CBU Scientists Take Minneapolis By Storm

Three students, two alumni, and one faculty member represented CBU at two research conferences in Minneapolis in late September. The sextet combined to present two posters and one 50-minute talk.

At the annual meeting of the international Society for Psychophysiological Research (SPR), CBU alumni Lauren Dahlke (Psychology ’16) and Daniel Gabriel (Natural Science ’16) presented “Emotional images reduce the N1 to auditory distractors.” James Rogers (Psychology ’17), Jamonté Wilson (Psychology ’15), and Dr. Jeff Sable (Behavioral Sciences) were also co-authors of the poster. Andrea Perez-MuñozPatrick Woody, and Rogers (all Psychology ’17) presented “N1 to distractor tones is affected by tone salience and primary task difficulty.” Wilson and Sable were also co-authors of this poster

Sable, Woody, Dahlke, EhrmantrautThe following week, Dahlke, Gabriel, and Sable joined Brother Dominic Ehrmantraut (Director of Mission and Special Assistant to the President) at the annual International Symposium on Lasallian Research. Dahlke, Gabriel, and Sable gave a presentation entitled “Distractibility: What we are learning from the brain about competition for our attention.” It was listed under the Educational Innovation theme—one of the research themes identified by the International Association of Lasallian Universities. Rogers, Woody, and Perez-Muñoz were also co-authors of this presentation.

All three presentations were based on student collaborations with Dr. Sable in the CBU Cognitive Neuroscience Lab, using equipment purchased with a Major Research Instrumentation award from the National Science Foundation. The researchers focused on a brain response called the N1 that reflects automatic attention. They measured this response to examine factors that influence distractibility.

Students also took on several responsibilities at the conferences. Gabriel volunteered to coordinate an initial effort to organize the grants and research coordinators of the seven universities in the Lasallian Region of North America (RELAN). Gabriel, Rogers, Woody, and Sable joined the SPR Committee to Promote Student Interests, including the Primarily Undergraduate Institution (PUI) subcommittee.

Perez-Muñoz, Rogers, and Woody will be the first students to complete the new cognitive neuroscience minor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences at CBU. Dahlke and Gabriel are currently graduate students in psychology at the University of Memphis.

Sable also co-authored a poster at the SPR meeting with faculty members from Salisbury University, the University of Wisconsin-Stout, Pennsylvania State University-Erie, and Swarthmore College entitled, “Infrastructure and resources for research at primarily undergraduate institutions.” CBU has become a national leader in engaging undergraduate students in research in the fields of psychophysiology and cognitive neuroscience. Dr. Sable is involved in efforts to enhance communication and information sharing among schools that engage undergraduates in similar research.

Clockwork Case Study: A Personality Assessment of Alex from A Clockwork Orange

Andrea Perez-Munoz

Andrea Perez-Munoz (front right) with other students from the Department of Behavioral Sciences.

Andrea Perez-Muñoz (Psychology ’17) is the lead author of “Clockwork Case Study: A Personality Assessment of Alex from A Clockwork Orange,” was published in the Spring issue of the Journal of Psychological Inquiry.

The article is based on a term paper Andrea wrote for Dr. Jeff Sable’s PSYC 219 (Personality) course in fall 2014. Andrea said, “I remember thinking this was the most fun I’d had writing a paper, but I never thought it would be published!”

Dr. Sable, who frequently reviews manuscripts under consideration for publication in scientific journals, recalls, “The paper was so thorough and well-written, I thought, ‘This should be published!’ When Andrea submitted it, the reviewers seemed to agree!”

Andrea added, “I think I do my best work when I am genuinely interested in what I am doing. That kind of passion, coupled with my desire to engage in everything I do with a high degree of academic integrity, is my key to success and this publication is just one outcome of living by that rule.”

Dr. Sable believes Andrea’s success demonstrates the value of hard work in class, stating, “You never know what might come out of something that’s ‘just a class assignment’. What happens in class is as real as you make it.”

The full issue, including Andrea’s article, is now freely available online.

