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Psych club event aims to involve students

The Psychology Department and Psychology Club hosted their Spring Extravaganza in the courtyard of the Natural Sciences Building on Feb. 3. The event was designed “to develop a sense of community within the department,” said Club Co-President Laura Samuelsson.

The event featured several panelists including professors and one graduate student. Each speaker briefly told their personal journey from their time as students to their current research and educational work.

Attendees heard from Dr. Dean Morier, among other panelists, who has been researching cultural prejudice towards the elderly.

Another speaker, Dr. Liz Bachen, focused her research on understanding the connection between stress and the immune system, while Dr. Carol George has been studying attachment during infant development.

The event was also a chance for potential members of the club to be introduced to the officers of the Psychology Club. The club now consists of a handful of dedicated Psychology students.

“The group has been meeting off and on for years, depending on student interest,” said Professor John Ruch, head of the Psychology department.

Dr. Morier remarked that this particular group of students “started last year…but they really amped it up recently.”

“This year the Psych Club’s real focus has been providing information to students about all the resources available within the department,” said Vice President of the Psychology Club, Angelica Perez, “the first goal (of the club) is to provide a platform, and a community, on which students can take an active role in shaping their own academic path to success at Mills and beyond.”

“The Psych Department is invested in all aspect’s of a student’s life,” stressed Laura Samuelsson, one of the two Club’s Co-Presidents, which made this event integral to showcasing that community.

“The Psychology Club’s active membership (has) varied from year to year depending on the amount of time the club leaders devoted to organizing and advertising their club activities,” said Dr. Christie Chung, whose lab studies memory and aging, “ we have strong leaders this year, so I am hoping that the club will thrive!”

The current officers and members of the club are mostly seniors whose graduation is fast approaching but they continue to plan future events that will emphasize their inclusive presence on campus.

This week, Monday through Thursday, all declared Psych majors, including Bio-Psych, Infant Mental Health, and graduate students, are invited to come to the Psych Lounge during lunchtime for Photopalooza.  The event is an effort to further integrate the Psychology community. Club members will be giving cookies in exchange for student photos, which will be displayed in the lounge.

The Psychology Club said they are actively welcoming new members.Interested students can attend the Club’s meetings on Tuesday and Thursdays from 12:15 to 1:00pm in the Psychology Lounge or through the group’s Mills community page, email list, or Facebook.

“There are no requirements to become a member, just interest,” said other Co-President Kiya Komaiko.

After the lecture portion of Sunday’s event concluded, the lighter side of the Psychology department emerged. The convivial atmosphere of the sundae party allowed professors, students, peer tutors, and TA’s alike to mingle and connect with one another.

“We might have used up our annual budget on this event,” Laura joked with a Professor as she scooped ice cream. She asked the next person in line, smiling,  “cookies and cream or chocolate swirl?”