1996-2000 Allyn & Bacon Winners' Biographies
Years: 1996-97 | 1997-98 | 1998-99 | 1999-00
Psi Chi would like to thank Allyn & Bacon Publishers for sponsoring the 2000 research award competition. Cash awards were provided by Allyn & Bacon to the winners as follows: $500 for first place, $300 for second place, and $200 for third place. This year's first-place winner is Peter S. Vosler of Quinnipiac University for his paper entitled "The Effects of Ethanol and Dizocilpine on Reinstatement of Sucrose/Ethanol and Sucrose Self-Administration Behavior in Rats." The second-place winner is Elizabeth Stevens of the University of California, Los Angeles for her paper entitled "Worried, Fearful, and Blue: The Effects of a Panic Prevention Intervention on Anxiety and Depression Symptoms." The third-place winner is Cody Cox of Southwestern University for his paper entitled "Examining Perceivers' Reactions to Behavioral and Self-Reported Self-Handicapping."
Peter S. Vosler, the first-place winner, recently graduated summa cum laude from Quinnipiac University with a major in psychobiology/premedicine and a minor in chemistry. Along with being a member of Psi Chi, he has also been inducted into Beta Beta Beta, the biological national honors society, and Sigma Xi, the national researchers association. Furthermore, during college Peter attained the rank of sergeant in the United States Army Reserves as a military intelligence analyst. In his two years of doing research concomitantly with Quinnipiac and Yale University School of Medicine, he has had authorship of five abstracts dealing with the underlying behavioral and pharmacological interactions concerning drug addiction and has submitted the paper of this award to the journal Life Sciences.
Currently, Peter is working at the Yale School of Medicine in the section of Neurobiology as a research assistant/primate technician under Patricia Goldman-Rakic. Here the research focus is to determine the neural basis of learning and memory in rhesus macaques. He hopes to use his research experience as a stepping-stone to apply to MD/PhD programs in June of 2001.
The second-place winner, Elizabeth Stevens, is currently a junior at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) majoring in psychology. Her paper, "Worried, Fearful, and Blue: The Effects of a Panic Prevention Intervention on Anxiety and Depression Symptoms," is the culmination of over 18 months of research in the UCLA Anxiety Disorders Lab with Dr. Michelle Craske and her mentor, Cara Gardenswartz. Her participation in the lab has earned her recognition as an author on a larger study, which she will present at an AABT international conference in Granada, Spain, this summer. Elizabeth is also currently working on her two-year, three-study honors thesis on perceptions of political labels with Dr. Bernard Weiner and Dr. Lisa Farwell, which she will complete before she graduates in the spring of 2001. Elizabeth is involved in both the UCLA college honors program and the psychology departmental honors program and has been elected the 2000-2001 Psi Chi chapter president. She plans to apply to clinical psychology programs in the fall, eventually pursing an academic career focusing on research.
Cody Cox, the third-place winner, is a senior at Southwestern University majoring in both psychology and religion. He is originally from Waco, Texas. Cody anticipates that he will graduate in May of 2000 with a bachelor of arts degree. He is primarily interested in social psychology, particularly in the areas of persuasion and belief systems. Currently he is completing an internship at Austin State Hospital and is developing an interest in clinical psychology as a result of that experience.
In terms of religion, Cody is fascinated by the evolution of doctrine as a religious faith travels geographically and changes over time. He is also very interested in Eastern practices (though certainly the term is very vague), particularly Hinduism and Tibetan Buddhism. Cody is hoping to travel after college to either India or China in order to experience these traditions more directly. Much of his internship has brought to life the textbook terms of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and he hopes that by traveling abroad he can make these cultures and religions become more real to him.
For Cody's long-term plans, he hopes to eventually become a college professor, most likely in psychology. He spends most of his time now working as a waiter and a resident assistant for the school and completing his honor's thesis in religion. In his spare time, Cody enjoys writing, reading, and exploring the uniquely distinctive culture of Austin, Texas. He is a member of Alpha Phi Omega, the university's service fraternity, and is an officer in both Cardinal Key (an honor's service fraternity) and Psi Chi. He is also an avid fan of "The Sopranos."
