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Westminster Senior Psychology Majors to Present Capstone Research Projects

Monday, December 6, 2004

Twelve Westminster College senior psychology majors will present capstone research projects Friday, Dec. 17, at 6 p.m. in Hoyt Science Resources Center rooms 152 and 166.

 "Presentations will focus on a variety of topics in psychology, ranging from cohesion and performance in athletic teams to predicting symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder with physiological measures," said Dr. Jamie McMinn, assistant professor of psychology at Westminster.  "This is the culmination of their year-long capstone projects."

The final component of Liberal Studies at Westminster is a senior capstone course, which is at least a four-semester-hour course within the major designed to provide an opportunity for students to evaluate and assess the strengths and limitations of their major field.

Beaver Falls, PA
 Gregory Steines
is a son of Gerald and Kathy Steines.  Steines, a senior biology and neuroscience major, is a graduate of Blackhawk High School.  His research is titled "The Consequences of Prenatal and Postnatal Choline Supplements on Spatial Memory Task Performance after Fornix Lesions in the Long-Evans Hooded Rat." 

 "The fornix is a part of the brain that deals with spatial memory, and by leasioning it in surgery, I can see how post-surgical behavior is altered," Steines said.  " I supplemented half of the subjects with my experimental factor, choline, to see if it helps reduce trauma and alter behavior by improving spatial memory scores."

Moon Township, PA
 David Eberle
is a son of David and Georgia Eberle.  Eberle, a junior psychology major, is a graduate of Moon High School.  His research is titled "A Comparison of Ocular Activity Between OCD-Symptomatic and Non-Symptomatic Participants in Response to Disgusting Visual Stimuli."

 "My study is an examination of the relationship between eye movements and OCD-symptoms," Eberle said.  "Participants viewed poptographs of disgusting objects while their eye movements were recorded.  I found some differences between non-symptomatic and symptomatic participants."

West Mifflin, PA
 Charles Mullins
is a son of Dedire Gladkowski.  Mullins, a junior psychology major, is a graduate of West Mifflin High School.

McMurray, PA
 Jason Makrinos
is a son of Stephan and Beverly Makrinos.  Makrinos, a senior psychology major, is a graduate of Peters Township High School.  His project is titled "the Relationship Among Transformational Leadership, Trust, and Team Sports Performance in NCAA Football and Soccer Teams."

 "My study looks at whether or not leadershp style influences the performance of a sports team," Makrinos said.  "I also examined if trust in the coach was a mediating variable in the relationship between Transformational leadership and team sports performance."

Butler, PA
 Autumn Tack
is a daughter of Janet and Martin Tack. Tack, a senior psychology and human resources major, is a graduate of Butler High School. The title of her research is "The Relationship Between Emotional Intelligence and Perceived Social Integration."

 "I studied small groups and looked at the relationships among individual group members' emotional intelligence, self-monitoring, and perceived social integration at two different times, as well as across time," Tack said.  "I was interested in whether higher emotional intelligence levels would help a person feel more socially integrated into the group over and above any effects attributable to self-monitoring."

New Castle, PA
 Billie Nicholson
is a daughter of Billy and Charlene Nicholson.  Nicholson is a senior psychology and human resources major.  Her research is titled "The Effects of Goals, Collective Efficacy, and Composition on Social Integration and Group Performance."

 "Participants in groups of three were randomly assigned to one of eight experimental conditions and asked to complete two brainstorming tasks," Nicholson said.  "Results were analyzed to determine how each condition affeacted the groups' social integration and performance, and if there was a relationship between the two."

North East, PA
 Morgan Campbell
is a daughter of Ralph and Michele Campbell.  Campbell, a senior psychology major, is a graduate of North East High School.  Her study was titled "The Use of Reappraisal or Suppression and Levels of Psychological Well-Being,."

 "The concept of my study is based on two different ideas," Campbell said.  "First that children learn emotion regulation from their parents or adult role model.  The second idea is based on the concept that the two major forms of emotional regulation are reapprasial and suppression.  Those who use reappprasial as a form of emotion regulation will have higher levels of well-being or happiness."

Erie, PA
 Jennifer Williams
is a daughter of Mark and Suzanne Williams.  Williams, a senior psychology major, is a graduate of Mars High School.  Her research is titled "An Evaluation of Therapist Anxiety by Discipline, Theoretical Orientation, Experience Level and Degree."

 "This study investigates therapist attitudes toward their own anxieties and coping strategies they employ to deal with these anxieties both during and after a therapeutic session," Willliams said.

Erie, PA
 Brooke Arens
is a daughter of Brent and Beverly Maguire.  Arens, a senior psychology major, is a graduate of Meadville High School.  The title of her presentation is "A Multiperspective Evaluation of Desirability, Importance, and Frequency of Therapist Self-Disclosure."

 "The contents of my presentation will include background research in this topic, a descritpion of my study, the results of my study, and a discussion of importance of my study in the field of psychology research," Arens said.

South Euclid, OH
 Lisa Santoriella
is a daughter of Michael and Bette Santoriella.  Santoriella, a senior psychology major, is a graduate of Beaumont School for Girls.   The title of  her research is "The Dynamic Relationship Between Entitativity and Social Identification in In-Groups and Out-Groups."

 "This research studies how sororities' perceptions of themselves ralate to their perceptions of other sororities," Santoriella said.  "It was predicted that participants would rate in-groups as more entitative than outgroups, especially as in-group social identification increased over time."

Columbiana, OH
 Lauren Lalama
is a daughter of Frank and Paulette Lalama.  Lalama, a senior psychology major, is a graduate of Columbiana High School.   The title of her study is "The Relationship Between Cohesion, Mood, and Performance Among Female Collegiate Athletes."

 "The study focused on female collegiate volleyball athletes," said Lalama.  "The purpose was to examine how a groups's ability to unite socially and unite around its goals and objectives, impacts team performance."

Youngstown, OH
 Brian Ekis
is a son of Pam Fuzar and Ron Ekis.  Ekis, a senior psychology major, is a graduate of Boardman High School.  The title of his study was "The Effects of Reapprasial on Within Team Aggression."

 "This presentation includes a theory on within team aggression that helped shaped my research, the methods by which I collected my data, and the results that I received from my project," Ekis said.  "This research will show how reappraisal training can help to reduce within team aggression."

 The event is free and open to the public.  For more information, contact McMinn at (724) 946-7121 or e-mail mcminnjp@westmisnter.edu.

Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College is ranked among national leaders 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 357 Colleges" and "Best 115 in the Mid-Atlantic" by The Princeton Review, and was recognized by the Templeton Guide as a "Character Building College."

Nearly 1,600 students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty, while choosing from 40 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa. campus.