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Blinn psychology students present research at Southwestern Psychological Association conference

Students hope to present additional findings during the summer at the American Psychological Association's Annual Convention

Students hope to present additional findings during the summer at the American Psychological Association's Annual Convention

May 22, 2023

Three Blinn College District students recently presented their research findings at one of the southwestern region’s premier psychology conferences.

Ella Kistler, Avery Mitchell, and Olivia Queen attended the Southwestern Psychological Association (SWPA) Annual Convention in Frisco, where they participated in a poster session to discuss their work with Psychology Professor and Assistant Academic Dean Dr. Katherine Wickes. Their poster, “The role of religiosity, generosity, and happiness in college student success,” focused on how these attributes related to overall wellness and academic achievement.

“We had a lot of people see our work. This experience impacted my goals and inspired me to work on more research projects in the future,” said Mitchell, a Cypress native who will transfer to Texas A&M University in fall 2023. “This project really opened my eyes to how exciting research can be and that you can learn so much about your community through statistics.”

The team, all members of Blinn’s Psi Beta psychology honors society, used survey data from Blinn students to conduct their analysis. They compared existing data for several variables from 2016 with survey data collected in 2022 to determine the change on the outlook of students. The data indicates that students were less happy and grateful in 2022 compared to 2016, with happiness still correlating to overall student wellness.

“This experience is something you don’t often get at a community college and very rarely get even at a four-year institution,” said Wickes, Psi Beta’s faculty advisor. “Blinn is unique as a community college in allowing students to have access to an individual research experience where they can work with a faculty member, see through a research project, and present their work at regional and national conferences.”

The SWPA is the official American Psychological Association (APA) affiliate for the southwestern region of the United States. The organization’s mission is to promote and encourage scientific, professional, and educational initiatives in the psychological community.

“This project was a unique opportunity for me. I didn’t understand how important it was until I realized most students don’t work on these types of research projects until their senior year or even at the graduate level,” Mitchell said. “The connections I made with Psi Beta have really influenced my ultimate goal to go to medical school or even pursue a doctorate in psychology.”

As a result of the interest their project received at the conference, the team plans to attend the APA’s 2023 Annual Convention, which will be held in August in Washington, D.C.

Blinn’s Psychology Program offers Associate of Science and Associate of Arts degrees in psychology and students can complete the degree online or on any of Blinn’s five campuses.

Through the RELLIS Academic Alliance, Blinn psychology students can pursue their Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Bachelor of Science in Health Science from West Texas A&M University, or their Bachelor of Science in Public Administration from Tarleton State University. All three bachelor’s degree programs are offered at Texas A&M-RELLIS in Bryan.

Through the Clear Affordable Pathways to Success (CAPS) Program offered in partnership with the University of Houston-Victoria (UHV), psychology students can earn their Associate of Arts in Psychology from Blinn and their Bachelor of Science in Psychology from UHV.

To learn more about Blinn’s psychology degree offerings and partnerships, visit

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