SCU Students Take Honors at Research Symposium

Derrick Smith, a Greensboro, S.C. senior, won the highest honor for his paper presentation of "Developing a Survey Instrument for Assessing the Prevalence of Anti-intellectualism Among Pentecostals" at the Southern Nazarene University Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Students from SCU Professor Dr. Rebecca Wester's "Psychology Research Methods" class won with their poster submission "Empathy and Media Violence Exposure in College Students." They are from left to right: Callie Hollis, Martese Williams, Elizabeth Balderas, Lyndsay Queen, Faith Mincher, Rejoice Mgala, Alex Meyer, Taylor Maloy, and LaDawna Campbell.

Students at Southwestern Christian University continued to demonstrate their academic excellence by winning top awards at the recently completed Southern Nazarene University Undergraduate Research Symposium. The Symposium, now in its seventh year, encourages undergraduates of regional Christian Colleges to complete and present original research and submit paper proposals.

Students in SCU Professor Dr. Rebecca Webster’s “Psychology Research Methods” class won top honors with their poster submission of “Empathy and Media Violence Exposure in College Students.”

 Derrick Smith, a Greensboro, N.C. senior, won with his paper presentation “Developing a Survey Instrument for Assessing the Prevalence of Anti-intellectualism Among Pentecostals,” in the Social Sciences Division.

 “We are extremely proud of the professional and excellent manner in which our students represented their departments and their university,” Webster said.

 The class poster submission investigated the relationship between exposure to media violence, gender, and empathy in college students. A total of 137 college students were surveyed as to the amount of time they were exposed to violent media including television, movies, music videos and video games, etc.

The results were then put into the Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale (BEES) and used to evaluate levels of empathy in the survey participants.

 The study showed that there was no major difference between female and male scores to the amount of exposure to violent imagery compared with the norm; and no major differences between males and females regarding their emotional empathy scores.

While the results were viewed as preliminary, the group concluded that more research needs to be done to determine if violent media exposure impacts the empathy in college students.

The students involved in the project are as follows: Elizabeth Balderas, Oklahoma City (Santa Fe South) senior; LaDawna Campbell, Seminole senior; Sara Foster, Pampa, Texas senior; Kaylee Gernandt, Yukon junior; Callie Hollis, Shawnee, senior;  Jonathan Maloy, Midwest City senior; Alexandra Meyer, Tulsa (Union) senior; Rejoice Mgala, Blantyre, Malawi junior; Faith Mincher, Caney Valley junior; Lyndsay Queen, Westmoore senior; Wynter Raghoebar, Sasakwa junior; Ariel Stillwell, Durant junior; and Martese Williams, Seminole, junior.

Smith’s paper examined if there was a statistically measurable trend toward increased intellectualism among Pentecostals while examining the extent of engagement in systematic teaching of these beliefs and practices were distinctive to be measured.