Jaylene and Sara’s APA presentations

Two graduate school members, Jaylene Patterson (second-year educational psychology doctoral student) and Sara Kuhl (second-year educational psychology master’s student) presented some of their research at the 2022 American Psychological Association (APA) conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

Sara and Jaylene presented a poster titled “Investigating First-Generation, First-Year Students’ Perceptions of Learning During COVID-19” that asked first-generation undergraduate university freshmen how the coronavirus pandemic affected their ability to learn during the fall 2020 semester. The presenters had the pleasure of having several professors and graduate students from across the country stop to ask questions about the study, and others snapped photos of the poster while walking by it.

In addition to Sara’s first-authored poster, Jaylene presented a virtual poster titled, “Inclusively Teaching Undergraduate Students of Color: Examining Instructor Self-Efficacy.” This virtual poster was presented in collaboration with lab member and second-year educational psychology doctoral student Anastacia Cole.

Being able to network and make connections with others in educational psychology and adjacent fields was a memorable career milestone for Jaylene and Sara. Both students hope to expand on this research in the near future, as they feel the undergraduate first-generation experience during the pandemic is unique. Several of those who talked with them at the conference provided feedback on how to improve upon the research going forward. Following the poster presentation, Jaylene and Sara felt reinvigorated about what the lab taught, more confident in their abilities to conduct research, and proud of the work they have accomplished thus far in graduate school. The next step is to take into account the feedback and comments they received so that they can continue to develop this project for potential publication.