Psych students to submit topics in Washington, D.C.

By Georgiana Rushworth
April 19, 2001

Dr. M.L. Corbin Sicoli

by Georgiana Rushworth

staff writer

How do parents influence adolescent alcohol use? Do parental conflict/divorce affect children’s later romantic relationships? Does the teacher’s and the student’s gender influence the instructors teaching effectiveness surveys we are given at the end of each semester?

These are just a few of the topics that Cabrini’s Psi Chi members are writing about and will submit to the Eastern Psychology Association. The American Psychology Association breaks the country into different areas and Cabrini competes with the other colleges on the East Coast. Some of our competitors are Carnegie Mellon University, Lebanon Valley College, Penn State-Abington and University of Rhode Island. Mary Louise Sicoli, adviser of Psi Chi said, “Cabrini College always has the most winners or are at least in the top three.”

The process begins when the psychology students are in their junior year. The students pick a topic that interests them and Anthony Tomasco and Janet Lohmann help them to research and begin to write their papers. Tomasco and Lohmann read over the students’ papers and determine whose papers are excellent and should go on to Sicoli for further research. Sicoli teaches a course called Research Practicum, which gets the papers into competition shape.

Sicoli then chooses which papers deserve to be sent to the EPA and three professors from around the country will score their papers. Sicoli said, “Our psychology students deserve a lot of credit for working so hard on these topics for two years and deserve to be recognized.”

The finalists from Cabrini are Diana Andrejczak, Colleen Martin, Nicholas Williamson, Christina Vergara, and Stacey Carpenter. Andrejczak is researching the effectiveness of the surveys that students are given at the end of each semester and looking at how gender affects these tests. Martin surveyed 57 students performing their mandatory community service for their SEM 300 course and is determining if a relationship exists between empathy and attitudes toward community service. Williamson is researching a topic on the influence of parents and peers on adolescent alcohol use and Vergara is examining how students feel about alcohol consumption, social standing and peer acceptance. Carpenter has been investigating how parental conflict and divorce affects romantic relationships.

Those with the highest score will present at the EPA on April 20 in Washington, D.C. They will earn $300 and will be known as the Regional Research winner.

If anyone is interested in reading more about these topics, their articles will be published in the psychology journal. The journal can be found in the library or in Sicoli’s office in Founder’s Hall 271.

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Georgiana Rushworth

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