Monday, May 13, 2013

Three UNO Undergraduate Psychology Students Win Research Grants from UL System

Three University of New Orleans undergraduate students of psychology received grants this month from the University of Louisiana System's Board of Regents. Together, the three women won nearly $15,000 in research funds participating in the board's 3rd Annual Supervised Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) competition.

"Mentoring and engaging students in active research opportunities related to their degree program has been shown to aid in student retention," said Carol Lunn, executive director of the UNO Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. "These students will be the STEM workforce of tomorrow and these mentoring programs improve their education, give them practical experience and making them better prepared to enter the workforce."

The annual SURE competition is funded by the National Science Foundation with aims of increasing participation of women and other underrepresented minorities in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields. The contest is also designed to foster opportunities for these students to conduct supervised research with a faculty mentor.

Each of the three UNO winners received a $4,000 grant to conduct more than 300 hours of mentored research under the supervision of faculty mentors. Mentors received a supplemental grant of $500 per student for the purchase of research supplies or travel by students and mentors to meetings or conferences to present research findings.

Skylar Hicks will work with UNO Assistant Professor of Psychology Monica Marsee on a research project entitled "Emotion Socialization and Aggression in Detained Youth."

Shannin Moody and UNO Assistant Professor of Psychology Cornelia Lamm will explore "The Effects of Testosterone on Neurocognitive Development."

Florencia Iturri will be working with UNO Early Research Professor of Psychology Birdie Shirtcliff on "Testosterone Reactivity and Social Support in Romantic Relationships."

The students are not only scholars, but campus leaders, said Shirtcliff. Florencia Iturri is a UNO Honors student; Shannin Moody is the owner of NOLA Cotton Candy and an active member of Psi Chi, the international honor society for psychology, and Skylar Hicks is a UNO Cheerleader.