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Psychology Student Symposium

             Ramapo College Psychology Student Symposium 2024

The annual Psychology Student Symposium is an opportunity for students and faculty to showcase their collaborative scholarship and research efforts. Students can present work from an Independent Study, scholarship from any Psychology class, a literature review, research project proposal, or Fieldwork experience. All work must be completed under the mentorship of a faculty member. Past presentation topics include students’ attitudes towards law enforcement, hippocampal excitatory neurotransmission in rats, children’s ability to solve different problems, and much more. The next symposium will be on Wednesday May 1, 2024 2-4pm.


Submission Criteria:

  1. Each submission must be a piece of scholarship, such as an independent study, a research project completed in any psychology class, a literature review or research project proposal, or fieldwork experience.
  2. The work must contain critical analysis.  The student must show some original thinking about the subject matter.
  3. The scholarship must be completed by the date of submission, except in the case of a graduating senior working on an independent research project (in which case the student can present a proposal and/or preliminary findings if the project is not yet complete). Note: the poster or presentation itself does not have to be complete by the date of submission.
  4. A  faculty member must agree to supervise the student as she or he prepares for the presentation or poster.

The symposium organizing committee requires an abstract be submitted before the event so that the presentation may be approved in advance.  Abstracts should be no longer than 250 words.

To submit an abstract please click here:

The submission deadline for the 2024 symposium will be midnight on April 17, 2024.

If accepted, please arrange all presentations using a tri-fold poster board. There will be a time limit for oral presentations (approximately 10-15 minutes, details and exact limit will be emailed).

If you have any questions please contact the Chair or any member of the Symposium Organizing Committee:

Psychology students presented their work at the 2023 Psychology Student Symposium

Psychology students presented their work at the                                                                                                    2022 Psychology Student Symposium





Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the 2021 Symposium features posters of scholarly work conducted this academic year and biographies of the student authors. The poster gallery opened May 26, 2021

Using Mental Imagery as an Effective Coping Mechanism During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Rianna Di Jesus will graduate Spring 2023 and plans on earning a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling to become a therapist for adolescents and adults. Rianna is an avid daydreamer and interested in how daydreaming and other types of mental imagery can be beneficial. Rianna appreciates that all of the psychology professors at Ramapo give students the opportunity to branch out and explore their own interests, which is important since psychology is a large field.

Social Rhythm and Interpersonal Therapy as a Treatment for Bipolar Disorder

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Anxhela Kalia has a major in Psychology and minors in Neuroscience, Crime and Justice Studies, and Marketing. Anxhela will graduate Spring 2022 and plans on pursuing a degree in Clinical Psychology. Anxhela enjoyed being able to research and acquire more information into the primary treatments for Bipolar I and II Disorder and has always been interested in the human mind and behavior and research into the causes and treatments of various mental illnesses. This research allowed Anxhela to comprehend which treatments are best suited for individuals with Bipolar disorder and apply it in different settings such any future career and present fieldwork experiences. The minor in Neuroscience has allowed Anxhela to perform research and learn more about the mind and its complexities. Pursuing a major in Psychology has allowed Anxhela to help others through different experiences such as fieldwork and research opportunities.

Behavioral Classroom Management in Treating Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

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Alexandra Oliver graduated this year and plans on attending a master’s program for Forensic Psychology and will train to become a polygraph technician. Alexandra’s favorite part about being a psychology major at Ramapo has been working closely with the faculty because they provided the tools to explore an intense field of social science. In Alexandra’s time at Sage Day School, she learned how important it is truly give each student an individualized educational experience, as no two children are alike.

Examining Conformity in a Virtual Setting

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Katelyn Mullen will graduate Spring 2022 and will attend graduate school to pursue a masters degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. Katelyn enjoyed being able to intricately design, modify, and execute a research study while being able to explore an unknown yet upcoming realm of social conformity. Additionally, she enjoyed taking a wide variety of Psychology courses to get a better understanding of what direction to pursue after graduation.

Summer Lampinen will graduate Spring 2022 and hopes to become a school psychologist. She found it interesting to see that past research on conformity still applies in a virtual setting and enjoyed being able to experiment with different conditions and seeing the scenarios in which conformity is most likely to occur. Being a psychology major at Ramapo has given Summer a fulfilling career path. The classes Summer has taken expanded her knowledge and understanding of psychology and demonstrated how much psychology impacts our everyday lives. She feels the professors are incredible at teaching their students not only the information itself, but also how we can use our knowledge to help change our lives and the lives of others as well.

Raquia Brewster will graduate in May 2022 and plans on attending graduate school. She enjoyed planning and conducting this research with her group members; as well as being able to see if conformity exists in virtual environments. As a psychology major, at Ramapo, she enjoys the range of learning experiences the college provides. She has been able to learn about child psychology, social psychology, psychology of gender, and more. These courses are engaging and she can use learning experiences from each course. After graduating, Raquia looks forward to continuing her education and using her knowledge within her future career.

Samantha Sendawy will graduate Spring 2022 and will attend graduate school to expand her knowledge and understanding in the field of psychology. She enjoyed being able to conduct a study based on past research while relating it to current societal issues. Being a psychology major at Ramapo has given Samantha the opportunity to explore many different topics related to psychology. Each class has helped Samantha get a better understanding of potential careers.

