2017 Global Field Course

Our global field course exploring Cross-Cultural Well-Being and Relationships was an amazing experience. We visited Iolani Place (the home of the Hawaiian royal family), a native teacher taught us an ‘Oli (a chant traditionally recited before entering a sacred area of land or before taking things like flowers or fruit from the land), and we participated in a service learning project helping to rebuild the wall of an 800 year old aquaculture site. We also visited the Byodo-in Temple, Waimea Valley, and the Kukaniloko Birthing Stones for a presentation on the history of this sacred site. We also visited Pearl Harbor and toured the Arizona Memorial there. We attended a Luau, and learned about nature on a sunset cruise and snorkeling trip. We learned so much from all of the local guides. What an amazing experience!

2017 Summer Research Institute

2017 SRI ParticipantsThe Department of Psychological Science’s 2017 Summer Research Institute was held May 18-24, 2017, led by Drs. Scisco and Dracobly, on factors influencing healthy eating.  Along with our student mentor, Yohan Krumov, Drs. Scisco and Dracobly introduced students to topics about healthy food choices, including variables that influence our short- and long-term decisions about foods to eat. The students also learned how to search and review peer-reviewed literature, develop a research question and design an empirical study to answer that question, and analyze their results using graphical and statistical analysis.

After conducting their independent studies, each student developed a poster and presented it to the group. Below is a list of the student projects.

Kelly Bielonko: The Effects of Health Consciousness and Familiarity with Direct to Consumer Advertising on Perceptions of Natural Dietary Supplements and Their Prescription Counterparts

Jordan Gardiner: Nutritional Knowledge and Self Perception of Health Corresponding with the Ability to Match Front of Package Images with the Equivalent Nutritional Facts

Sarah Henckel: Perceptions of Health Based on Traffic Light Color-Coding on Nutrition Labels

Allison Lundy: Subtle vs. Explicit Messages: Consumer Motivation and Consumer Food Choices

Blake Mamaclay: The Relationships Between Health Consciousness, Color Preference, and Perceived Healthiness

Mikayla Oken: The Effect of a Mindful Eating Exercise on the Enjoyment and Willingness to Eat Disliked Foods

Tess Parker: Effects of Familiarity on Food Preference and Beliefs About Food

Sydney Spencer: The Effect of Social Facilitation on Meal Duration and Food Intake

Michael Tuttle: The Impact of Label Type on Perceived Healthiness and Label Comprehension

Courtney Welch: Effects of Store Brand vs. National Brand on Visual & Taste Preference

2017 CSU Psychology Day

On May 5th, 2017 students from other CSU psychology departments participated in the annual psychology day. Forty seven students from Eastern’s Department of Psychological Science presented posters and 1 oral presentation. Below is a complete list of Eastern students, their mentors, and their project titles:

Malvina Pietrzykowski (Dr. James Diller) Exploring The Relationship Between Religion/Spirituality and Stress In College Students 

Emma Green (Dr. Madeline Fugere) The Relationships Among Eating Habits, Physical Activity, and Stress

Kassandra Agosto (Dr. James Diller) Olfaction’s Influence on Pleasantness and Physiological Arousal  

Abigail Bell (Dr. Joe Dracobly) The Effect of Ego-Resiliency on Conformity

Patricia Piotrowska & Nicole Lenares Effects of BST and Individualized Daily Email Prompts as an Intervention to Increase Sustainable Eating Behaviors

Tania Kittoe (Dr. James Diller) Relations between, Religion, and Spirituality and Social Engagement in Emerging Adults  

Madison LaRusso (Dr. Joe Dracobly) Extraversion and Preference for Competition: Differences Comparing Sibling Structure 

Amanda Gionfriddo (Dr. Peter Bachiochi)  Relationships Between Internet Use, Jealousy, and Relationship Satisfaction

Danielle Nobitz (Dr. Peter Bachiochi) Sleep Quality, Anxiety, and Emotional Eating among College Students

