Each year, the Psychology Department gives out two awards, the Distinguished Senior in Psychology, and the Capstone Award. The Distinguished Senior in Psychology Award is given each year to the senior major who best represents the department’s ideal for outstanding scholarship, research and service, while the Senior Capstone Award is given each year to the senior major who completes the top senior capstone research project. The Capstone Award considers the scope of the senior capstone, the initiative of the major in completing it, and the public presentations that the senior makes (including our Psychology Research Symposium poster session).
At Awards Chapel last week, Connor O’Rear ’14 was announced to be the 28th Distinguished Senior in Psychology. Connor has excelled at Wabash, receiving Distinction on his Senior Comprehensive exams, and he was also named a Mackintosh Fellow at Awards Chapel. Connor came to Wabash from South Bend, and in his time at Wabash he has been very active in research (completing two summer internships, one with Dr. Schmitzer-Torbert and one with Dr. Horton) as well as three semesters of research with Dr. Horton outside of class. For his capstone project, Connor worked with Dr. Olfoson, in a study of the development of theory of mind in children. Outside of psychology, Connor also completed an area of concentration in Asian Studies and has been involved in the Chinese Club and Psi Chi and worked as a tutor at the writing center.
After Wabash, Connor will begin his PhD studies in Psychology at Notre Dame, where he will be continuing his focus on developmental psychology, in research on children’s understanding of math with Dr. Nicole McNeil (whose lab he volunteered in while still in high school).
This year, Nathan Bryant received the 2014 Capstone Award, for his project: The Effects of the Serotonin Agonist Sumatriptan on Aggression in a Neutral Cage in Adult Male Rats. Nathan is from Indianapolis and attended Ben Davis High School. He is a Senior DeMolay, and Freemason. At Wabash, Nathan served as a student senator, IFC representative, and vice-president of the Kappa Sigma fraternity.
Working with Dr. Aubele-Futch, Nathan found that infusions of sumatriptan, a serotonin agonist, into the nucleus accumbens in rats significantly increased aggressive behavior in male rats. A copy of Nathan’s poster, presented at the Psychology Research Symposium, is posted below.