This past weekend Loras hosted the 24th Annual Tri-state Undergraduate Psychology Research Conference. The conference consisted of a career and graduate school panel, a keynote address, undergraduate research presentations, and a graduate school fair. In attendance were 192 students and 21 faculty from 18 different institutions.
“This was the largest and most representative of psychology programs that the conference has ever had,” psychology professor Dr. Mary Johnson said. “The keynote speaker is nationally renowned for his personality research and that was particularly exciting.”
The keynote speaker and Loras alum, Dr. Randy Larsen, gave a captivating presentation on the psychology of happiness. He dispelled a common myth stating that only 10 percent of our happiness is derived from circumstances, which includes income/wealth, gender, age, marriage, religion, education, and beauty.
“The keynote speaker was awesome.” said senior psychology student Nick Kasten. “The different research he analyzed before conducting his own study is a good example for the undergraduates.”
Another alum and recent president-elect of the Iowa Psychological Association, Dr. Catalina D’Achiardi, provided students with insights regarding the current status of careers in psychology.
Loras psychology students presented posters, visited with graduate school representatives, and benefited from all of the information provided in the keynote addresses.
“Seeing the work that other people are doing makes me both motivated and inspired to continue my own work in the field of Psychology,” sophomore psychology and spanish major Mary Phillips said. “In talking to the speakers, professors, and other students, I realized just how much excitement and passion exists in this field.”
The conference boasted record numbers, and organizers hope that it will continue to grow in coming years, making a positive impact in more and more students’ lives.