Ann Wright, a former U.S. diplomat who resigned from the Bush administration in protest of foreign policy, will speak at Westminster College Wednesday, Sept. 28, at 7 p.m. at the McKelvey Witherspoon Maple Room.
The Peace Studies Program engages faculty and students seeking an answer to what causes conflict and how conflict can be resolved or prevented. Peace Studies hosts various speakers with diverse views throughout the year.
Wright resigned from the U.S. Foreign Service in March 2003, while serving as deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Mongolia. Her resignation letter indicates that she disagreed with the decision to go to war in Iraq without authorization of the U.N. Security Council, the lack of effort in resolving the Israel-Palestinian situation, the lack of policy on North Korea, and what she believed was the unnecessary curtailment of civil liberties in the United States.
Wright's began her foreign service in 1987, when she served as deputy chief of mission of U.S. Embassies in Sierra Leone, Micronesia, and briefly in Afghanistan. She received the State Department's Award for Heroism for her actions during the evacuation of 2,500 persons from the civil war in Sierra Leone, the largest evacuation since the evacuation of Saigon in 1974.
She was on the first State Department team to go to Kabul, Afghanistan. She helped reopen the U.S. Embassy in Kabul in Dec. 2001 and worked in Afghanistan for five months, serving the last month as deputy chief of mission.
Before entering the Foreign Service, she served in the Army and has a combined regular Army/Army Reserve service time of 29 years. She served primarily in special operations units and attained the rank of colonel. While on military duty in 1982 and 1983 in Grenada, she was on the U.S. Army's International Law team and participated in civil reconstruction.
The presentation is free and open to the public. Contact Dr. Andrea Grove, assistant professor of political science and director of the Peace Studies Program at Westminster, at (724) 946-7254 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Eleven Westminster College students recently presented their psychology research at the 34th annual Western Pennsylvania Undergraduate Psychology Conference held in Erie at Gannon University.
The student's hometown information and abstracts are as follows:
April Sobieralski is a daughter of Raymond and Catherine Sobieralski. Sobieralski, a senior psychology major, is a graduate of Serra District Catholic High School. The title of her research is, "EOG Activity of OCD Symptomatic Participants in Response to Disgusting Images."
"The present investigation used electrooculography and electroencephalography to examine differences in ocular and frontotemporal activity in response to disgusting stimuli between OCD symptomatic and non-symptomatic individuals. The researchers found that OCD symptomatic participants had significantly less horizontal eye movements on two disgusting images, and trends show OCD symptomatic participants had less eye movements for each disgusting image. Behavior modification can center on training OCD sufferers to visually divert their attention from stimuli that are obsessions and compulsions," writes Sobieralski
Elizabeth Caskey, an exploratory major, is a graduate of Penn Hills High School. The title of her research is, "Communicative Interventions with Children with Autism and other Disabilities."
"The study was designed to compare the effectiveness of two communicative interventions with children diagnosed with autism and other severe disabilities. The two interventions that were used are the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) and Augmentative Communicative System (AAC). Using a single-subject of alternating-treatment design (Barlow & Hayes, 1979), the children would experience three conditions in each session throughout the course of the study. To add control to the study a "no treatment" condition was added to assess generalization of the two interventions in the child's natural environment. The participants in this proposed study are three children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder receiving wraparound services in Pennsylvania. Following a baseline period to assess word identification/usage of ten words (dependent measures), each child would experience the two communicative interventions (PECS, AAC)during each session (independent measures). The interventions would be scheduled and alternated so that each child received the same number of intervention sessions. The results of the study indicated which of the two communication interventions is most effective in increasing verbal responses in children with Autism," writes Caskey.
Erin O'Donnell is a daughter of Timothy and Mary Ann O'Donnell. O'Donnell, a senior psychology major, is a graduate of North Catholic High School. The title of her research is, "A Look at Overt and Subtle Prejudice."
"Prejudice toward Muslims and the impact of fear were investigated. Participants from a small liberal arts college read a paragraph that explained the head-covering traditions of Muslim and Amish women, followed by a survey measuring the degree to which this practice was viewed negatively. Fear was induced in half of the participants. Hypotheses were that Americans would be more overtly prejudiced toward Muslims than Amish, would view Islamic traditions more negatively, and when fearful, participants' views would be more negative than when not fearful. Results were not significant," writes O'Donnell.
