Skip Navigation

Natural Science and Mathematics Blog

Keyword: psychology

Rachel Tubbs presenting her senior research project

The key to productivity is becoming a “master of minutes.” Mount St. Mary’s University senior Rachael Tubbs, is a prime example. Between finishing up assignments, preparing for finals week, presenting her Senior Research Project on FEMA, and getting ready to head home to spend Christmas with her family, this Psychology major and double minor in Criminal Justice and Spanish already has a full plate, and that’s before factoring in the numerous other activities that require her time and effort, both at school and outside of the Mount.

One look at Rachael’s email signature indicates just how much she loves the Mount. She is a Mount Admissions Coordinator, where she oversees 65 student volunteers acting as the liaison between them and the admissions department. The position also requires her to oversee all admissions events, such as open houses and accepted students’ day. Since freshman year, Rachael has been a member of the Psychology Club. She now serves as President where she works with the psychology department to plan stress free events for students to attend, like movie nights or craft get-togethers. To fulfill her passion for criminal justice, Rachael is a member of the Criminal Justice Student Association (CJSA). For the club, she took up the role of being the Delaney Dinner Project Manager. The Association puts on this event for Criminal Justice and Psychology majors only, as a marketing night. As project manager, Rachael helps to find a guest speaker to give a presentation on their field of work as well as attend a formal dinner with the students and other honorable guests from government agencies and local officials. She works to arrange the dinner seating chart so students may sit with those in the field of work they wish to pursue. Besides this, Rachael is also the Criminal Justice Talks Project Manager for CJSA, where she coordinates the search for guest speakers to speak about their line of work to students in the Mount café on multiple occasions throughout the school year. On top of all this, she is also a member of the School of Natural Science and Mathematics Student Advisory Board, as well as Secretary of the Senior Class Gift Committee.

The amount of on campus activities in which Rachael participates is clearly impressive. However, she is also extremely involved outside of the Mount. This past summer, Rachael took part in two separate internships. The first was a three-week, unpaid internship with the Frederick Police Department, where Rachael was asked to revamp the recruitment process. The department recognized that people were signing up to join the department but were not passing the test. Rachael examined the recruitment processes of different industries, like college football teams. Her discoveries showed that the police department should target recent high school or college graduates looking to work as both officers and analysts. She also advised them to recruit people looking for a second career job, like retired military personnel.

The second internship Rachael participated in this past summer was with a small, family-owned financial firm, The Kelly Group, located in Hartford County, where she served as a paid behavioral economics intern. This summer-long internship had Rachael create a presentation that could be used by the financial planners within the company to share with clients. The presentation took a deeper look into cognitive biases and how they affect an individual’s buying habits and investing decisions. Rachael discovered that the stock market fluctuates because of these biases.

All of those activities and internships would wear down even the average person, but Rachael has done even more with her free time. Throughout this Fall semester, Rachael has been working on two additional internships in the political realm. She is currently participating in an unpaid internship working on the re-election campaign for the Governor of Maryland, Larry Hogan. Rachael takes part in strategy meetings with people willing to help with the campaign. This internship, which will last through graduation, could lead to Rachael getting promoted out of the campaign and into the office in Annapolis.

Additionally, at the end of September, Rachael accepted the role of an unpaid Campaign Manager for James Dvorak, who is running for Maryland State Delegate for 03A. Campaigns for delegates who are running for the first time can get rather hectic, therefore Rachael has taken on the responsibility of making sure that everything runs smoothly. She partakes in a lot of organizing, planning of functions, advertising, and formulating ways that Mr. Dvorak can interact with the community in order to get support and donations. Recently, Rachael recruited a fellow Mount student to help with fundraising efforts, and she is looking for others to also donate their time in support of the campaign.

Rachael clearly is an extremely busy person. Her time is quite valuable, and she makes sure to get the most out of every minute of her day. With graduation just around the corner, Rachael is starting to look at all her options once she receives her degree. Currently she is deciding between looking for a job working in the government, preferably with a government agency, or attending a graduate school, where she would pursue a master’s degree in forensic psychology. Whichever direction Rachael decides to follow, she will surely continue to make the most of every minute of every day, and the School of Natural Science and Mathematics is extremely proud of everything she has accomplished thus far. 

