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Psychology Summary

Friday, 11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
“Backpacks to Briefcases: What do College Students Know About Transferable Skills?”
Cengage Learning
Dr. Tanya Martini, Professor of Psychology, Brock University, St. Catharines, ON

Friday, 4:00 – 5:15 p.m.
“The Science of the Meaning in Life”
Dr. Laura A. King, Frederick A. Middlebush Professor of Psychological Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO

Saturday, 9:00 – 10:15 a.m.
“Dams and Channels: The Flow of Grandmother Care”
Kathleen Stassen Berger, Professor of Psychology, Bronx Community College, New York City, NY


Friday, February 24th, 11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

“Backpacks to Briefcases: What do College Students Know About Transferable Skills?

Recently, there has been much discussion about the skills acquired by college graduates, and three main issues seem to be front and center. The first is whether we are facing a “skills gap”: Is it true that new graduates don’t have the competencies that are needed in the workplace? A second, related issue concerns the question of who should be teaching job-relevant skills. To what extent is this the responsibility of colleges vs. employers? But if higher education is indeed intended to foster career-related skills, then it makes sense to consider a third issue; namely, whether graduates are developing the skills that colleges claim that they are (and how such skills might be measured). My talk uses this broad-based public discussion as a starting point, but suggests that there is a fourth issue that can and should be addressed with regard to transferable skills. This issue has students’ perceptions of skill-based learning squarely at its center and is associated with questions such as, What skills do college students believe that they are developing at college? To what extent do students recognize and understand the key career-related skills that college programs attempt to foster? and, finally, Are students able to effectively articulate the skills that they are learning during the college years?

Dr. Tanya Martini, Professor of Psychology, Brock University, St. Catharines, ON

Dr. Tanya Martini, Brock UniversityTanya Martini obtained her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Toronto and is a Professor of Psychology at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario. In addition to introductory psychology, she also teaches research methods and a capstone course designed to facilitate graduating students’ understanding of career-related skills. She was awarded the Brock University Distinguished Teaching Award and currently holds the Chancellor’s Chair for Teaching Excellence. Dr. Martini’s research explores skill-based learning outcomes in post-secondary education, and her most recent work has investigated students’ views concerning skill-based learning across their degree program. She has a particular interest in students’ ability to articulate the competencies that underlie skills such as critical thinking and collaboration, and their ability to recognize how university assignments foster transferable skills that are of interest to employers. She is the co-author, with Dennis Coon and John Mitterer, of Psychology: Modules for Active Learning (14th edition) published by Cengage Learning.


Friday, February 24th, 4:00 – 5:15 p.m.

“The Science of the Meaning in Life”

Dr. King is the author of Experience Psychology and The Science of Psychology: An Appreciative View. This talk will focus on the well-being, especially meaning in life, motivation, narrative approaches, folk theories of The Good Life, and individual differences in intuitive information processing. Dr. King’s work reflects an enduring interest in what is healthy and functioning about people, and recognizing psychological functioning in everyday people and their everyday lives!

Dr. Laura A. King, Frederick A. Middlebush Professor of Psychological Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO

Dr. Laura A. King, University of MissouriLaura A. King Ph.D. received her A.B. in English Literature and Psychology from Kenyon College in 1986 and her PhD in personality psychology from the University of California, Davis in 1991. She taught at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, before coming to the University of Missouri, in 2001. Her research has focused on well-being, particularly meaning in life, motivation, narrative approaches, and folk theories of The Good Life. Most recently her work has examined the interplay of affect and individual differences in intuitive information processing in the experience of meaning in life events. She has published over 80 articles and chapters and is currently the editor of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Personality Processes and Individual Differences.


Saturday, February 25th, 9:00 – 10:15 a.m.

“Dams and Channels: The Flow of Grandmother Care”

What is a good grandparent? Do you need one? Since the beginning of humankind, grandparents have cared for the younger generations, with advice, time, and food  – sometimes life preserving, sometimes not. That continues today, with caregiving and money flowing more from the older generations to the younger ones. Currently, however, demographic shifts threaten the linked lives from one family member to another. Babies are born later and less often, parents seek help and advice from peers, doctors, and professional caregivers, divorce alters family connections, and many grandmothers have spent decades in the workplace. Each of these changes alters the traditional family role of grandparents. The results are sometimes destructive  – children with emotional problems, parents overwhelmed and stressed, grandmothers too assertive or too distant. How to reassemble the fractured family? Grandmothers may be the glue.

Kathleen Stassen Berger, Professor of Psychology, Bronx Community College, New York City, NY

Kathleen Berger

Kathleen Stassen Berger received her undergraduate education at Stanford University and Radcliffe College, earned an M.A.T. from Harvard University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. from Yeshiva University. Her broad experience as an educator includes directing a preschool, serving as chair of philosophy at the United Nations International School, teaching child and adolescent development to graduate students at Fordham University and undergraduates at Montclair State University in New Jersey and at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, as well as teaching social psychology to inmates at Sing Sing Prison. Throughout most of her professional career, Berger has worked at Bronx Community College of the City University of New York, first as an adjunct and for the past two decades as a full professor. She has taught introduction to psychology, child and adolescent development, adulthood and aging, social psychology, abnormal psychology, and human motivation. Her students—who come from many ethnic, economic, and educational backgrounds and who have a wide range of ages and interests—consistently honor her with the highest teaching evaluations. Berger is also the author of The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence and Invitation to the Life Span. Her developmental texts are currently being used at more than 700 colleges and universities worldwide and are available in Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese, as well as English. Her research interests include adolescent identity, immigration, and bullying, and she has published many articles on developmental topics in the Wiley Encyclopedia of Psychology and in publications of the American Association for Higher Education and the National Education Association for Higher Education. She continues teaching and learning as her four daughters and three grandsons continue to develop, as she interacts with students every semester, and as she revises each edition of her books.

 

 

Psychology Section Chair:
Marylou Robins, San Jacinto College–South