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Buchta wins award at national research conference

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – For the second time, Bethel College students attended a national research conference and for the second time, one of them brought home an award.

Rebecca Buchta, Newton, received a cash award and a medal in the behavioral science division for her research poster presented at the Student Research Conference of Sigma Xi, held Nov. 2-3 in Orlando, Fla. The title of her poster was “Emotional and Physiological Responses to Music are Stronger than those to Lyrics Alone.” The poster was based on the results of an experiment that Buchta designed, conducted and analyzed over several months.

Buchta is a junior psychology major at Bethel. Rondell Burge, a senior psychology major from Moundridge, also took a poster to the conference, which outlined research which is ongoing and will become his senior thesis.

The two are students of Paul Lewis and Dwight Krehbiel, professors of psychology. Krehbiel, who also attended the Student Research Conference, served as Buchta’s and Burge’s primary advisor for the research that resulted in the posters and abstracts they took to the conference.

The Sigma Xi Annual Meeting and Student Research Conference takes place each year to celebrate undergraduate research accomplishments. More than 200 students from North America and abroad presented their research at this year’s conference, with nearly 100 academic institutions were represented. Twenty-five posters were judged “superior” with their authors receiving a medal and cash award.

The last time Bethel College sent students to the conference was in 2002, when Michael Klein, a 2003 graduate, also brought home a medal for his poster.

Rebecca (Schulz) Buchta is a graduate of Newton High School and is married to Cory Buchta.

Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Founded in 1887, it is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and was the highest ranked Kansas college in the national liberal arts category of U.S. News & World Report’s listing of “America’s Best Colleges” for 2008. For more information, see the Bethel Web site at

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