SOA Alumni Making News

Not a StrangerCBU alum Dennis Foley (’82) wrote and produced not a Stranger, a drama about a down-and-out, 50-year-old former high school teacher with a dark secret who befriends three 12-year-old boys, and helps one come to grips with his father’s death. Problems arise when police suspect the teacher of wrongdoing. The film was directed by and stars James Russo (pictured left).



Our Grass Our RootsMichalyn Easter (History ’13), a recipient of a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Teachers College, Columbia University in New York, has returned to the Memphis area to teach high school Social Studies and to unite education with community activism in the city. She is the founder of Our Grass Our Roots, “a grassroots, non-profit movement to assist in transforming the North Memphis neighborhood into an economically sustainable, community focused, cultural capital that will be the grounds for fighting gentrification and citizen displacement, involving the community, structures and businesses already present, and nurturing the individuals within the community to help make Memphis a better place.”

Danielle Hobbs (Psychology ’13) was recently named Embarker of the Week by The New Memphis InstituteEmbark is bringing together and shaping Memphis’ next group of young professionals. Our Embark alum are high-performing twenty-something change-makers who work together to make a meaningful mark on our city. We recognize those Embarkers making ripples in their professions and communities.

Bryan Williams (MAT ’03) was named as one of Memphis Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40.

David Vaughn (Psychology ’12) and Kara Jones (Psychology ’12) were joined in marriage on Oct. 22.

SOA Students Making News

Brinsley Cooper (Psychology ’17) earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team at September’s CBU Volletball Invitational. Cooper hit .364 with 33 kills, 17 blocks, and five aces in 16 sets as she led the Lady Bucs to wins over Barton, Southwest Baptist, Saint Joseph’s, and Arkansas Tech.

Gulf South Conference men’s basketball coaches voted Buccaneer guard Jeff Larkin (Religion and Philosophy ’17) to the Preseason All-GSC Team. Larkin averaged 18.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.5 steals per game last season, leading the Bucs to a 12-17 record, including a 10-12 mark in GSC play. Larkin finished fourth in the GSC in scoring and tied for fifth in steals.

Alexis Gillis (Visual Arts ’17) and Luis Martinez (Visual Arts ’17), both BFA majors with concentrations in Graphic Design, were each awarded $1000.00 merit based scholarships from the River Arts Festival Invitational. Awards are given each year to two undergraduate students from local universities. The award ceremony took place at Askew, Nixon, Ferguson on October 7th.

Betty Armstrong (English ’17), Cenetria Crockett (History ’19), and Mirissa Anderson (Creative Writing ’17) were initiated into the Phi Alpha Theta National Honorary History Society.

Honors Know Yourself

Clockwise from top left: Brigid Lockard, Rakesha Gray, Dr. Tracie Burke, Erin Aulfinger

Over fall break, CBU Honors Program students RaKesha Gray (Religion and Philosophy ’17), Brigid Lockard (Psychology ’19), and Erin Aulfinger (Creative Writing ’19), along with program director Dr. Tracie Burke, attended the National Collegiate Honors Council conference in Seattle, WA. The conference theme was “Know Yourself.” RaKesha and Erin presented “Knowing The Geek Within: How the Christian Brothers University Honors Program Helps Its Students Learn Who They Are and Who They Want to Become,” and Brigid presented “The View from the 31st Century: Futurama as Lens for Exploring Future Space Commercialization Strategies.” Both presentations received rave reviews from other conference attendees.

New Concentration in Industrial Organizational Psychology

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics has identified Industrial Organizational Psychology (I/O) as one of the fastest growing fields through 2020. Due to this demand and growing interest in the field, the Behavioral Sciences Department has modified our previous Applied Psychology major to develop an Applied Psychology Major with a concentration in Industrial Organizational Psychology.

