MPA experience

August 26, 2010

A few weeks before the end of the semester, 14 students along with Dr. Tim Koeltzow, Dr. Anthony Hermann, and Dr. Derek Montgomery traveled to the Midwestern Psychological Association (MPA) Annual Meeting at the Palmer House in Chicago, resulting in a large Bradley presence at the conference.

Six other students and I had the opportunity to present our own research posters at the meeting. My study focused on “Rearing Spontaneous Hypertensive Rats in Enriched Environments: The Effects on a Model of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder”; Filka Andonova presented “Children’s Ability to Utilize Speech and Eye Gaze Cues to Detect Deception”; Carson Cornelius discussed “The Effects of Self-Through Rehearsal on Self-Esteem and Cognition”; Whitney Fosco examined “Effects of Delayed Responding on Interference Control Among Preschoolers”; Ashley Miller presented “Psychopathic Tendencies in Relation to SES Across Nations”; Nejeri Reynolds discussed “Experiencing Joy When One’s Future is Threatened”; and Nina Tiberi researched “The Effects of Methylphenidate Administration Routes in the Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat: The Importance of a Non-Injection Control.” Presenting posters at a regional conference was a rewarding experience; I even had the opportunity to discuss my findings with a few students doing similar research who participate in a well-known lab that I’ve become familiar with through my own literature reviews.
In addition to the learning experience of presenting our own findings, students attended numerous talks that focused on a variety of psychological domains, from social stigma to cognitive development, from psychobiology to educational psychology. A large group of Bradley students and other MPA-goers started the day early and listened to Dr. Hermann present “Perceptions of Others’ Esteem: Individual Differences Within and Across Cultures.” Students dispersed throughout the day, some going to a statistics workshop and others visiting a long list of talks according to their academic interests. One of the greatest benefits of attending this conference was for students to network and meet faculty members at other universities of interest; one student introduced herself to a leading researcher at one of her preferred graduate schools and exchanged contact information. Experiences like this are what will give us students that extra edge during the Graduate School application process.

Executive board members of Bradley’s Psi Chi chapter – “the International Honor Society in Psychology” – also presented a “Best Practices” poster at MPA entitled “Revisioning the Psi Chi Governance for Success.” We discussed our own successes and challenges with Psi Chi members from other universities during this poster session and also during a more structured exchange.
Later on Friday afternoon, we attended the Psi Chi Awards Presentation and Reception. I had the honor of accepting a Psi Chi Undergraduate Research Award for my poster presentation, and our Psi Chi chapter received the Regional Chapter Award for all of the incredible work and change we have shown throughout the academic year. If that wasn’t exciting enough, the Bradley team also won the psychology trivia game at the end of the reception; we represented the department well.

Overall, the trip to MPA was academically and professionally enriching, but it also was a great social experience to spend more time with faculty members and other psychology students in the department.