UCSC psychology society holds first undergraduate research conference

The UC Santa Cruz chapter of Psi Chi is highlighting undergraduate research in psychology this week as it hosts the department's first Undergraduate Research Conference.

UCSC's Psi Chi chapter, with more than 100 members, is active in improving the academic experience of psychology majors as well as bettering the Santa Cruz community. Psi Chi, founded in 1929, is the international honor society in psychology with the goal to encourage, stimulate, and maintain excellence in scholarship, and advance the science of psychology.

Psychology study and research at UCSC specializes in three areas: cognitive, developmental, and social.

"This undergraduate research conference exemplifies our promotion of experiential learning opportunities for psychology and cognitive science majors," said psychology department chair Avril Thorne.

 "Many of our majors collaborate on research with faculty and graduate students, and on an amazing range of topics, including second language learning, conflict resolution, and community, and civic engagement.  Such experiences are crucial for discovering who one is and how one wants to contribute to society."

The research conference began Monday and continues Wednesday, June 6 and Friday, June 8. It aims to promote undergraduate research and help current students learn about other research in psychology. 

The next two sessions will take place Wednesday, from 2:30 to 4 p.m., and Friday, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Room 121 in Social Sciences 2.  Approximately 20 presentations are scheduled.

It is open to all psychology undergraduates as spectators and presenters. Faculty, grad students, and staff are also welcome. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about the importance of undergraduate research as it relates to graduate school preparation and research careers, as well as hear from peers about their work currently underway in research labs.

Presenters include research assistants, students who have prepared poster presentations,  and students who have conducted a senior thesis.