Each presenter will share their screen to show their poster and talk informally about their project for 3-5 minutes. Questions will follow. After all the presenters have described their posters, the Moderator can lead attendees and presenters through additional questions.

Feel free to ask questions about other presenter’s work. You are an attendee too!

Monday, April 12

Click each presentation title to view poster.



School Counseling at Peet Jr. High School

Author: Carli Gasaway
Major: Psychology
Faculty Advisor: Carolyn Hildebrandt

This semester, I have had the opportunity to intern with a school counselor at Peet Jr. High School. I helped plan small group activities, worked on making schedules, and collaborated on school projects. In this poster, I discuss my daily schedule and duties, and my work with the LEAD group (Loving Everything About Differences) where girls at the school are involved in activities aimed at tackling gender stereotypes. This internship has given me a great perspective into working in a school counseling environment with students, and will inform what I choose to do in my future career.

School Counseling at Cedar Falls High School

Author: Emily Kaus
Major: Psychology
Faculty Advisor: Carolyn Hildebrandt

My poster will give an overview of my cooperative education partnership with the school counseling team at Cedar Falls High School. I had the opportunity to work with many different student groups, attend day-to-day meetings, and perform daily tasks.I worked with the Gay-Straight Alliance and Black Student Union, and aided in academic interventions with students in psychology courses. The counseling team has allowed me to be a part of many other experiences and to glean great knowledge, which is detailed in my poster.


Service Learning in Partnership with the Panther Pantry

Author: Ashleigh Kistenmacher
Major: Family Services and Psychology
Co-Authors: Carlie Johanningmeier (Family Services), Kamryn Finley (Family Services), Allie Hittner (Family Services and Psychology) and Rachel Weber (Family Services)
Faculty Advisor: Heather Kennedy

In an effort to promote civic-mindedness in college graduates, service-learning programs combine classroom education and hands-on service experience. We specifically partnered with the Panther Pantry on UNI's campus to provide food and necessities to students at UNI. Nearly 51% of UNI's students have varying levels of food insecurity therefore, the Panther Pantry provides intervention on the behalf of those students and provides them with the resources necessary.


Geo_Capabilities: Redefining Rurality in the Heartland for Better Hindsight with Ark_Adiums

Author: Maritza Salinas
Program: Master of Arts in Geography
Faculty Advisor: Lisa Taber
Award: MAGIC (MidAmerica GIS) Grant

Students immerse themselves in community service through a service-learning aspect of education and will educate others on the impact of service-learning on students by volunteer hours through the Northeast Iowa Foodbank in Waterloo.



“He Was Just a Jerk":
How Students Decide Whether or Not to Ask For Extensions

Author: Jamie Bennett
Major: Criminology
Faculty Advisor: Kimberly Baker

In this study we interviewed 20 students at the University of Northern Iowa to examine how and when they asked for extensions. There were three major components that students used to decide whether to ask. Those three major factors are the course policies of the class and the professor, the relationship that the student has with the professor, and the overall attitude of the professor during class and other interactions with the students. The study showed that almost no students asked for extensions with classes that were taught by harsh professors with strict class policies.

"I Don't Want to Seem Like a Burden to Them": 
Exploring the Emotions Behind Students Asking for Extensions and Excused Absences

Author: Micah Saunders
Major: Criminology and Sociology
Faculty Advisor: Kimberly Baker

Students can experience intense emotions when approaching a professor about an extension on an assignment or an excused absence. Among the available research on student excuse-making, little is available on the feelings that students have leading up to and after approaching professors. This study seeks to fill that gap through a qualitative analysis of 25 interviews. Initial findings show that students tend to get emotions of nervousness and anxiety leading up to asking for an extension. The findings also indicate students feel emotions such as disappointment and regret for wanting to ask and not asking.

University Students' Reported Incidence and Perceptions of Plagiarism

Author: Taylor Courier
Program: Master of Arts in Psychology
Faculty Advisor: Helen Harton

University students indicated whether they had engaged in any of six plagiarism behaviors and how wrong and common they believed the behaviors were. Most students had plagiarized in their time at the university. Seniors and graduate students viewed plagiarism as more wrong and more common than less experienced students.

