April 28, 2017

Hackettstown, N.J., April 28, 2017– The Centenary University community is pleased to announce that ten undergraduate Psychology students were selected to present at The 88th Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association (EPA) at the Boston Park Plaza in Boston, Massachusetts last month. Students Carolyn Brouard, Brianna Coates, Shaina Dinapoli, Katherine Gannon, Amanda Madonna, Stephanie Nardone, Amber Poltricitsky, Jaclyn Smith, Rebecca Thompson, and Abigail Voelkner each presented research conducted under the mentorship of Dr. Keith Morgen. Associate Professor of Psychology.

Students presented on various topics including psychiatric history, collegiate marijuana use, the coping strategies of prisoners, substance abuse treatment for the vision/hearing impaired, motivational factors in the therapeutic community, and LBGT services for adults in substance use disorders. Each research poster had to meet EPA standards in order to be presented at the conference.

“Our students worked very diligently to be able to be a part of this research meeting,” says Dr. Morgen. “The knowledge, conduct, and commitment our students displayed is something the entire Centenary community can be very proud of. Of note is that these students are selected by peer-review for inclusion into the professional clinical/counseling psychology section of the conference and not the section devoted for undergraduates. At this conference, based on the quality of their work, some of these undergraduate students were asked what doctoral program they were in. As undergraduates, they all do exceptional work that stretches beyond the typical undergraduate psychology experience.”

Abby Voelkner, a Presidential Scholar and Psychology undergraduate student worked with Rebecca Thompson, a fellow Presidential Scholar and Psychology undergraduate on a poster titled Coping Strategies in Older Adult Prisoners.

“We found that individuals who utilized coping, physical, and social coping strategies were more likely to exhibit significantly less prison stress,” says Voelkner. “I appreciated reviewing the posters from other institutions and being exposed to ideas from other students. I also enjoyed listening to talks from current professionals.”

Students Jaclyn Smith and Amber Poltricitsky worked together on a poster titled Decisional Balance and Collegiate Marijuana Use.

“With the controversy surrounding marijuana use, I chose to continue my project from Research Methods last spring semester,” says Smith. “My co-author and I had a lot to discuss and had a great turnout of people interested in our study.”

Eastern Psychological Association (EPA) was founded in 1896 and is the oldest of the regional Psychological Associations in the United States. Its sole purpose is to advance the science and profession through the dissemination of professional information about the field of Psychology. EPA achieves this goal by conducting its annual meeting where the members of EPA present the latest advances in professional and scientific work to their colleagues. EPA welcomes psychologists from all fields across the discipline.

For many students and psychologists, the annual EPA meeting represents an important opportunity to hear what is happening across the landscape of psychology and to use that information to develop their own career. At EPA, luminaries from all areas of psychology give master lectures about the current state and future directions in their particular area of expertise. In a single day, you can be brought up to speed on the latest ideas across the field. At EPA, master teaching lectures provide tips and examples for instructors at all skill levels. EPA symposia provide platforms for discussions on technical matters as well as tenure and promotion, academic administration, laboratory and clinic management. Founded in 1867 by the Newark Conference of the United Methodist Church, Centenary University’s academic program integrates a solid liberal arts foundation with a strong career orientation. This mix is designed to provide an educational experience that prepares students to succeed in the increasingly global and interdependent world.

Centenary University’s main campus is located in Hackettstown, N.J., with its equestrian facility in Washington Township (Morris County). The Centenary University School of Professional Studies offers degree programs in two locations: Parsippany and Edison, online, and at corporate sites throughout New Jersey.


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