Perceptions of Text Messages When Using Periods and Emojis

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Julia Drennan will graduate Spring 2022 with a Biology major and Psychology minor and will go to graduate school to pursue a master’s degree in public health after gaining experience in a professional workplace or research institute. This research project enabled Julia to conduct a research project in a more formal setting and honed their critical thinking and collaborative skills. Julia enjoys being able to take a wide variety of classes related to psychology and have the ability to work on interdisciplinary projects.

Harlee Shirvan will graduate Spring 2022 and plans to go to graduate school to receive a Master’s in Forensic Psychology. Throughout this project, Harlee enjoyed learning how to perform a more professional experiment and becoming more equipped with the variety of ways to conduct research. As a psychology major, Harlee appreciated being able to take classes focused on specific aspects of psychology and learning how each subsection intersects to create one large discipline.

Does Perceived Drug Use Play a Role in Choosing Romantic Partners?

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Cindy Lam will graduate Spring 2023 with a Biology major and minor in Psychology and plans on attending the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. Over the previous summers, Cindy had the opportunity to shadow both an optometrist and ophthalmologist. Despite the ophthalmology specialty being competitive, Cindy hopes to become one. Although the study faced obstacles, the research team was able to overcome them to create a worthwhile experice.Conducting this study in the Cognitive Development Lab taught Cindy technical skills to conduct a literature review, compile a Qualtrics survey, and analyze data using SPSS.

Ashley Francis graduated this year with a major in Psychology and a minor in Music. She enjoyed doing this project and learning about how stigma impacts how people perceive others. After graduating, she plans to work and continue doing research.

Cognitive Moderators of Loss Aversion

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Sumaiya Muhammad graduated this year with a Psychology major and Neuroscience minor. She realized that carrying out a research project is not just about finding results but learning with each step involved in it. Her favorite aspect of being a Psychology major at Ramapo was how multiple approaches to perceiving things was encouraged in almost every class. She will be taking life as it comes and is thankful for all of the opportunities and experiences at Ramapo.

Role Demands and Overall Happiness

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Victoria DeCepoli will graduate this summer and plans to apply to graduate school, find a full-time job, and fit some traveling in between. Victoria most enjoyed being able to learn from her own personal experiences in conducting research and data collection which can help with future studies. Victoria did experience both the highs and lows of doing independent research. However, Victoria has found that the Psychology professors were all enlightening in their own unique way. The concepts and information she has learned from the professors is information she will carry into her new chapter on life and she is grateful for it. Victoria feels the experiences at Ramapo College support Einstein’s quote, “Education is not the learning experience of facts, but the training of the mind to think”. Although Victoria’s chapter at Ramapo is coming to its end, it’s a chapter in her story that will be one of her favorites.

The Invisibility Cloak Illusion: Observations Among Friends

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Samantha Kurtz will graduate in 2023 and will pursue a medical degree to become a psychiatrist. Although, the study took a lot of planning Samantha enjoyed conducting the research study and found it to be an enriching experience. Samantha enjoyed understanding a different element of the human experience through the work in classes. Samantha feels the professors have shared a wealth of knowledge to challenge students. This has solidified Samantha’s interest in going into some facet of the psychological field.

Mark Mifsud will graduate in 2022 and although unsure of the next steps, Mark in nonetheless excited. Mark enjoyed working with people in a non-laboratory/classic experimental setting. Mark has also enjoyed working with the professors in psychology.

Jessica Pisano will graduate in 2022 and plans on attending a masters program in Occupational Therapy. Jessica was interested in the effects that the Invisibility Cloak Illusion had in a virtual environment. Jessica is also looking forward to attending in person courses as a psychology major and is grateful for this opportunity.

Valerie Vengerov will graduate in 2022 with a Psychology major. Valerie will attend graduate school and get certified to teach English in Spain for a year or two. Valerie found it interesting to compare and contrast the differences in how a virtual setting affects individuals versus an in-person setting. Valerie appreciated working with the psychology faculty and is very pleased with the program.

The Effect of Test Anxiety on Performance Across Groups

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Samantha Stolker graduated this year and will be attending the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine to earn a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling. Samantha hopes to work with children/adolescents and possibly pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology. Samantha  enjoyed working closely with some extremely talented professors. From them Samantha learned so much about research, statistics, data, and professional scholarly writing. Samantha also really enjoyed analyzing the data collected because it felt like a nice conclusion to a long and difficult journey of data collection and seeking out participants. Samantha said, “I most enjoyed the psychology classes because I feel like throughout my four years at Ramapo I have grown so much. This growth has not only been about academics, but it made me a more compassionate and generous human being. In Psychology we seek to understand human behavior, and to desire something like this requires a deep care and interest in people. All of my professors emphasized this and the importance of meaningful relationships and interactions in every one of my classes. I feel like Psychology majors walk away from Ramapo passionate about helping others and making the world a better place.”

NOTE: The 2020 Virtual Psychology Student Symposium was held on Friday, May 22, 2020 due to the COVID-19 shutdown. Posters and videos of the oral presentations are available at



Ramapo College Psychology students presenting their research at past Psychology Student Research Symposiums