Trevecca Nazarene University

University: original research in psychology and in cancer

(An excerpt from the Treveccan's 2013 President's Report, which used the theme “Trevecca--A Christian university in the heart of Nashville")

Research is a standard part of the academic culture, and Trevecca’s new Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) raises the “bar” for undergraduate student research at Trevecca while demonstrating the strength of Trevecca’s academic programs.

In fact, the visitation team from the accrediting association noted the potential of Trevecca’s QEP and observed that Trevecca already had underway significant undergraduate research and that the QEP would further strengthen those efforts. (The 2012-2013 Trevecca President’s Report included a profile of the cancer research conducted by Trevecca science students.)

As part of the QEP, undergraduate students in all disciplines will have opportunities to participate in a variety of “creative endeavors” appropriate for that discipline. Throughout their Trevecca years, they can engage in group projects, participate in research with their professors, and, in their senior year, conduct individual research. Participation in the QEP will allow students to discover new ways to learn as they add to the learning and scholarship in academic disciplines.

The following are examples of research projects already conducted by Trevecca students and another project that will soon begin.

In the social and behavioral sciences

Guiding undergraduates in significant research projects has long been an effort of Randy Carden ’78, professor of psychology. He has successfully mentored many students as they submit reports on their original research for inclusion in scholarly journals. The fall 2013 edition of Modern Psychological Studies will include two articles by Trevecca students and Carden.

“’I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead’: Exploring the Relationship between Fatigue, Memory, Feeling, and Mood States among College Students” by seniors Lanie Foutch, Rachel Bollinger, and Randy Carden

“Narcissism and Altruism among Undergraduate Business and Religion Majors” by seniors Dillon Jones, Kerri Carden, and Randy Carden

In biology

After Melanie Van Mullen ’85 read in the Treveccan (Summer 2013) about the cancer research being conducted by Trevecca biology students, she alerted Alisha Russell, associate professor of biology, about an available grant, offered by Team Emmett. ““As a member of the Team Emmett Board, I knew that this organization wanted to award its first grant to a local organization already engaged in cancer research, and I knew that Trevecca’s vision/mission was a good match for Team Emmett,” Van Mullen explained.

Russell applied for the grant, and this fall Team Emmett awarded Trevecca a $10,000 grant for research on esophageal cancer. With this grant, Trevecca biology students will soon add a new cancer research project to the others already underway.

The full implementation of the QEP throughout all academic programs will give all students more opportunities to enrich and expand classroom learning and gain preparation for careers.