April 9, 2014 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Students in Professor Marcie Penner-Wilger’s PSYCH 4694 (Collaborative Research in Applications of Psychological Science) developed research-based solutions to real-world problems facing our community. Team and project information can be found below.

Student teams presented their solutions to a panel of community members on March 18th. The Agnes Penner Prize, for the project with the greatest potential to benefit society, was awarded by the panel to Sowing Seeds. Congratulations to Jesica, Myles and Kendra. 

PSYCH 4694 also has a course blog, The Rorshack, where students write entries about recent, relevant research in psychology - aimed at a general audience. Check it out at http://therorshack.blogspot.ca

Sowing Seeds - A Healthy Eating and Nutrition Program for Grade One Students
Jesica Mikkila, Myles Maillet and Kendra Di Bacco are fourth year students in the 
Honours Specialization in Psychology program at King’s.

The Sowing Seeds team is comprised on three health-conscious, fourth year King’s psychology students, who aim to make this world a better place by combining our knowledge of psychology with our passion for living a healthy lifestyle. Obesity rates in Canada have been increasing over the last few decades, and this has been linked to several chronic illnesses and poor physical and mental development. Research suggests an important factor in reducing the prevalence of obesity is by improving dietary quality, which can be done by increasing the number of fruits and vegetables that people are consuming.

The Sowing Seeds Program specifically targets the eating habits of first grade children because it is a critical period for mental and physical development, and is a vital time for creating long-term healthy eating habits. Our program is a multi-faceted healthy eating and nutrition program with the primary goal of increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables children are eating, along with increasing children’s enjoyment for and knowledge about these foods. The Sowing Seeds Program contains interactive classroom lesson plans, brochures to be sent home to parents, a manual for building, maintaining and harvesting an indoor school garden, as well as a study designed to test the effectiveness of the program. Our program was awarded the Agnes-Penner Prize by a panel of community judges for being the project with the most potential to benefit the community.

Contact Info:

Myles Maillet mmaillet@uwo.ca 
Jesica Mikkila jmikkia@uwo.ca 
Kendra Di Bacco kdibacc@uwo.ca 

PEARS – Psychological Education, Awareness, and Reduction of Stigma

Rylan Waring, Adam Newton, Katie Hart, and Josh Hanna and are third year students in the
Honours Specialization in Psychology program at King’s. 

There is a lack of mental health knowledge in the community that leads to stigmatization of youth with mental health problems and prevents help seeking. The four of us have a passion for helping others and have a deep interest in mental health as well as the issues connected with mental health in our community. As a group we have created and developed, PEARS which is a research-based, mental health education program for youth that contains seven lessons that are designed to create awareness about mental health and reduce mental health stigma. We presented our program and concept to a panel of community experts on March 18th, following this presentation we have been nominated for a Canadian Mental Health Association Award and have been contacted by various community organizations including Crouch Neighbourhood Resource Centre, the City of London, King’s University College, and St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary School for opportunities to implement our program.

To learn more about our program we can be contacted at PEARS.mentalhealth@gmail.com or visit our website at www.pearsmentalhealth.webs.com

King’s Academic Mentoring Program (KAMP)

Pavlina Faltynek, Chad Buckland and Canaan Legault are fourth year students in the
Honours Specialization in Psychology program at King’s.

Our team came together to encourage student involvement in the King’s academic community. Recent data from the National Survey of Student Engagement has shown that students are slipping behind in student engagement and community involvement, such as participating in internships, research with faculty and collaborative learning. Our goals are to increase student engagement, help students identify academic goals and encourage academic growth through research based solutions. To accomplish these goals the KAMP program will enlist the aid of senior students in good academic standing to become peer mentors to inexperienced or struggling students.

As the psychology student representative for this year Canaan values the student experience and seeks to help incoming students adjust to the King’s community of academic excellence. Working at the Write Place Chad has had the opportunity to speak with many students about their progress in classes and their expectations about their degree. Pavlina is a first-generation student who understands the difficulties faced by students who have not benefitted from the second hand knowledge of family graduates. The student mentors will organize monthly broad topic meetings while simultaneously holding one-on-one meetings with their mentees to help foster student’s academic interests and design specific trajectories to help students achieve those goals. Currently our team is scheduled to present at this year’s Education Policy Committee in collaboration with the Associate Academic Dean’s Office and put forward a budget and plan for implementation in the coming academic year. If you have any questions about our program, are interested in becoming involved or becoming a mentor don’t hesitate to contact us.

Chad Buckland cbucklan@uwo.ca
Pavlina Faltynek pfaltyne@uwo.ca
Canaan Legault  clegaul5@uwo.ca