Ohio Dominican University Psychology Majors Earn State Research Awards

September Staley and Alicia Clark, Psychology 2012 majors


Columbus, OH (43219) – Ohio Dominican University (ODU) Psychology majors earned two of the four awards presented for thesis research during the Ohio Psychological Association’s 2012 convention in Columbus. In total, 36 entries were submitted for consideration by student teams from colleges and universities across Ohio. 

Two teams of two students each presented their research findings during the convention’s Student Poster Symposium in October. The teams conducted their research with the assistance of their faculty advisor, Dr. John Marazita, professor of Psychology in ODU’s Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences.  

“An important component of our curriculum is to foster in students an appreciation of psychological science – both in terms of reading and critiquing published empirical research, and in building the necessary skills to design and conduct original research,” Dr. Marazita explained. “Through these activities students have the opportunity to be curious, to ask interesting questions, and to test and refine theory. The culmination of this work is sharing the findings with the wider community.” 

ODU senior Psychology majors Alicia Clark and September Staley earned the People’s Choice Award and the Award for Best Undergraduate Poster for their presentation, “Exploring the Social and Developmental Roots of Social Mimicry in Preschool Children.” 

Teresa Lonkard and Kelsey DeCenzo-Orsini presented, “Rehearsing Under Pressure: The Effect of Cortisol on Memory.” Lonkard and DeCenzo-Orsini are continuing their research with the goal of submitting their findings for presentation during the17th Annual Undergraduate Poster Session in March 2013 in Washington, D.C. The Council on Undergraduate Research sponsors the event, which will take place on Capitol Hill. 

“Teresa and Kelsey’s acceptance to participate in the Ohio Psychological Association convention, and September and Alicia’s two awards – one from psychology faculty from Ohio colleges and universities and another from convention attendees, including practicing psychologists – is great external validation that our students are doing high quality, relevant research.” 

Ohio Dominican University is a four-year private Catholic comprehensive liberal arts and master’s institution, founded in 1911 in the Dominican tradition. The University has approximately 2,700 students and offers undergraduate degrees in 42 majors as well as seven graduate degree programs. Ohio Dominican uses a student-centered approach, with a commitment to quality teaching and learning.