ALTOONA, Pa. — Students from Penn State Altoona’s Integrated Social Science Research Lab (ISSRL) traveled to Erie on Saturday, April 23, to compete in a research fair at the Undergraduate Research and Creative Accomplishment Conference. The conference was hosted by Penn State Behrend and co-sponsored by the scientific research honor society Sigma Xi.
Criminal justice major Payton Perry and nursing student Makaylah Bangura won first place among social science posters at the conference with their project “Push for Police Reform in the United States: Understanding Respondents’ Attitudes.”
Tyler Frye and Rachel Kosaka, both criminal justice majors, and Alicia Williams, studying human development and family studies, took second place in the social sciences for their research poster “Punitive Attitudes Toward Sex Offenders: Does Offender Sex Matter.”
In the psychology poster bracket, junior Nicholas Glunt won second place with “Screening for Traumatic Brain Injury Among Incarcerated Individuals Using the ImPACT Quick Test.”
In addition to the five research lab students who placed at the event, five more students from the ISSRL also competed, including Lindsay Fusco, Jazzmine McCauley, Rae Griffith, Ziwei “Will” Lin and Mykala McGill.
“Loading up the lab students in a college-issued, 15-passenger van is about way more than just competition at a conference,” said Nathan Kruis, assistant professor of criminal justice. “It is also about community building through group travel and about celebrating our graduating students at their last college-level research fair.”
“After two years of COVID, the students are eager to participate in these events again, and I am, too,” said Nicholas Rowland, professor of sociology, who co-runs the lab with Kruis. “We are grateful for Penn State’s willingness to support students as they travel to conferences and share their research.”
The Integrated Social Science Research Lab is made possible by Penn State Altoona's Division of Education, Human Development, and Social Science, headed by Leigh Ann Haefner, associate professor of science education, and is embedded in the criminal justice and sociology programs coordinated by Mary Ann Probst and Karyn McKinney-Marvasti, respectively.