Assistant Professor of Psychology Julie Kingery recently attended the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) biennial meeting, accompanied by three students; Stacey Rice ’11, Melissa Gray ’11 and Jesse Milligan ’11 who were given the opportunity to present at the conference of psychologists in Montreal, Canada.
The group presented three posters, “Active Learning in a Child Psychology Course: Observing Play Behavior at a Children’s Museum,” “Parental Anxious Expectations and Child Anxiety Symptoms as Risk Factors for Homesickness During Overnight Summer Camp” and “The Role of the Home Literacy Environment in Predicting Kindergarteners’ Literacy Skills: A Community-Based Research Collaboration,” which was completed in collaboration with Director of the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning, Katie Flowers, Principal of West Street Elementary School, Nina McCarthy, Literacy Specialist at West Street Elementary School, Anne Dinan, and retired Director of the Geneva Head Start Center, Jane Gerling.
Since graduate school, Kingery has attended the SRCD conference several times, and since coming to the Colleges, several students have accompanied her to this event, which attracts thousands from across the U.S. and Canada. The conference, which includes research presentations and round table discussions, as well as poster presentations, is a one of a kind experience for HWS students, as undergraduates do not usually have the opportunity to present.
“This conference crosses into a variety of different fields – it relates to education, public policy and many other disciplines where child development plays a role,” says Kingery. Each year, Kingery creates a research team consisting of her students conducting independent studies. The work presented by the group represented collaborative projects developed and conducted by Kingery and her students.
Students were also given the opportunity to interact with prominent figures in field of child development. “They had an opportunity to see hundreds of research posters and speak with professionals – many of whom are people we cited in our research; it was a real chance to interact with professionals in the field,” explains Kingery. “Professionals offered suggestions and feedback on our research posters; allowing for an exchange of ideas that offered different ways for us to think about each study.”
“Students also get to see the research process from the start to what is, more or less, the finish, as they were responsible for collecting, entering and analyzing data, then presenting the research results,” says Kingery. “They could see the work come together as a final product.”
“As a professor, it’s incredibly fulfilling to see students take on such an integral role in a research project,” remarks Kingery. “It is amazing to see how they have grown, changed and learned.”
Other student contributors to the research included Shana Allen ’11, Alexandra Connell ’10, Margaret Gaskell ’09, Nicholas Georgitseas ’10, Sarah Lubeck ’10, Casey Marshall ’09, Kelly Peneston ’10, Stephanie Wells ’10, and Kyle Whitaker ’11.