LOS ANGELES (May 9, 2016) – Why do — or don’t – college students “Go Greek”? Is creativity related to risky sexual behavior? Are people happier when discussing experiences or material purchases? How are emoticons perceived in workplace emails? What personality factors contribute to procrastination?
Graduating psychology seniors at Woodbury University set out to answer these and other probing questions through their capstone thesis research projects — and nine were accepted to present their findings at the recent Western Psychological Association (WPA) regional annual conference in Long Beach, Calif.
Among the participating students: Isabele Creet, Jackie Demirchyan, Krystal Flores, Meri Gasparyan, Jackie Morgan, Briana Pambakian, Vanessa Rountree, Beth Sopkin, and Monica Valdez.
During the last four years, more than 95 percent of graduating seniors in Psychology have presented their research projects at research conferences in Las Vegas, Portland, Ore, and Reno, respectively.
“Being accepted into the WPA conference is exciting, since it marks the beginning of success in my psychology career,” said Jackie Morgan, who presented her work on how listening to music while coloring can support working memory. “It was very exciting to see my hard work on a subject I am passionate about displayed alongside other influential research,” noted Beth Sopkin, who presented on the role of spirituality and social support in maintaining sobriety from drugs and alcohol.
“These students have an amazing opportunity,” said Dr. Michael Faber, who, with Dr. Jacquelyn Christensen, regularly advises and mentors students through the process — and accompanies them to WPA each year. “It is delightful and inspiring to see them transform from students to professionals in psychology. They create work that sparks in them pride and a sense of efficacy in their field.”
Psychology students at Woodbury complete a rigorous curriculum to prepare for graduate school or the workforce. The program includes theoretical breadth, applied experience, and in-depth participation in conceptualizing and implementing an independent, capstone research project. Psychology students hone their empirical skills through two levels of research methods courses and two levels of statistics courses. Each year, seniors submit their project abstracts to WPA, and finalize their research in the capstone Senior Thesis course.