Instructor Chanda Murphy and Mauricio Ramirez (Senior Applied Psychology Major) have been working over the past two years to develop this major to include the courses and experiences, curricular and extracurricular, necessary to prepare students to be competitive upon graduation. Research to develop the paradigm included looking at other universities in the Mid-South that had comparable majors and making sure CBU’s major would provide similar courses and opportunities. The new paradigm offers classes in areas such as leadership, personnel development, human resources, and organizational development. Many of these courses focus on bringing in people from industry to share their experiences and to demonstrate how professionals apply theoretical and practical information learned in the classroom in their daily roles. Moreover, these courses incorporate the most recent research in the field of I/O to keep students abreast of the future of the field. The students are also required to take the three statistics courses that our other psychology majors complete so that those that graduate with the I/O Psychology concentration are prepared for both the applied domain and graduate school.

The updated major has already generated interest from corporations in the Memphis area. Professor Murphy and other CBU I/O students recently spoke at a meeting for the Memphis Industrial Organizational Psychology (MIOP) chapter about the updated paradigm and internship possibilities. I/O Professionals, including faculty at the University of Memphis, have also applauded CBU for bringing the attention to the need and importance of having a degree that prepares students to enter the world of Industrial Organizational Psychology. There are already over ten students enrolled in the major and it is expected to grow significantly. Any questions about the major can be directed to Instructor Chanda Murphy: cmurphy6@cbu.edu

Student Spotlight: Lauren Dahlke Interns at St. Jude

Lauren DahlkeSince Fall 2015, I have been an intern at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as a component of my senior practicum. I work in a research lab in the psychology department under Dr. James Klosky, who specializes in cancer survivorship research. Our lab works to determine the psychological factors that influence vaccination acceptance and initiation for the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in childhood cancer survivors. Since HPV is known to cause cervical cancer and cancer survivors are more prone to complications caused by HPV, studying the mental processes and behaviors of survivors plays an important role in determining if we can increase vaccine usage.

Our lab also studies what factors influence sperm cryopreservation (or banking) utilization in adolescents and young adult males newly diagnosed with cancer. Childhood cancer survival rates are increasing, but treatment often has negative effects on fertility, which in turn can cause psychological distress. We are trying to determine why this widely available and effective fertility preservation process is underutilized in this vulnerable population.

Working with St. Jude has been an amazing professional experience. I have co-authored several research abstracts and posters presented at national conferences, and I am currently contributing to manuscripts that will soon be submitted for journal publication. I am so glad and privileged for the opportunity to produce professional academic works and experience working in a clinical research setting.

Lauren Dahlke (Psychology, ’15)

Upcoming: Psychology Research Presentations

Students from Correlational Research Methods and Statistics will present their research findings on Wednesday, December 16 from 1:00 to 3:00 in Assisi Hall 153. Research topics include:

The Relationship between Social Media, Anxiety, and Self-Esteem
Rachel K. Black, Tevin Hill, Deidra Covington

The Relationship between Altruistic Tendencies and Easy Versus Difficult-Escape Prosocial Behaviors
Adama Sow, Morgan Mattingly, and Vladmir Gonzalez

The Relationship between Motivation and Employee Performance
Dayana Parada Ramirez, Jessica Dominguez, and Lakeva Johnson

The Relationship between Body Dissatisfaction and Collegiate Sports Participation
Shelby Olivia Cavagnaro and Frank Lanigan

The Relationship between Social Anxiety and Alcohol Use
Kristin Page, Emily Ervin, and Melody Mays

Relationship between Personality, Body Image, and Healthy Living
Lauren Woog and Leiah Durr

The Relationship Between Social Exclusion and Depression
Lauren Malone, Megan Clowes, and Summer Rudd

The Relationship between Past Leader Experience and Leadership Attitudes
Michelle Pleasant and Sean Rowland

The Association of Stigma of Obesity with Racial/Ethnic Identity and Socioeconomic Status
Tierney Nichole Kizer and Jasmine Clinton

The Relationship between Fitness and Tempo
Valeria Torres and Caitlin Revers

The Relationship between Video Games and Deviant Behavior in Young Adults
Sandra Quiroz and Alejandro Yael Chiñas Lopez

