Budding researchers from Red Bank Catholic had the honor of presenting their work at the Annual Eastern Psychological Association (EPA) Conference, held in New York City on March 2nd. Mr. Keith Gissubel, AP Psychology teacher, created the College Externship program at RBC in 2009. Each year since its inception, a group of his students from this program “has been the only, or one of the very few” high school groups to be invited by the EPA to present at its conference. He adds that “RBC is the only high school in the area that offers this type of program.” In prior years, RBC students have presented their work at EPA Conferences held in Boston, Pittsburg and New York City.
Mr. Gissubel explains that the Externship Program “pairs students with Psychology professors at Monmouth University, Georgian Court and TCNJ,” where they assist those professors with their research. The goal of the program is to teach the students all aspects of psychological research. According to Gissubel, they are “creating hypotheses, collecting data, analyzing results” then putting the completed research into presentation form.
This year the Association selected for presentation research undertaken by RBC seniors Bernadette Boffice and Meghan Swan. They assisted TCNJ professor Dr. Julie Hughes in conducting research on the links between adult ethnic attitudes and childhood experiences. Bernadette, who plans to study Biochemistry, says the externship “is a great opportunity for us to have practical experience and be a real part of the whole research process.” Meghan adds, “It has been so interesting to apply what we are learning in class to actual research in the lab. I am definitely more interested in pursuing a degree in Psychology.” Each viewed the conference as a rare opportunity to showcase their hard work to professionals. Mr. Gissubel believes that “the experience will boost their confidence and leave them well-prepared for future research and presentations.”