Psychology major Cassondra Chadwell, a UVa-Wise senior, conducted research that suggests that expressions of gratitude and positive affect can improve a person’s perception of relationships.
The Big Stone Gap native found that gratitude only worked if it was effortful. Chadwell’s research, conducted under the guidance of Professor Madelynn Shell, suggests that interventions that increase positive affect could improve positive relationships over time. According to Chadwell, her findings could be used to improve relationships in general or could be used for specific groups to form or maintain positive relationships.
Chadwell presented her research “Gratitude and Positive Affect as Predictors of Positive Relationships,” at the Southeastern Psychological Association’s regional conference in Hilton Head, South Carolina.
“It was very exciting and eye opening,” she said. “It opened a lot of doors. I got to meet with students with similar ambitions and goals, and the public speaking aspect was beneficial.”
Chadwell began her work by noting earlier research that suggested positive social relationships have the potential to impact emotional and psychological well-being, and that it is critical to identify factors that can predict the formation and maintenance of such relationships. Her study attempted to identify whether expressing gratitude improves positive relationships and if this is moderated by effort put into gratitude expression.
To conduct her research, Chadwell used 140 students who completed pretest measures, including perceptions of positive relationships and positive affect. During the survey, the participants kept an online journal for at least four days a week for nearly a month. Those participating were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. The experimental group was asked to list three things they were grateful for each day and the control group listed three things they did each day. All participants rated the amount of effort put into each day’s journal. At the end of the journal project, participants once again reported on their perceptions of positive relationships.
She found that the expressions of gratitude improved a person’s perception of relationships and that focusing on expressing that gratitude could improve how a person views their relationships.
“The biggest thing was the writing,” she said. “Writing in psychology is key, and my writing has improved. The public speaking and the experience of getting up there and explaining my research gave me more confidence for my plans to go on to graduate school.”
Chadwell said working with Professor Shell was beneficial on many levels.
“She had been in my shoes before and had seen it from a student’s perspective,” Chadwell explained. “She was able to give me feedback and constructive comments, and that was always helpful, especially when I got discouraged.”
The next step for Chadwell, after she graduates in May, is to sort her choices for graduate school. She is considering several, but is seriously considering a program in industrial organizational psychology.
She has enjoyed her time at UVa-Wise and said the personalized attention she received from faculty and staff helped her along the way.
“They always want us to succeed as students and pushed me out of my comfort zone,” she said.
In her spare time, Chadwell enjoys running and hiking. She is president of Psi Chi, public relations officer for the Student Activities Board, involved in the National Society of Leadership and Service and Delta Iota, and she will soon be inducted into the Darden Society.
John D. Simon, executive vice president and provost of the University of Virginia, will deliver the commencement address to The University of Virginia’s College at Wise Class of 2015.
Commencement 2015 is set for May 9 at 11 a.m. in the David J. Prior Convocation Center.
As provost, Simon, who is also the Robert C. Taylor Professor of Chemistry, is charged with directing the academic administration of the University’s 11 schools, its library, art museum, public service activities, numerous University centers, foreign study programs and the advancement of teaching and research.
Provost Simon served as the vice-provost for academic affairs at Duke University from 2005 to 2011. In that position, he was responsible for overseeing Duke’s strategic planning and for nurturing campus-wide academic initiatives to connect the humanities, social sciences and sciences. He chaired Duke’s chemistry department from 1999-2004.
He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Williams College in 1979 and his doctorate degree from the department of chemistry of Harvard University in 1983. After a postdoctoral fellowship at UCLA, Simon joined the department of chemistry and biochemistry there in 1985. He later moved to Duke University as the George B. Gellar Professor in 1998.
A fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Physical Society, Simon has earned many fellowships and awards for his scientific work, including the Presidential Young Investigator Award, Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher Scholar Award and the Fresenius Award.
UVa-Wise student Casey Page, a member of the College’s bluegrass band, has helped launch a project to raise money for the Wise County Food Bank after it was destroyed last month by heavy snow.
Page, with help from the Wesley Foundation, organized the Highland Bluegrass Benefit Festival. The event is set for April 16 at 7 p.m. in the David J. Prior Convocation Center at UVa-Wise.
“I love bluegrass,” the Pound resident said. “I thought it would be good to take my love of bluegrass and use it to raise money for the Food Bank.”
Page, a senior music education major, has been a fan of traditional mountain music since he was a child. He grew up in the Old Regular Baptist Church and listened to the music on the radio as his family drove to church.
“I love the traditional mountain instruments,” he said. “I later learned to sing in church.”
His work with the UVa-Wise Bluegrass Band put him in a unique situation to put his plan to help the Food Bank in action. Organizers hope to raise $15,000 for the Food Bank.
All proceeds for the benefit go to the Food Bank. As of April 1, the UVa-Wise Bluegrass Band, Angel Rose, Rush Creek, Poplar Hill Reunion and Tommy Shortt are performing. Doors will open at 6 p.m. the evening of the concert for general seating admission.
All tickets are sold by donation, and organizers suggest donations of $10 for bleacher seats and $30 for floor seats. Tickets are available at the Prior Center Box Office or from the Wesley Foundation, located near Alumni Hall across from campus. Call the Prior Center Box office at 276-376-3431 or the Wesley Foundation 276-328-6826 to reserve tickets. Tickets may also be purchased from Wesley Fellowship student leaders and campus minister Beth Tipton.
