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Westminster Senior Psychology Majors to Present Capstone Research Projects

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.


Westminster to Host Youth Suicide Seminar

Westminster College will host "Youth Suicide: The Silent Epidemic" Wednesday, Oct. 12, at the Witherspoon Conference Room located in the McKelvey Campus Center.  Participants can choose one of two sessions: 1-2:30 p.m. or 6:30-8 p.m.

 The seminar is geared towards emergency management teams, Pennsylvania constables, fire and rescue teams, sheriff's departments, Pennsylvania State law enforcement and local law enforcement, but anyone can attend this free seminar provided by Belmont Pines Hospital in collaboration with The Jason Foundation, Inc.

 According to Belmont Pines, suicide is the second leading cause of death for college-age youth, third leading cause of death for high school-age youth, and four out of five youth give clear warning signs, if people are trained to recognize them. 

 Contact Leanna Graney, community liaison at Belmont Pines Hospital, at (330) 518-2871 for more information.


Language Professor's Article Published in Literary Journal

Dr. Ann Murphy, an associate professor of French and Spanish and chair of the Department of Modern Languages at Westminster College, had an article, "Origins, Loss, and Recovery in Patrick Modiano's Voyage de noces and Dora Bruder," published in Studies in 20th and 21st Century Literature.

"Patrick Modiano is a contemporary French novelist whose works have interested me for quite a long time," Murphy said.  "This piece examines the relationship between two of his novels written in the 1990s.  Dora Bruder actually contains a reference to the writing of Voyage de noces, a fact that intrigued me.  My analysis demonstrates that the connection Modiano creates between the two works allows him to partially resolve a paradox expressed by his simultaneous preoccupations with absence and loss, on the one hand, and with the use of writing to compensate for these, on the other."

Murphy, who has been with Westminster since 1995, earned her undergraduate degree from Clark University, and master's and Ph.D. from Brown University.

Contact Murphy at (724) 946-7265 or e-mail dammroa@westminster.edu for more information.


Nationally Renowned Tenor Coming to Westminster College

Tenor Craig Schulman, the only actor in the world to have portrayed the title roles in The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, and Jeckyll & Hyde, is coming to the Westminster College Celebrity Series, Friday, Nov. 9, at 8 p.m. in Orr Auditorium.

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Westminster College History Professor to Speak on "Picking a Bride for the Tsar"

Dr. Russell E. Martin, assistant professor of history at Westminster College, will present the 2000 Henderson Lecture, Wednesday, Oct. 4, at 7 p.m. in Beeghly Theater.

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Nationally-Known Forensic Expert to Speak at Westminster

Dr. Dennis Dirkmaat, a nationally-known forensics expert and the only board-certified forensic anthropologist in Pennsylvania, will speak at Westminster College, Sunday, May 4, at 6 p.m. in Phillips Lecture Hall.

Dirkmaat is director of the Post-Baccalaureate Program in Forensic Anthropology and director of the Applied Science Program at Mercyhurst College.  He has conducted over 140 forensic anthropology cases for nearly 30 coroners, medical examiners, and state police in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  He served as the primary forensic anthropologist during mass fatalities in of the Pittsburgh crash of USAir flight 427 in 1994, and as scientific advisor to the Somerset County coroner during the recovery and identification of the victims of United Flight 93 in September 2001.

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When Jack-O-Lanterns die

Most of us have good feelings about carving pumpkins. They are colorful and friendly reminders that the fall season is here to be enjoyed. And we all can be artists! When pumpkins have become Jack-O-Lanterns or yard decorations and before they inevitably turn to mush, we must do something with them. Of course, we can trash them to get them out of sight before they are totally disgusting. In that event they are usually taken by our trash collector to a landfill where they are lost . . . forever! Or, we can give these fall trademarks the chance to continue in the endless cycles of nature. Yes, we can and should compost them!

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Student Receives Grant for "Fancy Flu" Research

Laura DellAntonio, a senior history major, was awarded a Drinko Center Undergraduate Research Grant. Her research is titled "The Fancy Flu: A Characterization of Victims of the Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1919 in Mahoning County, Ohio." Her research advisor is Dr. Timothy Cuff, assistant professor of history. She will present her research at Westminster's Undergraduate Research Symposium in spring 2008.

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Biology Professor to Speak about Fish

Dr. Marosh Furimsky

Dr. Marosh Furimsky, Westminster College assistant professor of biology, will present "What Use is a Fish?" at Faires Faculty Forum on Wednesday, March 12, at 11:40 a.m. in the Sebastian Mueller Theater in the McKelvey Campus Center.

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Art Students Interpret Nature at the Field Station

Art students view plants through microscope
Art student sketches white oak at Field Station
Student submits assignment to Peggy Cox

When 15 art students and Professor Peggy Cox want to draw, paint and interpret nature where do they go? Outside, of course. To the Field Station, of course!

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