Samantha Hengel (Dr. Peter Bachiochi) The Influence of Social Media Use on Romantic Relationships

Autumn Dupuis (Dr. Peter Bachiochi) The Effects of Work on School Involvement 

Katelyn Murray (Dr. Peter Bachiochi) The Relationship Between Emotional Intelligence, Empathy and Psychological Well-Being

Sydney Batchelder (Dr. Jenna Scisco) Effects of Familiarity and Praise on Learning in the Presence of Others    

Jennifer Gumbulevich, Sarah Casolo, Alyssa Daneault, Yohan Krumov, Lauren Leavey, Rachel Scrivano, Sydney Batchelder, & Olivia Bacha (Dr. Jenna Scisco) The Impact of Front-of-Package Food Labels on Parent Food Choice  

Daphne Botteron (Dr. Joe Dracobly) The Effects of Emotional Intelligence and Perceived Social Support on Overall Life Satisfaction  

Melanie Byrne & Michael Pelletier (Dr. James Diller)  Increasing Composting Behaviors on a College Campus

Jill Monck (Dr. Joe Dracobly) The Relationship between Stress Levels, Exercise and Mindfulness

William Watson (Dr. Joe Dracobly) Impacts of Stereotype Awareness and Stigmatization on Self-Esteem

Zachary Taylor (Dr. Joe Dracobly) The Relationship Between Stress, Anxiety, and Family Dysfunction

Tyler Smith (Dr. James Diller) The Effect of Music on Aggression and Negative Affect

Tyler Smith & Sabrina McFarlane (Dr. James Diller) The Reduction of Meat Consumption to Better the Environment

Chloe Lamarre & Danielle Wieland (Dr. James Diller) Behavior Change Plan: Recycling with College Students

Madi van’t Slot (Dr. James Diller) Correlation between Sexual Satisfaction, Relationship Satisfaction and Self-Esteem

Meena Niazi (Dr. Joe Dracobly)  Getting away with murder: A comparison of approaches to understanding criminal behavior

Rebecca MacFarlane & Madeline vant’Slot ( Dr. James Diller) A Study of littering behavior on campus

Emily Cates (Dr. Joe Dracobly) Relationship Between Time Management, Academic Stress, and Procrastination

Lateesha Ware, Brianna Agosta-Lawes, & Uyen Huynh (Dr. Diller) Decreasing Shower Behavior Across Three Residential Environments

Olivia Morrison (Dr. Joe Dracobly) The Relationship of Social Anxiety and Stress in the LGBTQ+ Community

Shannon Connors (Dr. Joe Dracobly) Body Image and Disordered Eating Compared between Athletes and Non-Athletes

Anna Gallant (Dr. Peter Bachiochi) Relationship Satisfaction, Social Media Use, and Facebook Jealousy

Ashley Williams (Dr. Joe Dracobly) The Effects of Sexual Behavior and Sexual Knowledge on Condom Use

Ashley Williams & Sydney Batchelder (Dr. James Diller) Promoting Shuttle Use on a University Campus

Taylor Culver (Dr. Joe Dracobly) The Association Between the Big Five Personality Traits, Parenting Quality and Criminal Behavior

Allison Marino (Dr. Joe Dracobly) Effects of Sleep, Stress, and Anxiety in College Students

Jessica Hynds & Brianna Lopez (Dr. James Diller) Visual Prompting Effects on Recycling

Yohan Krumov (Dr. Joe Dracobly) Interactions of Process Praise, Noise, and Extraversion on Puzzle Performance

Courtney Binkowski  (Dr. Joe Dracobly) The Impact of a Working University Student on Anxiety and Stress Levels

Brieanne McAvoy (Dr. Joe Dracobly) Exercise, Happiness and Productivity Among College Students

Nicole Fuhrmann (Dr. Joe Dracobly) Self-Stigma and Gender Roles on the Attitudes Towards Mental Illness: A Correlational Study