Over 40 8th grade students from the Mother Seton School travelled to Mount Saint Mary's to enjoy a day of science. The SNSM supported this day by providing activities for the students to participate in that would expand their knowledge into the world of science. Both students and faculty contributed to this learning experience by holding presentations and experiments for the 8th graders. The students learned about polymers, bones and muscles, and even had the opportunity to create GAK which is a cross between putty and jell-o. The students also learned about the profession of psychology from our very own psychology professors.

Our wish is that the students enjoyed their day of science and we hope to host the Mother Seton School students again in the future!

Faith in Psychology hosted a speaker, Dr. Margaret Laracy, to discuss the topic of "Faith in the Professional World of Psychology". She spoke about how her Catholic faith has shaped her career as a practicing psychologist, both as a professional in the working world and clinically as a psychologist. There was a great turn out for this event in Laughlin Auditorium!

Dr. Laracy is pictured above with two students who attended the event. She is currently in private practice at Vital Sources in Frederick, MD and is part-time assistant professor at the Institute for the Psychological Sciences in Arlington, VA.

3 faculty and 16 students from the Psychology department attended the Eastern Psychological Association (EPA) convention in Boston, MA this past weekend. The EPA is meant to advance the science and profession through the dissemination of professional information about the field of Psychology. A meeting is held once a year for members and it welcomes psychologists from all fields across the discipline. Two of our Psychology students, Amanda Lane and Alex Bahr, had the privilege of presenting their posters to other attendees. The group treated themselves to a nice dinner at Fire & Ice, a Mongolian barbeque restaurant.

Amanda Lane EPA

Alex Bahr EPA


Two psychology students, Alexandra Bahr and Amanda Lane, will present their senior research projects at the Eastern Psychological Association meeting. This meeting is held in Boston, MA, on March 13-16. A summary of their research projects is included below.

A Walk Down Memory Lane: The Effects of Music-Evoked Nostalgia Versus Nostalgia Alone on Pain Tolerance
Alexandra Bahr, Kristy Hamilton, Jon Slezak (faculty)
Alexandra Bahr
Undergraduate students underwent the cold pressor test in a repeated-measures design. While submerging their hand in cold water, participants either listened to their self-chosen familiar music selection (music condition), responded to a nostalgia-invoking prompt (nostalgia condition), or did not listen to music or respond to a prompt (control condition). It was predicted that when participants listened to familiar, self-chosen music, or when they were prompted to recall nostalgic memories, they would exhibit a higher pain tolerance than in a control condition with no stimulation. Both the nostalgia and music condition yielded significantly higher pain tolerance measures than the control condition.
Attitudinal and Behavioral Measures of Helping Behavior Towards Homosexuals
Amanda Lane
Amanda Lane
Sexual bias was studied by comparing behavioral and attitudinal responses. It was hypothesized that residents would help the heterosexual confederate more so than the homosexual. The second hypothesis was that participants would self-report giving more help to the heterosexual than to the homosexual and give less help when a valid excuse could justify their behavior. The hypothesis for Part 1 was not supported. Part 2 found opposite significance.

Psychology students presented their semester research projects this week in the COAD Science building. Their research topics ranged from Immigrant Label and Terror Management Theory Effects on Attitudes to A Content Analysis of Victoria's Secret Catalogs. These posters will be displayed in the COAD Science building.

Other topics include: Tattoo Placement as a Response to Emotional Events, Helping Behavior Towards Transgender People, and Therapists and Professionals: Who is More Stressed?

Dec 2017

16300 Old Emmitsburg Road | Emmitsburg, MD 21727
Map & Directions | | 301-447-6122
Frederick Campus | 5350 Spectrum Drive | Frederick, MD 21703
Map & Directions | | 301-682-8315