An Exploration of Autism

Lois PrislovskyPsi Chi (the National Honors Society in psychology) and STARS (Students Tackling Autism Related Syndromes) hosted a talk by Dr. Lois Prislovsky, titled “I Might Be You: An Exploration of Autism and Connection,” on Thursday, September 24 in Spain Auditorium. Dr. Prislovsky graduated from CBU in 1989 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She earned her M.S. in General Psychology from the University of Memphis and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Tennessee. Dr. Prislovsky then completed over 138 hours of post-doctorate studies in assessment, cognitive psychology, Lindamood-Bell reading therapy, DIRFloortime methods for strength/relationship approaches to understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and advanced certification in Ericksonian hypnosis. Her other areas of expertise include learning disabilities, multi-skills training for Autism Spectrum clients, anxiety management, and ADHD coaching. She has authored several nationally published articles on ASD, ADHD, and Anxiety.

Together with her Mule and Muse Productions business partner, Barb Rentenbach, a non-verbal woman with autism, Dr. Prislovsky wrote I Might Be You: An Exploration of Autism and Connection. Rentenbach and Prislovsky have another book coming out this fall entitled Neurodiversity: A Humorous and Practical Guide to Living with ADHD, Anxiety, Autism, Dyslexia, Homosexuality, and Everyone Else. Dr. Prislovsky serves as the executive director of the Greater Living Institute GLI (non-profit designed to serve individuals with disabilities), president of Psychoeducational Network (private practice), and president of Mule and Muse Productions, LLC.

Altered States at the Society for Psychophysiological Research

T Patrick - P Woody

Toni Patrick (left) & Patrick Woody (right)

Toni Patrick (Natural Science ’15) and Patrick Woody (Psychology ’17) presented their research on the effect of migraines on brain activity at the annual meeting of the Society for Psychophysiological Research in Seattle, WA on September 30. Students and alumni from the Rosa Deal School of Arts and the School of Sciences, including Ms. Patrick, Mr. Woody, Katelyn Baker (Biochemistry ’16), Stephanie Allen-Winters (Biology ’14), and April Collins (Psychology ’15), collaborated with Dr. Jeff Sable (Behavioral Sciences) to conduct the research.

Patrick and Woody gave a research talk as part of “Altered States: Undergraduate-Driven EEG/ERP Research on Attention, Cognition, and Emotion,” a panel chaired by Sable that also included research presentations from two other institutions. “This was the first time students of mine have given a talk at a conference of this caliber,” said Sable. “It was really exciting!” Patrick said, “Going into SPR [the meeting] I was super nervous, but having those 15 minutes of fame was one of the best things I’ve ever experienced. Not only was I exposed to an immense amount of research but I networked like a pro!” Patrick and Woody also presented a poster based on the same study, which contained additional findings and allowed the students to discuss the research with other scientists. “It was a great opportunity to see how even undergraduates are a part of a larger research community,” noted Woody.

The study began in Sable’s Psychophysiology course in Spring 2014 and was completed by Ms. Patrick and Mr. Woody during the 2014-2015 academic year. It involved recording brain activity, called event-related brain potentials (ERPs), triggered by sounds. The research was conducted with Biopac and Cedrus equipment and software in the Psychology Laboratory at CBU. The ERPs were then examined comparing, people with and without migraines (although participants were not having a migraine at the time of recording). The ERPs were larger in those with migraines, indicating that there is increased activity in the brains of people with migraines.

A poster presented later in the meeting included CBU alumni Rochelle Rodriguez and Katelynn Hicks (both Psychology ’15) as co-authors, in addition to Sable. This study, comparing ERPs to English language sounds in native English and native Japanese speakers, was conducted in collaboration with faculty and students at the University of Memphis.

Abstracts for all of the presentations have been published in a supplement to Psychophysiology, which is the journal of the Society for Psychophysiological Research.

The Society’s annual meeting is an international conference, drawing scientists mostly from North America and Europe, but also from other countries around the world. It included addresses by Daniel Schacter (Harvard University) and Marcus Raichle (Washington University), both of whom are leading figures in the fields of cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience.