Anneliese Schwartzmiller is a daughter of Matthew and Annette Schwartzmiller. Schwartzmiller, a senior psychology major, is a graduate of Canevin High School. The title of her research is, "Familial History of Hypertension and Oral Contraceptive Use as Moderators of Cortisol Concentrations Following a Stressor Task."
"Elevated levels of cortisol concentrations have been linked to an increased risk of several health related problems (Ahmed, de la Torre, and Wahlgren, 2004). Several studies have investigated hypertension-prone individuals increase and oral contraceptive users decrease in cortisol concentration after a psychosocial stressor. Cortisol concentrations following a stressor task were collected for 40 undergraduate females (1) with or without a familial history of hypertension and (2) who use or don't use oral contraceptives. Although the results were not significant, they followed the trend observed in previous research. Future research is needed to determine what prolonged effects these two factors have on the HPA axis," writes Schwartzmiller.
New Stanton, PA
Kadie Strosko is a daughter of Raymond and Barbara Strosko. Strosko, a senior psychology major, is a graduate of Hempfield High School. The title of her research is, "Perceptions of Criminality in a Non-Criminal Male Population."
"Perceptions of criminality are revealed by facial features such as long hair, tattoos, and piercings. The Social Dominance Orientation scale was used to determine the participant's level of social dominance. Fifty two non-criminal male participants were given the SDO and the photo task questionnaire which included 24 photos that vary by facial feature and race. Using a within-subject ANOVA results yielded that Salience was individually significant and remained significant when paired with Picture Race. This shows that salience does have an effect on the way one perceives criminality," writes Strosko.
Kayla Pasquale is a daughter of Jeffrey and Tamara Marie Pasquale. Pasquale, a senior psychology major, is a graduate of Mohawk Area High School. The title of her research is, "Effect of Rejection Sensitivity on Friendship Satisfaction and Quality."
"This study examined the effect of rejection sensitivity on friendship as supported by previous similar studies. Participants were studied on two distinct types of friendship measures; positive feelings and satisfaction for a specific friend, and seven friendship functions, measuring the quality of friendship. Individual differences in rejection sensitivity were compared to both friendship satisfaction, and seven functions evaluating friendship quality. Based on a Pearson-product correlation design, significant results were found in satisfaction and six friendship functions. In conclusion individuals who show higher levels of rejection sensitivity tend to have overall lower friendship quality," writes Pasquale.
Meredith Polando is a daughter of Michele Polando and the late John Polando. Polando, a senior psychology major, is a graduate of Ursuline High School. The title of her research is, "Self-verification and Personal Attitudes Toward Women."
"Self-verification theory suggests that people want others to confirm their self-beliefs even when these beliefs are negative (Swann, Stein-Seroussi, & Giesler, 1992). One such self-belief involves attitudes toward women, including sexism. This study examined self-verification and sexist beliefs. Participants completed implicit and explicit measures of sexism, and they received ostensibly real feedback on the implicit measure that either confirmed or disconfirmed their explicit self-beliefs. They were then asked to help a male or female professor on an anagram task. I predicted that nonsexists who received disconfirming feedback would help a woman more than a man, but the reverse would be true of sexists who received disconfirming feedback. This hypothesis was not supported," writes Polando.
Erin Hinks is a daughter of Gary and Rose Mary Hinks. Hinks, a senior psychology major, is a graduate of Mineral Ridge High School. The title of her research is, "The Effects of Priming on Body Image and Social Comparison."
"Social Comparison Theory states people have a drive compare themselves with others which can lead negative self evaluation, especially when a female compares her body image. 93 Westminster College females participated. They were primed with an image of a thin or overweight person, or no image at all. They completed the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and Body Shape Questionnaire, half were in front of a mirror. They were given candy to eat, which was measured. Image and mirror's effect on a persons Self-Esteem, Body Satisfaction, and candy eaten was analyzed, there were no significant results," writes Hinks.
New Vernon, NJ
Winifred Limmer is a daughter of John and Meredith Limmer. Limmer, a senior psychology major, is a graduate of Newark Academy. The title of her research is, "Etiology of executive functioning deficits: Can they be attributed to Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder."
