2007-2008 APS Summer Research Grant Winners' Biographies
Read abstracts of these award winning papers here.
William Acklin, a senior at the University of Central Arkansas, will graduate in December 2008 with a BS in psychology. He is a nontraditional student who returned to academics following 20 years of leadership and management in the restaurant industry, including the past 8 years as a franchisee of several Domino’s Pizza locations. His experience in people management has engendered a desire to learn more about the vast disparity of individual’s performance in the workplace. After graduation, Mr. Acklin plans to pursue a PhD in applied cognitive psychology.
He has been on the president’s list throughout his academic career maintaining a 4.0 GPA. This past summer, he was awarded the Psi Chi Summer Research Grant and presented a poster at the ABA International Convention. Mr. Acklin currently serves as a research assistant in the Behavioral and Social Decisions Laboratory.
Ashley P. Gunn is currently a senior psychology major at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS). She has worked in the labs of Drs. Lori James and Michael Kisley researching cognitive and neuropsychological aspects of aging, respectively. Ms. Gunn’s current project is part of her participation in the psychology honors program at UCCS and is a reflection of her commitment to doing work that benefits older adults. She will graduate with honors in the spring of 2009. She plans to pursue a PhD in geropsychology, after which she hopes to work with older adults in assisted living and skilled nursing facilities.
Outside of her research, Ms. Gunn is president of the UCCS chapter of Psi Chi and volunteers with a local hospice organization and the Alzheimer’s Association’s “Memories in the Making” program. In her spare time, she enjoys playing board games and creating mixed media artwork.
Jean M. Kim is a junior psychology major with a minor in Spanish at the University of Michigan. As a research assistant for Dr. Edward Chang, her summer research included an examination of optimistic and pessimistic bias in the prediction of physical and psychological health outcomes in Asian and European Americans. She has also done research looking at spirituality as a potential mediator between loneliness and psychological adjustment. Furthermore, at the Ann Arbor VA, she examined mindfulness therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder with Dr. Anthony King.
In addition to being a member of Psi Chi and APS, she is also the fundraising chair of the University of Michigan’s Circle K and volunteers at the Depression Center. Ms. Kim plans to graduate with honors in April 2010 and intends to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology and a career in academia. In her free time, she enjoys playing tennis and piano.
Allison C. Milam is currently a senior at Duke University. She is majoring in psychology with a concentration in developmental psychology and a minor in education. Ms. Milam is on the dean’s list and plans to graduate in May of 2009. She is a member of her university’s chapter of Psi Chi and was awarded the Psi Chi Summer Research Grant. Her primary interests are in child development and early childhood education. Ms. Milam has worked in Dr. Georgene Troseth’s Early Development Lab assisting with her research on young children’s learning from television and social cues. Ms. Milam has also spent time in Chile conducting an independent study project on education and resources for students with learning disabilities in Santiago. She also enjoys working as a head tutor for the America Reads*America Counts program. Ms. Milam plans to continue studying education and psychology in graduate school.
Matthew Harold Robinson attends Rutgers University Camden and will graduate in May 2009 with a degree in psychology. While holding a 4.0 cumulative GPA, Matthew served as chapter president of Psi Chi and received the Dorothy and David Cooper Scholarship for Psychology, the Jeanne and Lewis Romer Scholarship, the Dean’s Undergraduate Research Travel Grant, and the Psi Chi Summer Research Grant. Recently, Mr. Robinson presented research on environmental attitudes and behaviors at the 2008 APS Convention in Chicago, IL. He credits his mentors Drs. Michelle Verges (assistant professor of psychology at Indiana University South Bend) and Sean Duffy (assistant professor of psychology at Rutgers University Camden) for their enthusiastic encouragement and strong leadership. Currently, he is studying abroad in Tokyo, Japan, for the fall 2008 semester in order to foster his interests in Japanese language, culture, and art. After graduating, he plans on earning his PhD in school psychology.
Elizabeth Rossier of Bristol, CT, is a senior psychology major at Fairfield University scheduled to graduate in May 2009. Over the last 3 years, she has been a volunteer at Head Start in a nearby inner city neighborhood and has participated in several mentoring programs for disadvantaged high school students, including MAACS (Mentoring for Academic Achievement and College Success) and Let’s Get Ready (an SAT-prep program). Elizabeth has made the dean’s list for six consecutive semesters. This summer’s research project was her first independent project. Her research involved examining factors that can increase or decrease memory distortions in eyewitness accounts. This topic was inspired by a class she took about the death penalty in America where she first learned of the terrible consequences of faulty eyewitness reports. She plans to apply to graduate programs in school counseling and to begin her career as a high school guidance counselor.