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April 17, 2014

RSU Psychology Faculty, Students Win Research Award

Hillcat Cheerleaders on the beach in Orlando at Nationals

A research poster by Rogers State University faculty and students about the effectiveness of a regional drug court program earned a first-place award during the Southwestern Psychological Association's annual conference.

Psychology faculty Dr. Johnny Mark Kirk and Dr. Kevin Woller, along with seniors Katie Hathaway, Raven Helmick and Jessica Neeley, presented their research, "Multivariate Analysis of Factors' Influencing Graduations of Participants in Drug Court" at the 60th annual Southwestern Psychological Association conference held April 3-5 in San Antonio, Tex. The group received a first-place recognition from the Society for Applied Multivariate Research (SAMR).

The RSU group's research investigated the factors that determine success or failure in a court-mandated drug court program during a five-year period to discover any gaps in delivery that may exist within the program. Overall, their research found the drug court program significantly lowers recidivism rates for Tulsa County offenders, which means the program works and significantly helps to reduce crime in our area.

"There is no better evidence of the abilities of our students than the fact that they won first place in the research competition at SWPA," said Dr. Kevin M.P. Woller, RSU psychology professor. "They represented Psi Chi (The International Honor Society in Psychology) and RSU in an exceptional fashion, and I am proud of their research and accomplishments."

"It was such an amazing experience to be able to collaborate with professors on this level of research as an undergraduate," said Neeley, a community counseling major from Tulsa. "This is an opportunity that many other universities do not offer and I feel as though my education was greatly enhanced by it."

SPWA participants must go through a rigorous submission process and not all research is accepted for presentation.

"I am so thankful for the opportunity to help conduct some real world research here at RSU. It has been such an enriching experience for me both personally and academically," said Hathaway, a community counseling major from Claremore. "Dr. Kirk and Dr. Woller are amazing mentors, and I am grateful for being able to work with them."

SWPA advances scientific, professional and educational activities within the nine-state region that includes Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. At its annual meeting, SWPA offers paper, poster, continuing education sessions, workshops, symposia and invited talks.

For more information, visit www.swpsych.org.