Award-Winning Psychology Students Offer Reflections and Advice for Future Students: 2021-2022 Psychology Department Awards – Western Illinois University News

Award-Winning Psychology Students Offer Reflections and Advice for Future Students: 2021-2022 Psychology Department Awards

May 24, 2022

MACOMB/MOLINE, IL – After a two-year pause, the Western Illinois University Department of Psychology has re-established the tradition of an in-person, end-of-year awards ceremony to recognize exceptional students.

The ceremony was held May 2, and each of the following students and recent graduates were recognized for their academic, scholarly and community service accomplishments:

Psychology Department Scholar – Spring 2022 graduate Emma Holtz, of Wonder Lake, IL: The Psychology Department Scholar Award recognizes graduating seniors who have excelled and earned academic distinction throughout their undergraduate career. Holtz previously received the Distinguished Junior Award, the Psychology Department’s Lincoln Laureate nomination, and a Jim Joyce Scholarship.

During her time at WIU, Holtz was a member of three collaborative research teams, and authored or co-authored three research presentations at the Midwestern Psychological Association annual conference in Chicago, IL. Her honors thesis explored how experiences of trust and betrayal affect levels of the neuropeptide oxytocin, also known as the “love hormone.” She plans to pursue her doctoral degree in cognitive and brain sciences at the University of Minnesota.

Donald Poindexter Scholarship – Spring 2022 graduate Sharon Moore, of Macomb, IL: In honor of former psychology student Donald Poindexter, of Peoria Manual High School, the Poindexter Scholarship traditionally recognizes psychology students with noteworthy academic accomplishments who represent an American minority group. Moore, who was actively engaged as part of a clinical community service team, also received a James Joyce Scholarship from the Psychology Department.

Moore coauthored a research presentation regarding binge eating and suicidal ideation as potential markers of having experienced sexual assault. She plans to pursue graduate training in clinical psychology and mental health at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Psychology Distinguished Juniors
McKenna Davenport and Sydney Verdino: The Distinguished Junior Award recognizes one or two psychology students who exemplify superior scholarly and professional performance at WIU through their junior year. Davenport, a psychology major of Eldridge, IA, collaborated on a survey research project and studied COVID-19-related anxiety on college …….


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