Undergrads to present psychology research at May 9 conference

By: Spencer DeRoos,  A&S Communications
Thu, 05/02/2019

The 2019 Cornell Undergraduate Psychology (CUP) Conference will bring together undergraduate students with diverse interests to share their research, meet other students and faculty and learn about the various kinds of psychological research being conducted across the Cornell campus. The conference will be held May 9 in the Physical Sciences Building Atrium from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The conference includes a series of oral presentations, as well as an ongoing poster session. Students applied to present either a poster or a short oral presentation based on research conducted with faculty or graduate students at Cornell. The conference is free to attend.

“The CUP conference provides an exciting opportunity for Cornell undergraduates across departments and colleges who are interested in the psychological sciences to come together and share their research,” said Katherine Kinzler, chair of the psychology department. “So many of our undergraduate students spend time engaging in collaborative research with faculty, and this is a wonderful event to showcase those efforts.”

The participants in the conference reveal the breadth and diversity in psychology research being conducted across departments and disciplines throughout the Cornell academic community. Students majoring in psychology, biology and society, economics and sociology are just some of those represented at the conference.

Vanessa Lazaro ‘19, a psychology and sociology double major, is presenting research she has conducted for the past three years, investigating how maternal and paternal care influence later social behavior in offspring.

“I got involved in the conference because I love research,” she said. “One of the most integral parts of research to me is being able to talk about it with others and have people from varying academic backgrounds engage in my work. It's also really cool to see what research projects other students have been involved in and where psychology is moving towards, as a whole.”

Gavin Wong ‘20, a psychology and biology & society double major, is presenting his research investigating how an animal’s mating tactic, either monogamy or polygamy, is related to other cognitive functions, specifically spatial memory.

His work delves into whether animals with naturally good spatial memories are more inclined to adopt one particular mating strategy, or whether the mating tactic influences an animal's spatial memory.

“I wanted to participate in the conference because I plan on pursuing a graduate degree in psychology,” he said. “Giving a talk at CUP is a great opportunity for me to get practice presenting  research, which will be an important skill as I continue in the field.”

Shelly Zhang ‘19, a psychology and economics double major who is presenting her honors thesis at the conference, echoed the sentiments of Lazaro and Wong about the value of the conference.

“I think it’s a really great way for undergraduates to get some experience presenting research and also seeing what type of research is occurring in other areas of psych around Cornell,” she said.

"We want to promote the hard work of our undergraduates and give our students an opportunity to shine and be recognized for the important role they play in the research we conduct here at Cornell," said Alexander Ophir, assistant professor of psychology and organizer of the conference.

More information about the conference and schedule can be found on the conference website.