Caroline David ’16 wins Outstanding Psychology Senior Award

Posted on April 5th, 2016 by

Caroline David

Caroline David ’16

Psychological Science Honors major Caroline David ’16 has won the 2016 Donald G. Paterson Award in Psychology. She is the fifth Gustavus student to receive this award, which is given annually to an outstanding Minnesota college senior who plans to have a career in psychology.

The Paterson Award has been presented to undergraduate psychology students since the 1960s. It is awarded by the Minnesota Psychological Association, and named in honor of a distinguished professor from the University of Minnesota. Each college in Minnesota nominates one senior student for the award each year. “We have had many excellent Psychological Science student nominees for the Donald G. Paterson award,” says Professor Marie Walker, the chair of the Psychological Science department. “Just being nominated for the award indicates excellence, as the requirements are high academic achievement, successful research experiences, acceptance into graduate programs, and research and academic awards. The fact that Caroline won this award shows she has been recognized above and beyond her peers with similar accomplishments across Minnesota. Our department is very proud of her.”

David has had a number of research opportunities on- and off-campus which helped to hone her interests in psychology and neuroscience. These include research assistantships in the Center for Developmental Science and the Developmental Neuroendocrinology Lab at Gustavus, and two summer research assistantships at the University of Alabama. David’s honors thesis, titled “Sensitive…to stress? Examining the relationship between stress sensitivity and empathic tendency,” is partially funded by grants from Sigma Xi and the Bradford Ivey Research Endowment, and will be presented at the Psychological Science Spring Research Symposium on May 13. “The experience of proposing and conducting original research proved crucial to helping Caroline realize how she can make significant contributions to society through the process of scientific inquiry,” notes Professor Kayla De Lorme, head of the Developmental Neuroendocrinology Lab. “She has great potential for becoming a prolific, high-impact scientist and educator in psychology.”

As a double major in Psychological Science and Religion, David has an interdisciplinary and applied interest in psychological research. “Her interest in developmental neuroscience arises from a deep-seated concern for the well-being of children and desire to understand how early life stress can influence immune function and resilience in children,” says Professor Kyle Chambers, one of David’s research advisors in the Center for Developmental Science. “Caroline clearly understands the value of disseminating important findings in ways that positively impact society.”

David has multiple offers for graduate programs, and looks forward to beginning a PhD program this upcoming fall. “I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to do research and work closely with some incredible psychology and neuroscience professors at Gustavus,” says David. “I am so appreciative of all of the support and mentorship I have received and am excited to take on graduate school!”

 

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