HWS Psychology Joins ABCT Convention – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

HWS Psychology Joins ABCT Convention

Assistant Professor of Psychology Jamie Bodenlos presented her latest research at the 48th Annual Association for Behavior and Cognitive Therapies Convention (ABCT). Titled “Stress and Loneliness as Predictors of Depression in First Year College Students,” Bodenlos’ research focuses on the critical stages that students go through during their first-year of college.

Rachael Smith ’15 and Kara Gengarelly ’14 are co-authors on this study. The convention, which took place Nov. 20-23 in Philadelphia, brought together top scholars and experts in clinical psychology from around the world for panel discussions, symposiums, clinical round tables and general workshops. There was an array of opportunities for engagement and professional development, highlighting current research and therapeutic procedures they can use in their own practice. 

“This gives us a chance to share our findings with other researchers in the field,” Bodenlos said prior to the conference. “It also allows opportunities to network and hear about current work in the field of clinical psychology.”

Bodenlos’ research examines the depressive symptoms that may arise from homesickness and high stress levels that students may face during the first year of college. Findings from her study suggest that stress management and finding ways to connect students who suffer from loneliness are the most important factors to address in the first semester of college.

The theme for this year’s convention was “Enhancing Cognitive Behavior Therapy by Drawing Strength From Multiple Disciplines Within the Social Sciences.” The topics range from bipolar spectrum disorders to cognitive-behavioral therapy.

The opening speaker was David Clark, professor and chair of experimental psychology at the University of Oxford. Other guest presenters included Liz Phelps, Julius Silver Professor of Psychology and Neural Science from New York University, Lauren Alloy, a professor and Joseph Wolpe Distinguished Faculty from Temple University, and Tom Ollendick of the Psychology Department at Virginia Tech.

Bodenlos was also on a panel discussion with other clinical psychologists at small liberal arts colleges including faculty at Wells College, High Point University and Furman University. The panel was entitled “Enhancing the Teaching of Cognitive Behavior Therapy: A Multidisciplinary Perspective.” Bodenlos shared a pedagogical strategy for teaching the science-practice gap that she developed through a CTL teaching grant she received in the fall of 2012. Bodenlos presented with Smith, who has been working on an independent study since the spring semester.

For her Honors project, Smith is working closely with Associate Professor of Psychology Michelle Rizzella, who is chair of the Psychology Department. The focus for the project is on the effect of music preference and attention on reading comprehension.

“It was through these opportunities that I realized I had a passion in regards to researching psychological disorders,” Smith says.

Smith is finalizing the experiment and preparing her thesis. Her final work will be presented to a panel of judges for review.

“I am applying to clinical psychology Ph.D. programs because I have a passion for the field of psychology and I am particularly interested in the field of psychological disorders,” Smith says.

The photo above features Assistant Professor of Psychology Jamie Bodenlos and Rachael Smith ’15.