Midwestern Psychological Association Conferece

On Thursday, last week Professor Art Sesma and student, Kelsey Olson ’18, presented their research on Non-Cognitive Skills & Academic Outcomes: A Short-Term Longitudinal Study.

The study attempted to explain why some students fare poorly in college. Researchers have identified a number of non-cognitive skills (NCS) that may be as important to student academic outcomes as cognitive ability. Professor Sesma and Olson examined three such factors – growth mindset, grit, and social belonging.

Olson described her experience at her first conference as an “amazing opportunity to work with such great professors who knew a thing or two about what to expect.” She was very nervous presenting on the first day of the conference but soon became excited about presenting to everyone who stopped by their poster. “It was such an incredible experience that really tailored to how I learn,” Olson says in reference to her hands-on learning style. Olson looks forward to future research and has “an additional hundred questions, and dozens of research ideas”.

On Thursday Professor Jamie Peterson and student Amelia Ruedy ’16 also presented their research titled “Flipping the Classroom: Impact on Student Learning and Rapport”.

Flipping the classroom is a technological innovation in teaching that utilizes class time to engage students in hands-on activities and outside of class students view recorded lectures. This study compared an active learning classroom and a flipped classroom to examine whether there was an impact on student learning and student-faculty rapport.

Ruedy was very grateful for the opportunity to present her research alongside Professor Peterson, and says that “it was a great experience”. For Ruedy, it was a great opportunity to explore her interest in Psychology and narrow her focus on her career interests.

Lauren M. Crepeau ’16
English, Communication Studies, and Women’s Studies

Congratulations Psychology Department Award Winners!

At our Senior Party this afternoon, we awarded two students our department awards.

The first award, the Eileen Gavin Award in Excellence in Psychology, went to Lee  Danielsen.  The award is given to a senior psychology major to honor Dr. Eileen Gavin, a College of St. Catherine alumna (1953) and devoted member of the Psychology Department and College for nearly 40 years. Eileen’s tireless energy and commitment to the psychology department has indelibly shaped the daily work of the psychology department. This award is intended to recognize Eileen’s significant contribution to the College of St. Catherine and to honor a student who has characteristics that Eileen heralds as essential to being a successful professional and citizen.

The students selected for this honor will best meet the following criteria:

  1. A psychology major graduating during the academic year of the award (December and May graduates will be considered).
  2. She must be a student of psychology rather than a pupil. She must have an insatiable appetite for knowledge, understanding, and growth as well as openness to diverse viewpoints. She must be a student for whom excellence means more than a perfect grade point average.
  3. She must have leadership skills that will generalize to whatever career path she chooses. These leadership skills along with her genuine interest in people and in working to better the lives of others allow her to be an effective and enthusiastic mentor who is committed to the building of communities.
  4. She must demonstrate resilience, authenticity and a strong sense of self.  Eileen is particularly impressed with young women who overcome obstacles by relying on their keen analytic, social, and creative intelligences, their strong will, determination, and optimism, their high ethical standards, and their simple kindness and good-heartedness.

Congratulations Lee!  During her time at St. Kate’s Lee whole-heartedly claimed her education.  She was an enthusiastic participant in her classes and also served as a General Psychology laboratory instructor.  Lee also participated in Summer Scholars with professor Andrea Olson.  Lee’s passion and joy for learning made her well-regarded by peers and faculty alike. Lee will begin the Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership, Policy and Development at the University of Minnesota in the fall.

The second award, the Tom Thieman Award for Excellence in Psychological Research, went to Alexandria Thompson.  The award is given to a senior psychology major to honor Dr. Tom Thieman, a devoted faculty member of the Psychology Department and University for over 35 years.  Tom’s legacy inspires us to do as he did: be thorough and precise in all that we do, wisely gather and use data to make sound decisions, offer our service wherever it may be needed, generously share our time and talents with others, and gently guide those who will follow in our footsteps.

This psychology student award acknowledges excellence in the area of scientific inquiry, demonstrated by creatively framing research questions, writing authoritative background reviews, applying clear and elegant research methodologies, accurately using appropriate statistical analyses, clearly organizing and presenting empirical findings, and justifying applications and conclusions of one’s own and others’ results.

Evidence of the quality of a student’s work might include papers and/or presentations to external audiences via posters, talks or publications. Her work may be a single investigation or a collection of research projects. This award is for a psychology student who is the year’s most accomplished researcher in the making.

Congratulations Alexi!  Alexi engaged in Summer Scholars with assistant professor Anaya Mitra and she demonstrated great research prowess throughout this project.  Alexi proposed a project, sought full IRB approval, tirelessly collected data and enthusiastically analyzed her data and presented her work to external audiences.  In addition to this experience Alexi also served as a General Psychology laboratory instructor where she shared her experience and interest in research with students.  Alexi will begin the doctoral program in counseling psychology at Marquette University in the fall.

Final Colloquium & Senior Party

Join us at our final colloquium on Tuesday, May 10 in Mendel 101 from 12:00-12:45 pm. Seniors in our Seminar II course (Psychology in Context) have reflected on all they have learned over the course of their psychology studies.  These wonderful seniors will share their advice, wisdom, experiences, and insights and have a short Q & A session.

Lauren M. Crepeau ’16
English, Communication Studies, and Women’s Studies