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Blinn students present original research at regional psychology conference

Students selected to showcase findings alongside tenured faculty, graduate students

May 12, 2016

Blinn College psychology studentsFive Blinn College psychology students recently presented original research alongside hundreds of graduate students and tenured faculty at the region’s largest psychological conference.

Jacob Howell, Magesty Ismyana, Lindi Lawson, Alan Rivera and Jazem Omar Saripada, members of Blinn’s Psi Beta national honor society for psychology, displayed their findings at the Southwestern Psychological Association (SWPA) annual conference in Dallas. Blinn was one of two community colleges presenting at the conference.

The students began designing their research projects in the Fall under the direction of Katherine Wickes, Division of Social Sciences department head, and with the help of psychology instructors Shaan Shahabuddin and Benjamin White.

Howell and Saripada’s project focused on health and wellness, while Lawson, Ismyana and Rivera’s concentrated on grit in relation to academic success, family support and social media use. They balanced a full load of classes with their research initiatives, which included reviewing literature, developing surveys, distributing them to fellow students and collecting and analyzing data.

At the conclusion of the Fall semester, the students submitted their research abstracts to be vetted by SWPA leadership. At the start of the Spring semester, the students learned they were selected to present both projects at the conference.
“Their projects were evaluated just the same as those submitted from faculty and graduate students,” Wickes said. “This is a fantastic reflection on them as students and their drive and passion for education.”

The students were allotted several hours during the conference to present posters detailing their investigations to psychology students and professionals. Three of the students received accolades from deans of psychology at prestigious universities.

 “They have already asked what they can do to stay involved in research at Blinn, even after they’ve transferred,” Wickes said. “We are fortunate to have so many great students at Blinn, and to have the resources to involve them in research this early in their educational careers.”

PHOTO – From left: Jacob Howell, Lindi Lawson, Jazem Omar Saripada, Alan Rivera and Magesty Ismyana.