Faculty Making News

Dr. Samantha Alperin, (Chair, Education) presented at the Diocesan summer and fall in-services on “Teaching Without the Text.” She has recently been appointed to the board of St. Paul’s, the CBHS President’s Council, and the Committee for Accreditation and School Excellence through the Diocese which works toward planning and improvement for system accreditation.

Dr. Frank Buscher (History & Political Science), along with Dr. Juan Carlos Olabe (Electrical & Computer Engineering), attended the International Symposium on Lasallian Research from September 27-29 at the Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus in Minneapolis. More than 120 Lasallian educators and scholars from numerous countries gathered to present and discuss current research. The Superior General of the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Brother Robert Schieler, was the keynote speaker.

Dr. Marius Carriere (History & Political Science) attended “The Symposium of the 19th Century Press, the Civil War, and Free Expression” at U.T. Chattanooga. He is a member of the Symposium’s Executive Committee.

Mrs. Hollie Comas (LANCE Director) has announced her retirement as of December. Ms. Colleen Boyette, Education’s administrative assistant and university supervisor of student and intern teachers, will take her place starting in January. Colleen comes to us from a previous position OLPH. She was an Lasallian Volunteer in Freeport, NY, and received her Master’s degree in educational leadership from Notre Dame before returning to Memphis. She is a graduate of St. Agnes and CBU.

Dr. Cort Casey (Education) and Professor Nancy Wilder (Education) attended the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) conference in Washington, DC in September, and on behalf of CBU’s Department of Education, are happy to announce that the Selected Improvement Commission of CAEP granted NCATE accreditation to the Department at the initial teacher preparation and advanced preparation levels. As noted in their report, “This accreditation decision indicates that the department and its programs meet rigorous standards set forth by the professional education community.” The next accreditation visit will be in Spring 2022.

Dr. Karen Golightly (Literature & Languages) was awarded The Brother Bernard LoCoco Presidential Chair. Dr. Golightly recently organized the Paint Memphis event on July 18, which brought together more than 50 artists to create the largest collaborative mural in town on the south side of the Wolf River flood wall that runs .3 miles along the proposed Chelsea Greenline in the New Chicago/North Midtown neighborhood. More information (and photos) are available at paintmemphis.org or facebook.com/PaintMemphis. The project was covered extensively in The Commercial Appeal, and she also appeared on Local Memphis Live on September 30 to discuss PaintMemphis and CBU’s Fresh Reads and Memphis Reads programs, which recently brought author Dave Eggars and Sudanese lost boy Valentino Achak Deng to Memphis.

Paint Memphis

Dr. Jeffrey Gross (Literature & Languages) was awarded CBU’s Outstanding Academic Advisor Award.

Matthew Hamner (Visual & Performing Arts) was interviewed on WKNO’s Listening to the Arts about his participation in “The Laramie Project-10 Years Later,” which was produced by New Moon Theater Company at the Evergreen Theater in Memphis in June of 2015.

jordan_modernDr. Benjamin Jordan’s (History & Political Science) book, Modern Manhood and the Boy Scouts of America: Citizenship, Race, and the Environment, 1910-1930, is coming out with the University of North Carolina Press in April 2016. In this illuminating look at gender and Scouting in the United States, Dr. Jordan examines how, in its founding and early rise, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) integrated traditional Victorian manhood with modern, corporate-industrial values and skills.


Nick Peña (Visual & Performing Arts) was awarded The Harold R. Krelstein Chair In Performing Arts & Communications. His exhibition, Crosscut,” was recently on display (Aug.-Oct.) in the Beverly & Sam Ross Gallery in CBU’s Plough Library.

Pena Crosscut


Teaching NeuroscienceDr. Jeff Sable (Behavioral Sciences) authored two chapters in Teaching Neuroscience: Practical Activities for an Engaged Classroom, a freely available e-book published on September 10 by the Society for the Teaching of Psychology (Division 2 of the American Psychological Association). Each chapter describes a “classroom” activity Dr. Sable developed, including one he developed at CBU as part of PSYC 225 Biological Psychology. In it, the Buckman Quadrangle becomes a giant virtual nerve cell in which students take on roles as its working parts.