In addition, organizers will collect non-perishable food items during the event.
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UVa-Wise Professor Jennifer Murray’s lecture on “The Culture of Civil War Commemorations” will on the April 11 at 8 p.m.broadcast of C-Span’s Lectures in History Series.
Murray’s lecture will explore the indelible imprint of the Civil War on America society and Americans’ collective memory. The history professor will address themes of sectional reconciliation, the interplay between race and reunion, and Civil War veterans’ deliberate construction of a wartime narrative that championed the heroism and valor of Union and Confederate soldiers, while deliberately ignoring the war’s causes and consequences.
Using the Gettysburg battlefield as a case study, Murray will explore the means in which the Civil War’s culture of commemoration manifested itself into American memory and upon the national landscape. This lecture is part of Murray’s History 3705 course “America In the Gilded Age.”
Murray is the author of “On A Great Battlefield”: The Making, Management, and Memory of Gettysburg National Military Park, 1933-2013. Her book explores the nexus of landscape preservation, interpretation, and memory at Gettysburg National Military Park and contributes to the historiography by moving the discussion beyond the July 1863 battle to a contemporary discussion of America’s association with battlefields as memorial landscapes. Nominated for the Lincoln Prize, the Tom Watson Brown Prize, the U.S. Army’s Distinguished Book Award, the Bachelder-Coddington Award, “On A Great Battlefield” already has been named one of the top Civil War books of 2014 by the Civil War Monitor. Murray received her doctorate from Auburn University and joined the UVa-Wise faculty as an assistant professor in 2012.
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The UVa-Wise lacrosse team has joined a national campaign to support programs that are designed to prevent young adult suicide and to raise awareness of warning signs of suicide.
Coach Meghan Dennehy and her team are working with LAX-4-LIFE, a program that began with the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Womens Lacrosse Coaches about six years ago. According to Dennehy, the 10 teams in that conference raised funds for the Allyson Rose Green Memorial Foundation, an organization that was created to help with suicide prevention.
During the Saturday game in Carl Smith Stadium, the lacrosse team, during warm ups, will wear special t-shirts that they are selling to raise money for the project. In addition, the team will have buckets that will be circulated in the stands to allow fans to donate money as well. Lacrosse teams at youth level, high school and college are all working to raise money for the program this season.
“The project has raised a lot of money over the years,” Dennehy said. “About $50,000 has been raised in six years. It is pretty incredible to see the lacrosse community come together behind such a worthy cause.”
Dennehy is proud of her team’s involvement, especially since lacrosse is in its inaugural year at UVa-Wise.
“We will do a moment of silence during the game, and we will read off statistics about suicide and suicide prevention,” she said. “A special flyer will also be inserted in each game program.”
Those who want to donate to the project may do so at the game or contact Dennehy at email@example.com.
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The University of Virginia’s College will host its spring 2015 Coffee Night on Thursday, April 9, at 6:30 p.m. in Cantrell Banquet Hall. The event will host Sara M. Robinson and Rita Quillen.
Coffee Night also features “Spring Highland Voices: Writers and Performers of the College and Community.” All contributors to the 2015 spring edition of the Jimson Weed are welcome to present and the program will be forthcoming. Others in the region who are interested in participating or performing at Coffee Night may contact Damean Mathews, Jimson Weed managing editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org. The event is free and open to the public.
Robinson is a literature instructor at the University of Virginia, co-facilitator of the Blue Ridge Writers Chapter of the Virginia Writers Club, will visit UVa-Wise at the invitation of the Department of Language and Literature, the Department of Communication Studies, and the Jimson Weed, the college’s literary journal. She will also present a public lecture, “The Mechanics of Poetry,” on Friday, April 10, 1:05 p.m., in the Chapel of all Faiths, sponsored by the Lecture Committee and the Department of Language and Literature.
Robinson is the author of two acclaimed books of poetry, “Two Little Girls in a Wading Pool” and “Stones for Words.” Her poems won prizes from the Blue Ridge Writers Chapter and the Virginia Writers Club. Robinson’s poems frequently appear in the online journal of the Poetry Society of Virginia, Piedmont Virginian magazine, Poetica, the 2013 Blue Ridge Anthology, among other anthologies.
Robinson’s public lecture, “The Mechanics of Poetry,” will address her transition from a career in zoology and biology to a life of poetry. She will show how her study of the mechanics of poetry bridges science and literature and contributes to her emergence as a poet.
Quillen, a semifinalist for Virginia’s Poet Laureate in 2012, is the author of four poetry collections,” October Dusk,” “Counting the Sums,” “Her Secret Dream: New and Selected Poems” and “Something to Anchor To.” Her work has been featured in many periodicals and anthologies, such as the award-winning Bloodroot: Appalachian Women Writers and Listen Here: Women Writing Appalachia. Her short story, “Elizabeth’s Lovelife,” earned Honorable Mention in the Harriet Arnow Short Story competition of the Appalachian Writer’s Association in 2002.
A long-time supporter of Coffee Night, Quillen has taught literature, writing, and creative writing at ETSU-Kingsport Center, Northeast State Technical Community College, and Mountain Empire Community College. She received her M.A. from East Tennessee State University. Currently, she is an associate professor of English at MECC. Quillen lives in Southwest Virginia on Early Autumn Farm in Scott County, Virginia.
A book signing will follow both events. Their books are available in the UVa-Wise Bookstore.
For more information, contact College Relations at (276) 376-1027.