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Psychology and Counseling Department – Scholarly Presentations

There is no better measure of the success of the Valdosta State University Psychology and Counseling department than can be noted by the quantity and quality of scholarly inquiry presentations during the Spring of 2013.  The Psychology and Counseling department has more than 600 majors, 24 faculty, and 50 graduate students.  Over the course of four regional conferences in March and April, 18 of the psychology faculty, including two visiting international and one adjunct professors, presented research with 34 undergraduate and graduate students.

Drs Reffel and Monetti

Drs Reffel and Monetti

            In early March, Drs. Jim Reffel and David Monetti spoke to The Georgia Association for Gifted Children at their annual conference held on the University of Georgia Conference in Athens.  Along with students S. Rice and K. Foster, Drs. Reffel and Monetti presented research emanating from the VSU Center for Gifted Studies, entitled “Activities to enhance critical thinking in gifted learners in STEM.”

            In mid-March, students and professors attended the Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) annual conference held in Atlanta.  SEPAs mission is to advance psychology as a science, as a profession, and as a means of promoting human welfare.  As such, the organization provides a forum to stimulate the exchange of scientific and professional ideas across the diverse areas of psychological inquiry.  Dr. Jennifer Rahman presented a continuing education workshop entitled “Beyond checklists and medication:  ADHD knowledge, assessment, and intervention.”  Dr. Charles Talor chaired an invited symposium entitled, “Adults perceiving others:  Tattoos, dragon*com, and future optimism and worry.”  Included in the symposium were two paper presentations, one by Dr. Talor and Brandi Jackson, entitled “Perceptions of people who attend fandom conventions,” and a second entitled “Young and middle age adult differences in prospective aging-related worry and optimistic preferences,” by Dr. Steve Kohn and Maria Moore.

The following papers were presented by faculty and students:

  •  “Loneliness as a psychotherapy issue”, Dr. Jackson Rainer and Johnathan Martin
  • “Bridging the gap between existential and acceptance and commitment therapy”, Dr. Jackson Rainer, Jeremy Gay, and Sean Fowler

Poster sessions illustrated the depth and breadth of scholarship, and celebrated the diversity of interest within Valdosta State’s department.  Students and professors presented:

Dr. Browne and Students

Dr. Browne and Students

  • “Narcissism in social networking,” Alexandria DeMello, Tabitha McCoy, and Dr. Blaine Browne
  • “Academic Entitlement Scale:  Development and preliminary validation,” Drs. David Wasieleski, Mark Whatley, Deb Briihl, and Jennifer Rahman

On March 30, the psychology and counseling department was well represented at the annual meeting of the Georgia Psychological Society held at Clayton State University in Jonesboro, Georgia.  GPS offers scholars an opportunity to present research in basic and applied psychology.  The society is a joint collaboration between five universities within the state.  At the conference, Dr. Jackson Rainer and Johnathan Martin presented a workshop entitled, “Isolated and alone:  therapeutic interventions for loneliness.”   Poster sessions, symposia, and presentations included:

  • “Lucid dreaming and dream application,” Dr. J.R. Tost and his students A.L. Benitez, K.F. Hand, and P.L. Odette.
  • “The effect of prayer and meditation on helping others,”  Dr. Julie Troyer and students N.R. Albritton,, D.A. Gill, C.A. Henegan, S.D. LeFontaine, and C.J. Holcom.
  • “Self-efficacy for problem solving:  Is reflection the key to success?,” Dr. Julies Troyer and K. Dessau, S. Hartman, HC. Johnson, S.D. LeFontaine, and C.J. Holcom.
  • “Study skill differences among academic struggling, normal-achieving, and high-achieving college students,” Dr. Katharine Adams and Shelby M. Byrd
  • “Relationships of college academics and attitudes toward tattoos,” Drs. Charles Talor and Jennifer Rahman, and A. Hall, S. Williamson, D. Kouril, and G.M. Guyette
  • “Effects of a multi-faceted lucid dreaming induction program on dream recall,” Dr. Jeremy Tost and C.D. Logan and B.R. Fawcett
  • “Perceived problem-solving ability and level of consciousness,” Dr. Julie Troyer, J.A. Clements, E.A. Knutson, S.D. LeFontaine, and C.J. Holcom
  • “Examining cyberbullying among college students,” Dr. Blaine Browne and G. Dowling.
  • “To a problem of using network communication by students as a way to resolve intrapersonal conflict,” Dr. M. Shatalina
  • “Are self-discrepancies always related to emotions?,” Dr. D. Kozlov
  • “The state of rural mental health:  Caring and the community,” Dr. Jackson Rainer
  • “Faculty concerns of accommodations for college students with disabilities,”  Dr. Charles Talor, D. Kouril and C. Yeung
  • “Psychological comfort across adulthood:  development of a new measure of Ibasho,” Dr. Steve Kohn, M.M. Willis, T. Butenschon, and J. Kvintova
  • “Relationship of age of tattoo acquisition to personality and risk taking, “ Drs. Heather Kelley and Charles Talor, S. Williamson, A Hall, D. Kouril, and C. Yeung
  • “The influences of family and religion on tattooing and drug use,” Dr. Charles Talor, A. Hall, S. Williamson, D. Kouril, C. Yeung, C. Frazier, and S. Johnson
  • “Everybody was Kung Fu fighting!  Martial art’s role in one’s level of consciousness,”  Dr. Julie Troyer, S.D. LeFontaine, C.J. Holcom, and J.O. Williams

Finally, in April, Dr. Jackson Rainer, department head and practicing psychologist, presented an invited continuing education workshop at the annual meeting of the Georgia Psychological Association, held in Atlanta.  He presented on the body of work from his recently published work in the National Report and the resources text Rural Mental Health:  Issues, policies, and best practices.  His workshop was entitled “Professional challenges of practicing in rural communities.”

The Department of Psychology and Counseling has active laboratories in Developmental Research, Consciousness, Aging and Lifespan Development, Cognitive Neuroscience, Gifted Studies, and Industrial-Organization Psychology.  It is known for its strong mentoring relationships between students and faculty interested in fostering in-depth knowledge in experimental and applied fields of psychology.



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