Psych Sci Undergraduates Participate in Research and Creative Achievements Forum

This post  is adapted from "Going Digital For ’em: Spring Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievements Forum moves online" prepared by the Mizzou Office of Undergraduate Research.  Please see the original article for more information on the Forum and research at Mizzou.

 

The Spring Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievements Forum is an annual opportunity for Psychological Sciences  students to showcase their work, practice their communication skills, peruse the work of their contemporaries and hobnob with administrators and faculty in the friendly confines of the Bond Life Sciences Center. For the 2020 installment, nothing has changed — except for that last part: the location.

In response to the pandemic, and thanks to a partnership between the Office of Undergraduate Research and MU Libraries, the forum has gone digital. More than 180 undergraduates have submitted abstracts of their scholarly projects. One hundred students have submitted posters and 30-plus undergraduates have provided videos or narrated PowerPoint presentations.

Read below to hear first-hand accounts from Psychology Tigers making the most of this unique opportunity.

 

Kathryn Donnelly

Describe your project in lay terms.

The purpose of my project was to extend existing research on parent-child conflict and its impact on adolescent development. More specifically, we wanted to look at how this association might differ between siblings due to the influence of adolescent characteristics like birth order and gender.

How much of your project were you able to get done before you left campus? How much were you able to do from home?

Luckily, the bulk of my project was done before campus closed! My data had been collected and analyzed, so I was able to continue writing from home.

How have you kept in touch with your mentor and other research team members? Any “silver linings” to being at home and being forced to communicate with your mentor/research team in a different way?

Working from home hasn’t really impacted my ability to keep in touch with my mentor or research team. We’ve always had an open line of communication, and we’re used to sending drafts and edits via email. Honestly, the decrease in time commitments and distractions because of quarantine has allowed me to focus more of my time on writing, which was previously difficult with my busy lifestyle — so there’s a silver lining!

What’s next?

I’ll be starting my master’s of social work at Washington University in St. Louis in the fall! I’m so excited to continue learning (hopefully on campus) about family relationships and mental health at the graduate level.

 

Sarah Hanske

Describe your project in lay terms.

My research project focused on understanding how siblings confide in each other based on whether their parents are together or not. Gender and the topic of discussion between siblings were taken into account.

How much of your project were you able to get done before you left campus? How much were you able to do from home?

Thanks to my mentor, Dr. Nicole Campione-Barr, I was able to have all of my research complete before I left campus. I am super grateful for her efficient planning — it paid off! There was only the poster for the forum to complete while home, which was easy enough using PowerPoint to produce a digital version.

How have you kept in touch with your mentor and other research team members? Any “silver linings” to being at home and being forced to communicate with your mentor/research team in a different way?

I have been able to have Zoom calls with my mentor to talk about life, laugh about our situation and talk research. Quite honestly, it has been a delight to get to know my mentor on a different level. I see her dedication to caring for learners like me and continuously pursuing new developments in the field of psychology. She is truly inspiring! Even through such a difficult time, I’m amazed and encouraged by the way people are all stepping up in their own ways.

 

Kelsey Mason

Describe your project in lay terms.

My project investigates the effect of a drug, PD144418 (a sigma-1 receptor antagonist), on motivation to obtain a reinforcer, or sucrose pellet, in rats.

How much of your project were you able to get done before you left campus? How much were you able to do from home?

I was fortunately able to complete my project before campus closed. This made it really easy to make the poster and video from home!

How have you kept in touch with your mentor and other research team members? Any “silver linings” to being at home and being forced to communicate with your mentor/research team in a different way?

I’ve been able to run some data analyses and create my thesis project from home since the data had already been collected. My mentor and lab members have been having meetings via Zoom. It’s been cool getting to see everyone’s pets and showing my pets off. My cat loves the attention!

How did making a video or PowerPoint differ from a poster presentation?

Making the video and voice over was really easy since this is a skill I developed in a previous class. It is much different from doing a poster presentation because you don’t have any stage fright, nerves, or public speaking that is keeping you from doing well on your presentation. I was able to read from a script instead of memorizing my speech like I did last year, and this made it much easier to get my points across!

Kathryn Donnelly

Kathryn Donnelly is a senior psychology major from St. Louis.