2001-2002 Allyn & Bacon Winners' Biographies
Psi Chi would like to thank Allyn & Bacon Publishers for sponsoring the 2001-02 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 Kimberly Cuevas of Randolph-Macon Woman's College for her paper entitled "The Role of Drawing in Young Children's Memory Reports." The second-place winner is Matisha Montgomery of the University of Central Oklahoma for her research entitled "The 'Mozart Effect' on Cognitive and Spatial Task Performance, Revisited." The third-place winner is Jaime Gonzalez of the University of California, San Bernardino for his paper entitled "The Effect of Social Desirability on the Self-Report of Prejudice, Discrimination, Tolerance, and Empathy." Read abstracts of the award winning papers here.
Kimberly Cuevas, the first-place winner, was graduated magna cum laude in May 2002 from Randolph-Macon Woman's College with honors in psychology and a concentration in biology. In addition to being the vice-president of the R-MWC Chapter of Psi Chi, she also served as president of the Psychology Club, was part of the residence life staff, and was inducted into both Phi Beta Kappa and Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honor society. During her second year at R-MWC, with funding from a Jessi Ball duPont Summer Research Grant, Ms. Cuevas had the opportunity to examine the development of strategic deception in preschoolers under the guidance of Dr. Beth Schwartz-Kenney. After attending and presenting their research at the meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) in 2001, she knew that her future was in empirical research. Ms. Cuevas's honors thesis, examining the role of drawing on young children's memory reports, was completed after two years of development and data collection. Ms. Cuevas was accepted into the biopsychology and behavioral neuroscience PhD program at Rutgers University. Under the guidance of Dr. Rovee-Collier, she will have the opportunity to examine infant cognitive development.
The second-place winner, Matisha Montgomery, is 22 years old and a recent graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO). She is originally from Eufaula, Okla., home of her parents Jimmie and the late Harold Montgomery.
Ms. Montgomery is continuing her education this fall in a master's program at UCO. She has been conducting research for two years, and during this time has become a member of several professional organizations and has attended various research conferences (Oklahoma Psychological Society, Oklahoma Academy of Science, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Southwestern Psychological Association, to name a few) and has received research awards at several of these conferences. In addition to receiving many awards and honors for her research, she has enjoyed sharing her studies with the public in both academic and professional settings.
Ms. Montgomery has been on the President's and Dean's List throughout her college career, and is a recipient of the Multicultural Achievement Scholarship and the Psychology Academic Tuition Waiver. She has been an active member of the UCO Psi Chi Chapter, which has shown her tremendous support in her research and travel, and is also a member of Circle K International, a national service organization. She has volunteered her time and services in many different settings through Circle K, Psi Chi, and UCO.
Jaime Gonzalez, the third-place winner, says that his initial interest in psychology was sparked by a tragic episode in his life. When he was a young boy, his father murdered his mother and he was the sole witness. Although Mr. Gonzalez has since dealt with this tragedy, it was this incident that made him interested in the manner in which individuals behave as well as why they behave the way they do. He found gratification in the study of psychology and discovered that psychology challenged his analytical nature, which led to a desire to pursue a doctoral degree in clinical psychology. As the first in his family to pursue a higher education, Mr. Gonzalez is proud of his accomplishments and looks forward to the academic challenges ahead.
In preparation for a career in clinical psychology, Mr. Gonzalez completed an internship in the Chemical Dependency Unit at San Antonio Community Hospital. Under the supervision of senior counselor Bill Rubidoux, he gained experience in conducting group therapy, patient assessment, and one-on-one counseling with patients suffering from alcohol and drug addiction. In addition to counseling patients toward recovery, he also gained experience in counseling patients' family members in their own recovery.
Mr. Gonzales was chosen to be a McNair Scholar, which led him to study the effects of social desirability on the self-report of different types of prejudice (i.e., covert vs. overt) under the supervision of Dr. Michael R. Lewin. This research was published in the 2001 Annual McNair Scholars Journal and is currently being prepared for future publication. As a member of the Psychology Department's Honors Program at California State University, San Bernardino, Gonzalez has begun to analyze other factors involved in the self-report of prejudices. He reports that his involvement and experience with these projects has helped him to develop the tools and abilities required to conduct scholarly research and the desire to contribute new findings to the field of psychology.
Mr. Gonzalez is the recipient of the Sally Casanova Honorable Mention Scholarship award and the Latino Scholastic Achievement Corporation Scholarship award, and was included on the Dean's List and the Honor Roll. In addition, he serves as treasurer for both the university's Psi Chi chapter and the Psychology Club.
Mr. Gonzalez has recently been accepted into the clinical/counseling master's program at CSU-SB. His professional goals are to continue his research, pursue a doctoral degree in clinical psychology, and, ultimately, help children pursue a quality education and steer clear of inner-city gangs, and assist families in improving their lives, marriages, and relationships.