Current and former College of Western Idaho (CWI) Psychology students represented the College at the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association (RMPA) Annual Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah, April 7 – 9. The theme for this year’s conference was Moving Forward Together in a Changing World.
During the conference, Mercades Nelson and Heather Schoenherr presented on the history of CWI’s Psychology department. Representing the youngest institution in attendance, their presentation emphasized the growth of the program in terms of faculty and students pointing out the increase in Psychology majors at CWI from 31 to 259 since the first year. Student success within in the department through programs such as the Psychology Club, Psi Beta, and various awards was also highlighted.
Pia Salathe presented her research on Attachment Theory exploring attachment stances and their relation to personality patterns. Research was based on analyzation of a data set provided by Salathe’s faculty advisor, Kevin Carlson.
Timothy Buckles, Kylee Malouf, and Mercedes Nelson presented about the impact of social media on mental health. Students are members of the Psychology Research Bridge, a program connecting CWI students to psychology research opportunities at Boise State University coordinated by Heather Schoenherr and Mary Pritchard of Boise State.
Congratulations to Timothy Buckles, a finalist for the RMPA undergraduate research award. Buckles was selected for the overall quality and impact of his research in the field.
“Going to RMPA and having the opportunity to present my research and discuss similar research with my peers was an incredible experience,” said Buckles. “If you have the chance to go yourself, take it!”
In addition to presentations on their research, students had the unique opportunity to have their work critiqued and praised by world-renowned social psychologist, Roy Baumeister. Dr. Baumeister is known for his work on belongingness, which was a focus of their research. Students were also able to join more than 100 volunteers to support the local community at various women and youth centers to garden, clean, and sort clothing, supplies, and food.