Junior Hayli Mathe at the poster session in Old Main.

Experience Is Built Into Bethany Academics

Bethany, because of its size and personal attention from professors, affords students the opportunity to participate in things that are not always part of an undergraduate experience. One such event was a recent poster presentation by psychology students. On Monday, November 6, several students displayed their posters in the lobby of Old Main with the goal to explain both research topics and recent internship experiences to the campus. 

Junior Hayli Mathe is majoring in psychology and presented information about forensic psychology. Her work began with a research paper and culminated in the poster presentation. She chose her topic, as did other presenters, from a list of possible ideas offered by Associate Professor of Psychology Doctor Jennifer Wosmek. 

“I presented three or four drafts of my paper and refined it to the point of being ready for the poster presentation,” noted Mathe. 

Sophomore Molly Stark explained her summer 2017 internship experience where she served as a resident assistant with a group of students from United International College in Zhuhai, China, who were studying at Bethany. The Chinese students studied at Bethany for four weeks, and Stark, an exercise science/biology major, was with the group for nearly every aspect of their visit. 

“While I learned a little of the Chinese language, I really enjoyed the relationships I was able to build with the students from China,” noted Stark. 

All of the students involved with the presentations mentioned that they appreciated the opportunity to verbally explain their work to students and professors from across the campus. 

Wosmek has specific goals and outcomes in mind for her students while they are presenting research in a formal setting. 

“Through the poster project, students gain experience writing and then communicating complex material to a general audience. Creating and presenting posters is common for students in graduate school, but demonstrating these skills already at the undergraduate level puts students ahead of the game in the eyes of potential employers or graduate admissions committees, explained Wosmek. 

“For the campus, the poster session engages the campus with the field of psychology. Students on campus who are unfamiliar with the scope of the field may decide to pursue psychology as either a major or minor. For the profession, the poster session serves to inform everyone about the range of services provided by psychologists and hopefully encourages attendees to seek those services should the need arise. Lastly, the poster session serves the campus by giving attendees the experience of evaluating the posters and presenters, which itself is an important professional skill.“

Over 70 students and faculty from across the campus took the time to individually evaluate each of the presenters during the poster session. Wosmek sees tremendous benefit for the presenters. 

“The feedback students receive on their poster and presentations gives students the important skill of graciously receiving and responding to feedback.”