Rebecca MacFarlane & Madeline van’tSlot (Dr. James Diller) A Study of Littering Behavior on Campus

Ellie Frankinburger (Dr. Joe Dracobly) Masculine and Feminine Face Types on Participant Rated Facial Attractive and Perceived Trustworthiness

Hannah Byrne (Dr. Joe Dracobly) Implicit and Explicit attitudes towards Homosexuality

Arlette Pinel (Dr. Joe Dracobly) Television Media’s Impact on Female’s Body Perception

Jessica Seymour (Dr. Joe Dracobly) The Relationship Between Motivation, Self-Identity and Stress-Management on Exercise

Meagan Miller (Dr. Peter Bachiochi) The Influence of the Presence of a Confederate and Gender on Conforming to an Eyewitness Testimony

Dr. Leo Schneiderman Founder of Psychology Endowed Scholarship

I am writing on behalf of the Psychology Department to let you know that we have recently established the Dr. Leo Schneiderman Founder of Psychology Endowed Scholarship. This scholarship will be awarded to psychology majors with financial need.

All graduating seniors and recent graduates (years 2007-2016) are eligible to participate in the High5 program. If you participate, you can request that your donations fund the Dr. Leo Schneiderman scholarship. You can sign up for the High5 program by contacting Ryan Rose at: rosery@easternct.edu

To read more about the High5 program visit:

If you donate to the High5, you will just need to type Leo Schneiderman Scholarship in the box that states “please specify fund(s) and/or scholarship(s) here” on the High5 donation form.

All alumni graduating before the year 2007 who are not eligible for the High5 program can still donate to the scholarship. Even small donations make a difference! If you’d like to donate to this scholarship, you can contact Joe McGann (860.465.4514) in the advancement office or you can donate online here:

If you choose the online option, check the button for “scholarships and other funds” and then write in “Dr. Leo Schneiderman Scholarship” in the box where it asks to specify which scholarship you want to fund.

To read more about the Dr. Leo Schneiderman Founder of Psychology Endowed Scholarship visit:

As a department, we hope that you will consider contributing to our scholarship to help future psychology majors. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at keyesme@easternct.edu.

Psychology Student Wins Library Award

Malvina Pietrzykowski has been selected to receive The J. Eugene Smith Library 2017 Freshman/Sophomore Student Library Research Award for her research titled “The neuropsychological effects of religion and spirituality.”  Malvina was mentored by Dr. Margaret Letterman.

2017 Department of Psychological Science Honors Night


The Department of Psychological Science held its annual Honors Night on Monday, April 24th.  The event began with Welcoming Remarks by Dr. Escoto.  This was followed by a wonderful presentation by Dr. Jennifer Laney (2009) about her experiences in graduate school and advice for graduating seniors.  This was followed by Dr. Bachiochi introducing the recipients of Departmental Honors.  This year, we celebrated 14 students who earned Departmental Honors, two of whom earned Highest Distinction for their outstanding performance on the department’s Exit Examination (scoring above the 80% percentile, nationwide) and presenting research at a state or national conference.

Highest Distinction
Sydney Batchelder
Leah Slawinowski

High Distinction

Abigail Bell            Kaitlyn Doucette
Jesse Bober         Emma Green
Abigail Caselli       Brandon Martins
Sarah Casolo       Olivia Palen
Brittany Chabot    Melanie Ravo
Caitlin Chabot      Alexandra Steel

After the awarding of Departmental Honors, Dr. Escoto awarded the 2017 the Richard Bronson Membership recipient, Brittany Chabot.  Starting this fall, Brittany will be attending Nova Southeastern University’s M.S., in Family Therapy program.  The evening concluded with the Psi Chi chapter President, Sydney Batchelder, and Vice President, Rachel Scrivano, inducting 40 new members of Psi Chi.

