Elon Psychology Department presents three end-of-year awards

The department recognized students with the outstanding student, research excellence and community engagement excellence awards

The Psychology Department offers annual awards to select seniors in recognition for their achievements. This year, members of the department are pleased to announce three award winners.

Sophia Templeton ’23 received the Seena Granowsky Outstanding Student in Psychology Award. This award recognizes a senior psychology major who has shown outstanding academic achievement and service to the field of psychology through internships, research, or participation in psychology organizations. She was nominated by her mentor, Professor Maureen Vandermaas-Peeler, who said in her nomination, “Sophia is an Odyssey Scholar and an Honors Fellow who has made significant contributions to our department and the university throughout her four years at Elon. In her honors thesis research, Sophia conducted a mixed-methods study, with surveys, interviews, and a curriculum activity, to examine the ways that parents and preschool teachers facilitate connections between children’s learning at home and in preschool.

Sophia Templeton (right) with research mentor Maureen Vandermaas-Peeler (left)

“What I particularly love about Sophia’s research is that she dreamed of making a difference with her research and was able to enact this goal. Sophia presented her research at the Southeastern Psychological Association and is working on a manuscript for publication. In addition to her extensive research experiences, Sophia actively serves as a near-peer mentor for new psychology majors and honors fellows, as well as teens in the Village Project. Sophia has contributed significantly to our campus community through these and many other efforts.”

Tiffany Pham ’23 received the Research Excellence in Psychology Award. This award recognizes a senior psychology major who has shown excellence in commitment to the undergraduate research process through the completion of either independent or collaborative research that contributes to the field of psychology. She was nominated by her mentor, Assistant Professor Sabrina Thurman, who said in her nomination, “Since she began, Tiffany has logged over 700 hours of research work, and her dedication to research is apparent. She has applied for and received Undergraduate Research Program Grant-in-Aid funds, was recognized as a Provost Scholar, and has presented her research at national undergraduate and international professional conferences.

Tiffany Pham (right) with her research mentor Sabrina Thurman (left)

“Across these endeavors, Tiffany has brought a patient, informed, and critical eye to her research. She goes far beyond simply following directions, and seeks to understand her research thoroughly. I have been consistently impressed with Tiffany’s attention to detail, dedication to her work, high degree of professionalism, and skill in taking ownership of her project. On top of all this, she is an extremely pleasant person to collaborate with – she is a cheerful, kind, and highly valued member of my research team. I will certainly miss seeing her in our lab meetings after she graduates from Elon!”

Jenna Sudol received the Community Engagement Excellence in Psychology Award. This award recognizes a senior psychology major who has shown excellence in commitment to applying knowledge of psychology in the community through participation in internships, service learning, or other service projects.

Jenna Sudol

She was nominated by her mentor, Assistant Professor Ilyssa Salomon, who said in her nomination, “Jenna has been a trip leader for Elon Outdoors for two and a half years, and she has a true passion for adventure-based learning. She was able to channel that interest into an original research project exploring the impact of social media use on the relationship between physical activity and mental health. It’s amazing to see Jenna share her appreciation for nature with other students and she has done an excellent job integrating that experience into her honors research project. I know she will continue inspiring others when she leaves Elon and I look forward to seeing her thrive!”

Congratulations Sophia, Tiffany, and Jenna, on this achievement and thank you for all your hard work!