Students to Present Senior Studies

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Fourteen Westminster College seniors will present their year-long research projects in psychology, occupational therapy, and neuroscience Thursday, Dec. 11, at 5:30 p.m. in Phillips Lecture Hall of the Hoyt Science Resources Center.

The sessions will be moderated by sophomore psychology majors Mikayla Barcus, a daughter of Timothy and Michelle Barcus of Downingtown, and Matt Facciani, a son of Patrick and Joanne Facciani of Cranberry Township.

Participating students are:

Kimberly Barnett, a psychology major, is a daughter of Holly Legersky-Kamer of Ford City and a graduate of Ford City High School. Her research, "The Use of Therapist Self-Involving Statements with Child and Adult Psychotherapy Clients," is advised by Dr. Kirk Lunnen, associate professor of psychology.

Darnelle Clark, a psychology major, is a daughter of Jeffrey and Wanda Clark of Youngstown, Ohio, and a graduate of Liberty High School. Her research, "Implicit Stereotypes of Muslims: Can They Elicit Aggression?," is advised by Dr. Jamie McMinn, assistant professor of psychology.

David Dean, a psychology major, is a son of Renee Dean and David Dean, both of New Castle, and a graduate of Shenango High School. His research, "An Evaluation of Homonegativism Based on Psychophysiological Measurement Following a Visual Stimulus," is advised by Lunnen.

Shalyn Eakin, a psychology-occupational therapy major, is a daughter of William and Sandy Puckly of Corry. Her research, "The Effects of Implicit Stigmatization of Obese Individuals on Prosocial Behavior," is advised by McMinn.

Veronica Geretz, a psychology and philosophy major, is a daughter of Mary Geretz and Michael Geretz, both of Norwalk, Ohio, and a graduate of Saint Paul High School. Her Honors research, "An Investigation of Care and Justice-Based Moral Reasoning: The Role of Emotional Arousal," is advised by Lunnen and Dr. David Goldberg, associate professor of philosophy.

Melissa Gnech, a neuroscience major, is a daughter of Costante and Cynthia Gnech of Harrisburg and a graduate of Central Dauphin High School. Her Honors research, "An Investigation of Social Simulation's Mitigating Effects on Spatial Learning Impairment Caused by Dexamethasone Injection in Rats," is advised by Dr. Alan Gittis, professor and chair of the Department of Psychology.

Kylene Hoch, a psychology major, is a daughter of John and Barb Hoch of Transfer and a graduate of Hubbard High School. Her research, "A Multi-Perspective Evaluation of the Effects of Pain and Injury Sensitivity on Athletic Performance," is advised by Lunnen.

Amber Huyett, a psychology major, is a daughter of Christopher and Denise Huyett of Lawrenceville and a graduate of Elkland Area High School. Her research, "Current Prejudiced Attitudes and Diversity Exposure during School Years," is advised by Dr. Sherri Pataki, assistant professor of psychology.

Amanda Kowalczyk, a psychology major, is a daughter of Brett Kowalczyk and Cathy Humphrey of West Springfield and a graduate of Northwestern High School. Her research, "Correlation between Adult Attachment Styles and Roommate Satisfaction among First-Year College Students," is advised by McMinn.

Jake Martinez, a neuroscience major, is a son of Dennis and Patricia Martinez of Gibsonia and a graduate of Deer Lakes High School. His research, "The Effects of Clomipramine-Induced Depression on Decision Making in Rats," is advised by Gittis.

Danielle McCommons, a psychology major, is a student in the Lifelong Learning Program and a resident of New Castle. Her research, "Relationship between Family Dynamics, Parenting Style, and Maternal Perceptions of Attachment," is advised by Dr. Mandy Medvin, professor of psychology.

David Mills, a neuroscience major, is a son of Stephen and Janet Mills of Latrobe and a graduate of Greater Latrobe High School. His Honors research, "Progesterone as Neuroprotective Agent in Serial Lesion Paradigm Affects Behavioral Performance," is advised by Gittis.

Nicole Roberts, a psychology major, is a daughter of Paul and Lisa Roberts of Pittsburgh and a graduate of Schenley High School. Her research, "Attachment Style and Gender Role Adherence within Families in the U.S. and Egypt," is advised by Pataki.

Rebecca Slifkin, a psychology-occupational therapy major, is a daughter of Eric and Susan Slifkin of Cranberry Township and a graduate of Seneca Valley High School. Her research, "An Evaluation of Therapeutic Alliance in Occupational Therapy," is advised by Medvin.

Contact McMinn at (724) 946-7121 or e-mail for more information.

About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College is ranked 15th among liberal arts colleges, according to the Washington Monthly 2007 Annual College Guide. Westminster is a national leader in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Guide to America's Best Colleges, and is one of the most affordable national liberal arts colleges in Pennsylvania. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 368 Colleges" and "Best in the Northeast" by The Princeton Review, and was recognized by the Templeton Guide as a "Character Building College."

Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 41 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus.