SUU Shines at National Cross Cultural Research Convention
February 27, 2009
The SUU community sent an impressive contingent to the 38th annual meeting of the Society For Cross-Cultural Research (SCCR) last week in Las Vegas, Nevada to engage in the conference and hear one of their own deliver the society's Presidential address.
Six students joined Dr. David Shwalb, an associate professor of psychology at SUU and past-president of SCCR, and other faculty representatives at the conference.
Founded in 1971, SCCR is a multi-disciplinary organization whose members are professionals and students from the social science fields of psychology, anthropology, sociology, and related fields including education, family studies, social work, human development, psychiatry, communications, ethnic studies, and business.
Shwalb's address, titled, "Respect and Repaying the Indebtedness - a Cross-Cultural and Professional Perspectives" outlined Shwalb's own concepts of cross-cultural respect and presented his answers to age old questions on the gain and loss of respect in society.
Recalling the address Shwalb said, "The reaction was very positive. When I talked about my own mentors from college and graduate school, I told people how important it is for us professors to take the students' point of view. When two of my professors gave me an A grade in a course my first year of graduate school, it might have made the difference between my staying in school and quitting at the time. A professor might not realize that sometimes these things mean more to a student than the professor could realize. The audience really seemed to connect with the topic of respect, because they all knew people they respected and all wanted to be respected. We all have mentors and people who lift us up or bring us down and I felt like I struck a chord with that topic, among both the students and the professors in the audience."
Shwalb's colleagues clearly agreed.
Marsha Garber, a Lecturer in the SUU Psychology Department said, "Dr. Shwalb delivered a moving Presidential Address encouraging us to credit and acknowledge our mentors and influences. The conference and the banquet provided numerous opportunities to become better acquainted with both Drs. David and his wife, SUU Professor Barbara Shwalb, and to appreciate the obvious regard held for them by colleagues representing a global academic community. They are warm, brilliant, dedicated scholars who bring enormous benefit to the SUU community."
Garber added, "The SCCR conference also gave SUU students a chance to interact closely with an august body of scholars, hear current faculty and graduate student research and gain a wider appreciation of the interdisciplinary opportunities for study should they elect to continue in school. They were also provided with the opportunities to meet students and faculty from institutions around the world. I was able to interact with a diverse and international group of students, professors and deans while making connections that will assist my future research efforts."
SUU's student participants were quick to add their accolades to the conference as well.
Jeremy Sun, a junior Psychology Major from Queens, New York said, "I loved the SCCR Conference. It really made SUU students feel that they can be involved and make an impact in the field of Psychology. The conference really gave the students a "hands on" experience of what research is going on in the real world. It also demonstrated how much of an impact SUU Research has on the world. It was remarkable to see professors from Harvard, Yale, University of New Hampshire and other prestigious universities listen and watch Dr. David Shwalb and other SUU Professors speak and present research. "
Added, Shaun Lindsay, a Master of Professional Communication student from Manti, Utah, "I was impressed about how comfortable it was, yet very professional. I was able to network with many individuals - students, and professionals from other universities. It also presented the name and credentials of SUU to individuals that had no prior knowledge of what we have to offer."
Grant C. Corser, a Southern Utah University Psychology Professor, along with two of his SUU students, Kevin Vaughn and Shaun Lindsay, and a colleague Joseph Goodman, from Illinois State University also presented a paper at the conference. The presentation examined comparisons between Romanians and United States citizens on what are called meta-emotion traits, meaning how people experience and interpret their emotional responses and reactions.
On the conference's result, Shwalb added, "It was very successful - we were really lucky to have among our attendees leading worldwide experts on child development, family violence, and parenting. One of the nicest things about the conference was that there was a mix of generations - I saw a 20-year old student talking one-on-one after a speech with an 85 year-old scholar. It was great to see our students and professors networking with other students and scholars not only from around the U.S., but also from Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and South America.
Speaking about future conference opportunities, SUU student Gwen Bostick, a junior psychology major from Cedar City, said, "I believe that attendance at a meeting of the Society for Cross-Cultural Research would greatly benefit any university student, especially those who are native to Utah. As other cultures are learning about the West, so too do we need to learn about other parts of the world. Attending was a very positive experience for me as an undergraduate student in psychology. It was exciting to learn about the ongoing research on so many different cultures and encouraging realizing that we might use this information to better understand one another. "
Other students attending were Diana Baldwin, Becky Bostick, and Kevin Vaughn. And Twila Kay, a senior German and Psychology major from St. George, UT.