Symposium highlights undergraduate research

David Strayer,
Psychology professor

PULLMAN – The seventh annual Psychology Undergraduate Research Symposium will take place at 1 p.m., Thursday, April 30 at the WSU Smith Center for Undergraduate Education (CUE).

Posters will be on display, showcasing original student research, on topics ranging from post-traumatic stress disorder to memory loss to survey assessment development.
University of Utah psychology professor David Strayer will present a lecture titled “Multi-tasking in the Automobile: Are We Being Driven to Distraction?” at 2:50 p.m. in the CUE, room 203.
Strayer’s research in applied cognition focuses on driving and traffic safety and how in-car technologies like cell phones impact driver attention and performance.
Following Strayer’s talk, the psychology department will present awards to student grant recipients Katherine Bittinger, Jillian Laggart, Timothy Lyons, Carolyn Parsey, Jessica Rogers and Nick Zaharevich for their research.
Since 2003, the department has awarded grants through its Undergraduate Research Initiative to undergraduate students conducting original research under the direction of faculty mentors.
“We have always been committed to undergraduate participation in research as a department and believe strongly in the importance of direct student involvement in the research process,” said Samantha Swindell, clinical assistant professor of psychology and symposium coordinator. “The grant program has formalized that commitment.”
Whether they plan to pursue graduate degrees or enter the competitive job market following graduation, Swindell said, “Participating in research gives students the opportunity to apply what they have learned in the classroom and develop a number of skills we believe are relevant to their future success.”
The symposium concludes with a formal poster session at 4 p.m., where student presenters will be available to answer questions about their work.
All symposium events are free and open to the public.

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