Wheeling Jesuit University

EPA Conference Offers Students Chance to Prepare for Grad School & Careers

WHEELING, WV, April 11, 2011 Wheeling Jesuit University students and their professors participated in the Eastern Psychological Association (EPA) Conference, at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge, Mass. recently.

The annual meeting of psychology professionals offers undergraduate students a chance to present their research and learn from top scientists and professors as they prepare for graduate school and careers.

(From left, Stefanie Mertz, Sierra Moore, Kristin Johnson, Dr. Debra Hull, Alaina Antoinette with the Impact of Body Size on Perceived Personality poster.)

Two groups of psychology majors went to the March conference and shared their studies on body image. Four other students presented studies on scent stimulation and food stimuli.

Two students (both seniors) Mark Sappington, Charleston, W.Va. and Andrea Bova, Pittsburgh, won a "Best Research Award" given by Psi Chi (National Honor Society in psychology) at the conference, earning certificates and a $300 prize.

Dr. Debra Hull was especially proud of her students since it was their first experience with independent research on the college level.

(At right are Amy Pinkerton (left) and Ariadne Cerritelli with their Use of Line Drawings to Assess Perceptions of Healthy Weight study.)

"For my students, mostly sophomores, this was their first foray into independent research. I am so pleased that they were able to make progress in learning the "tools" of the scientific trade and that they made a contribution to our understanding of body image," said Dr. Debra Hull, WJU psychology professor. "Wheeling Jesuit is unique in offering such a wide range of high quality research opportunities to undergraduates."

Amy Pinkerton, St. Clairsville, Ohio and Ariadne Cerritelli, Bethesda, Md., presented a study called, "Use of Line Drawings to Assess Perceptions of Healthy Weight," and Stefanie Mertz, Bethel Park, Pa., Sierra Moore, St. Clairsville, Ohio, Kristin Johnson, Steubenville, Ohio and Alaina Antoinette, Canonsburg, Pa. did a study entitled, "Impact of Body Size on Perceived Personality."

Dr. Bryan Raudenbush, psychology professor and Wheeling Jesuit's director of undergraduate research, also attended the EPA conference with his students and alumni. Raudenbush's students and their research included:

"Effects of scent administration on online consumer product selection, quality and value," by senior Sarah Mogan, Washington, Pa.

"Effects of peppermint scent administration on enhancing cognitive video game play performance," by Sappington and Bova.

"Effects of jasmine scent administration on sleep quality, mood, cognitive performance and workload," by alumni Ben Wershing '08 and Jude Almeida '08.

"Physiological responses of food neophobics and food neophilics to food and non-food stimuli," by junior August Capiola, Washington, Pa.

(Raudenbush, Capiola, Mogan and Sappington are shown above, left to right.)

Members of the EPA present the latest advances in professional and scientific work to their colleagues during the national meeting and have a chance to network and hear presentations from many of the top researchers in the field. The speakers are at the international level of expertise and highly respected in the fields of psychology and social behavior.

These award-winning researchers offer the latest advance and opinions in the scientific community as topics of discussion during the dozens of presentations during the weekend conference. Many times students have a chance to meet mentors who will help them in their future careers during the weekend.

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