ASU psychology students and faculty attend Rocky Mountain Psychological Association conference


Students and faculty from Adams State University's Psychology Department participated in the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association annual conference, held in Denver during April. Fourteen students attended and presented 10 papers or posters, setting a record for the department.

Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology, presented student Chelsea Walljasper with a $400 Regional Research Award, which recognizes outstanding undergraduate or graduate research projects. In addition, four members of the Adams State Psi Chi Chapter were awarded Psi Chi Travel Grants ranging from $200-$400 to help them attend RMPA.

At the conference, Adams State students collaborated with Colorado Mesa University's Dr. Nikki Jones, chair of the RMPA Diversity Council, to bring the American Psychological Association Women's Program Office's "I am Psyched!" pop-up museum exhibit to the RMPA convention. The exhibit was designed as part of the Smithsonian Institution's Museum Day Live! initiative and focuses on illuminating the past, present, and future of women of color in the field of psychology.

Jones and Adams State Professor of Psychology Leslie Alvarez also collaborated on research and mentored the student research team to learn about the exhibit and serve as docents for the museum. They did this as part of Alvarez's experimental class, History of Women in Psychology.

Also, Dr. Shari Miles-Cohen, senior director of the APA Women's Program Office, made a special trip to RMPA to kick off a symposium where six Adams State students gave three presentations.

From left: Marissa Trujillo, Jerome Rodriguez, Rachael Ringler, Dr. Leslie Alvarez, Dr. Shari Miles-Cohen, Jonah Leach, Chelsea Walljasper, and Mikayla Weiser

Students' presentations at RMPA included the following:

  • Jonah Leach and Rachael Ringler: "Say My Name: Representation of Women and People of Color in History of Psychology Textbooks." Paper/Symposium (Adviser: Leslie Alvarez)
  • Brenna Oakey and Jessica Moorman: "Gender but not Political Orientation Associated with the Dark Triad." Poster (Adviser: Robert Demski)
  • Jeff Elison and Keanan Turmenne: "Difficulty-Ability Models of Flow." Paper/Symposium
  • Keanan Turmenne and Jeff Elison: "The Autotelic Personality: Predicting Low vs. High Flow-ers." Paper/Symposium
  • Chelsea Walljasper and Marissa Trujillo: "Recognizing Diversity: College Students' Ability to Recognize Prominent Women and People of Color in Psychology." Paper/Symposium (Adviser: Leslie Alvarez)
  • Chelsea Walljasper: "Open Science Framework and Online Data Collection Facilitate Undergraduate Research." Poster (Adviser: Robert Demski)
  • Chelsea Walljasper and Robert Demski: "Is Culture Associated with Attitudes and Perceived Barriers toward Psychological Help-seeking?" Paper
  • Mikayla Weiser and Jerome Rodriguez: "Delving into the Historical and Contemporary Barriers of Women and Minorities in Psychology: A Review." Paper/Symposium (Adviser: Leslie Alvarez)
  • Jeff Elison and Brittany Wilson: "Conditions Promoting Flow among Rock Climbers." Paper/Symposium
  • Brittany Wilson and Jeff Elison: "Flow, Emotion-regulation, and Grit." Paper/Symposium

In addition to co-authoring and mentoring student projects, Adams State psychology faculty contributed to RMPA in additional ways:

  • Dr. Leslie Alvarez, Adams State professor of psychology, served as the Psi Chi Rocky Mountain Region Vice-President. She also:
    - co-presented a talk "Applying to Graduate School in Psychology: An Insider's Guide in the Rocky Mountain Region"
    - moderated an hour-long symposium associated with the "I am Psyched!" traveling museum titled "History, Recognition, and Representation of Women of Color in Psychology"
    - moderated a Conversation Hour with the esteemed Nadine Kaslow
    - moderated an invited lecture given by Nadine Kaslow, "Uniting Psychology for the Future"
    - moderated the Psi Chi Student Awards paper presentations o hosted a Psi Chi Welcome Breakfast
    - hosted a Psi Chi Raffle and Reception
  • Dr. Rena Kirkland, assistant professor of psychology, was a co-presenter for a "teaching take-out" demonstration on "Increasing Student Engagement Using Movement-Integrated Learning Activities." She also co-authored a poster on "Experience Sampling of Movement-Integrated Learning in Psychology Courses."
  • Dr. Jeff Elison, professor of psychology, organized an hour-long symposium on his sabbatical research, which included four papers co-authored with students (listed above), "Flow: Individual Differences, Predictors, and Nature." He also served on the program committee, reviewing submissions.