October 25, 2017

Psychology Faculty and Students Collaborate on Summer Projects

This past summer, two of Goucher’s Center for Psychology faculty conducted summer research with students: Dr. Grayman-Simpson and Dr. Gillian Starkey. Both of these projects were funded by the Goucher Summer Research Program. 

Dr. Grayman-Simpson worked with seniors Juliet (Daisy) Mitchell (’18), and Michaela Finley (’18). Their work focused on the development of a proposal to study committed White anti-racist activists in Baltimore. Using the autonomy stage of Janet Helms' White Racial Identity Model, the team is looking to conduct life stories research with community activists. They recently submitted a proposal to present their research at the 35th annual Columbia University Teachers College Winter Roundtable on Cultural Psychology and Education, and hope to have the opportunity to share their work with members of the community this coming February. In addition to working on the anti-racist activism research project, Michaela co-authored a publication for the Society for the Teaching of Psychology's Project Syllabus with Dr. Grayman-Simpson. Daisy is in the process of doing the same.

Dr. Gillian Starkey and her students Anna Young (’18) and John Gyimesi (’19) participated in the Goucher Summer Science Research Program, working on a study that investigates developmental differences in the neural substrates of basic math skills. Twenty adults completed computer-based math tasks while wearing EEG caps that recorded their brain activity. Anna and John both authored posters, which were presented at the Landmark Conference Research Symposium in July. John’s poster (“ERP markers of semantic activation during enumeration are linked to counting ability”) focused on identifying the neural characteristics of adults’ ability to determine the number of objects in a set (enumeration), which has been identified as a fundamental math skill linked to development and achievement. Anna’s poster, titled “Hemispheric differences in EEG activity during enumeration are related to subitizing ability,” explored early neural activity during enumeration that is typically linked to visual working memory. This procedure will be repeated with 8- to 10-year old children in order to investigate how these neural characteristics change with development. Both posters are both available to view on the ground floor of Julia Rogers, located on the wall across from the Center for Psychology research labs.

Goucher’s Summer Research Program is a great way for students to become involved in psychology research by gaining hands-on experience and working very closely with faculty. Along with the Mentored Research Team and opportunities for Independent Research, participating in summer research at Goucher is an excellent way to build relationships with faculty and fellow students, explore an area of interest in-depth, and build your resume and skill set. We look forward to seeing more Goucher psychology students continue to produce excellent work in the summers to come!