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Psychology students and faculty

A group of 13 undergraduate and graduate students from Marietta College’s Department of Psychology, accompanied by three faculty members, recently returned from the Annual Research Conference of the Eastern Psychological Association in Philadelphia, where they presented cutting-edge psychological research.

The ability for the Marietta College contingent to travel and share their work at this prestigious conference was made possible by generous funding from emeritus trustee Joe Chlapaty H’10 and his wife, Linda.

“One of the best things about Marietta College is the opportunity to work closely with wonderful students, and then travel with them to professional conferences to watch them present their research ideas and findings,” said Dr. Mark Sibicky, a Psychology professor who accompanied the group. “These types of learning opportunities are what make Marietta College special, both for students and faculty.”

The Marietta College presentations covered a diverse array of psychology topics, including:

  • The stigma of Schizophrenia: Is mental illness like any other? Presented by Dr. Mark Sibicky, undergraduate Psychology majors Jillian Strecansky ’25 (Columbiana, Ohio) and Lindsey McCoy ’23 (Middle Island, New York), and Psychology graduate student Tia Jarvis ’24 (Marietta, Ohio).
  • Diminishing stigma: Using a “Living well with Schizophrenia” video to educate students. Research by Strecansky, Dr. Sibicky, McCoy and Jarvis.
  • Mortality salience: Effects on risk-taking behavior. A research talk by Psychology graduate student Cordell Stover ’24 (Defiance, Ohio), co-authored with faculty members Dr. Charles Doan and Dr. Sibicky.
  • Eye-tracking behavior associated with unsupervised learning of integral-color categories. Presented by Dr. Doan, undergraduate Neuroscience student Alyssa Mays ’24 (Winchester, Ohio), and undergraduate student Demi Mills ’25 (Batavia, Ohio).
  • What’s for dinner? The Effects of cognitive load on attention to food cues. Research by Psychology graduate student Maicy Kirk ’21 (Lewis Center, Ohio) and Dr. Alicia Doerflinger.
  • Impact of multitasking on memory recall: The effects of audio and visual tasks. Presented by Psychology undergraduate student Rachel Guilliams ’25 (Newark, Ohio).
  • Well-being and health attitudes: Do personal characteristics intersect with place of residence? Presented by Dr. Kristi Barnes, undergraduate Ava Kazmierczak ’25 (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), and graduate student Mia Wiggs ’26 (Millersburg, Ohio).
  • Investigating intimate partner violence on campus: student perception and victimization prevalence. Presented by Betsy Wriston ’24 (Marietta, Ohio).

“I look forward to traveling with Psychology students to a research conference every year. Not only are students exposed to new research that reflects — or may even contradict — the learning they have done in the classroom, they practice professionalism, communication, and networking skills at these meetings,” said Dr. Alicia Doerflinger, Chair of the Psychology Department. “Many of our students have not had a lot of opportunity to travel, and this is a great way to educate students about the world around them. Navigating new cities, new foods, and new ideas abound.”

The presentations demonstrated the academic excellence of Marietta’s Psychology program and its students.

“Having the opportunity to gain professional experience at a research conference is beyond exciting,” said Jarvis, a second-year graduate student in the Master of Arts in Psychology Program. “This year is my second time traveling with our Psychology Department to present research. Each time I have built upon previous knowledge from the classroom, gained insight into other research, and connected with many other students and faculty. If I could, I would stay at Marietta College forever just for experiences like this one.”

Wriston, also a second-year graduate student, added, “Psychology students at Marietta are lucky enough to have amazing faculty members that make learning exciting, and one of the ways they do that is by organizing conference trips every year. Attending a conference and hearing researchers explain the work they are passionate about is refreshing and inspiring. I left this conference all the more excited for the future of the field and my own future within it.”

To learn more about Marietta College’s Psychology program, which has a history of preparing students for various careers, go to

To learn more about Marietta College’s Master of Arts in Psychology, go to