Graduate and undergraduate psychology students attend research symposium

Eight Radford University psychology students traveled to Williamsburg for the College of William and Mary Graduate Research Symposium (GRS) on March 21-22.

Attending the conference were graduate psychology students Rachel Turk, Brianna Pomeroy, Emma Bennett and Michael Feeney. They were joined by undergraduates Lora Wagner, Analise Roccaforte, Brittany Nipper and Marco Pomposini.

Turk and Pomeroy presented at the symposium on research on polyvictimization of college-aged individuals, or the likelihood of an individual to experience multiple types of victimization. Their research was conducted on the RU campus, where they worked alongside Department of Psychology faculty members Ann Elliott,  Tom Pierce and Jeff Aspelmeier, as well as the four undergraduates who attended the symposium.

"Research found that if you had experienced one type of victimization, you are more likely to experience another type," said Pomeroy, of Virginia Beach.

Turk, of Salem, presented the portion of their findings centered on college males, a population they believe needs more study, in a 15 minute oral presentation session. A plus of attending the conference was sharing this information in a multidisciplinary environment, she said.

"It was interesting because we were able to see work in a lot of different areas, how they present and how our work can help them," Turk said.

Bennett and Feeney attended the conference with research in hand on the topic of meta-regulation, a concept that refers to strategies individuals use to avoid or prepare for tempting or unsatisfactory situations.

The pair worked on the research with Professor of Psychology Niels Christensen.

"I was surprised by the questions I got from fellow graduate students during our poster sessions," said Feeney, of Birmingham, Ala. "They were asking really interesting questions and the experience helped make me more comfortable presenting at these events.

The GRS is an educational and networking event, to encourage interdisciplinary exchange and bring together students from the sciences and the humanities at William & Mary and other regional universities.

Apr 2, 2014