On Saturday April 15, Slippery Rock University will host the 45th Annual Western Pennsylvania undergraduate psychology conference, which has been taking place since 1973.
SRU last hosted the conference in 2010.
Psychology professor Jennifer Sanftner McGraw said that though she has never been able to attend a conference before, she is excited and knows that this conference will truly benefit the students in attendance.
The conference will take place in the Smith Student Center Ballroom and will include poster and paper presentations, a similar setup as the recent student symposium. The presentations will consist of research that has been conducted by students and faculty members in the psychology department.
“When students get the opportunity to work closely with faculty, there is a high impact,” McGraw said. “Faculty get to know students, which will benefit them when applying to graduate programs or when they need a letter of recommendation,” said McGraw.
McGraw also said that the conference allows for students to practice being professional.
“Presenting at this conference gives students a feel for what it is like to present at a professional conference,” McGraw said.
McGraw said that students benefit from researching with faculty because they are exposed to real-life scenarios and how data is taken and analyzed. They also learn the ethics of working with real human subjects. The conference also gives the students experience in conducting research and then analyzing the data, much like they would in the field.
“Students get to learn content that is far beyond what can be learned in a regular classroom,” McGraw said. “Strong resumes can be built from attending this conference. Also, the national conference can be intimating and expensive. Having a regional conference right here on the SRU campus will allow for more students to attend and present in a realistic environment.”