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Psychology Majors Win Awards in National Paper Competitions

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    Psychology Professor Traci Giuliano stands with Stacy Mathis (left) and Kathryn Bollich (right).

10 students from Southwestern have received awards in the Psi Chi national paper competitions in the past 12 years

Two recent Southwestern psychology graduates placed in national award competitions sponsored this year by Psi Chi, the national psychology honor society.

Stacy Mathis placed first in the Psi Chi /J.P. Guilford Undergraduate Research Awards competition with her paper titled “Perceived Effectiveness of Self-Presentation Strategies Designed to Improve Perceptions of Shy Individuals.” This award came with a $1,000 prize.

Kathryn Bollich placed second in the Psi Chi/Allyn & Bacon Psychology Award competition with her paper titled “From Shy to Fly: Strategies to Improve First Impressions of Shy Individuals.” This award came with a $650 prize.

Mathis is entering the Ph.D. program in counseling psychology at Texas Tech University this fall. Bollich is entering graduate school this fall at Washington University in St. Louis. She received a full scholarship for their Ph.D. program in social psychology.

This is the second year in a row that Southwestern students have placed in the Psi Chi national research paper competitions. In 2009, Patrick Egan placed second in the J.P. Guilford Undergraduate Research Awards competition for his paper titled “Accommodating Attitudes: Perceptions of Students as a Function of Academic Accommodation Use and Test Performance” and Jenny Howell placed third for her paper on “The Reverse Sexual Double Standard in Perceptions of Student-Teacher Relationships: The Role of Gender, Initiation, and Power.”

In all, 10 students from Southwestern have received awards in the Psi Chi national paper competitions in the past 12 years. Other winners include:

Abby Riggs, 1st place, J.P. Guilford Undergraduate Research Awards competition, 2004
Allison Dickson, 3rd place, Allyn & Bacon Psychology Award competition, 2001
Cody Cox, 3rd place, Allyn & Bacon National Psychology Award competition, 2000
Cari Cohorn, 1st place, Allyn & Bacon National Psychology Award competition, 1999
Jennifer Knight, 3rd place, Allyn & Bacon National Psychology Award competition, 1999
Sam Fiala, 2nd place, Allyn & Bacon National Psychology Award competition, 1998

Traci Giuliano, professor of psychology and holder of the John H. Duncan Chair, was the research advisor for each of these students on their papers – a fact that Psychology Department Chair Jacquie Muir-Broaddus said underscores her excellence as a teacher.

“Students often report that Professor Giuliano’s mentoring work is life-changing for them, but it can be invisible to the outside world until awards like the Allyn & Bacon Award and the J.P. Guilford Award make it tangible,” Muir-Broaddus said.  “I can’t imagine that anyone has come even close to the impressive track record that Professor Giuliano has achieved in mentoring students to successful outcomes in these national research paper competitions. Year after year she challenges students to take on the considerable extra work involved in entering these competitions, and then she works intensively alongside them to refine their skills until they emerge as mature writers with a professional product. “ 

Muir-Broaddus noted that some of these papers go on to be published in professional journals, an accomplishment that is highly valued by prospective graduate schools.  

Giuliano won the Southwestern University Teaching Award in 2010 for the second time and also received the 2010 Excellence in Academic Advising Award.