Psychology Matters

Spring 2023

Psychology Students at Posters on the Bay


Several psychology students were able to present at Posters on the Bay in Annapolis on February 23. Ryan Devine, Jaedyn Messer, Amanda Niederland, Zobia Rani and Dre’von Clark all presented their work at this conference, which is designed to connect student research with Maryland legislators. Students were thrilled to share their work with Maryland Governor Wes Moore, who made a special appearance at the event.

Jaedyn Messer, Amanda, Niederland and Dr. Rachel Steele

Jaedyn Messer, Amanda, Niederland and Dr. Rachel Steele

Ryan Devine

Ryan Devine

SU Psychology Presentations at EPA Annual Meeting


The annual meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association (EPA) was held on March 2-4 in Boston. Two SU faculty members (Drs. Echo Leaver and Mark Walter) and several students (Tieryn Gingerich, Claire Kendall, Elliana "Elli" Larsen, Catherine Milligan and Aman Shahzad) attended this year's meeting. Gingerich presented research on sexual assault that she conducted with Dr. Suzanne Osman. Kendall presented research examining academic performance that she worked on with Dr. Kyoung Rae Jung. Larsen presented her honor's thesis research involving religious fundamentalism, which she conducted under the supervision of Dr. Walter. Milligan and Shahzad presented research on head injury conducted with Dr. Leaver. The meeting was an excellent opportunity for students to present research that they worked on as well as to learn about other cutting-edge research being conducted in psychology.

Elli Larsen and Dr. Mark Walter

Tieryn Gingerich

Claire Kendall


Out of the Darkness Walk


On April 2, the SU Psychology Department joined over 250 campus and community members in a suicide prevention event. This Out of the Darkness Walk is one of many similar events around the country supporting the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (ASFP). The walks not only raise funds to support ASFP’s efforts in research, education and advocacy, but also the walk also raises awareness of the issue in our area and highlights local mental health options. Our team – Psychology Department and Friends – exceeded our funding goal, raising over $500. Overall, the event raised more than $13,000 and is expected to be an annual event every spring on the SU campus. One of the invited speakers at the event was Emily Ritzes, a psychology major and gender and sexuality studies minor, who shared a powerful message for the crowd of over 250 participants.


Emily Ritzes


Out of the Darkness Walk Participants

21st Annual SU Student Research Conference – April 21

Each year, the Salisbury University Student Research Conference (SUSRC) gives students an opportunity to present the research that they’ve been working on with faculty. As always, our psychology students did an awesome job of presenting their research. There were three psychology presentations during the afternoon oral session. Presenters included Amanda Niederland, Jaedyn Messer, Aniah Gopaul, Summer Akinrodoye Michaela Harrigan, Ryan Devine, Joanna Mason and Emily Bovard.

The evening poster session gave everyone a chance to walk around and talk to the students about their research. Eight of the posters at this session presented research conducted by students in the Psychology Department. Presenters included Grace DePanise, Amanda Beahm, Sierra Payne, Jelani Gayle, Adara Turek, Katherine Sweeney, Victoria Makuchal, Nicolette Giglio, Shay Grieser, Asia Carroll, Jillian Savageau, Harleigh Anderson, Linsay Ray, Katie Carter, Anna Saghirian, George Luzier, Walter Rodriguez and Bethany Stallings.

Spring 2023 Psi Chi Induction and Awards Ceremony


Our department held the annual Psi Chi Induction and Awards Ceremony on Saturday, April 29. We were pleased to induct 43 members into Psi Chi this year. The Psychology Department awarded two students, Ryan Devine and Amanda Niederland, with the Psychology Department Award for their academic and service accomplishments. Nicolette Giglio received the William and Eva Anderson Award in Applied Psychology.


Psi Chi Inductees and Officers


Psychology Department Award Recipients Amanda Niederland and Ryan Devine


Department Chair Dr. Meredith Patterson, William and Eva Anderson Award Recipient Nicolette Giglio, and Dr. Eva Anderson

Spring 2023 Psychology Fair


The biannual Psychology Fair took place May 4 in the Laboratory for Psychological Science. Students from a variety of psychology classes presented on subjects ranging from artificial intelligence to Sensory Friendly Earth Day at the Salisbury Zoo.

Student Spotlight: Adara Turek


I’m from Smyrna, DE. My major is psychology with a minor in law, justice and advocacy.

What led you to decide to become a student at Salisbury University?

I loved that Salisbury was close to home but far enough so I could get the true college experience, and I fell in love with the Guerrieri Academic Commons!

Throughout your time at SU, what was your favorite memory?

My favorite memory is taking impromptu beach trips with my friends after class on warm days.

