Number 47, November 24, 2015
David Warden '16 has the credit hours to graduate this December with a B.S. in Psychology, but he's discovered a couple of classes he'd like to fit in before commencement in May 2016, while he's applying to graduate schools. The Dean's List student, who is the recipient of the Marquess Psychology Scholarship awarded by the College Foundation, was also named the Outstanding Student in Psychology (Senior) during the 2015 Honors Day Program on May 1.
The Kingsland resident came to Coastal Georgia not knowing what he wanted to do, but recognizing he'd need a college degree. He opted for proximity to home and cost effectiveness rather than expensive experimentation at a larger college or university.
"I started college anticipating a history major, but I found myself more interested in helping people in the present time rather than studying the historic impact of peoples' actions in the past," he said. "Psychology is a broad discipline with many topics and approaches. Through clinical psychology, for instance, I can hopefully understand people better and study processes related to their psychological wellbeing."
Intrigued by what he was learning, and with the mental discipline and intensity to enjoy independent research, Warden began exploring material in more depth through undergraduate research and project presentations at research conferences.
"The topics I've spent the most time with are related to nontraditional student academic achievement and also the stigma of mental illness," he noted. He has presented research at three conferences during 2015: the Southeastern Psychological Association conference in Hilton Head, the Georgia Psychological Society conference in Augusta, and the Symposium for Service-learning and Undergraduate Research on the CCGA campus.
He has collaborated with fellow students as well as Dr. Kimberly Kinsey-Mannahan and Dr. Charlsie A. Myers, Assistant Professors of Psychology at Coastal Georgia. The co-authored posters and paper sessions have included team research on the impact of feature films on perceptions of people with mental disorders; investigations of the relationships between acute pain perception, mood, and creativity as well as between mood, self-perception, and creativity; academic achievement among traditional and non-traditional college students; and childhood socioeconomic status factors as predictors of personality ("the prestige effect").
In addition to research, Warden works as a tutor for TRiO and participates in the campus Psychology Club, which provides social networking with like-minded students and professors. During the 2016 spring and summer terms, he'll explore working at a spectrum of human service agencies – opportunities that might inspire new research and investigation topics as well as broaden his pre-graduate school experiences.