Developing a Dept Research Culture

Our Program

The Behavioral Sciences Department offers a 4 course sequence in research methods and statistics taught by Drs. LaBianca, Bailey, Helm and McBride and Burnett. As a part of their learning experiences, student conduct their own research projects and present the results to the teachers and their classmates. The teachers work together to select what we think are the best of the projects to submit to the annual Midwest Psychology Association meeting in Chicago in early May. As members of this group, Drs Helm and Bailey particularly work closely with the students to prepare their presentation though all of our faculty work with students to edit, proof, suggest and rehearse.

This is significant for Andrews. The Midwest region contains some of the best colleges and greatest national comprehensive universities in the United States. To get all of our submissions accepted and for one of our students to win a research award beats the odds and continues the tradition of our students winning research awards from this group. I believe that this shows that Andrews students can conduct very scholarly competitive research, that it is important to integrate student research and peer review submission into our curriculum, the importance of mentoring and, perhaps, the strength of double majors. We are very proud of our students as they witness for the quality of an Andrews education in this important venue!

Duane C. McBride, Chair
Behavioral Sciences Department

Faculty Research 2010-2014

Student Research 2009-2014

Research 2014

In 2014, 22 students traveled with our four psychology professors,  Drs. Helm, Burnett, Bailey and Ponce-Rodas, once again to the Midwest Psychological Association in Chicago, May, 2014.  Students who had posters that had been accepted by the MPA are Kristen Bishop, Nathalie Borges, D'Shawn Harrigan, Melissa Baptiste, Cassandra Chlevin and Michael VanderWaal,  Adam LaFave and Omar Gomez,Cindy Bonilla, Fredrica St. Hilaire, Eliana Iller, and Michael VanderWaal had one of his own besides working on one with Ms. Chlevin.

In February, 2014, 10 students traveled with Drs. Raveloharimisy, Burnett, Chelbegean and  Kristen Witzel to the Michigan Academy of Science Arts and Letters Annual Conference held at Oakland University.

CIDP Graduate students Kern Agard and Tunisia Peters  had a poster accepted on “Self-Efficacy and its Implications for Development.”    Kylah Allers’ project was on “Understanding the Relationship of Trauma, Substance Use and Resilience among University Students.”  Laurie Pierre’s research was on “Evaluating NGO’s Strengths and Weaknesses through the Lens of SPHERE’s Core Standards.”

Carlos Ramos, an alumni of Behavioral Sciences and current M.Div. student worked with Dr. Chelbegean on “Pastoral Roles and Their training.”   Carla Veizaga-Udaeta, a Behavioral Sciences alumni and current graduate student with Andrews Education and Psychology Program, worked with Dr. Chelbegean on “Why are you such a Violent Misogynist, Brother? “  “For the Bible tells me so!”, and presented her poster at the same conference.

The following undergraduate students also had posters or presentations accepted at the Michigan Academy of Science Arts and Letters Conference.  Travis O’Reilly  worked with Dr. Chelbegean on “Engagement, Marriage and Gender roles in Deuteronomy 22.”       Vanessa Rivera, a senior psychology major worked with Dr. Chelbegean on “Clergy Family Life and Pastor’s Kids Stressors.

Michael VanderWaal, a Junior Psychology major worked with Drs. Bailey, McBride and Vander Waal on “Sexual activity, substance use and religious behaviors at a Conservative, Prohibitionist University.”  Michael’s project not only was accepted, but he won the Earhart Emerging Scholar Award provided by MASAL and was given time to present his research to the group at the conference, as well as funds to pay for expenses of attending the conference..    Lianne Wynn is a Behavioral Sciences Minor.  Her topic was “Bullying Behaviors and Correlates among Elementary and Middle School girls in Berrien County”.

Research 2013

2013 was a busy year for research in our department.  Our students and faculty continue to be involved in presenting their research at major scientific venues.  This year we had 12 students present their research at the Midwest Psychological Association annual meeting in Chicago.  These students were Kristen Bishop, Jeremy Grant, Fredrica St. Hilaire, Darien Santana, Kayla Willis, Olivia Titus, Stephanie Gondra, Christon Knutson, Emmanuel Victorin, Khadeja Hupp, Shanyka Delice and Lindsay Dever.   The presentations focused on a wide variety of research from hook up culture, internalization of religion and perceptions of well-being and parental relationships to stress, self-concept and resilience.  The Psychology Faculty, Drs. Helm, Bailey, Burnett and Melissa Ponce-Rodas worked with our students on their research.