Psi Chi would like to thank Allyn & Bacon Publishers for sponsoring the 1999 research award competition. Cash awards were provided by Allyn & Bacon to the winners as follows: $500 for first place, $300 for second place, and $200 for third place. This year's first-place winner is Cari Ann Cohorn of Southwestern University for her paper entitled "Predictors of Adjustment and Institutional Attachment in 1st-Year College Students." The second-place winner is Erica Kendall of Ball State University for her paper entitled "Evolution, Sex, and Jealousy: Investigation With a Sample From Sweden." The third-place winner is Jennifer L. Knight of Southwestern University for her paper entitled "Famous or Infamous? The Influence of Celebrity Status and Race on Perceptions of Responsibility for Rape."
Cari Ann Cohorn, the first-place winner, excelled in art, music (having been active in choir, wind ensemble, and orchestra), and French, having the opportunity to study in France during the summer of 1997, while at Southwestern University. Psychology, however, became her real passion. For the past year she has been researching attention deficit hyperactivity disorder with a clinical neuropsychologist at Scott & White Hospital and Clinic. In November, Cari traveled to Washington, D.C., to present her research at the National Academy of Neuropsychology's annual conference. From among 100 student projects, her presentation garnered the Academy's Student Research Award. During her years at Southwestern, Cari coauthored three publications, delivered three conference presentations, and was one of just six students chosen from around the country to attend a National Science Foundation Summer Research Training program in New York in 1998. Most recently, she was corecipient of Southwestern's 1998-99 Outstanding Psychology Student Award. Cari volunteered at the Austin State Hospital and worked with adult long-term patients suffering form illnesses such as schizophrenia and severe bipolar disorder. Cari aspires to a career in public policy related to mental health reform and regulation. She will attend one of the nation's top programs at the University of Illinois and will attend law school concurrently.
The second-place winner, Erica Kendall, graduated in May 1999 from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. She received a BS degree in psychology with a minor in human development and interpersonal relations. She has moved to Phoenix, Ariz., where she will attend graduate school at Arizona State University. Erica is enrolled in the master's in social work program and plans to graduate in May 2001.
Erica coauthored this paper, entitled "Evolution, Sex, and Jealousy: Investigation with a Sample From Sweden," with Michael W. Wiederman, PhD, faculty research advisor at Ball State University. Research for her paper was conducted during the spring 1998 term at Orebro University in Orebro, Sweden, while she was an exchange student there. Erica enjoys working with children and adolescents with behavioral issues. She will soon be gaining experience working in a psychiatric hospital with more severe cases of mental illness. Although her future career plans are not specific at this time, she is eager to gain more experience in the field of social work.
Jennifer L. Knight, the third-place winner, is a senior at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Tex., but her hometown is the booming metropolis of San Angelo, Tex. She will graduate in May 2000 with honors in psychology (and a minor in sociology and maybe music). Her paper submitted for the Allyn & Bacon award has also been accepted by the Journal of Basic and Applied Social Psychology. Some of her activities include being vice-president of Southwestern's Psi Chi chapter, president of her sorority (Delta Delta Delta), a member of Alpha Chi (and winner of their Alfred Nolle Scholarship), and public relations chair for the Student Foundation (Southwestern's service organization). She recently completed her capstone project, a paper examining the selection and impact of public role models on female athletes. This fall, she will begin her senior thesis, in which she will seek to detemine how the media's (often slanted) portrayal of female athletes affects the public's opinion of them. She will also be the lab assistant for next semester's Research Methods class. In her spare time(!), Jennifer enjoys playing the piano and guitar, taking road trips, and surfing through mounds of graduate school information. She expresses her thanks to her mentor and friend, Dr. Giuliano, to her continually supportive family, and to Psi Chi and Allyn & Bacon Publishers.
Psi Chi would like to thank Allyn & Bacon Publishers for sponsoring the 1998 research award competition. Cash awards were provided by Allyn & Bacon to the winners as follows: $500 for first place, and two $250 awards for the two second-place winners who tied for the honor.
Melissa Prather, the first-place winner, grew up on a ranch in Western Colorado with her parents, Richard and Connie Prather, and her sister Krystal. She attended the Colorado College for the last four years, majoring in psychology. In May she was graduated from the Colorado College, cum laude, with distinction in psychology. This fall Melissa will begin graduate school in the neuroscience doctoral program at the University of California, Davis. She would like to thank her family for their continuous support, as well as her thesis advisor, Dr. Bob Jacobs, for his guidance throughout this project.
