Avila Now

March 28, 2022

Avila Graduate Students Earn Awards at Great Plains Students Psychology Convention

Great Plains Convention 2022
Great Plains Convention 2022.

Two Avila University psychology graduate students, Eleanor Dick and Lindsay Wing won awards at the 2022 Great Plains Students Psychology Convention held on March 15 & 16 in Emporia, Kansas. This convention brings psychology students together to exchange ideas, discuss relevant topics, and gain experience presenting their research.

Avila Professor of Psychology Jordan Wagge, Ph.D., attended the conference with students. “Students can present nonempirical work (like literature reviews or research proposals), so that’s a big benefit of this particular student conference–they don’t actually have to have data collected to present. I also have students come just to observe because they want to present in the future, or they want to know what a conference is like.”

Dick won the “Outstanding Graduate Poster” award for her poster presentation “Adverse Childhood Experiences and Decision-Making Styles.” “I conducted a literature review on adverse childhood experiences and decision-making styles in PY 617: Research Design & Analysis I last fall and wanted to continue using my work to gain experiences at conferences. I chose these variables because there is a lot of research on each individually, but I couldn’t find a lot that analyzes how they may correlate. I have always found decision-making styles interesting. Once I started research on ACE and learned how prevalent and detrimental they are, I knew I wanted to explore this potential correlation,” said Dick.

This was Dick’s first time presenting at Great Plains and her first time presenting a poster. “I was nervous because this was my first experience presenting a poster, but everyone was very kind and interested in my research. It was a comfortable experience, and I feel like a pro on my topic now! I look forward to doing more in the future.”

Eleanor Dick with poster presentation

Avila University Eleanor Dick at the 2022 Great Plains Students Psychology Conference with her poster presentation, “Adverse Childhood Experiences and Decision-Making Styles.”

Wing won the “Outstanding Graduate Presentation” award for her talk titled “Weight Framing in Introductory Psychology Textbooks.” In this award category, each student has 12 minutes to present their research and take questions from the audience. Judged by faculty, the honor is awarded annually to one graduate student.

I am researching the way that introductory psychology textbooks frame weight; specifically, do they focus on the often-oversimplified relationship between weight and health, or do they offer a broader and more nuanced approach to weight? This semester, I will be coding ten textbooks used in a previous study regarding p values to determine the extent to which common weight-centered health theories are present in these texts,” said Wing.   

This was Wing’s first in-person convention, where she presented at a virtual convention once before. “Emporia (State University) did an excellent job organizing and preparing for this event, making it an even better experience. I was also lucky to have such amazing support from my thesis advisor, Dr. Jordan Wagge.”

“Lindsay’s research is very near and dear to my heart. We came up with this research idea when she took my PY 612: Advanced Cognitive Processes graduate course last year. For one of her assignments, she chose to do some work related to how a person’s weight is implicated in so many health-related assumptions. This is a research interest she and I share; I have done work in food cognition for a few years and found the literature to be problematic in assumptions/rationale. She has not collected data for this yet but presented her literature review and proposed methodology at the conference,” said Wagge.

Lidndsay Wing

Lindsay Wing won “Outstanding Graduate Presentation” at the 2022 Great Plains Students Psychology Convention.

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