Three students, Matt Green, Carlos Perrone and Kathryn Conopio presented or were co-presenters at the annual meeting of The American Society of Criminology in November, 2012 in Chicago.  The presentations focused on the relationship between family dinners and criminal victimization and suicidality.   The analyses showed that the frequency of family dinners significantly related to lower rtes of victimization.   Drs. Matthews, Chelbegean, McBride, Hopkins and Mrs. Baltazar worked with the students on these presentations.

Dr. Chelbegean and Mrs. Baltazar went with graduate students Kayla Pina, Arian Emmanuel, Ellen and Patrick Dickerson, who presented their research at the Annual Conference of the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters, held at Hope College in Holland, MI in March, 2013. 

Research 2012

In 2012 we had a total of 10 research projects going on. There were 6 posters presented at the 84th Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, 3 papers presented at various venues, and 1 book contribution being published by the Oxford University Press.

Jeffery Hudon wrote a paper on the Tall Hisban Cultural Heritage Project, Jordan. He reported on Excavation and Restoration work in 2011-2012. It was co-authored by Robert Bates and Oystein LaBianca. It will be presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research in November. Jeffery also contributed to the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Archaeology co-authored by Oystein LaBianca. In addition to this Jeffery worked on a paper to be presented at the 7th World Archaeological Conference in Jordan this coming January; the topic is East Jordan in Global History: the view from the Madaba Plains. This was co-authored by Oystein LBianca, Douglas Clark, Larry Herr, Bethany Walker, and Randall Younker.

Sarah Gane Burton presented on National Identity in Jordan: the effects of displacement on identity, this was presented at the Michgan Academy of Arts & Sciences. Oystein LaBianca and Kristen Witzel mentored Sarah for this project.

Lacy Swaningson presented at the 84th Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association on the Use of applied behavior analysis with autistic children. She was helped by Dr. Karl Bailey.

Jermaine Hanry conducted his research on a new implicit measure of guilt and God concept. This was presented at the 84th Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association. He was helped by Dr. Karl Bailey.

David Moskala, Alexander Vitug, and Jermaine Henry researched on Active procrastination, time perspective, and academic self-regulation in University students. They were mentored by Dr. Karl Bailey and  presented at the 84th Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association.

Autumn Pelkey and Arianna Lashley looked at Factors affecting Ego-depletion with the help of Dr. Karl Bailey. They presented this at the 84th Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association.

Amanda Corea conducted research of Poverty pertaining to an analysis of attributions and solutions. Her research was aided by Dr. Herbert Helm and was presented at the 84th Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association.

Chelsea Powell looked at the Role of African American Clergy in reducing mental health and substance abuse disparities and increasing treatment linkages for congregants. She was mentored by Dr. McBride and Dr. Vanderwaal; and it was presented at the 84th Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association.


Research 2011

This year we had 11 students present at the 83rd Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association in Chicago, 1 student present a paper at the Annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research, and 1 student do his doctoral defense.

Vimie Joy Magsino and Seth Wiedmann did their research project on the Factors underlying the free will beliefs of students at a religious university. Thier prohject advisor was Dr. Karl Bailey.

Ashley Raethel submitted her research project on the Implicit attitudes of vegetarians and omnivores toward meat and vegetables, also with the help of Dr. Karl Bailey.

Oliva Titus' research project focused on the affects that personality can have on one's visual attention. He advisor for this project was Dr. Karl Bailey.

Elkyn Beltre and Carlos Ramos conducted their research on the Predictors of attentional variability on a college campus; once again with Dr. Karl Bailey as their advisor.

David Markham researched the factors between Childhood domestic work and academic performance. His research was aided by Dr. Herbert Helm.

Sungkyng Han and Wing-Man Ting conduected a study on the Differences between Asian and Asian-American parenting styles: Permissive, authoritative/flexible. They were helped by Dr. Herbert Helm

Timothy Morse did his research on Patterns in transmission of political values from parents to college students; his advisor was Dr. Herbert Helm.

