Monday, December 21, 2009

New Undergraduate Psychology Course Inspires Students

Ethnic & Minority Perspectives in Psychology is a new undergraduate course that was offered this fall. Students gained a broad understanding of methods, theoretical concepts, and applications of psychology relevant to ethnic minorities. For one of the course activities, students worked in groups on a class presentation and paper based on a topic and a related theory discussed in the course.

Slideshow of Class Presentations

Some of the topics for the students’ group projects included: neighborhood disorganization and Latino communities, mental health and Asian Americans, and spirituality and health among African Americans. Here are just a few of the students’ comments about the class:

“I think all of us have learned something new about other cultures, heard from peers about their thoughts on multicultural issues, and its one step in a direction in bringing ethnic groups together. It has been an honor to be apart of the first class here at UMKC and I hope to use many concepts of multiculturalism that I have learned as I continue my educational professional career.” Carmen Benn

“Not only did Dr. Berkley-Patton present multicultural information that is much needed throughout our society, but she offered an environment promoting open communication and critical thinking. This class should be mandatory for all psychology majors in order to better understand and serve others.” Emilie Mendala

“This class has been very inspiring. Dr. Berkley-Patton as well as other students in the class helped open my eyes to certain multicultural topics. The structure of the class made us all comfortable to speak freely about our opinions and concerns. I feel this course should be mandatory for any undergraduate degree because the topics covered will help in any profession.” Jenni Branham

Friday, December 11, 2009

PsiChi/Psychology Club Bake Sale Success!

The Fall Semester PsiChi/Psychology Club Bake Sale was a great success! The two groups raised almost $300 on December 3rd and 4th from their table in Royal Hall! Psi Chi President Bryan Fox feared the sale might be a bust when he was staring down mountains of baked goods after the first two hours of the sale. Things picked up very quickly after that. As Fox announced in his e-mail to the groups' members “WE SOLD EVERYTHING!” Fox gave credit to all the officers, members and faculty in the department who contributed time, effort and baked goods for the sale. He also gave credit to the Department of Psychology Chair’s “highly-addictive Cinnamon coffeecake” and t-shirt sales, for pushing the total of money received to such a high amount. Money received through these fundraising efforts will be used in to fund the Spring 2010 induction ceremony and other events the organizations put on throughout the year.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Grad Psych Students Develop 411 on H1N1

Graduate students in the doctoral Health Psychology Interventions course have been working to apply what they are learning this semester by creating an intervention to increase H1N1 vaccination by students on the UMKC campus. Using health psychology principles they have developed a brief educational presentation H1N1 Slideshow and accompanying quiz available on Blackboard website. Students have also created a series of posters to encourage vaccination that will be placed around campus. Look out for the “KILL THE PIG” (referring to H1N1 or “swine flu”) posters. Instructors are being asked to consider offering extra credit for students who read the educational material and complete the quiz. Students are learning not only how to design community based interventions using sound psychological principles, but also gaining experience in navigating the challenges associated with putting a real intervention into place (the limited availability of the swine flu vaccine this fall being just one example!)