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Faculty and Students Present Research at Psychology Conference

In March, Covenant students and faculty presented research at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Psychology Association (SEPA).


Karen Vander Hart ’14 and Kenneth Burke ’14 presented a study on music’s effect on memory. Emelie Schaefer ’15 and Emily Weaver ’15 presented on how best to motivate people to find out more about human trafficking. Both of these projects were also accepted for presentation at the Georgia Psychological Association conference in April. In addition, Wynn Bennett ’14 presented a study on factors in attribution of fault in rape and assault based on activity and gender. These research projects were conducted in psychology professor Dr. Kevin Eames’ research methods course.


“SEPA is a regional conference, but it attracts a variety of nationally-known researchers in various areas of psychology,” says Dr. Eames. “Students are exposed to a variety of resources and branches of psychology that we can’t provide with a three-person department. They can attend poster or paper sessions on industrial/organizational psychology, forensic psychology, health psychology, comparative psychology (animal cognition), sports psychology, and so on. SEPA is a welcoming environment for students. Professionals are very willing to talk with them about their research or practice and are often quite generous with their time. Covenant has also developed a reputation for sending a lot of students who distinguish themselves from other undergraduates by their maturity and seriousness of purpose. Moreover, it gives students an opportunity to expand their imagination about the field of psychology and helps them better discern their calling.”


In addition to the above projects, Tatum Clinton ’14, a psychology major who is taking advantage of Covenant’s new linguistics minor, presented research with linguistics professor Dr. Nola Stephens on top-down versus bottom-up linguistic processing.


“We were excited to have Dr. Stephens participate with our department in psycholinguistics research,” says Dr. Eames. “We hope it is the beginning of a cooperative relationship that allows psychology majors who have an interest to minor in linguistics or concentrate in psycholinguistics.


“Attending SEPA with students, some of whom present their research, always reminds me of what incredible students we have. They are not only academically motivated, but they show an astute ability to critically evaluate secular psychological research and identify points of convergence and divergence. I am deeply appreciative to be teaching them and grateful God has called me to Covenant.”