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Talking psychology at the Capitol

praska_capitolDavid Praska wanted to be a dentist and follow in the footsteps of his uncle, a successful orthodontist. “He had this great lifestyle, and I really wanted that,” Praska says. So in high school and the first two years of college, he focused on biology. “But I was never really good at it.”

Then he went to see Lisa Jack, an assistant professor of psychology at Augsburg. He said he was interested in psychology, and she asked him why. “I told her I liked watching people and how they operate,” Praska explained. The next thing he knew, they were mapping out a strategy for him to complete the psychology major in two years.

And that’s how David Praska, psychology major, found himself at the State Capitol building talking to legislators and guests about his research on therapies for children with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Continue reading “Talking psychology at the Capitol”

McNair Scholars ready for research

Applicants to graduate school encounter intense competition for admission and funding. The McNair Scholars Program helps increase the odds of acceptance to graduate school by offering students a unique research experience during their undergraduate careers.

Participating students spend more than 400 hours exploring topics, developing a thesis, collecting and reviewing data, and preparing a formal presentation of their findings. Research provides the opportunity to develop a mentoring relationship by working one-on-one with a faculty member. Students also gain extensive skills and knowledge in a discipline, experience using methodological techniques, and writing and public speaking practice by submitting papers to professional conferences and journals.

Rebekah Dupont, North Star STEM Alliance Coordinator, taught the research proposal writing course this year. Starting May 18, the following scholars will be conducting research with a faculty mentor and a library mentor . Continue reading “McNair Scholars ready for research”