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Westminster student earns Psi Chi research award

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Posted on Thursday, June 10, 2021

Samuel Accordino, a senior Westminster College neuroscience major, recently earned an undergraduate research award from Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology.

Accordino received the 2020-2021 Spring Undergraduate Research Grant valued at $1,500 for his proposal “The Effects of Acute Nicotine Exposure on Anxiety-like Behavior in Rats Chronically Exposed to Methylphenidate.” Accordino is a Westminster College Honors Program student from Canfield, Ohio.

Accordino’s study investigates how chronic exposure to methylphenidate—a stimulant medication used to treat ADHAD—and acute nicotine use affects anxiety-like behavior in rodents. All rats were tested for anxiety-like behavior prior to and following nicotine exposure to assess differences. It was hypothesized that anxiety would be elevated in MPH-exposed rats prior to nicotine exposure and reduced to levels similar to controls following.

Psi Chi, one of the largest honor societies in the United States with more than 1,150 chapters, offers over $400,000 in awards, grants, stipends, and scholarships every year.

To learn more about Westminster’s neuroscience major, visit