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Pictured are psychology professors Robert McInerney, Ph.D., and Brent Robbins, Ph.D., with undergraduate Point Park psychology students. | Photo submitted by McInerney

Point Park University psychology students and faculty presented their research work March 26 - 29 at the Eighth Annual Conference of the Society for Humanistic Psychology (led by Division 32 of the American Psychological Association) at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

Psychology professors Robert McInerney, Ph.D., Brent Dean Robbins, Ph.D., and Matthew Allen, Ph.D., accompanied the students on the trip.

The student trip was arranged by the Confluence Psychology Alliance student group and supported by United Student Government, the Department of Humanities and Human Sciences and James Thomas, Ed.D., associate vice president for Academic and Student Affairs.

Psychology students, faculty present research in Chicago

"The conference was not only academically enriching, but also awe-inspiring. The opportunity to network and participate in presentations with leaders in the field of humanistic psychology further clarified why this is the route I chose for my life," remarked Nicolas Scott Moran, a senior psychology major. "This trip would not have been possible without the support of Dr. Robert McInerney."

"When you are part of such a diverse group, who are all, in their own ways, working toward the same ends, it's transformative. It was enlightening to be a part of such a caring, thoughtful, open and energetic community," said M.A. in clinical-community psychology student Kevin Gallagher.

The focus of this year's conference was "Humanistic [R]evolution: Innovative Relevance in a Complex World."

"Our programs take a humanistic approach to psychology, so this was a great opportunity for our students to interact and learn from some of the best minds in the field. However, most thrilling for me was hearing such universal acclaim for our students from my colleagues, who were very impressed with the outstanding work our students are doing. They made us very proud," said Robbins.

"The students networked and met graduate faculty from other universities as well as some of the scholars they were reading about and referencing in their own research," added McInerney.

"The constructive feedback each of us received during our poster sessions brought new joy and excitement to the research we've been engaged in," explained Moran.

At the conference, Point Park students and faculty led three symposiums:

  • "Teaching Humanistic-Existential Community Psychology Using Richard Brautigan's In Watermelon Sugar" - Robert McInerney, Ph.D., and B.A. in psychology students Calla Kainaroi and Jeremy Southdown
  • "Four Authors in Search of Love: Implications of the Film 'Her' for Understanding Love Relationships in a Post-Millenial World" - Brent Dean Robbins, Ph.D., with colleagues Kevin Keenan, Sarah Kass and Ann Smith
  • "Anarchism and Phenomenology: Derridean Supplements for Social Change" - M.A. in clinical-community psychology students Justin Karter and Kevin Gallagher

In addition, the following Point Park undergraduate psychology students presented posters at the conference:

  • "A qualitative study of perseverance through hardship" - Keith Christman
  • "The phenomenology of having difficulty with verbal expression while exploring alternative means of expression" - Calla Kainaroi
  • "A hermeneutical understanding of phobias" - Brenda McGrath
  • "An interpretive-phenomenological analysis of societal influences on homosexual males' formation and transformation of sexual identity" - Nicholas Moran
  • "A phenomenological-hermeneutic exploration of the self as a creaturely assemblage" - Jeremy Southdown
  • "A phenomenological analysis of how individuals respond to various architectural environments" - Alexander Porto
  • "A phenomenological analysis of the therapeutic potential of nature" - Christina Wisniewski

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