Psychology/Human Development Club News: Guest Speaker Wednesday
Psi Chi News: Don’t Be a Grinch…Volunteer for a Good Cause!
Careers of the Month: November 2007 Edition
Breaking News: Human Development Welcomes “New” Faculty Member!
New Course for Spring 2008: Public Policy Across the Life Span
Research Assistantships: A Student Perspective
Career Tip of the Month: Identify Job References
Graduate School Tip of the Month: Requesting Letters of Recommendation
All the Classes I Wanted to Take are Closed, Now What Do I Do, Pink Flamingo???
Get Your Registration Questions Answered…by The Pink Flamingo
Congratulations to Phi Kappa Phi Honorees!
Faculty Colloquia Series Continues with Drs. Burns and Wilson-Doenges
Trivia: October Answers and November Questions
Help Wanted: Research and Teaching Assistants Needed for Spring
Scholarship Opportunity for Study Abroad Students
Top Eleven Best Things about Being a Human Development or Psychology Student
The Psychology and Human Development Club has an exciting meeting scheduled again this week. On Wednesday, November 14th at 6:00 p.m. in MAC 224, Ed Jedlicka from LearningRX will be speaking about the LearningRX program, including job/internship opportunities there. To find out more about LearningRX, take a look at their website.
Attention Psi Chi members! Word here at The Pink Flamingo is that Psi Chi needs volunteers for the ‘Tis the Season Event on December 1st from 9am-Noon. Volunteers would be taking tickets, helping with crafts, and doing other things related to the event. Interested members should contact Psi Chi President Jaimie Henschel (firstname.lastname@example.org), who will make sure they get on the list (we’re sure that means Santa’s good list – not the one that leads to lumps of coal).
This month, we profile careers that may be of interest to those who want to work with children.
Day Care Worker: Still like playing with crayons and finger paint? Like working with kids and helping them learn? Find out more at by clicking here.
Children’s Librarian: Want an excuse to read your favorite books over and over again? Enjoy developing educational programs for children? Think about a career as a children’s librarian and learn more at this website.
Human Development is simply thrilled to announce that Dr. Dean Rodeheaver will be back in our department full-time beginning in the Spring 2008 semester! He may be a new face to students, but he has actually been at UW-Green Bay for many years and has a reputation as an amazing teacher. He returns to Human Development after serving 12 years as Assistant Chancellor for Planning and Budget. His degrees are from the Life Span Developmental program at West Virginia University (he’s a Mountaineer, born and raised), and he has been at UW-Green Bay since 1983. His specialty was in middle-age and aging, and he served the local community for many years as a member and chair of the Brown County Commission on Aging (now the Aging and Disability Resource Center). As Assistant Chancellor, he was responsible for the campus budget, strategic planning, budget requests to the state, master plan, and management of building projects including Mary Ann Cofrin Hall, Lab Sciences, Kress Events Center, and the University Union. He currently serves as the Campus Sustainability Coordinator and is active in community organizations dealing with sustainable planning. His teaching interests include sports psychology, public policy and the life span, sustainability issues, and planning and budgeting. He will be teaching Introduction to Human Development in the Spring, as well as an exciting new course: Public Policy Across the Life Span.
Dr. Dean Rodeheaver’s return has made it possible for Human Development to offer Public Policy Across the Life Span (HUM DEV 483G) for the first time this Spring. Take advantage of this exciting offering which will count as an upper-level elective for the Human Development major or minor, and read on for more information about the class.
“Could health care be better designed by a Human Development major? Has Social Security forever changed the way we think of growing older? This new course attempts to integrate student expertise in human development theory and research with an understanding of social issues, public policy, and social programs. Throughout the course, the focus will be on two questions: How closely are public policies and programs based on research on human development? How do public policies and programs shape our conceptions of the life span? Since we are entering an election season, two timely policy issues will be included as examples: health care policies for mothers and children and age-based policies and programs for the elderly (Social Security and Medicare). The course will also include guests from various social agencies and require students to conduct an in-depth examination of a social issue they choose.”
Last month, we brought you a new feature with our first “Student Perspective” interview. This month, we bring you our second installment with Brittany Broder, a senior Psychology major and Human Biology minor who is serving in her second semester as a Research Assistant.
1. Who are you working with for your research assistantship (RA)?
Dr. Kate Burns
2. How did you find out about the RA and go about getting it?
I heard a lot of my classmates talking about doing research with different professors, and I thought it sounded pretty neat. Then not too long later Dr. Burns approached me about doing research, and I agreed very quickly.
