We celebrated Psychology week, November 12 - 18, by recognising some of our talented staff and student achievements.
Associate Professor Kristin Laurens
Associate Professor Kristin Laurens. Photo courtesy of Bruce Usher Photography, for the Schizophrenia Research Institute, Australia.
Associate Professor Kristin Laurens’ four-year Australian Research Council Future Fellowship is helping build a research group of staff and students in the ACU School of Psychology Brisbane that is focused on determining the interplay between social, emotional, behavioural and cognitive functions during childhood and adolescence, and supporting every child in achieving healthy development and positive learning outcomes.
Awarded in June this year, for the period July 2017 – June 2021, the Fellowship research examines the role of social-emotional learning in attaining literacy and numeracy.
The project utilises innovative longitudinal analytical approaches and data from a population cohort of almost 90,000 Australian children.
Its aims are to characterise variability in developmental pathways to literacy and numeracy, and the factors that contribute to this variation.
This project expects to generate new knowledge on the role of school-based social-emotional learning programs in supporting children’s achievement of literacy and numeracy.
This Fellowship is helping me to develop collaborative links with stakeholders and education partners who are focused on supporting children’s learning and healthy development, so that my research can help inform the development of new policy and practice in this area,” says Associate Professor Laurens.
Expected outcomes of the project include enhanced collaboration with government to deliver policy-relevant information on the most effective targets and timing for delivering social-emotional programs that maximise academic learning.
This should assist policy makers to develop better strategies to support every child’s academic achievement.
PhD student Mathew Pfeiffer
Mathew Pfeiffer, PhD student, ACU Institute for Positive Psychology and Education.
PhD student Mathew Pfeiffer represented ACU and the Institute for Positive Psychology and Education at the Asia-Pacific 3-Minute Thesis (3MT) competition in September, where fifty-five universities from across Australia, New Zealand and Asia put forward one PhD student to present their research in less than three minutes using a single PowerPoint slide.
The competition cultivates students’ academic, presentation and research communication skills.
"It was such an honor to represent my research institute and university throughout this incredible initiative,” said Mathew.
Besides developing my own presentation and research communication skills, this experience exposed me to all sorts of exciting research undertaken by fellow students in a fun, supportive and collaborative environment.”
Mathew is undertaking the combined Master of Psychology (Clinical) / Doctor of Philosophy at the ACU Strathfield Campus.
He is a recipient of the Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship, formerly known as Australian Postgraduate Award.
This Commonwealth Government scholarship is awarded to students of exceptional research potential to undertake a higher degree by research at an Australian university.
Mathew's research examines the short and long-term effects of outdoor adventure education on adolescent self-concept, life effectiveness and locus of control.
His research provides insights into how outdoor education may be effectively integrated in schools’ curriculum to promote healthy development in students with benefits that last.
ACU’s psychology students, alumni and staff are part of a vibrant research culture, with psychology at ACU rated above world standard, according to the recent Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) assessment.