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Three Seniors Recognized for Excellence in Psychology


Three Bridgewater College seniors, Bethany Hansberger, Jessica Langlois and Tara Nicely, were recognized for excellence with the Donald R. Witters Awards in Psychology during the annual awards convocation on May 1.

The psychology awards are named in honor of Dr. Donald R. Witters, who retired at the end of the 2005-2006 academic year as professor of psychology emeritus. He joined the Bridgewater College faculty in 1968 as a professor of psychology and served as chair of the department from 1990 to 1996.

The winners’ names will be added to a plaque in the psychology department and each will receive a Bridgewater College throw.

Hansberger received the Outstanding Research Award, presented for excellence in demonstrated research and potential to contribute to the knowledge base within the discipline. An athletic training and psychology double major, she is the daughter of Neil and Luanna Hansberger of Sterling, Va. She completed an honors research project “Can Self-talk be Primed? Effect of Various Types of Self-talk on Performance and Self-talk Utilization.”

Langlois was presented the Outstanding Academic Performer Award, which recognizes consistent, superior performance in the classroom. A psychology and philosophy and religion double major, Langlois is the daughter of Frank and Theresa Denaro of Farmville, Va. Her honors project was “‘As We Forgive those Who Trespass Against Us:’ The Effect of Religiosity on Forgiveness.”

Both Hansberger and Langlois presented their research at the Virginia Psychological Association’s Spring Conference in Norfolk, Va., on April 26.

Nicely received the Outstanding Leadership Award, given to a psychology student who has demonstrated leadership across the campus. Nicely, a psychology major with a minor in neuroscience, is the daughter of Randy and Pamela Nicely of New Market, Va. She completed an honors project, “The Longitudinal Effects of Alcohol and Caffeine on Anxiety, Reward, and Depression in Mice.”

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