Psychology students among eight in NCICU research program

Two students in Campbell University’s School of Education & Human Sciences were among eight in the state chosen for North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities’ Undergraduate Research Program. 

Senior Rebecca Roope and junior Hannah Vogel, both psychology majors, have received funding for their research from NCICU, and both will have an opportunity to participate in the annual State of North Carolina Undergraduate Research and Creativity Symposium in the fall. 

Roope, a native of Hays, North Carolina minoring in sociology, health and wellness, and community leadership and engagement, focused her research on effective teacher preparation in times of crisis, such as school shootings, natural disasters and global pandemics. She said her plan is to explore the social and institutional supports that are related to teacher resilience in dealing with crises using the recent COVID-19 pandemic, exploring teachers and their experience in handling crises successfully in schools. 

“I expect to find that more experienced teachers will feel better prepared in times of crisis and will have more ways in which they are supported,” Roope said. “However, it is possible that newer teachers are more familiar with technology and feel better equipped to handle the crisis.”

Roope said he became interested in the topic, because she hopes to pursue a doctoral program in school psychology after graduation, then pursue that as a career. 

“I will need to know what support is in place for our teachers so that they can best support themselves as well as their students,” she said. “Teachers have and always will play an important role in shaping the future of our society, and the pandemic has highlighted just how important their work is. By providing teachers with the tools and resources they need to succeed, we can help ensure that they can continue to educate and inspire students, even in the face of unprecedented challenges.”

Dr. Laura Lunsford, assistant dean of the School of Education & Human Sciences and professor of psychology, was Roope’s first-generation mentor in her first year at Campbell during the pandemic. She said it’s been a pleasure seeing her develop as a scientific researcher in psychology since that time.

“I am so proud of her, not only to be selected as one of eight students statewide for this honor, but also for her selection this summer as a Howard Research Fellow,” Lunsford said.

Vogel is a native of Windber, Pennsylvania, majoring in psychology with a minor in biology and Spanish. Her research examines the correlation between people with depressive and anxious symptoms, who also present symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). She said the discussion of mental health came up often in her medical Spanish classes this spring, and she learned from a friend who talked about her anxious and depressive states due to untreated ADHD. 

“I thought intently about this and continued to process the information during my shifts at a psychiatric hospital,” Vogel said. “It is evident that individuals often have ADHD tendencies with diagnosis of anxiety, depression or both. There are also cases where patients have been diagnosed with both conditions. Overall, I hypothesize that ADHD may be a precursor to other mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety. As I am only an undergraduate student, I cannot conduct a clinical study regarding this, but I plan to use various psychological examinations to determine potential correlations.”

Dr. Jutta Street, professor of psychology, has known Vogel for a year and said she has already demonstrated passion for research and a “keen ability for original and critical thinking.” 

“This opportunity will allow her to expand her research experience,” Street said. “We are proud that she was selected as one of the recipients of this year’s NCICU award. She is a highly deserving of this honor.”