Three faculty and six students attended the Midwestern Psychological Association (MPA) conference in Chicago in April. Janet Gibson, professor of psychology, presented about humor and cognition. Laura Sinnett, professor of psychology, and her Mentored Advanced Project (MAP) student Han Trihn ’17 presented two posters about the construct of self control, academic performance, and the relationships between these, particularly in underrepresented students. Damian Kelty-Stephen, assistant professor of psychology, and his MAP students Jun Taek Lee ’18 and Nicole Carver ’19 presented posters on temporal structure of cognitive activities in humans and honeybees. Three more psychology majors, Alayna Costner-Withee ’19, Annie Galloway ’18, and Christine Hood ’17, were able to attend the conference thanks to donations made by alumni and friends directly to the department. They attended presentations of cutting-edge research and got to meet prominent researchers in psychology, such as Elizabeth Loftus, a world-famous memory researcher.

“The Midwestern Psychological Association Conference was the first conference that I have been to. It was three days of poster sessions, symposia, and lectures while surrounded by peers who appreciate psychology as much as I do,” says Costner-Withee. “Going to the MPA conference was important to me because it introduced me to what is currently going on in psychology. I got to meet and hear from big names in the field, and I also got to see what students like me are working on and presenting. From going to poster sessions and talks, I observed enough to know which ones were well done and which were not. I could take tips I learned and observed on the trip and use them in the future if I ever find myself presenting at a conference.

“I am extremely thankful to the generous donors who made this possible. Not only did I have the opportunity to explore the most relevant topics in my future field, but also seeing so many people present on posters and from PowerPoints makes me eager to be in their shoes one day. Being at the conference helped cement the love I have for my major, and helped keep me inspired to one day contribute to it as I saw there.”

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