Did you have a favorite instructor or mentor, and, if so, why?

Yes! Dr. [Meredith] Patterson – despite having a full schedule 24/7, she’s always able to make time for her students. She’s helped me find a love for research and cognitive aging! (She always has the best snacks too.)

Outside of being a student, what are your interests?

I enjoy reading, painting and cooking. I also really enjoy a good true crime podcast.

What are your plans after graduation?

I plan on continuing my education at University of Akron where I’ll be pursuing my Ph.D. in the psychology with a focus on adult development and aging.

Tell us a few fun facts about you.

I collect rubber ducks! I don’t know how to ride a bike.

Alumni Spotlight: Jacklyn Grad


Jacklyn Grad graduated from Salisbury University in 2007 with her B.A. in psychology. She played Ultimate Frisbee (Go Flash!) on campus and participated in independent study through the Psychology Department. After graduating, she worked at a non-profit organization focusing on youth programming and supervised staff and participant experience. She later pivoted and went back to school to study documentary filmmaking and is currently an editor based in the Philly area.


What are you currently up to?

I am currently living in the Philadelphia area and mainly working for myself. I have a filmmaking and editing business, working on all types of projects from commercial marketing, to wedding videos, social media content and everything in between.


What path did you take to get to where you are now?

After graduating from Salisbury, I thought I would have applied for a graduate program and taken my studies to a higher education. No program was feeling right, so I took some time and found a nonprofit organization to get involved with. I spent five years working in Washington, DC, mostly focusing on youth programming and engagement. This was a great way to use my experience at Salisbury in real-time, supporting participants in our programs as well as supervising our staff members. I really wanted to explore a more creative path, so I went back to school to study documentary filmmaking and photography in mid-coast Maine. This experience changed my life and opened up possibilities for a totally different career path. Right after school, I started freelancing on different projects with different people. I moved out to LA for two years and found my way back to the East Coast freelancing and working for myself. I always tell people that my degree helped me have a deeper understanding of where people come from and why they are the way they are, which helps me be a better storyteller.


What was one highlight about your time in the SU Psychology Department that stands out?

I transferred to Salisbury after my freshman year, so I had only three years to complete my full degree. I was super supported by my advisor and other psychology professors to hustle but still have a great experience. I am grateful to each of them.


What do you know now that you wish you had known as a student?

Listen to your gut! There is no linear path next, especially in psychology. I think there’s an assumption that you should right away go to graduate school for therapy or research or something else that feels pretty obvious. I wish I knew I could give myself time and space to figure out what was right for me. If something feels right, go for it! If it feels off, explore that and figure out why.


Where do you see yourself in five years?

I hope in five years to have my business expanded and have a team of people working underneath me. I also hope to have some property in Maine, living a little bit of a homesteader’s life.

Alumni Publish Manuscript on Participatory Research


Psychology alum Allyson Rivera (May 2021 graduate) and Romona Harden (December 2022 graduate), as well as James M. Bennett High School student Hannalise Wang (now at the University of Maryland), co-authored a manuscript with psychology faculty Dr. Yuki Okubo and Dr. Michèle Schlehofer that was published a paper in the Journal of Participatory Research Methods. The paper, “Conducting Virtual Youth-Led Participatory Action Research (YPAR) During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” details their work with area middle and high school youth during the pandemic. It is available to read online.

REACH Team Holds Successful Ethics Workshop


Dr. Michèle Schlehofer, together with Re-Envisioning Ethics Access and Community Humanities (REACH) colleagues Dr. Tim Stock (Philosophy) and Dr. Jennifer Nyland (Biological Sciences), held a four-day intensive Ethics Across the Curriculum workshop over winter break. The 12 participating faculty represented every school on campus and the College of Health and Human Services.


The goal of the workshop was to assist faculty in using case studies in their courses to teach ethical concepts. Participating faculty worked with existing case studies derived from REACH community listening sessions and also developed new ethics units to implement in their classes. New units ranged from a mathematics class on the ethics of student debt, leadership ethics in athletics and community-based exercises for writing about climate change. Faculty were taught how to use case studies to teach students ethics via a “Community of Inquiry” approach, how to help students (and themselves) develop their moral pre-histories, and how to identify and address common fallacies in ethical reasoning.

Fulton Faculty Colloquium – March 7


Dr. Larence Becker (pictured above) presented “Extraordinary Machines: A History of Computer Models of the Mind” as part of the Spring Fulton Faculty Colloquia.


Faculty Award Winner


Congratulations to Dr. Rhy Bemis, who received an Outstanding Disabilities Advocate Faculty Award from the Disabilities Resource Center.


Dr. Rhy Bemis (left) with fellow honoree

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Salisbury University Logo

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