3. What kinds of things do you get to do for your RA?
I do a lot of background readings on past research. I also help develop some of the ways we test things in the lab. After the experiment gets approved through the IRB, I run the lab: having participants sign informed consents, getting the computers set up, getting participants in the rooms, having them read debriefing forms. After the experiment is done then I code the data, and sometimes I enter it into Excel. Very exciting stuff.
4. How do you think the RA relates to what you have learned in your classes?
It is exactly like Dr. Lorenz’s experimental psychology class, except I didn’t have to come up with the original idea. It also helps me to understand the theory and mathematical analysis behind classes like Tests and Measurements, such as “oh that is why I care about error!” or “standard conditions are important for every subject because….” It is also helpful when reading research articles that other professors have a student read. I understand why the methodology, and p-values are important to mention in those articles.
5. How important has this RA been to your educational experience at UWGB, and why?
Being an RA has been very important; it allows me to understand the entire process behind running an experiment from start to finish. I know that this is something I will be doing in my future career as a graduate student and as an employee. Most importantly, it allowed me to get to know one of my professors on a different level. Working side by side with Dr. Burns is such an honor; she has a Ph.D., and I am just an undergraduate student. Getting to know a professor is also helpful when the time for letters of recommendation comes around!
Editors’ Note: Wondering about getting a research assistantship of your own? Read the want ads below for information about who is looking for RAs right now. Also, the Human Development and Psychology websites have information on what faculty members are researching what, so check them out for more information.
Students headed to graduate school will have to solicit letters of recommendation for their applications. Those moving directly into the job market, on the other hand, will probably not need letters. They will need to provide the names of people who can serve as job references. Here are some “dos” and “don’ts” for selecting and working with your references.
Do ask people to serve as references, rather than just assuming they are willing.
Do make the request of people who know you well and who can speak to your abilities in areas that are relevant for that job.
Do ask politely whether the individual feels he/she can be a good reference for you.
Do think about whether faculty members would be the best job references for you. Potential employers often ask about your interpersonal skills, maturity, skills working with children (or other relevant group), maturity, responsibility, and so on. It can be very difficult for professors to answer those questions if they have only worked with you in a lecture-based class. On the other hand, if you have worked with a professor on an internship, RA, or TA, he or she may have many things to say about your applied skills.
Do follow-up with references, letting them know if you got the job and sending a thank-you note regardless.
And, on the other hand…
Don’t use personal references, unless you have been specifically told by the employer they are appropriate. You might have used individuals like a family friend or minister as references in the past, but they will probably not be good professional references now.
Don’t include someone’s name as a reference on your resume or a job application without asking first. Even if the person is willing, it can make you look bad and hurt your application if the potential employer calls, and your reference is obviously unprepared.
As you all know, letters of recommendation are important to your graduate school applications. What follows are a few tips to make sure you get the best letters or recommendation possible.
Ask someone who knows you well and can attest to your relevant strengths. Your dance instructor may know you well, but he or she can’t necessarily attest to the kinds of things that are relevant for graduate school (academic skills, written and oral communication skills, etc.). Make sure you ask those people who can write about those things because that’s what the person reviewing your application will care about most.
Ask early. Believe it or not, we take great care in writing these letters, and nothing makes it harder to write a great letter than short notice. Because we get so many requests and have so many other responsibilities, we need to plan ahead. Most people will want at least a month before the first deadline.
Find out what they want/need from you. Different letter writers want/need different things. Some ask you to turn in personal statements, resumes, old assignments, etc., and each person might be different. They ask for those things for a reason (because it helps them write you a great letter) so find out what they want you to do and give them exactly that.
Be organized. The more organized you are, the more likely you are to get a good letter. The people who are writing letters for you might write between 50 and 150 letters each year so it’s incredibly helpful to them if you can be organized (plus, it decreases the chances of a mistake on their part). Put together a document with every program you are applying to, the due dates for those programs, whether or not the program requires the letter be sent directly from us or if all information needs to be together, etc. This sort of things means that your letter writer can spend less time trying to figure out what should be sent where and more time crafting a great letter.
For even more information, please refer to the Letters of Recommendation link on the Human Development website.
Yes, this headline may sound familiar. In fact, given that this question has plagued Human Development and Psychology majors for centuries (well, okay, maybe it just seems that way), we’re “going green” and re-cycling our favorite answers. The Pink Flamingo has the following suggestions for frustrated students.
