This Spring, four psychology majors and Professor Deb Gagnon attended the Western Pennsylvania Undergraduate Psychology Conference, held at Gannon University in Erie, Pa. Each student had the rewarding experience of presenting their senior thesis or senior project work. Three presented posters—Annie Olczyk '16, Holli Erkson '16, and Stephen Armstrong '16—while Amber Telfer '16 made an oral presentation.
Amber's topic, "Students' Knowledge of Accommodation of Rights and Responsibilities," (Faculty Advisor: Deb Gagnon) shed light on the importance of informing college students about their rights and responsibilities. Anna Olczyk (Faculty Advisor: Sarah Markowitz) presented her poster about the Treatment of Academic Procrastination in College Students. Holli Erkson's "A Test of a Holistic Needs Model of Romantic Relationships" (Faculty Advisor: Deb Gagnon) developed a model of needs in a relationship with the hopes of serving as a guide for individuals in actualizing their own healthy relationships. Stephen Armstrong (Faculty Advisor: Milene Morfei) presented his thesis on the "Sustainable Drinking: Improving Drinking Water Practices" on a College Campus that explored the environmental impact of single-use plastic water bottles and discusses other issues such as the concern for the privatization of water, the economic factors involved with water consumption, and the health and well being of consumers and communities.
The Western Pennsylvania Undergraduate Psychology Conference is an annual conference (in its 44th year), usually held at a different college or university in Western Pennsylvania each year. The conference is the only one in the region that is entirely dedicated to undergraduate research and provides a unique opportunity for undergraduates to present their work in a conference setting. This year's consisted of approximately 40 poster presentations and 30 oral presentations by students from the region. To qualify to present at the conference, students submit proposal abstracts for consideration by a committee; all four proposals submitted by Wells students this year were accepted.
Professor Gagnon and her students last participated in the conference at Westminster College in 2011.