Hedonic and Eudaimonic Happiness: Their Associations with Well-Being and the Influence of Age and Culture

Author: Hiroki Hirano
Program: Master of Arts in Psychology
Faculty Advisor: Helen Harton
Award: Intercollegiate Academic Fund

The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of age and culture on the perceived importance of hedonic (e.g., pleasurable experiences) and eudaimonic (e.g., meaningful life experiences) views of happiness and their associations with well-being. 150 American and Indian participants completed self-report measures assessing the perceived importance of hedonic and eudaimonic views and well-being. Although Indian people reported higher importance of eudaimonic views to experience well-being, age and culture were not related to the relationships between each view and well-being. In contrast, the higher importance of eudaimonic views predicted higher well-being no matter what culture one belongs to.




Northeast Iowa Foodbank

Author: Nora Klemesrud
Major: Psychology and Family Services
Co-Authors: Melissa Hoffman, Erinn Schaffner and Grace Rempe
Faculty Advisor: Heather Kennedy

Students immerse themselves in community service through a service-learning aspect of education and will educate others on the impact of service-learning on students by volunteer hours through the Northeast Iowa Foodbank in Waterloo.

Cooperative Education Experience at MercyOne Hospital 

Author: Michaela Schlup 
Major: Psychology
Faculty Advisor: Carolyn Hildebrandt

In this poster, I describe my experience working as a nurse aide/technician at MercyOne Hospital in the Chemical Dependency Care Unit. The poster contains sections describing the mission of my department, the types of patients we serve, who I collaborate with, my typical schedule and duties, my training, what I have learned, and how this experience will help me in my future education and career as a medical doctor specializing in psychiatry.

Comprehensive List of Mental Health/Wellness Services at UNI

Author: Hannah Nelson 
Program: Masters of Social Work
Faculty Advisor: Nathan Taylor

The purpose of this poster is to inform/remind students and faculty of resources that the University has to offer. After interviewing student and staff leaders on campus, I have learned that there is a gap in knowing about resources that UNI has which can easily be filled by advertising more. The poster I have created has a comprehensive list of resources that hit all dimensions of wellness, examples being the counseling center, peer support groups, and wellness coaching. Ideally, these posters would be seen round campus in places such as residence halls and on the screens of the Maucker Union.

Multicultural Education and Attitudes Towards Immigrant Groups in the U.S.

Author: Anika Lillegard-Bouton 
Major: Psychology and Spanish
Faculty Advisor: Helen Harton

This study examines how multicultural education experiences relate to attitudes towards Arab, Chinese, and Mexican immigrants and whether a difference exists in attitudes towards immigrant groups between individuals who have had educational experiences with a foreign language and those who have not. College students rated their levels of multicultural education, adapted from the School-Wide Cultural Competence Observation Checklist (Nelson et al., 2008), and indicated their proficiency and experience with foreign languages. They also completed an adapted version of the Modern Racism Scale (Akrami et al., 2000) toward immigrant groups. I hypothesize that participants who had more multicultural education experiences will report more positive attitudes towards Arab, Chinese, and Mexican immigrants. Additionally, I expect that participants who have learned a foreign language will have more positive attitudes toward these groups than those who have not.




Grief Counseling and Family Support

Author: Alisha Kammerude
Program: Psychology
Faculty Advisor: Carolyn Hildebrandt

My poster is an overview of my time volunteering in UNI Dance Marathon to fulfill my psychology Cooperative Education internship. In the poster, I highlight UNI Dance Marathon's mission, how we fundraise and advocate for kids with life threatening illnesses and injuries, how the organization impacts UNI, and how it works as a whole. Throughout my time in Dance Marathon I have been able to get experience in family support, finding resources for our participants and families, and leading over 55 executive board members during the pandemic. My poster will explain how this work relates to my future career aspirations.

“It All Just Ends”: Death Attitudes Across Age, Gender and Religion

Author: Bekah Bass
Program: Sociology
Faculty Advisor: Ashleigh Kysar-Moon
Award: Boatright Undergraduate Research Award
Funding: University Honors Program

Death is a social and biological reality that affects everyone, however not uniformly. Utilizing original data and the Death Attitudes Profile – Revised by Wong, Reker, and Gesser (1994), this study investigates differences in death attitudes across different demographics including age, gender, and religion. Results show correlations between positive, neutral, and negative death attitudes and the age of respondents. Additionally, neutral and approach acceptance were found to be associated with gender and religion, respectively. These significant results imply that perspectives on death differ across these identities. Further research on death attitudes among diverse age, racial, ethnic, gender, and religious groups is recommended.




