There is no better measure of the manifest success of the Clayton State University Psychology Department than the programming tomorrow at the Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) Conference at the Omni CNN Center.
The Psychology Department, which also has the second-largest number of majors at the University (567), is headed by Dr. Donna McCarty, who will be at the SEPA meeting along with no fewer than 10 representatives of Clayton State -- five students and five faculty -- making presentations; or, if you will, making their dreams real.
In addition to McCarty, faculty members Dr. Deborah Deckner, Dr. Brian Goldman, Dr. Pinar Gurkas, and Dr. Sam Maddox will be presenting at the SEPA Conference. However, should you ask the aforementioned faculty members about the highlight of the conference, odds are they’ll point to the participation of the five student presenters.
Undergraduates Tavares Harris (Dawson, Ga.) and Zenia O’Neil (McDonough, Ga.) will be making a poster presentation on Friday at 8:30 a.m. at the CEPO-Psi Chi Undergraduate Poster Session of the SEPA. According the Gurkas, their faculty advisor, the title of their presentation is: “Through the Eyes of Head Start Parents: Their Self-Efficacy Beliefs and Executive Function of Their Kids.” O’Neil is the president and Tavares is the vice president of the Clayton State chapter of Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology.
Three graduate students will also be presenting. Kimberly Mapel (Peachtree City, Ga.) is presenting Friday during the 9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. session on “Gender Differences in Self-Esteem? It Depends on How Authentic You Are.”
“Drs. Goldman, Gurkas and Maddox are all co-authors on her talk and have been central in mentoring her,” notes Deckner. “I would love to draw attention to her and celebrate her excellent scholarship.”
Kecia Ellick and Nick Langley are both second year students in the Applied Developmental Psychology program, and with the guidance and assistance of Deckner, they will also be presenting their research at the 59th
Annual Meeting of SEPA.
“Kecia and Nick have really exemplified the values of our program by immersing themselves in the science of child development and have already started to contribute to new realms of scientific discourse through their own work,” says Deckner.
Ellick, a native of Chicago, conducted her research on teen pregnancy. Langley (Ellenwood, Ga.) conducted his research on student engagement. He used high school sophomores’ responses to questions concerning student attitudes and efforts towards schooling.
Deckner was co-author to both of the accepted proposals, and serves as a mentor, helping to make these students’ dreams real. She feels, “honored to work with such exceptional young talent and I look forward to watching the careers of these two exceptional scholars.”