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Cedar Crest Hosts Psychology and Neuroscience Conferences: April 21

Cedar Crest College is hosting the 27th annual Lehigh Valley Association of Independent Colleges (LVAIC) Psychology Conference April 21, from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., in the Hamilton Boulevard Building and Tompkins College Center.

The Third Annual Lehigh Valley Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience Research Symposium will run concurrently. Twenty one poster presentations and three oral presentations are scheduled, with prizes for the best talk and three best posters. Eight colleges and universities, including Neuroscience and Biology majors from Cedar Crest, will be represented, with over seventy individuals registered. The LVSfN group will also be celebrating their national recognition as “Chapter of the Year” from the Society for Neuroscience.


Sara Barscheski recently presented her research to the campus community and will do so again at the LVAIC Psychology Conference.

This year’s keynote speaker is Karyl B. Swartz, Ph.D., the director of the Division of AIDS, Behavioral and Population Sciences at National Institutes of Health’s Center for Scientific Review. Swartz will be discussing her own research with non-human primates, as well as the importance of undergraduate research. In addition, several Cedar Crest College psychology students will present their research. These are the same research projects students recently presented to the campus community. The eight seniors and one junior participating include:

Sara Barscheski (junior): Examines whether playing violent video games leads to aggression and/or frustration; Laurian Della: Looks at the effects of sleep deprivation on odor detection thresholds in rats; Danica Hannis: Explores the influence of contraceptive choice and promiscuity on perceptions of sexual behavior; Jennifer Kerns: Examines the perception of young mothers based on their age and life circumstance; Crystal Morlock: Explores the effects of facial symmetry and facial shape on mock jury verdicts and punishment decisions; Liselotte Penix: Examines the effects of superficial changes in appearance on recognition of faces; Kristin Scott: Studies the influence of priming on the categorization of gender stereotyped role words; Kenia Valdez: Considers how employers view applicants for certain jobs based on the applicant’s sex; and Rena Wallace: Looks at the effects of frustration on desirability for neutral objects paired with neutral or angry faces.

The Cedar Crest students who will present their research are students in the classes of Associate Professor James Scepansky, Ph.D., and Assistant Professor Sharon Himmanen, Ph.D.

“Each year we are appreciative of the dedication and hard work our students put into their research projects. Faculty from other institutions are always impressed with our students’ poise and professionalism as well as the quality of their research,” said Himmanen. “The fact that we are hosting the conference this year is especially rewarding, since it gives us the opportunity to further showcase our research students, our department, and Cedar Crest College to the LVAIC community.”

The LVSfN group will host a reception and an alumni speaker to conclude the day’s events. At 5 PM, Dr. Candice Klingerman will speak on the topic “Food or Sex? With These Fantastic Choices, How Does One Decide?” Dr. Klingerman is a recent graduate of Lehigh University, and is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology at the Penn State University College of Medicine.

The program is open to the public at a cost of $15, payable the day of the event.

Click here for additional information on the conference.