Are We All Psychopaths: The Relationship Between  Personality and Social Media

Author: Matthew Gunderson
Program: Master of Arts in Psychology, Social Psychology Emphasis
Faculty Advisor: Helen Harton

Participants recruited over social media completed a short questionnaire on perceptions of online social behavior and completed measures OF well-being, empathy, and psychopathy. Empathy predicted strong opposition to negative social media content, whereas psychopathy predicted support and was also correlated with frequent social media use.

Moral Values and Ideological Conclusions Influence Perceived Credibility for Headlines

Author: Morning Baker
Program: Master of Arts in Psychology, Clinical Emphasis
Co-Author: Nick Clark
Faculty Advisor: Helen Harton
Funding: Intercollegiate Academics Fund

People prioritize moral values differently based on political ideology (Graham et al., 2009) and form ideological conclusions based on these values (Haidt, 2001). For example, conservatives have more positive perceptions of police compared to liberals (Stack & Cao, 1998), in part because of the centrality of law and order as a conservative value. People also justify maintaining their political affiliation by defining opposing conclusions as less credible (Bail et al., 2018; Haidt, 2001). In this study, we investigate how ideological values vs. conclusions affect perceived credibility of and interest in headlines. We hypothesize that conservatives and liberals will rate headlines that have a conclusion consistent with their political orientation as more credible and be more likely to report that they would engage with those articles on social media (SM). We also expect that participants will be more interested in reading articles based on headlines where the values emphasized conflict with conclusions. Finally, we anticipate that frequent SM users will rate headlines as more credible and hold more polarized attitudes toward police than low-frequency users.

Stop Thinking about Past Arguments: Imagined Interactions, Mindfulness and Anxiety in Romantic Relationships

Author: Alyssa McCoy
Program: Master of Arts in Psychology, Social Psychology Emphasis
Faculty Advisor: Dilbur Arsiwalla
Award: IAF Research and Creativity Award

Across three conditions, participants were asked to imagine a scenario and write about the details of either a positive or a negative experience in their romantic relationship or a task they completed alone. Those who imagined the negative experience reported higher levels of state anxiety compared to those who imagined the positive experience or the task. This result suggests that rumination of conflict can lead to increases in anxiety and may lead to poorer physical health (e.g., increased blood pressure), similar to those who actually engage in conflict (Kiecolt-Glaser et al., 1998).


Don’t Cough on Me: Patriotism and Empathy Impact COVID-19 Behaviors

Author: Matthew Gunderson
Program: Master of Arts in Psychology, Social Psychology Emphasis
Co-Authors: Taylor Sloan, Hiroki Hirano and Anika Lillegard-Bouton
Faculty Advisor: Helen Harton

College students completed an author generated questionnaire on COVID-19 behaviors, as well as personality measures. Blind patriotism, but not empathy, significantly predicts prosocial COVID-19 behaviors. Additionally, perspective-taking may impact these behaviors more than others. These data suggest that mindset, rather than more scientific evidence, could increase prosocial behaviors.




Elementary Special Education Associate

Author: Mara Halbach
Program: Psychology
Faculty Advisor: Carolyn Hildebrandt

This semester I had the opportunity to apply my understanding of psychology to my current occupation as a Special Education Associate at a local elementary school. As a special education associate, I work one-on-one with various students who have learning disabilities as we strive for equal opportunity and success in their academic performance. My poster discusses the extent of their learning disabilities, what my typical day at the school consists of, and some take-away points from this experience.

Cooperative Education at the UNI Child Development Center

Author: Brandy Avalos
Program: Psychology
Faculty Advisor: Carolyn Hildebrand

This spring semester, I am satisfying my psychology cooperative education experience at the UNI Child Development Center. The mission of the CDC is to provide an environment that is nurturing and safe for the families and students of the university. I will provide an overview of my experience working as a Child Care Assistant. I will explain my position, duties and the classroom learning environment. Furthermore, I will discuss how this experience has enhanced my aspiring career as a school psychologist and will provide advice for future student employees.

Childcare Provider

Author: Holly Majerus
Program: Psychology
Faculty Advisor: Ellen Trunnell

This semester, I had the opportunity to conduct my cooperative education coursework at Prairie Lakes Church working as a childcare provider. PLC offers a childcare program to coincide with their weekday women’s ministries. This poster will describe my responsibilities as a caregiver to infants, and how I use research on separation anxiety and secure attachment in my work. It will also explain what I learned about developmental psychology, and how that can be applied to my future career.




