Students to Present Research Virtually

Apr 19, 2020

The Twin Ports Undergraduate Psychology conference will go on as planned this week, though in a virtual format.

This year marks the eighteenth year of the Twin Ports Undergraduate Psychology (TPUP) conference. It's the first year the event will be held online. The virtual event is open to the public.

The College of St. Scholastica is organizing TPUP 2020, which is also co-sponsored by the University of Minnesota Duluth and the University of Wisconsin-Superior. The event will be held via the Zoom video conferencing platform on Tuesday, April 21 from 1-3:30 p.m.

Students from all three universities around the Twin Ports, as well as around the midwest, are invited to share their research on various facets of psychology at the conference. UMD Associate Professor Julie Slowiak emphasizes that TPUP provides a unique opportunity for undergraduate students to conduct and present their own research.

"It's one thing to learn about the research process or read the empirical literature," says Slowiak, "The magic happens when students design and carry out their own research and bring the process to life. As a professor, I love to see the look of anticipation on students' faces while analyzing data and waiting to find out the results!"

UMD Assistant Professor Rhea Owens is the TPUP conference keynote speaker. Her presentation, "The Power of Strengths: How the Science of Positive Psychology Can Promote Student Success," will be followed by undergraduate and graduate research presentations.

Owens' research primarily focuses on positive psychology, or the study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive. "Positive psychology sheds light on the power of acknowledging and using strengths," notes Owens, "often, it is most natural to focus on the 'negative' or bad news. Now more than ever, it's important to draw upon our strengths, both individually and collectively, to promote resiliency and improve lives."

Following Owens' keynote, student poster presentations will occur in several Zoom "rooms." Topics will include social relationships and attitudes, mental health, self-esteem, performance, motivation, and emotion.

In the final portion of the event, students will have the opportunity to learn about different graduate programs in psychology via virtual visits.

Ten students from the UMD Department of Psychology will be presenting their research on a variety of subjects. Each research project is guided by a UMD faculty mentor. The presentations, along with students and their faculty mentors, are listed below. 

Are Survivors of Sexual Assault Blamed More Than Victims of Other Crimes?
Grace A. Pegel and Catherine M. Reich
Faculty Advisor: Catherine M. Reich

The Relationship Between Self-Esteem and Parenting
Anna Subialka and Peyton Bruce
Faculty Advisor: Keith Young

The Relationship Between Sleep, Phone Usage, and Mental Health in College Students
Erin Cecil, Mark Cerar, and Grace Malwitz
Faculty Advisor: Keith Young

The Effects of Social Anxiety on Perceived Consequences of Alcohol Use
Hannah Lewis and Lyndsey Goblirsch
Faculty Advisor: Rebecca Gilbertson

Daily Caffeine Consumption's Effects on Prospective Time Estimation Accuracy
Donald Peet
Faculty Advisor: Rebecca J. Gilbertson

The Developmental Relationship Between Empathy and Spatial Acuity
Rachael J. L. Miller and Robert L. Lloyd
Faculty Advisor: Robert Lloyd

Pictured above: students presenting at the 2018 TPUP event.