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Psychology is focus of 2010 STEM Symposium

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The fourth annual STEM Symposium at Bethel College will this year honor the study of psychology with a keynote address by a professor at Grinnell College.

Nancy Rempel-Clower, a 1988 Bethel graduate who is now associate professor of psychology at the Iowa college, will speak during Fall Festival at Bethel on Saturday, Oct. 9, at 9 a.m. in the Administration Building chapel. Her topic is “Exploring the highways and byways of the brain: Integration of emotions, thoughts and actions.”

Unlike in past years, the STEM (Science, Technology, pre-Engineering and Mathematics) Symposium will take place over two days. It begins Friday, Oct. 8, at 1 p.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium in the Fine Arts Center with the first lecture, “Serving families where they live: Place-based after-school services in low-income communities” by 1993 graduate Susan Neufeld.

The second lecture will be at 2 p.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium. James Porzelius, a 1983 graduate, will speak on “Neurorehabilitation: Applying psychology to broken brains.”

At 3 p.m., Dwight Krehbiel, Bethel professor of psychology, will moderate a discussion with Rempel-Clower, Neufeld and Porzelius on science career paths, with focus on psychology, followed by the symposium reception outside Krehbiel Auditorium at 3:45.

The public is invited to all lectures. All events are free except the Friday evening dinner in Mantz Library Lounge, for which advance reservations were required.

Nancy Rempel-Clower earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of California-San Diego and did postdoctoral work at Boston University before coming to Grinnell in 2000 as a National Science Foundation-Award for the Integration of Research and Education (NSF-AIRE) postdoctoral teaching and research fellow.

Among her academic honors were an NSF graduate fellowship in psychology and a McDonnell-Pew graduate fellowship in cognitive neuroscience during her doctoral studies and the Harris Fellowship at Grinnell, 2005-06.

She currently directs her research toward “investigating the role of the prefrontal cortex in emotional and mnemonic processes, [using] behavioral techniques to understand the effects of damage to sub-regions of the rat prefrontal cortex, and anatomical techniques to trace pathways between prefrontal areas and other brain regions that may underlie their roles in emotional behavior and memory.”

Susan Neufeld has an M.A. in applied developmental psychology from Claremont Graduate University, where she had an academic fellowship and was a Community Fellow. She has been a lecturer at California State University in Fullerton, San Bernardino and Los Angeles and a consultant at UCLA and has held positions related to an array of issues affecting women, children and teens in southern California. She became director of Youth Development Services at Hope Through Housing Foundation, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., in 2006 and works on developing, funding and implementing after-school programs for youth.

James Porzelius earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology with an emphasis on health psychology from Rush University in Chicago. He was chief resident in the clinical psychology residency program at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson and a postdoctoral fellow in behavioral medicine at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio. He has worked as a clinical psychologist at St. Charles Rehabilitation Center in Bend, Ore., since 1999.

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2010-11 Forbes.com analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States and is in the first tier in its category in the U.S. News & World Report annual ranking of “America’s Top Colleges” for 2011. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see www.bethelks.edu.

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