HWS Attends Cross-Cultural Conference – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

HWS Attends Cross-Cultural Conference

Taylor Amico ’15, Brandon Campbell ’13, Rachel Hadley ’13 and Jillian Kuhn ’13 recently gained invaluable experience presenting their scholarly work when they joined Assistant Professor of Psychology Brien Ashdown last month for a trip to the 2013 Conference of the Society for Cross-Cultural Research (SCCR) in Mobile, Ala.

Along with Ashdown, Hadley and Campbell authored, “Perceptions of Intersecting Group Identities: Gender and Ethnicity Among College-Aged Women.” Kuhn and Amico joined Ashdown for the research paper, “EMDR as a successful therapeutic intervention for Guatemalans experiencing symptoms of trauma.” By attending the SCCR conference, the team of HWS students was afforded the opportunity to not only better understand the conference setting and think critically about their own research, but also network with scholars and peers from around the country.

“The SCCR is a great place to present preliminary data to get feedback from experts in your field,” Ashdown says. “It is also a great place for students to begin getting some experience presenting their own research ideas.”

The SCCR is a multi-disciplinary organization, a credo that falls in well with the core-curriculum at HWS. Members of the SCCR all share a common affinity of cross-cultural research, and its interdisciplinary nature allows participants to work with scholars from a wide array of fields. Ashdown praises the “small and flexible” nature of the society.

Ashdown says students typically attending the SCCR are in graduate school. This year, he was very confident in the talents of the four undergrads who attended with him.

“I knew that the students I was working with would be able to make important, graduate level presentations, which they did,” Ashdown says. “It was a great experience for them, and will be a good boost their résumés, as well as future applications for graduate school or jobs.”

Attendees of the conference represent a variety of academic fields, including psychology, anthropology, sociology, educational studies, family studies, psychiatry, communications and business.

Ashdown lauds Amico, Campbell, Hadley, and Kuhn for their ability to analyze data and draw conclusions, remarking that “many of them we able to establish fruitful networking connections with other students and professors from around the world.”

“Being able to share a project that I worked so hard on with people who were interested in the topic of identity was very inspiring,” recalls Hadley, whose research focused on how perceptions and stereotypes of gender and ethnicity intersect for women.

Campbell, who worked on the project with Hadley, found it rewarding to converse with other attendees of the conference.

“Because the conference was able to attract such a diverse audience, it was possible to observe research conducted across the world,” he says.

Typically, events at the conference center on keynote speakers, paper symposiums and presentations. That professional atmosphere facilitates a formation of tight-knit bonds, as well as an intellectual exchange for new and emerging findings in the Society for Cross-Cultural Research.

Ashdown, a member of the SCCR since 2004, attended last year’s conference in Las Vegas. This year, he served as program director, chairing a committee that decided which research submissions would be presented, and he also represents the field of psychology on the SCCR executive council.