Department of Psychology and Sociology


Departmental Accomplishments

The Austin (Texas) Campus Center hosted a Social Psychology Career and Graduate School Fair on July 13. The event featured Park alumni, including Tom Allen (at right in adjacent photo), program specialist at the Austin Campus. Guest speakers discussed their careers and educational pursuits since graduating from Park. To view an album of pictures from the event, visit http://on.fb.me/Ml3b0r.

Scott AFB students wins prestigious Air Force award: Joy Soucek, senior social psychology/clinical and abnormal major, and Cierra Yu, junior social psychology major, at Park University's Scott Air Force Base (Ill.) Campus Center, have been awarded the Air Force Sergeants Association Pitsenbarger Award. The award, named for William Pitsenbarger, who died during the Vietnam War defending wounded comrades, is given annually to an Air Force enlisted service member who demonstrates commitment to leadership, citizenship, teamwork, community service, personal development and dedication to duty. Soucek is a weather forecaster assigned to Scott AFB. She volunteers her time to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and other local community support agencies. Yu is a cyber systems operator, but when needed, volunteers with 375th Medical Group helping to transfer wounded troops to and from the buses and airplanes preparing them for their trip home or to other medical facilities. She is also a volunteer Sexual Assault Victim's Advocate, supporting and empowering sexual assault victims.

March 26, 2012 - Alumni Statement from Adrienne Leigh Barr: Before my graduation from Park University in 2008, I accepted a position out of state with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), where I could no longer attend face-to-face classes. Thanks to the Online Degree Program and the flexibility of my professors, I was able to complete my degree with online courses and the Quantico Marine Corps Base Testing Center for Park University. Without Park University’s flexible professional staff and available courses, I would not be where I am today. I contribute the establishment of my career with the FBI to the guidance of the Career Development Center and my involvement with student-based clubs and organizations, Honor societies and Study Abroad programs. Through my involvement with Park University’s extracurricular activities, I learned that education in not only received in the classroom, but is also gained through real-world experiences. The education that I received at Park University is undoubtedly the foundation of my ability to not only enter the workforce, but to succeed.

May 2012: Zachary Glimcher was accepted to the Law programs of Hofstra University and Tulane University.  He accepted the Tulane University offer.

April 19, 2012: Dr. Andrew Johnson served as an external expert – Alexis Simon Senior Project - Is there enough evidence that Illuminati exists in today's society? – North Kansas City High School

April 13, 2012: Dr. Andrew Johnson and Dr. Dennis Kerkman served as external experts – Michael Mason candidate for the North Kansas City Gold Medallion Honors Diploma Project – Is superstitious behavior adaptive? – Staley High School

Dr. Andrew Johnson served as an Expert Reviewer – 2012 – Graduate Record Exam – Psychology– Educational Testing Services – Princeton, NJ

Emma Hart (Class of 2012) was selected as a 2012 Parkite Recipient.

Emma Hart received the 2012 Senior Psychology Major Honors.

Rebekah Purvis received the 2012 Junior Psychology Major Honors.

Dr. Andrew Johnson received the 2012 Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award.

Purvis, R., (2012, April). Horseshoes, hand grenades and students’ exam score estimations. (Poster presentation at the 2012 Missouri Academy of Science, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, and at the Thirty-second Annual Great Plains Students Psychology Convention, Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville, MO).

Purvis, R. (2012). Fact or fiction: A comparison of the readability estimates of academic journal articles versus popular fiction (Poster presentation at the 2012 Missouri Academy of Science, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, Student Research and Creative Arts Symposium, Park University, Parkville, MO, and at the Thirty-second Annual Great Plains Students Psychology Convention, Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville, MO)

Taylor Whipple, a sophomore majoring in psychology, was selected as one of Campus Connect's 2012 Newman Civic Fellows.

Dr. Patricia Marsh was a finalist for the Park University 2012 Newcomer of the Year award.

2012 Park University Psi Chi Chapter inducted: Hannah Alpers, Rebekah Purvis, Taylor Whipple, and Brittany Wolf.

January 25, 2012: Dr. Brian Cowley and Dr. Andrew Johnson received a Faculty Endowment Fund grant to purchase a giant brain model for instruction.

January 2012: Dr. Andrew Johnson accepted an invitation to serve as an exam manager for Educational Testing Services Advanced-Placement Psychology exam for high school students.

August 2011: Dr. Brian Cowley was elected as President of the Kansas City Down Syndrome Guild.

August 2011: Dr. Andrew Johnson was appointed to Educational Testing Services CLEP – Psychology Review Committee.

Johnson, A., & Smyers, J. (2011, July). Students Know More Than What is on the Test: Empirical Evidence (Oral presentation at the 3rd Vancouver International Conference on the Teaching of Psychology, Vancouver, Canada)

Johnson, A., & Smyers, J. (2011, July). Estimating Exam Performance: A Comparison of Explicit and Implicit Measures of Metacognition (Poster presentation at the 3rd Vancouver International Conference on the Teaching of Psychology, Vancouver, Canada)

June 2011: Dr. Brian Cowley and Dr. Susie Sympson served as evaluators for the 2011 Educational Testing Services Advanced-Placement Psychology exam for high school students.

June 2011: Dr. Andrew Johnson served as an exam manager for the 2011 Educational Testing Services Advanced-Placement Psychology exam for high school students.

May 2011: John Smyers accepted an offer from Kansas State University’s Psychology Doctoral program in Cognition. He received a teaching assistantship also from K-State.

April 2011: Dr. Andrew Johnson received the Excellence in Advising Award – Park University

Fox, D., Hageman, S., Johnson, A., Payne, K., & Royals, B. (2011, April). Students know more than is on the test: Multidisciplinary evidence (Oral presentation at the 6th Annual Midwestern Conference on Research at Predominantly Undergraduate Institutions, Park University, Parkville, MO)

Smyers, J., & Johnson, A. (2011, April). The day-after effect: Attendance and final grades (Poster presented at the 2011 Missouri Academy of Science, Lincoln University, Jefferson City, MO)

Thang Manh Le ("Le") was recently accepted into the PhD program in Cognitive Psychology at Stony Brook University, Long Island, NY, with a full scholarship. Stony Brook's cognitive psychology PhD program is ranked as one of the best in the United States. While at Park, Le conducted research (with Professor Dennis D. Kerkman, Park University, and colleagues from the University of Tamaulipas, Mexico, the University of Nuevo Leon, Mexico, and the University of Seville, Spain) on how people's implicit attitudes toward Whites and Hispanics influences their cognitive maps of the U.S.A., and Mexico. His research has been presented at the national convention of the American Psychological Society (Washington, D.C.), the Sociedad Internacional de Psicologia (Mexico City), and the Center Environmental Psychology Research (University of A Corunna, Spain). A journal article summarizing this research appears in the current issue of The International Journal of Hispanic Psychology.