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Psychology is on stage for 8th annual STEM Symposium

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The 8th annual STEM Symposium at Bethel College brings three alumni to campus to talk about their research and work in psychology.

The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Symposium, part of Bethel’s 44th Fall Festival, begins Oct. 17 at 1 p.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium in the Fine Arts Center.

It continues through Saturday’s keynote address at 9 a.m. in the Administration Building chapel, which will be followed by a reception for all STEM alumni and students (STEM covers biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, natural sciences, physics and psychology at Bethel).

The first speaker is Louise Hawkley, Homewood, Illinois. Her topic is “Loneliness (Still) Matters: Phenomenology and Consequences of Feeling Isolated.”

Hawkley, a 1995 Bethel graduate, is a senior research scientist at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. She studies how psychosocial factors may explain individual differences in health and well-being during aging.

An ongoing theme in her research has been the origins and consequences of loneliness and social connectedness. More recently she also has begun research on gender disparities in STEM education.

The second lecture, which begins at 2 p.m., is “Optimizing Attention in a Scattered World: Recent Advances in Neuropsychology and Neuroscience” by David A. S. Kaufman, St. Louis.

Kaufman graduated from Bethel in 1998 and is now an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Saint Louis University. He is a licensed clinical neuropsychologist and an active researcher of brain function in a variety of clinical populations.

Kaufman’s clinical interests follow human growth and development across the lifespan. His research has employed electroencephalographic and neuro-imaging methods in studying attention and cognitive flexibility in healthy and neurological populations, notably patients with traumatic brain injury.

A panel discussion about careers in psychology will finish off the public part of Friday’s STEM Symposium.

Angela Troyer, Toronto, will give the symposium keynote address Oct. 18 in the chapel. Her topic is “Memory and Aging: Using Research to Develop and Evaluate an Evidence-Based Clinical Program.”

Troyer, a 1988 Bethel graduate, is the professional practice chief of psychology and program director of neuropsychology and cognitive health at Baycrest in Toronto, and an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto.

She has worked as a psychologist at Baycrest since 1997, where she developed and implemented the Memory and Aging Program and provided clinical neuropsychological assessment services.

She is co-author of a recent book, Living with Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Guide to Maximizing Brain Health and Reducing Risk of Dementia (Oxford University Press, 2012).

The Friday and Saturday lectures and Friday panel discussion are free and open to the public. The Friday evening dinner, held in Kauffman Museum starting at 5:30 p.m., is by advance registration only.

To make a reservation, call Dwight Krehbiel at 316-284-5211. Tickets are $15 per person and must be ordered by Oct. 10.

You can also contact Krehbiel, coordinator of this year’s event, for more information about the STEM Symposium.

For a complete Fall Festival schedule, go to www.bethelks.edu/fallfest, where you can view and print a festival program.

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2014-15 Forbes.com analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States, and is the highest-ranked Kansas college in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2014-15. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see www.bethelks.edu.

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