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K-State Today

May 17, 2022

Psychological sciences honors undergraduates and graduate students

Submitted by Gary Brase

The psychological sciences department honored this year’s departmental undergraduate and graduate award winners at an event on May 9.

Kourtney Rumback received the John C. Peterson Undergraduate Scholarship Prize for being an outstanding graduating senior. Kourtney has been a member of Kimberly Kirkpatrick's research lab since her freshman year and Sonny Lee’s microbiology laboratory since her sophomore year. Rumback’s research examines the effects of high-fat diets on gut microbiome composition and impulsivity. She will be starting medical school at the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Wichita this summer to become an ER doctor and family physician in rural Kansas.

Katie Hutson is this year’s recipient of the E. Jerry Phares Undergraduate Research Award. Her research in Don Saucier's lab examines prejudicial perceptions of lesbians in the workplace, and her research in Heather Bailey's lab examines fluid intelligence and strategy choice with Raven's advanced progressive matrices. She is the outgoing president of the Sexuality and Gender Alliance, vice president of the College of Arts and Sciences Ambassadors, a Psi Chi member and has completed the Honors Program. After graduation, Hutson plans to work as a case manager for NorthCare in Oklahoma City.

Haylee Tien is the winner of the Curtis Lee and JB Gee Psychological Sciences Scholarship. Tien is part of the Couples and Family Therapy Club. Her career goal is to become a couples and family therapist.

Katie Lochner, Kelly Krehbiel and Sophie Austin received the James and Doreen Shanteau Undergraduate Research Award. The award funds research with the students' faculty mentors during the following academic year. Lochner will work with Saucier on the effects of social vigilantism and source credibility on resistance to persuasion. Krehbiel will work with Bailey on the relationship between childhood trauma and its effects on memory and inhibition. Austin will also work with Saucier on how masculine honor beliefs relates to perceptions of intimate partner violence.

Tina Shirley received the Leon Rappoport Psychology Undergraduate Scholarship. This scholarship honors the memory of a faculty member in the department and is awarded to a nontraditional, high-achieving student. 

The Sewell Undergraduate Research Scholarship was awarded to Alexys Anguiano. This scholarship recognizes undergraduates conducting psychology research with a preference for supporting first-generation and transfer students. Anguiano conducts research on the behavioral and neural processes involved in learning to detect sounds in noise. Her faculty mentors are Alexandria Zakrzewski and Matthew Wisniewski.

Trevor Bell received the Outstanding Graduate Instructor Award. Bell teaches general psychology and has given teaching discussions and talks for the Teaching and Learning Center. He aims to increase student engagement and inclusion in the classroom. Bell received a monetary award from the Nobuko S. Nicholson Opportunity Fund for Psychological Sciences.

The Outstanding Graduate Research Award/Harry Helson Memorial Scholarship had two recipients this year: Brian Howatt and Kelsey Panfil. Howatt studies how people learn when to act impulsively versus when to wait patiently in video-game-based tasks, and strategic decision-making in competitive environments using computational modeling and electroencephalography. Panfil is currently working on sex differences in time-based interventions designed to promote self-control, including both behavioral and neural activity associated with the interventions. She has received grants from Sigma Xi and Psi Chi to begin collecting dissertation data.

Lastly, the department presented the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award to Noah Renken. He was nominated for his work in Saucier's general psychology and advanced social psychology courses, particularly relating to his aid in managing HyFlex course modalities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Renken also works in the Teaching and Learning Center, where he serves as the graduate teaching assistant for Principles of College Teaching and contributes to the scholarship of teaching and learning. This award was funded by the department’s Graduate Teaching Assistant Support Fund, which has been generously supported by alumni.

The faculty in the psychological sciences applaud the many achievements of these outstanding students.