Simpson student Kristen Alstott presents poster at the Midwestern Psychological Association conference in Chicago

Thanks to Simpson College’s travel funding for undergraduate research, Kristen Alstott was able to present her work at the Midwestern Psychological Association conference in Chicago. Below is her account of her experience:

Kristen Alstott presents her research at the Midwestern Psychological Association conference in Chicago

I presented my independent research from Advanced Research on the possibility of using diagrams and humorous cartoons in college textbooks to elicit greater reading comprehension for college students. This was my second year attending the Midwestern Psychological Association’s conference. Each year I am astounded by the number of students who attend and who remain passionate about research and the possibility of bettering the future.

I would like to focus my blog post on students who are interested in attending the conference. First of all, imagine presenting in a building with murals on ceilings, gold crown molding around every corner, and carpets with designs that will send your head spinning. Such sights will be a reality for you if you attend the conference because you will be presenting at the grand Palmer House in Chicago. For students who are nervous about presenting in front of large audiences, never fear. You will create a poster and present it in a room with about 80 other students who are also presenting around you. Therefore, it doesn’t feel so much like you are in the spotlight, and it instead feels like you are having very intimate conversations with interested researchers. Also, your presentation time is short, so you can present and then enjoy the rest of your day.

Perhaps one of the best parts about MPA is the chance to hear about cutting-edge research from across the country. In addition, you will have the opportunity to get helpful advice about future careers and applying to graduate school. The amount of amazing knowledge you can gain from going to the conference is outstanding!

The highlight of my trip was being asked to have my research cited in a book a professor at Grinnell College is writing. I worked on my independent research for a year, and I was absolutely elated to see someone so interested and excited about my research and hard work. Therefore, if you are considering the conference, please understand the amazing opportunities and doors that may open up for you because of your attendance. Not only will you get a chance to make a poster and practice your oratory skills, but you will get a chance to network with cutting-edge researchers who are passionate about fields that you are passionate about. Please don’t pass up this amazing challenge and experience to present at the Midwestern Psychological Association conference. You will not be disappointed!

Congratulations on your presentation, Kristen!