The peer-reviewed article by the professor of the Psychology Department and Neuroscience Program describes how cohort-building and belongingness can support both student success and faculty research productivity.
Amy Overman, professor in the Psychology Department and Neuroscience Program in Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences, recently published a peer-reviewed article titled "Strategies for Group-Level Mentoring of Undergraduates: Creating a Laboratory Environment That Supports Publications and Funding" in the journal Frontiers in Psychology.
In the article, Overman outlines several strategies she has implemented to support her students' research work at a group level, in addition to the one-on-one research mentoring she provides. The strategies are organized according to the principles of shared vision, interlocking projects, and lab community. The article also relates these strategies to research findings that have demonstrated the benefits of cohort-building and belongingness to student success, particularly for students from underrepresented groups in STEM fields.
Overman is principal investigator of the Cognitive Neuroscience of Memory and Aging Laboratory, where she and her mentored students conduct experiments on memory, with a particular focus on differences in associative memory between young and older adults. In the past decade, 11 of her peer-reviewed journal articles and 40 of her conference presentations have been co-authored with undergraduate students, and she was a recipient of the 2017 Elon College Excellence in Mentoring Award. The majority of her mentored students are women who have gone on to careers in biomedical and related fields.
In addition to directly mentoring students in cognitive neuroscience research, Overman also contributes to scholarly efforts focused on increasing student success through transparent and effective teaching and learning practices based on evidence from the learning sciences. These efforts have included invited addresses to faculty, scholarly presentations at faculty development conferences, and an innovative, grant-funded project aimed at educating first-year college students about how to be successful learners.
Frontiers in Psychology is ranked as one of the most-cited journals in the areas of Multidisciplinary Psychology and General Psychology, and has an Impact Factor of 2.089, according to the 2017 edition of Journal Citation Reports. Overman's article was included in a special issue on the research topic "Engaging Undergraduates in Publishable Research: Best Practices."