Comprehensive Systems: Experience as a Direct Support Staffer

Author: Dominique Eniola
Program: Psychology
Faculty Advisor: Carolyn Hildebrandt

The internship I am participating in this spring is through Comprehensive Systems. Part of the direct support staff, I work along coworkers and supervisors to make the living of those with disabilities easier and stress free. With care in my heart, I am intentional with treating the consumers, as well as individuals I work with, with the utmost respect. In the poster I created, I describe working in such an environment, what I learned about myself and other individuals, how to succeed moving forward, and what others can take away if they’d like to have a position like this in the future. I believe this position will give me experience as I move toward my future goals as a Mental Health advocate, and then into Clinical Psychology.


Full Circle Services, Inc. 

Author: Madison Nesselroad
Program: Psychology
Faculty Advisor: Carolyn Hildebrandt

This semester I am working at Full Circle Services, Inc. This is where people with disabilities can live comfortably in their own homes with the help of Full Circle staff (Community Assistants). I have been able to work with many different disabilities that I actually didn’t know existed, as well as with people ranging from 18 to 70 years old. I help people with tasks of daily living such as cooking and cleaning and drive them to and from their Day Hab programs. This experience has helped me discover what I would like to do with my future career.

Waypoint Family Services

Author: Richard Campos
Program: Psychology
Faculty Advisor: Carolyn Hildebrandt

This fall I partnered with Waypoint Services to volunteer as an Emergency Room Advocate for survivors of domestic violence. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were substantially fewer people visiting the ER. However, I was still trained to offer services such as helping survivors make a safety plan for their next steps and connecting them with shelter plans or legal advocates. Additionally, I interviewed employed advocates and compared their accounts to research in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. This poster describes my experience training under Waypoint, advice for future advocates, and comparisons between the conducted interviews and I/O Psychology research.




Perceived Threat and Misinformation Surrounding COVID-19

Author: Matthew Gunderson
Program: Psychology
Co-Authors: Hiroki Hirano, Anika Lillegard-Bouton and Taylor Sloan
Faculty Advisor: Helen Harton

The current COVID-19 pandemic has generated misinformation and conspiracy theories, especially on ideology. Individuals who are exposed to symbolic and realistic threats are more likely to endorse conspiracy theories. Conspiracies are problematic because they can lead to a categorization of “us vs. them" and increase hatred toward other groups. The purpose of the study is to examine what factors may be related to people endorsingCOVID-19 conspiracies. We hypothesized that participants who were more politically conservative and higher in perceived symbolic threat from Chinese immigrants would be more likely to endorse COVID-19 conspiracies.

Predicating COVID-19 Health Behaviors Using the Health Belief Model

Author: Kristyn Pellymonter
Program: Psychology
Faculty Advisor: Adam Butler

Coronavirus is a viral disease that caused a global pandemic (COVID-19) in 2020-21. Preventive health behaviors such as social distancing and mask wearing can slow or prevent the transmission of COVID-19. We predicted COVID relevant health behavior using the Health Belief Model in a sample of 154 college students. Health beliefs were moderately to strongly related to mask wearing and social distancing. The results suggest that a public health benefit may be obtained by highlighting susceptibility to COVID and the benefits of health behaviors.

Masks are Attractive: COVID-19 Attitudes, Behaviors and Relationship Satisfaction

Author: Alyssa McCoy
Program: Master of Arts in Psychology, Social Psychology Emphasis
Faculty Advisor: Helen Harton

We assessed how behaviors and attitudes during the COVID-19 pandemic of participants and their romantic partners are related to their relationship satisfaction. Relationship satisfaction was not associated with the similarity of attitudes and behaviors between romantic partners regarding COVID-19. However, the lack in variability in our sample for relationship satisfaction and difference scores for attitudes and behaviors may be masking potential effects of COVID-19 attitudes and behaviors on relationship satisfaction.

Tuesday, April 13

Click each presentation title to view poster.




The Moderating Role of Anxiety in the Links between Sleep and Inflammation

Author: Taylor Courier
Program: Master of Arts in Psychology
Faculty Advisor: Dilbur Arsiwalla

Poor sleep patterns have been linked to disruptions in inflammation factors (Irwin, 2019). Prior research has not examined the role of anxiety in this link. This study examined the moderating role of anxiety in the sleep-inflammation connection. Findings show that at higher levels of anxiety sleep disruptions predict elevated inflammation.

