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The Tangerine

The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

Utica students and faculty present their discoveries at the Eastern Psychological Association Conference

Students and faculty presenting their research at the EPA conference. /Photo courtesy of Utica University Facebook.

Psychology students and faculty had the opportunity to present their research at the 2024 Eastern Psychological Association conference in Philadelphia. Attendees from Utica University presented four different studies across various disciplines, representing the academics of the university. 

The annual conference allows for attendees to learn about the latest advancements in the field of psychology and apply that knowledge to advance their own career. Psychology experts from various specialties are invited to discuss the current state and future prospects of their respective fields. 

Distinguished Professor of Psychology Steven Specht was one of the four faculty members that attended the conference. He said that they learned about all sub-disciplines of psychology such as “clinical, social, developmental and experimental.” 

Specht said that students and faculty attending and presenting at conferences like these has many benefits. 

“Faculty research which includes undergraduate research assistants helps the institution be academically prestigious, thus improving our reputation,” Specht said. “When faculty are active in research, they are not only able to keep up-to-date in the field, but it allows them to bring fresh ideas and examples into the classroom and enhance their teaching… which benefits all students.”

Mary Quinn, a senior majoring in occupational therapy, co-presented a study with Kaylee Seddio, assistant professor of psychology, and Aana Blaszka, a senior majoring in psychology. Their study found that immersing oneself emotionally in a story led to higher degrees of personal discomfort, allowing people to identify with the characters in the story.

Quinn expresses that conferences bring an experience that “simply cannot be taught from a textbook”. 

“At EPA this year I’d say some of my biggest takeaways were regarding current trends in the psychology field and how this is impacting today’s practice,” Quinn said. “This conference in particular reminded me of the importance of planning ahead, trusting your brain, and putting yourself out there.”

This conference granted an opportunity for both students and faculty to network, exchange ideas, and gain a new perspective. 

“I feel as though being involved in the Department of Psychology research during my time in undergrad has absolutely set me up for success in my graduate studies and profession going forward,” Quinn said. “Hard work absolutely pays off!”

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