"Etiology of executive functioning deficits: Can they be attributed to Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or comorbid depression? Some studies have implied a relationship between executive functioning deficits and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, but they failed to control for depression. Based on screening scores, 46 participants were assigned to an OC-symptomatic, a depressed/OC-symptomatic, or a control group. The Wisconsin Card Sorting Test and Trail Making Tests were administered. Some of the OCD and control participants first completed a stressor task. Depressed/OCD participants performed the poorest on both tests. OCD participants in the hyperarousal condition performed poorer than those in the neutral condition. This indicates that executive functioning deficits are due primarily to comorbid depression, not OCD. Results also suggest that the deficits observed in individuals with OCD may be due to hyperarousal," writes Limmer.
Elizabeth Randall is a daughter of David and Joan Randall. Randall, a senior psychology major, is a graduate of Kenmore West High School. The title of her research is, "The Relationship Between Gender Schematicity and Recall of Gendered Information."
"The impact of gender schematicity on recall of gender stereotyped and counterstereotyped information was assessed utilizing the Bem Sex Role Inventory and two short stories. Recall of the stories was tested one week later. A one-way ANOVA and planned comparisons showed that gender schematic individuals recalled significantly more stereotyped information from the second story than did gender aschematic individuals," writes Randall.
Sebastian LoNigro is a son of Cathleen and Joseph LoNigro. Lonigro, a senior psychology major, is a graduate of Fort Hill High School. The title of his research is, "The Role of Psychological Factors in Subjective Reports of Parasympathetic Arousal."
"Nesbitt (1973) reported that smokers describe feeling relaxed while smoking even though simultaneous physiological measurement indicates increased arousal. This phenomenon has been termed "Nesbitt's Paradox." Most research has focused on physiological explanations of the phenomenon, such as nicotine withdrawal. However, few studies have investigated the contributions of psychological factors to Nesbitt's Paradox. The present study examined the possible impact of manipulation of smoking materials on Nesbitt's Paradox. A sample of 18 smokers and 18 non-smokers participated in a stressor task and were then assigned to one of three experimental relaxation conditions: sham smoking, deep breathing, and control. Participants were compared on measures of blood pressure, heart rate, and skin temperature. Results indicated that there were no statistically significant differences between groups across the experimental conditions," writes LoNigro.
Contact Dr. Jamie McMinn, assistant professor of psychology, at (724) 946-7121 or e-mail email@example.com for more information.
The Wilmington Area School District and Westminster College will host a Veterans Day program Monday, Nov. 12 at 9:30 a.m. in Westminster's Orr Auditorium.
The Westminster College Orchestra homecoming concert is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 8, at 3 p.m. in Orr Auditorium.
Six Westminster College senior art majors have their projects on display through May 7 at the Westminster College Art Gallery in Patterson Hall. The gallery is open Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-9 p.m. and, Sunday, noon-9 p.m.
The display features: Lucas Bell uses computer graphic arts to superimpose images to create a surreal content; Zachary Beresh uses computer graphic arts and painting for his theme of family and friends; Sarah Lohr uses clay done in Raku firing for her mask theme; Beth Staley uses oil paintings for her theme on music and the Beetles; Jami White uses computer mixed media to produce programs for her theme of social issues; and Nancy Wicks uses hand-built ceramics, such as vases, planters, and bird baths, for her garden theme.
Three Westminster College seniors will perform their capstone recitals on Saturday, Nov. 18.
The Westminster College Drinko Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning will host Campbell Memorial High School students at the Bright Futures Performing Arts Program, "Conquering Conflict through the Arts!" June 11-22.
Michael Mullin, a senior Christian education and music major, will present his senior percussion capstone recital Saturday, March 8, at 3 p.m. in Orr Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.
Dr. Bethany Hicok, Westminster College associate professor of English, is the author of Degrees of Freedom: American Women Poets and the Women's College, 1905-1955 that was recently published by Bucknell University Press.
Within the upcoming six weeks, the Field Station grounds will be swarming with college students enrolled in biology and environmental science lab courses. But in the late spring and the summer months, the facilities here belonged to the kids of the community. Since Earth Week and the end of April over 100 children have come out to share this environmental education resource. That is as it should be!
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