Christopher White looked at Post traumatic stress disorder and resilience among 2010 Haiti earthquake victims. Dr. Harvey Burnett helped with his project.

Samuel Amoh did his doctoral disertation "Career Counseling Program for the S. Ghana Conferece of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church", he was also aided by Dr. Harvey Burnett.

Jeffrey Hudon and Lacy Barroso wrote a paper on "ASOR and Global History: Past, Present, and Future." They read this paper ath the Annual meeting of the Ameican Schools of Oriental Research. It was co-authored by Robert Bates and Oystein LaBianca.

Research 2010

This year we Submitted 6 projects involving 13 undergraduate and graduate students. I am told that 423 student projects were submitted for the conference, and about 89% accepted. Andrews BehavioralScience studentshad a 100% acceptance rate. The peer review process selects the best 5% of the submissions for research awards.

The submission by Jason Miller, a double major – Behavioral Neuro Science and Political Science -- received the PSI CHI Regional Award. It is also important to note that Jason also received an award from a Michigan Political Science group earlier this year (where he was mentored by Dr. Marcella Myers of the History/Political Science Department). The specific list of students and their projects is: Jason Miller (PSI CHI REGIONAL AWARD WINNER) Attitudes towards Women in Power: How Conservative Religious Individuals form Religious and Political Decisions. Dr. Karl Bailey was his advisor.


Other students who had posters accepted at the Midwest Psychological Convention in Chicago, April, 2010 were as follows:

Ashley Raethel - Neuromythologies and decision making: An Eye Tracking Investigation. Dr. Karl Bailey, advisor.

Elkyn Beltre - Eye Salve for the Righteous? Attentional Biases as Correlates of Religious Behavior and Orientation. Dr. Karl Bailey, advisor.

Cheryl Swaniker & Anthony Weston: The Effect of Loneliness on Visual Attention. Dr. Karl Bailey, advisor.

Omedeli Joseph, Filip Graovac, Chris Reyes and Terri King: Tolerance among Christian and Muslim University Students in Lebanon. Dr. Herbert Helm, advisor.

Nancy Miller, Cheryl Logan, Dorica Kafunya and Beatrie Dolce: College-related stress and resiliency. Dr. Herbert Helm, advisor.



Raphael Nawrotzki is our first graduate student to get research published. The first was “Ways to Approach Climate Change in Developing Countries.” Global Studies Journal, 1(4). His second lead author published article is entitled:“Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for U.S. Agricultural Businesses to Climate Change.” It is published in the latest issue of the International Journal of Climate Change. The article focuses on agricultural strategies to respond to climate change.

Raphael has been accepted in a PhD program in Sociology with a focus on international development at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He graduates in August from Andrews and is already at the University of Colorado steeling in to his new program .

Two other international development students, Polina Kadatska, and Dorica Kafunya, both presented at the International Society for the Comparative Study of Civilizations at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo in May, 2009. Dorica's presentation was entitled "Membership in the WTO and Gross Domestic Product", and Polina's presentation was entitled, "How Education Leads to Peace".

Several undergraduate students also had their research accepted for presentation at the Midwest Psychological Convention in Chicago, May, 2009. For more information, click here to link to our 2009 Newsletter and research information.

Jeff Habenicht is our 4th Regional Psi Chi Award winner in three years!

His topic of research was Religious Information Processing Bias: A Flicker Design. Jeff also graduated in May with 4.0 GPA. We are expecting to hear of great things from him.

Jessie Lopez-Factor Structure of the Beck Depression Inventory II in a University Sample

Ashley Raethel - Religiosity and Happiness among Conservative Christian Students.

Christina Wallace - Factors that Influence Dietary Choices in Honduras.

Christopher White - Perceived Teacher Math Anxiety And its Relationship to Student Math Anxiety.

Brianna Johnson - Effect of Parent-Child Relationships on Teen Substance Abuse.

Ehren Lichtenwalter - Central States Anthropological Society meeting in Urbana, IL. April, 2009. In the Middle of Nowhere and at the Crossroads of Everywhere: Abatement and Change at Hellenistic Hisban, 332-63 BCE”