CHADRON – For the first time, undergraduate Chadron State College psychology majors attended the American Psychology Association’s (APA) annual convention in Denver Aug. 4-7. They were accompanied by faculty members Dr. Mary Jo Carnot, Dr. Laura Gaudet and Dr. Bill Roweton.
The students are Andrea du Fresne of Colorado Springs, Colo., Wacey Gallegos of Ainsworth, Neb.,Laural Harris of Auburn, Wash., Catherine Mailloux of Sioux Falls, S.D., and Nehemiah Soler of Arvada, Colo.
In addition to attending sessions aimed to prepare students for a career in psychology, CSC students also attended sessions on a variety of other issues including gender identity and discrimination, social justice, mass violence, hypnosis, human trafficking, relationships, addictions, body image and body shaming.
Representatives of graduate psychology programs were also on hand to speak with prospective students.
Soler said she enjoyed visiting the booths promoting advanced degree programs and attending a session about writing a profile for LinkedIn, a social media networking website used by professionals.
“The speaker went over important things to remember when building a LinkedIn profile. A LinkedIn profile is important in the professional world I am very glad that there was a presentation on this topic and I was able to get some valuable information,” Soler said.
Du Fresne was able to speak with the director of a sport and performance psychology graduate program in Portland, Oregon, where she hopes to attend following graduation.
“I’m so thankful for this opportunity. It was a valuable networking opportunity,” du Fresne said.
Mailloux agreed the speakers were amazing.
“The topics were extremely interesting and I walked away with great information,” she said.
Mailloux was able to watch the movie, “Inside Out,” about individual emotions involved in the brain of a young girl.
“The main character is Joy, but there is also Anger, Disgust, and Sadness. They are all different colors to help represent the emotions. The young girl, Riley, moves to a new home and has to experience an entirely new world. Joy and Sadness become lost within the brain and have to get back to headquarters. Joy learns that Sadness is required in order to be happy. It is a great way to explain emotions and how the brain works to a child,” Mailloux said.
Harris said a session she attended about mass violence explained that family dynamics play a large role in the mental health and motivations that trigger horrific acts.
“The youth of America is exposed to at least 18,000 acts of simulated violence by the age of 18. The most popular video games and movies depict violence, have some sort of violent theme or may even include war footage. Such a high level of exposure to violence makes it difficult for youth to distinguish what is real and what is fake,” Harris said.
Roweton said he was pleased the students quickly got involved in the professional spirit of the convention and identified useful resources and sessions.
“It was a valuable and unusual occasion to have three faculty members spend extensive professional time with five undergraduates. The college provided all of us a great opportunity and we are grateful to the academic deans for helping to fund the trip,” Roweton said.
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