1. Plan ahead. Particularly if you are a freshman or sophomore, many upper-level classes in HUD and PSYCH may be closed by the time you register. Make sure you select back-up options for any upper-level Human Development or Psychology classes you hope to take.
2. Don’t panic. This is typically not a crisis! Freshmen and Sophomores (even some Juniors) often come to see us because they are worried about not getting into upper-level courses in their major. Seniors, on the other hand, frequently come seeking advice because they don’t have enough credits to graduate, but they have already completed all major, minor, and General Education (GEN ED) requirements! We understand your frustration and wish everyone could enroll in every class they wanted, when they wanted. In reality, though, students often need general elective courses outside of Human Development and Psychology to obtain enough credits to graduate. Remember, each student situation is unique, and you can only determine your credit needs by reviewing your Degree Progress Report.
3. Take elective courses. Taking classes outside of Human Development and Psychology can enhance your career and graduate school marketability, fulfill your interests, and be just plain fun! Writing, public speaking, computer skills, knowledge of other cultures, and speaking another language (just to name a few!) can all make you a more competitive job or graduate school candidate. Your advisor can help you select courses consistent with your specific career goals. College is also one of the few times in your life when you have opportunity to take classes just to expand your horizons or learn something fun.
4. Think about summer classes. There are currently a number of summer offerings in Human Development and Psychology, as well as in related units (e.g., Social Science Statistics is being offered as an Internet course in Summer 2009). Your summer registration date should be the same as your spring registration appointment, so take advantage of these possibilities now!
5. Consider waiting lists. If a class has recently closed, think about putting yourself on the waiting list. Do not, however, count on waiting lists. Some instructors will increase their caps and allow a few students on the waiting list in; others will not. And…some instructors may increase caps for one class they teach but not for others. They attempt to make these decisions based on sound educational principles and with the goal of making the class the best it can be for enrolled students. If you are on the waiting list, go to the first day of class or contact the professor to let him or her know of your continued interest in the class once the semester begins, BUT…
6. Avoid asking for waivers at this point. Unless you need a class as a graduating senior to fulfill your graduation requirements (or some similarly dire situation), faculty members are unlikely to sign course waivers far in advance. We have waiting lists associated with our courses, and it is very difficult for us to sign one student in when there are others waiting patiently (or even with deep-seated frustration!) on a waiting list. Once the semester begins, that policy may or may not change.
7. Consult with your advisor. Okay, so all of this stuff sounds great (maybe not, but play along with us, please), but how do I select these amazing non-HUD and PSYCH courses I’m supposed to take? (Yes, we do hear the sarcasm in your voice!). That’s what advisors are for – please contact yours!
Registration time is a wonderful occasion to remind you that the new and improved PF is a blog that contains archives of our previous issues. Click “Registration” on our topics menu, and scroll down the page to read last Spring’s “FAQs About Registration and Advising” to refresh your memory about important topics like what courses double-count between Human Development and Psychology, how to find an internship, and much more.
Psychology and Human Development students (and faculty) were well-represented at the recent initiation ceremony for the UWGB chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, a national honor society founded in 1897. Dr. Denise Bartell was a faculty initiate at the November 7th event, and 24 of our majors (not to mention our minors!) accepted invitations to join the prestigious society. You can view the full list of initiates on the Phi Kappa Phi website, along with a slide show profiling each student (visit http://www.uwgb.edu/phikappaphi/ and click on “slideshow”). Congratulations to all new Phi Kappa Phi members!
October brought us another outstanding faculty presentation, this one from Dr. Zapf, who presented her study on the early regular plural. November brings us an exciting presentation from Dr. Burns titled Emotion and Stereotype Threat. Dr. Burns’ colloquium will be on November 15th from 5:00-5:30 in MAC 105. On December 4th, Dr. Wilson-Doenges will be presenting her research on Windows and Nature in the Classroom: A View to Learning? Her presentation will be from 12:30-1:00 in ES 328. The full schedule for the semester can be found on the web.
Who receives this month’s helping of fame and candy? Read on for October’s trivia answers and winners!
Question: When a member of a group is worried about being judged according to a stereotype, this can negatively affect his or her performance. What do social psychologists call this phenomenon?
Answer: Brittany Broder is not just our featured Research Assistant. She is also one of several students who knew (not surprisingly given her work with Dr. Burns) that stereotype threat is when there is a negative stereotype about one’s own group. Individuals feel the threat of being evaluated according to the stereotype, which negatively impacts their performance. For example, women will underperform on a math test if they are worried that they are being judged according to the women and math stereotype. Great job Brittany!