2017 Psi Chi Inductees

Madison Ahearn           Kaylee DeFelice                   Nicole Murphy
Justin Berak                 Brian Duffany                       Elizabeth Navarro
Kelly Bobbitt                 Ellie Frankinburger               Meena Niazi
Jesse Bober                 Nicole Fuhrmann                 Jordan O’Meara
Nicole Bosse                John Gallen                         Malvina Pietrzykowski
Jennie Breton               Olivia Grella                         Jolene Potter
Jordan Brock                Samantha Hengel               Ashley Seward
Melanie Byrne               Elizabeth Hilton                   Molly Smith
Jasmine Carvalho         Karlyn Kerrigan-Jobes         Sydney Spencer
Sarah Casolo                Yohan Krumov                    Caroline Theroux
Ariana Clarke                Joanna Lagasse                  Maddie van’t Slot
Brianna Collins              Nicole Lenares                    Morgan Winship
Alyssa Daneault             Meagan Miller
Ashelyn Davis                Jill Monck

Student Accepted to Research Experience for Undergraduates in Ukraine

Elizabeth Hilton (PSY) applied and was selected to participate in a summer REU (research experience for undergraduates) sponsored by the National Science Foundation. The program takes place from May 18 – July 28, 2017. She will receive a $5,000 stipend, free housing and all travel costs will be covered. The program goals are :

  • A two-week long international, onsite (in Ukraine) component to develop and maintain a working collaboration with the staff of KIIS, as well as to increase the cultural, political, and social awareness of the undergraduate students, which can have a large impact on the conceptualization and understanding of mental health,
  • Undergraduate students working closely alongside students with different disciplinary expertise (e.g., psychology and statistics) to participate in all aspects of the research process (e.g., develop research questions, carry-out related literature review and iterative data analysis and disseminate research findings), while under the close mentorship of an interdisciplinary team of well-qualified, faculty undergraduate research mentors for eight-weeks in the United States.

Psychology Summer Courses

Stay on Track to Complete Your Degree with Summer Courses

The following courses are being offered in the summer:

PSY 247 Research Methods I (TR 8am-2pm) This is a required course and can be taken after PSY 227 Behavioral Science Statistics is passed with a minimum of a C and 9 credits in Psychology (excluding PSY 100 and PSY 101)
PSY 212 Lifespan Development meets the Developmental Course Requirement for the General and Industrial Organizational Concentration
PSY 303 Industrial Organizational can be used to meet the requirements of the General and Industrial Organizational Concentration or as an elective.
PSY 319 Human Sexuality can be used to meet the requirements for the General concentration or elective.
PSY 402 Current Research in Child Psychology is a required course in the General concentration and in the Child Concentration or as an elective.
PSY 418 Physiological Psychology can be used to meet the requirements of all of the concentrations or as an elective.
PSY 435 Controversies in Child Psychology can be used to the meet the requirements of the Child concentration or as an elective.  PSY 227 Statistics and PSY 247 Methods I must have been taken and passed with a C or better.

Enrollment must reach a total of 8 students or the course may be cancelled.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact the professor.  You can also contact the Financial Aid Office to see if adjustments can be made to allow for you to use funds for summer courses.

Assumption College Applied Behavior Analysis Information Session

On Tuesday, March 21st at 5:00 p.m., Assumption College is hosting an Information Session about their Applied Behavior Analysis Program.  The Information Session will take place in the Carriage House at Assumption College.  Program Director Karen Lionello-DeNolf, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LABA, who will discuss key benefits of the ABA program:

Comprehensive, multi-disciplinary program prepares students to work in a variety of fields
Coursework covers both typical and atypical development
Practicum classes provide supervised fieldwork experiences
Course sequence and practicum approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board
Programs meet coursework and experience requirements to apply for licensure as an Applied Behavior Analyst in Massachusetts
Pursue either an applied or research career path – coursework can be tailored to meet your goals
Graduates are well-prepared to apply to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst exam

All attendees will receive an application fee waiver.