Penn State Fayette students present undergraduate research at conference


LEMONT FURNACE, Pa. — Eight students from Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus, presented undergraduate research projects at the 24th Annual Laurel Highlands Undergraduate Psychology Conference, hosted by St. Francis University in Loretto , Pennsylvania.

Idan Shalev, associate professor of biobehavioral health at Penn State, delivered the keynote address, “Biopsychosocial Consequences of Adversity in Early Life: New Insights from the Science of Aging.”

psychology research

Sophomore Kenadi Erdely presented “Successful Advertising of Health Warnings to Smokers: Using Habit to Guide Reception of Messages”, for which she received second place at the Spring 2022 Learning Fair of Fayette.

“Smoking remains a widespread problem for many today, despite several approaches to stemming this health problem. Fear-inducing text calls and graphic health warnings are two of the methods used to reduce the occurrence of smoking, but their effectiveness is diminishing because consumers no longer notice the warnings due to habituation and its wear-and-tear effects. “said Erdely. “Addiction research suggests that, to dishabituate consumers to labels and increase their effectiveness, text and images on labels should be rotated periodically.”

Junior Psychology student Kerstin Nutt, from Uniontown, presented “Comparing Methods of Treating Childhood Sexual Abuse,” for which she also received second place at the Spring 2022 Learning Fair.

“Presenting at a conference was exciting and it was a great experience to be able to speak with other undergraduate psychology students and faculty,” Nutt said. “My undergraduate research background teaches me the skills I’ll need to find relevant information about trauma therapies when I’m a counselor. In addition, I acquire the necessary skills to continue my studies and research while pursuing a doctorate. »

Adriana Gebe presented “How is perceived sense of control related to student stress and academic performance? for which she received the 2022 Penn State Fayette Student Achievement Award, as well as “Can virtual reality be used to successfully treat agoraphobia?” Gebe, of Connellsville, graduated with a bachelor of science degree in psychology this spring.

“This lecture was one of the highlights of my entire undergraduate experience,” Gebe said. “Some graduate programs require students to have conference experience to apply, so attending this conference opened many doors for me regarding my potential graduate options. This experience will definitely help me in the future when I will have to make larger presentations, or even present more research at the graduate level.

“In addition to learning how to talk to others about their research and interests, the conference experience allows students to meet and learn from like-minded peers from other universities. “said Aris Karagiorgakis, assistant professor of psychology, who mentored Erdely, Gebe and Nutt. “But, for me, the main thing is that students can see how lectures are used to advance science.”


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