The Associations Between Traumatic Brain Injury and Sleep Disorders

Author: Mckenzie Hollander
Program: Psychology
Faculty Advisor: Dilbur Arsiwalla

The purpose of this study is to look at the connections between traumatic brain injury and sleep disorders. Prior research has shown that there are associations between TBI and sleep disorders such as insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, restless legs, circadian rhythm, sleepwalking, nightmares and daily sleep complaints on daily activities. Findings showed that prior traumatic brain injuries and severity of these brain injuries increase risk for sleep disorders.

The Use of Immunosorbent Assays to Study Stress Response and Anxiety

Author: Carrie Shea
Program: Master of Arts in Psychology
Faculty Advisor: Catherine DeSoto
Funding Intercollegiate Academics Fund

Cortisol, a hormone released in response to stress, is often assumed to be related to anxiety. However, previous research on the relationship between cortisol and anxiety is mixed. Moreover, the relationship between cortisol and neuroticism varies by gender and estrogen may affect cortisol reactivity via HPA’s negative feedback loop. The present research examines the moderating effects of sex and estrogen on the relationship between cortisol reactivity and anxiety. Participants (n=54) completed a stressor task and measures of anxiety. Assays for cortisol and estradiol were conducted. We predict that sex and estradiol will moderate the relationship between cortisol and anxiety.




Analyzing the Extent of, Sources and History of Water Quality Issues in Iowa

Author: Campbell Hoffman
Program: Geographic Information Science
Co-Authors: Mark Tollefson and Peyton Simmons
Faculty Advisor: Lisa Tabor

The overall goal is to create a poster that will display information on water quality in Iowa as a whole. Our project matters because water affects every person, industry, and many policy decisions. Each member will focus on a specific area of research (extent of water quality issues in Iowa, sources of water quality issues in Iowa, and the history of water quality in IA) and will then compile our research together to formulate an accurate description of water quality in Iowa. We expect to find the extent of major water quality issues will be found statewide. We also presume that water quality issues come from a variety of sources (mainly agricultural). Finally, due to increasing awareness and action plans, we assume that water quality in Iowa has been steadily improving in recent years.

Management of Water Recharge in the California Central Valley

Author: Alex Augustine
Program: History Teaching
Co-Author: Schuyler Hop 
Faculty Advisor: Lisa Tabor

The Central Valley of California is experiencing severe stressors through drought, land sinkage, and agricultural impacts, creating a need for a recharge of groundwater. This area of California is responsible for 20% of the Nation’s groundwater demand, resulting in the second-most pumped aquifer in the United States. With an agricultural worth of $17 billion per year, increasing the groundwater levels will have critical impacts on the future success of this region. This project includes a literature review and perspectives of local farmers, to help show the distress in the Central Valley. The project aims to share possible water management strategies to restore groundwater to the currently depleted Central Valley.




Counseling Holmes Middle School

Author: Sterling Greiner
Program: Psychology
Faculty Advisor: Carolyn Hildebrandt

This semester I have been volunteering as a student mentor at Holmes Middle School and have been working closely with school counselor Jacob Mueller. Being able to observe Jacob and his work while actively interacting with students has given me the chance to see what being a school counselor is all about. My poster reflects my experience at Holmes middle school, what school counselors do and how the pandemic/remote learning has affected students' mental health.

Until There's a Cure, There's a Cause

Author: Jaylee Knowles
Program: Psychology
Faculty Advisor: Carolyn Hildebrandt

I had the opportunity to participate in Cooperative Education through Dance Marathon. My poster highlights the volunteer work I have done with Dance Marathon over my three years at UNI. As a member, I have had experience in grief counseling, family support, and large organization leadership skills. I will discuss the time I have spent volunteering, experiences working with our families, and how my work relates to my future career aspirations. I will also give an overview of what Dance Marathon is, our mission, and our program history here at UNI.

Co-operative Education: Center for Social & Behavioral Research

Author: Adan Reyes Salas
Program: Psychology
Faculty Advisor: Carolyn Hildebrandt

My poster outlines the work I’ve been doing this spring as a telephone interviewer at the Center for Social & Behavioral Research at UNI. I will give a general overview of the center, its goals, and the research standards it upholds for interviewers and its studies. I will also include information about the Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System, the health study I am working on. Lastly, I will discuss the value and significance of this study, the importance of the work of the center as a whole, and how this experience has increased my understanding and appreciation of psychology.