Psychology Students Present Their Research at ILLOWA Conference

(LEBANON, Ill., May 3, 2017) — Seven McKendree University psychology majors formally presented their original research at the 44th annual ILLOWA Undergraduate Research Psychology Conference, held on April 29 at Monmouth College. ILLOWA is one of the oldest continuing undergraduate psychological research conferences in the U.S. Presentations by the McKendree students were as follows:

  • “Color Perception: Assessing Cognitive-Task Performance and Perception of Attractiveness” by Ronald Drummond, a senior biopsychology major from New Baden, Ill.

  • “Strong but Broken: Detecting the Collectivism and Individuality in the Military Subculture” by Megan Killian, a senior psychology major from Belleville, Ill.

  • “Texts from Last Night: A Study on Personality and Drunk Texting Behavior” by Keanna Knox, a junior psychology major from Troy, Ill.

  • “An Evolutionary Analysis of Stigma Toward Mates with Mental Illness” by Emily Thompson, a junior biopsychology major from Nashville, Ill., and Rachel Kaltwasser, a senior psychology major from Belleville, Ill.

  • “College Students’ Attitudes Towards LGBTQ+ Individuals” by Ashley Weissert, a senior psychology major from Fairview Heights, Ill.

  • “The Effect of Pet Ownership on College Students’ Stress Levels” by Mae Wells, a senior psychology major from St. Jacob, Ill.

“Presenting at ILLOWA is a significant professional experience for students,” said Dr. Guy Boysen, associate professor of psychology at McKendree. “Presenting research as an undergraduate is often a necessary experience in order to receive serious consideration when applying to graduate schools. For most of them, it is their first chance to give an off-campus presentation to an audience in their field. In addition, it is an opportunity to put what they have learned at McKendree into practice: effective communication, inquiry, and discipline-specific knowledge.

“They represented McKendree well at the conference. Their presentations were among the best – both in content and in delivery – and the support and camaraderie they showed as a group exemplified the ideal of Bearcats working together.”


 Group of Students representing McKendree University at the ILLOWA Conference

Representing McKendree University at the ILLOWA Conference were, front row, Ashley Weissert, Emily Thompson, Rachel Kaltwasser; middle row, Megan Killian, Keanna Knox, Mae Wells; back row, Dr. Guy Boysen, associate professor of psychology, Ronald Drummond, and Dr. Gerald McDonnell, assistant professor of psychology


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