Monday, January 23, 2012

Undergraduates Benefit from Transformational Learning in Psychology: “You Learn So Much”

Undergraduates in Dr. Lisa Lu’s transformational learning class in Human Neuropsychology had the unique opportunity to take the information they were learning in the classroom and apply it in the community by helping people with brain injuries, such as strokes or as a result of accidents. Amina Avion and Melissa Trejo, both seniors at Roosevelt, completed their service learning projects for Psychology 350 at the Midwest Brain Injury Clubhouse and Victory Center, a supportive living community.

Asked whether this service learning class was rewarding, Avion said, “Definitely.” She explained that she has taken a number of transformational service learning classes while at Roosevelt and she finds them to be a “really enjoyable experience.” She said that these courses not only give students the opportunity to integrate activity with knowledge, but they also offer students experiences that help them decide if a field holds promise for a career. Trejo added that transformational learning classes are, “a perfect opportunity to test the waters. It can help you decide what you really want to do.” The service learning component offered them more than the coursework alone; working with people showed them deeper levels of the subject matter and the applications of what they were learning.

This class was somewhat more time consuming than their others, but it did not keep Trejo or Avion from finding the experience worthwhile for a number of reasons. First, transformational learning gave them the opportunity to give back to others. Avion said she never would have interacted with the people at her site or those with such difficulties, but this transformational learning class provided her with the opportunity. Trejo found the experience to be eye-opening. She said, “This enhances you as a person.” Both students emphasized that transformational learning classes help develop time management skills, teach responsibility, and promote commitment because people depend on the students to be there. Service learning not only helped these students grow academically, but also professionally and personally.
Psychology 350 involved a 20-hour service learning component in addition to classroom time. This process involved searching for a site, making sure it was appropriate for the class, and background checks. Despite these challenges, Trejo advises, “Go for it!” Trejo and Avion encouraged others should follow in their footsteps. These types of classes not only apply to psychology, but experience in the world is important regardless of the discipline. Connecting coursework to serving in the community is becoming increasingly popular throughout Roosevelt University.  Avion closed with her sentiments about how transformational learning should be a part of every college’s curriculum. She did not just spend the semester learning neuropsychology; she learned much more about others and about herself.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Spring 2012 Sparling Lecture Series

Department of Psychology – Sparling Lecture Series.

The Department of Psychology cordially invites you to attend the Spring 2012 Sparling Lecture Series. Please note that all of the Sparling lectures will take place from 4:30-5:30pm in AUD-309 and SCH-311 (the teleconferencing rooms). Refreshments will be provided.

Kicking off the series this semester, Dr. Kimberly Dienes, Assistant Professor of Psychology, will discuss her work, “The biopsychosocial model of risk for depression: Mechanisms of stress sensitivity” on January 25, 2012.

Then, on February 15, 2012, Mr. Addison Monroe, an intraoperative neurodiagnostician and a Roosevelt Psychology alumni, will discuss his career experiences as part of Career Services’ “What can I do… with a major in psychology?” week. This lecture is co-sponsored by both Psych Club and Psi-Chi Schaumburg.

On February 29, 2012, Dr. Ed Rossini, Professor of Psychology, and Dr. JamesChoca, Professor and Chair of Psychology, will present their work, “Using clock drawings in neuropsychological assessment.”

On March 21, 2012, Dr. Thomas Farmer, Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychology and Associate Director of Training, will present his work, “Neuropsychological moderators of social skills in children with primary generalized and complex partial seizures.”

Lastly, on April 18, 2012, Dr. Melissa Sisco, Assistant Professor of Psychology, will present her work, “Mentorship with gang-related youth: Real world applications, possibilities, and obstacles.”

Please send your questions to Dr. Shari Berkowitz at