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Undergraduate Conference Experience: Society of Interpersonal Theory and Research (SITAR) Conference in Montreal, Canada
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Emily Wilhite

Emily Wilhite

Majors: Psychology and Spanish
Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

How did you learn about this opportunity?

Through the Liberal Arts Undergraduate Studies Listserv

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I had the opportunity to attend the annual Society of Interpersonal Theory and Research (SITAR) conference in Montreal, Canada this year.  This is an annual psychology conference that focuses on research in social, personality and clinical psychology that utilizes the Interpersonal Theory.  I not only had the chance to attend this conference, but I also presented a poster.  This poster was based on my senior honors thesis research and was entitled, “Pathological Narcissism and Affective Reactions in Social Interactions”.

“Overall this experience was extremely valuable.  I will be able to take what I learned from this conference experience with me into graduate school.”

Through this experience I was able to meet many of the authors of papers I used for my thesis.  I also was able to meet other graduate students and future colleagues.  This was my first conference, which I believe was an essential step in my transition into graduate school.  I was able to experience a conference and better understand the presentation and conference process.  I was also able to learn more about research in the field of interpersonal theory.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically, this experience allowed me to better understand the research process.  I was also able to learn about other research in the field of psychology and make connections with other researchers with whom I will potentially be able to collaborate in the future.  Attending the SITAR conference also cemented my excitement about my future in graduate school and academia.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I will be attending the University of Texas at Austin starting this fall to receive my PhD in Clinical Psychology.  I eventually want to pursue a career in academia in psychology.  Being able to attend my first conference further cemented my desire to pursue a career in academia.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely recommend that other Liberal Arts students attend a research conference during their time as an undergraduate.  It motivates students to pursue research as an undergraduate and being able to present research at an international conference is also rewarding.

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