Standout Scholarship in Olivet’s Department of Behavioral Sciences

2018 -19 Student and faculty research presented at national conventions.

Students and faculty in the Department of Behavioral Sciences at Olivet Nazarene University have been especially productive this year, generating research and presenting their findings at several different national conventions during the 2018-19 academic year. 

As a teaching university, Olivet offers an interactive classroom experience. PhD-level professors not only provide engaging lectures and stimulating discussions, but they also supervise students in generating their own research. Psychology students who pursue bachelor of science degrees will publicly present results from independent research projects.

Students who conduct an independent research project work through the steps of the scientific method as they test an original question of interest that they have identified. They are responsible for all aspects of these projects, including the design of the study, the operationalization of variables, the institutional review board application (to ensure that all aspects of the study adhere to ethical guidelines), the data collection and the analyses. In the process of completing their projects, students become proficient in reading, understanding, interpreting and conducting research; skill sets that prepare them well for industry careers and post-graduate programs.

Dr. Kristian Veit, professor of psychology, says of the value of completing independent research projects, "Presenting these projects at different conferences affords students opportunities to interact with and learn from students, professors, researchers, and practitioners outside of ONU. Students learn the research process better by engaging in it, and additional mentoring opportunities become available to students when they work alongside a faculty member as they complete their own independent research projects."

Students who are interested in studying psychology may choose to pursue a bachelor of arts degree in psychology, which focuses on psychology as an applied discipline and can be double-majored with another area of study, or a bachelor of science degree in psychology. The bachelor of science degree in psychology emphasizes the science and research components of the field of psychology and the degree requires students to do an independent research project. Approximately one third of Olivet students choose to do these unique projects. 

Below is a comprehensive list of 2018-19 student and faculty research conducted through the Department of Behavioral Sciences.

2018 APA Convention
Dr. Kristian Veit, Dr. Lisa Gassin, Devin Kirkland and Ashlyn Wingate travelled to San Francisco in August 2018 to present three different research studies at the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Annual Convention. Student travel was made possible by funding from Dr. Samuel L. Mayhugh.
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Gassin, E. A., & Sandtorv, E. (2018, August). Children’s experiences of communion in the Eastern Orthodox Christian tradition. Poster presented at the 126th Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association, San Francisco, CA.
 
Veit, K. M., & Gassin, E. A. (2018, August). Predicting workplace loneliness from personality and organizational climate. Poster presented at the 126th Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association, San Francisco, CA.
 
Veit, K. M., Kirkland, D., & Wingate, A. (2018, August). Does a syllabus quiz influence syllabus understanding and course/teacher impressions? Poster presented at the 126th Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association, San Francisco, CA.
 
2019 MPA Annual Meeting
Every spring, the Midwest Psychological Association (MPA) holds its annual meeting at the Palmer House Hilton in downtown Chicago. This year, Olivet faculty member, Dr. Alison Young Reusser, and students, Adrienne Anderson, Amanda Roche and Ashley Seay presented their scholarly work at the convention. Amanda Roche’s research was recognized by Psi Chi as one of the top 24 projects out of 800 submissions to receive a Regional Research Award. Psi Chi is the international honor society in psychology, and Amanda is the first ONU student in our history to receive this honor. 

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Anderson, A. (2019, April). Impacts of resume format on hirability. Poster presented at the 91st Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.
 
Roche, A. (2019, April). The relationship between faith maturity and life satisfaction. Poster presented at the 91st Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.
 
Seay, A. (2019, April). The level of attractiveness and its impact on potential candidate selection in college students. Poster presented at the 91st Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.
 
Young Reusser, A. (2019, April). Accessibility of attitudes toward political categories predicts voting preferences. Paper presented at the 91st Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.

2019 Associated Colleges of the Chicago Area (ACCA) Undergraduate Research Symposium
On April 13, 2019, nine students traveled to Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois, to present their quantitative research projects at the Associated Colleges of the Chicago Area (ACCA) Undergraduate Research Symposium. These projects were conducted under the direction of Dr. Alison Young Reusser or Dr. Kristian Veit.
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Cox, J. (2019, April). The relationship between Active and passive social media use, perceived social isolation, and frequency of social media use. Paper presented at the 52nd Annual ACCA Undergraduate Research Symposium, Lisle, IL.
 
Decker, E. (2019, April). Investigating the relationship between assertiveness and burnout in university students. Paper presented at the 52nd Annual ACCA Undergraduate Research Symposium, Lisle, IL.
 
Dugan, K. (2019, April). The role of attachment in aggressive responses to ostracism. Paper presented at the 52nd Annual ACCA Undergraduate Research Symposium, Lisle, IL.
 
Durbin, A. (2019, April). A study of the relationship between anxiety and test performance. Paper presented at the 52nd Annual ACCA Undergraduate Research Symposium, Lisle, IL.
 
Johnson, S. (2019, April). Assessing student to professor empathy and helping in regards to the empathy gap. Paper presented at the 52nd Annual ACCA Undergraduate Research Symposium, Lisle, IL.
 
Joyner, T. (2019, April). The impact of recalling bias behavior. Paper presented at the 52nd Annual ACCA Undergraduate Research Symposium, Lisle, IL.
 
Meridith, A. (2019, April). Racism and gender bias in the juvenile justice system. Paper presented at the 52nd Annual ACCA Undergraduate Research Symposium, Lisle, IL.
 
Sandtorv, E. (2019, April). Effects of stress on ability to empathize with others experiencing anxiety. Paper presented at the 52nd Annual ACCA Undergraduate Research Symposium, Lisle, IL.
 
Wingate, A. (2019, April). Locus of control and university students’ perceptions of safety from campus gun violence. Paper presented at the 52nd Annual ACCA Undergraduate Research Symposium, Lisle, IL.
 
2019 Scholar Week at Olivet Nazarene University
Dr. Young Reusser also gave her MPA presentation at Olivet’s 2019 Scholar’s Week. Several students presented the above-mentioned projects including Keely Dugan, Sarah Johnson, Tabitha Joyner and Amanda Roche. In addition, Scholar Week was the only outlet for the following project:
 
Sandtorv, E. (2019, April). Mental health first aid training: Evaluating a brief training intervention for college students. Paper presented at Olivet Nazarene University’s 2019 Scholar’s Week.
 
2019 APA Convention
The 2019 APA Annual Convention was held in Chicago. All four of the projects that were submitted for consideration were accepted. This year was the largest contingent of ONU students to have ever attended the 2019 APA Convention. Submissions included:
 
Dugan, K., Cox, J., Smith, D.L., & Hunter, S.J. (2019, August). Associations between Psychiatric Disorders and Time Spent Homeless Among Homeless Youth. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.
 
Veit, K. M., Harnisch, K., & Huerta, J. (2019). The impact of syllabus font on syllabus/course/professor impressions. Poster presented at the 127th Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.
 
Veit, K. M., Wright, S., Decker, E. & Klavohn, K. (2019). The impact of syllabus font on syllabus/course/professor impressions. Poster presented at the 127th Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.
 
2019 Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association
The following study was accepted to the 2019 Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association. The meeting will be held in November in Philadelphia, PA.
 
Cox, J., Dugan, K., Hunter, S.J., & Smith, D.L. (2019, November). Duration of homeless episodes and mental health in young adults; the role of executive functioning as a potential mediator. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association, Philadelphia, PA.

For more information about the Department of Behavioral Sciences and other areas of study, contact the Office of Admissions at admissions@olivet.edu or 800-648-1463.

Photos submitted and used with permission.
Published 6/25/19
LB