Psychology honor students host national conference

September 16, 2008

Psychology students from all over the country will bring their academic curiosity – and some, their research findings – to the National Psychology Synergy Conference Oct. 17-18 hosted by Psi Chi and Psi Beta, the psychology honor societies of McDaniel College and Carroll Community College.

Students attending the two-day conference will learn from each other's research, but they will also learn about what’s new and exciting in the field from leading researchers, about careers and graduate schools, and about schizophrenia during a play written and performed by Michael Mack, whose mother suffered from the mental disorder.

"Students will hear about ground-breaking research directly from the experts in those fields, which they might not hear in their regular classrooms," says Wendy Morris, assistant professor of psychology at McDaniel College. "Hearing directly from researchers brings psychology alive for students."

Psi Chi president and McDaniel senior Kate Maloney agrees.

“I am most looking forward to Dr. Le's keynote presentation on the research he and his students have done on role of commitment in romantic relationships and missing a romantic partner in times of geographic separation, titled ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go, and Will I Miss You When You're Gone?’” Maloney says of Haverford College Professor Benjamin Le’s Saturday lunch presentation.

Students also have much to learn from each other during poster sessions when students from McDaniel and other colleges present their research.

"We hope students will think of themselves not only as students but also as independent researchers who are capable of creating new knowledge to add to the field of psychology," Morris says.

Conference registration, including Mack's play, "Hearing Voices (Speaking in Tongues)," is open to the public. Psychologists, counselors, social workers and teachers will no doubt have a professional interest in the conference, but many of the topics have public appeal.

"Anyone interested in issues related to mental health, education, romantic relationships, prejudice or domestic violence will find sessions related to those interests," Morris says.

Mack's performance has won critical acclaim nationally. The play offers a rare and compelling look at what it is like to grow up with a mother struggling with schizophrenia. Tickets to the play may be purchased separately from the conference.

For information about “Hearing Voices (Speaking in Tongues)” and poet, playwright and performer Michael Mack visit http://www.michaelmacklive.com/. Mack’s performance is 7:30 p.m. Oct. 18 in the Scott Theatre at Carroll Community College. The conference fee, which includes Mack’s performance, is $25 for students and 2008 graduates with a valid student ID and $45 for non-students. Walk-in registration is $30 for students and 2008 graduates and $50 for non-students. Tickets for the “Hearing Voices” performance alone are $20. The event will be held at Carroll Community College. A brochure and registration form is online at www.psibeta.org.

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