June 1, 2012
Awarding excellence: Psychology department recognizes outstanding work by students
Three recent Kansas State University psychology graduates are recipients of scholastic awards from the university's department of psychology, while a psychology undergraduate is the first recipient of a new department scholarship for nontraditional students.
The awards recognize outstanding contributions to the university's psychology program and the overall field of psychology.
Scott Jones, a May 2012 bachelor's graduate in psychology, Derby, the E.J. Phares Prize for Outstanding Undergraduate Research. Jones worked on several research projects in the laboratory of faculty member Matthew Palmatier since January 2010. He received the Doreen Shanteau Undergraduate Research Fellowship in 2011 for his research on interactions between the reinforcing effects of caffeine and alcohol. He also received a fellowship from the Johnson Cancer Research Center for his studies on an animal model of nicotine dependence. His research earned first authorships on two posters presented at the Society for Neuroscience, and co-authorship on several posters and papers presented at other meetings, including a symposium at the Research Society on Alcoholism this summer. He also is first author on a manuscript that is being revised and re-submitted to Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, one of the top peer-reviewed publications on alcoholism and alcohol abuse. He will be the co-author on at least two additional papers being prepared for publication. Jones plans to continue his research on caffeine and alcohol through the summer to complete the studies he proposed for the Doreen Shanteau Fellowship. He is the first undergraduate to appear as a first author on a manuscript co-authored with Palmatier. "Having an undergraduate as first author never made sense before Scott joined the lab. He is functioning at the level of an advanced graduate student," Palmatier said.
Stacy Schuster, a December 2011 summa cum laude bachelor's graduate in psychology, Grainfield, the J.C. Peterson Prize for Outstanding Graduating Senior in Psychology. As an undergraduate, Schuster was a peer instructor for the Enhanced University Experience Program and a recitation instructor in the department of psychology. A member of Psi Chi, the undergraduate honor society in psychology, she served on the Student Opportunity Awards Committee for the K-State Proud campaign. She also was a volunteer for Cats for Cans, Meadowlark Hills Living Community and the Boys and Girls Club. She was an undergraduate research assistant in the laboratories of psychology faculty members Matthew Palmatier and Brenda McDaniel. She presented research at the Society for Neuroscience and the Society for Personality and Social Psychology as first author.
Schuster received the Doreen Shanteau Undergraduate Research Fellowship for her project on the emotion of schadenfreude within romantic relationships under the mentorship of McDaniel. She will begin graduate studies in K-State's marriage and family therapy program in the fall.
Lea Folsom, a May 2012 bachelor's graduate in psychology, Hutchinson, the E.J. Phares Prize for Outstanding Undergraduate Research. Folsom worked in Donald Saucier's research laboratory since the fall 2008 semester. She contributed to several research projects, including projects examining the relationship between religiosity and the provision versus withholding of help toward gay men. She designed a series of her own studies to investigate the factors that influence the perceptions of and prejudice toward pregnant women. She also presented posters at each of the last three annual conferences for the Society of Personality and Social Psychology as first author, and is writing two manuscripts. Folsom received the Doreen Shanteau Undergraduate Research Fellowship in 2010. Her other activities included serving as a recitation instructor for the general psychology course and a learning assistant for a university CAT community course on the psychology of prejudice as part of the K-State First Program.
Kathryn Smiley, senior in psychology, San Marcos, Texas, the Leon Rappoport Psychology Scholarship for a nontraditional student in psychology. Smiley is currently completing the psychological technician option with a practicum at TFI Family Services. She plans to pursue a master's in social work with direct practice emphasis at Texas State University in San Marcos. Her ultimate goal is to be a licensed social worker working in a therapy setting with military families. To prepare her for this goal, Smiley has been active in research, working with psychology faculty members Satoris Culbertson and Brenda McDaniel on the design and administration of surveys, data entry, coding and analysis, and manuscript preparation. Smiley was a recitation instructor for the general psychology course in fall 2011. She also volunteered at crisis centers, worked with an Army family readiness unit to support soldiers and families, and served as a Safe Zone ally at K-State. She also was named a staff member of the month by the Boys and Girls Club of Manhattan.