Christopher DeLisle, one of the second-place winners, is originally from Palm City, Fla., and is currently a senior at Florida Southern College. He intends to graduate in the spring of 1999 with a BS in biology and psychology. His awards and activities include the following: founder and president of the campus Pre-Medical Society; cofounder of the campus Peer Counseling Center; member of six national honor societies; biology, leadership, math, medical scholars, psychology, and social sciences; crisis line, health clinic, and hospital volunteer; and resident advisor for an upperclass dorm. Christopher’s research was conducted between his freshman and sophomore years at the University of Florida’s Summer Psychobiology Institute under the coordination of Dr. Neil Rowland and Dr. Donald Stehouwer. Christopher's advisor, Dr. Dawn Bowers, worked with him in the neurology department of Shands Hospital. The paper was presented at the 1996 SEPA Convention, where it won a Psi Chi Regional Research Award. This paper has also been accepted for publication in the Psi Chi Journal of Undergraduate Research.
DeLisle’s main goal is to obtain admission into medical school, for which he is applying to enter in 1999. He is confident that his background in psychology will serve him well in the medical field, and he looks forward to future challenges. He would like to thank Psi Chi for the opportunities it has given him to grow as a researcher, and Allyn & Bacon Publishers for the honor of being chosen for their award.
The other second-place winner, Samuel E. Fiala, has been very fortunate as an undergraduate to gain a good deal of experience in both basic and applied psychology. This past summer he interned at Pathways Community Counseling (now called Lifeworks) in Austin, Texas, where he worked with both children and teenagers, an experience he describes as “highly informative as well as richly rewarding.” Samuel will be interning again this fall at Austin State Hospital.
Also this fall, Samuel will be continuing work on his honors thesis. He is investigating the factors related to therapists’ utilization of research findings. In addition, he will be serving as Dr. Traci Giuliano’s teaching assistant for a research methods course at Southwestern. Last year he worked as a research assistant with Dr. Giuliano on her investigation of the “Male Answer Syndrome” (the tendency for men to answer questions without regard to their ignorance of the answers). Giuliano served as the research advisor for Samuel’s award-winning paper, which began as a project in Giuliano’s research methods class when Samuel was a sophomore.
Samuel’s experiences conducting research and serving internships have led him to continue his education in the field of psychology. After graduation from Southwestern, Samuel hopes to enter a PhD program in either clinical or counseling psychology. At this point he does not know in which area he would like to specialize, but is currently leaning toward child psychology or family therapy.
On a personal note, Samuel was raised by his mother, who is an administrator in the public school system, his sister who is an elementary schoolteacher, and a very supportive extended family. He was raised in the Methodist church and has a strong faith in God, but doesn’t think any one religion has a patent on the truth. Samuel also has a wonderful girlfriend whom he has been with for almost three years.
Psi Chi would like to thank Allyn & Bacon Publishers for sponsoring the 1997 research award competition. Cash awards were provided by Allyn & Bacon to the winners as follows: $500 for first place, $300 for second place, and $200 for third place.
Melissa Diane Holmes, the first-place winner, was graduated summa cum laude in May 1997 from Muskingum College, where she was involved in numerous activities and organizations. She was an active member of the Psi Chi chapter and served as president in 1995-96. She was also secretary and vice president of the Activities Council Center Board. In April 1996 Melissa received the Mark Euken Award, which is given to students showing excellence in research abilities. Melissa was also a resident assistant in 1995-96 and is a member of Beta Beta Beta and Omicron Delta Kappa. She is currently attending the Ohio State University College of Optometry on an Ohio Board of Regents Fellowship.
The second-place winner, Denise M. Popevis, was graduated from Mount Saint Mary's College in May 1997. She is currently working in a contracted position as exceptional family member specialist and relocation assistance specialist at the U.S. Army Garrison in Fort Ritchie, Md. As the EFM specialist, Denise manages the program, works as a case manager for families with special needs, facilitates support groups, and attends to the special needs of these families as they arise. As the relocation specialist, she manages the relocation program and coordinates and assists soldiers with the transition involved in their move between bases. Denise intends on pursuing her master's degree in the fall of 1998 and then hopes to work with adolescents or in the area of women's issues.
David Marshall, the third-place winner, was graduated summa cum laude in May 1997 from Eastern New Mexico University with a BS in psychology and a minor in health and physical education. Born and raised in Gloucester, Mass., David plans to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology with an emphasis in sport psychology. David served as president of the Eastern New Mexico University Psi Chi Chapter and was the coauthor of two Psi Chi Regional Best Paper Awards. Current research interests include the role of the working memory in producing skilled performance and developing a model for the acquisition of motor skill expertise. Other interests include competitive shooting, camping, and "hanging with friends."