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Caldwell University undergraduate and graduate psychology students presented at the American Psychological Association Convention in August. From left to right: Raja Karki ‘14, Emily Holland, Rebecca Messano, Megan Collins, Anabela Santos, Jacquelynn Prevocki and Dr. Thomson J. Ling, associate professor of psychology and counseling at Caldwell.

Caldwell University graduate and undergraduate psychology students and Associate Professor of Psychology and Counseling Thomson J. Ling, Ph.D., presented at the American Psychological Association convention in Washington, D.C., in August.

Dr. Ling and students authored “A Mixed Methods Exploratory Study of Nepalese Student Experiences Studying Abroad”, which focused on understanding the transitional process that international students, specifically those from Nepal, face as they undertake study in the United States.  More than a third of the international students at Caldwell come from Nepal, so the researchers wanted to look at why the students chose Caldwell and what “we do well” in serving the Nepalese students, said Dr. Ling. The preliminary findings showed that the Nepalese students reported that their “professors truly cared, were accessible and interested in student learning and brought real-life experiences to the classroom,” he said.   The study showed that students chose Caldwell mainly because they heard about it from other Nepalese students and because they received good financial assistance.

The other presentation,  “The Benefits of College Hotlines,” was entirely student-authored. It was part of a symposium that focused on the benefits, obstacles, ethical issues, and pitfalls in hotlines on college campuses. The students reported how Caldwell University runs an after-hours mental health hotline for students to access after the university counseling office closes for the day.  The hotline has served a good dual purpose, “bridging the gap” in providing mental health services for those in need and providing hotline training for graduate students, said Dr. Ling.

The students who took part in the research and presentations were Emily Holland of East Rutherford, New Jersey, Jacquelynn Prevocki of Oakland, New Jersey, Victoria DeValve of Newton, New Jersey, Rebecca Messano of Jefferson, New Jersey, Megan Collins of Midland Park, New Jersey, Raja Karki of Nepal and Anabela Santos of Newark, New Jersey.

“Presenting at the APA convention was a wonderful experience for our students,” Dr.Ling said. “It helped them solidify their interests, decide on research areas and it motivated them to continue with research and pursue graduate studies.”