CWI Psi Beta Members Honored with National Award for Research

Published: September 16, 2022

Congratulations to Kenna Cole, Gabby Peck, Cristina Synder, and Mercades Nelson, members of College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Psi Beta Honor Society, who recently received the Emerging Researcher Award from the Psi Beta National Office.

Professor of Psychology and Psi Beta Advisor, Heather Schoenherr, said she and others within the CWI Psychology department wanted to help their students get the same type of research experience students at universities have. To do so, they created research-based set of courses that exposes students to university level coursework and projects.

Schoenherr, who also serves at the regional Psi Beta Vice President, said the award was created to recognize community college students who have showcased their research skills early on in their college careers and meet the following criteria: conduction research, research ethics, communication, and service.

“This award recognizes the full picture of what goes into a research project,” said Schoenherr. “All four students went above and beyond to achieve this award. To not only have this recognition, but to have completed their projects is tremendous. Our students are amazing, and they work very hard.”

Each student worked on their own research project and focused on topics like the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on people to mindful meditation on college students.

“I think it is so cool to have been given this recognition and the opportunity to work on something I am so passionate about,” Peck said. “I am proud.”

“This award means I was recognized for my hard work and determination,” said Snyder. “I was able to express that through my knowledge gained at College of Western Idaho. I was fortunate to have great professors who took the time to teach me and inform me of opportunities available for students, such as the Emerging Researcher Award. I feel honored and thankful to have been able to receive this award and want to encourage others to go for what they want because you never know unless you try.”

To participate in Psi Beta, students must be interested in psychology, have completed 12 college credits and one psychology course with a B or above, and have a GPA of 3.5 or higher. For more information about joining Psi Beta, please email

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