Recently, Lauren and Jenna presented their Honor’s Thesis Defense Presentations to their respective committees and other attendees. Both Lauren and Jenna are graduating from Oakland University following the Winter 2018 semester and then beginning their graduate programs in the fall. The purpose of presenting an honor’s thesis defense is to share an individual research study to a preselected committee for final approval before being awarded departmental honors upon graduation.
Lauren’s study, titled “Posttraumatic Growth and Illusory Growth: Attitudes Toward Growth Types and the Impact of Individual Differences,” was designed to apply a multifaceted examination of posttraumatic growth and illusory growth through the use of vignettes and self-report perceptions of each growth type over the course of three studies. Lauren’s defense committee included Dr. Taku, Dr. Keith Williams, and Dr. Deb McGinnis, all of whom provided letters of recommendation for Lauren’s graduate program applications. While Lauren and Dr. Taku worked together on Lauren’s study over the past year, the presentation created an opportunity for Drs. Williams and McGinnis to learn about Lauren’s research abilities, since they had each previously only knew Lauren from an academic perspective. Following the presentation, Lauren responded to individual questions from her committee and was then excited to receive unanimous approval of her defense. After graduation, Lauren will begin her graduate studies beginning Fall 2018. Lauren has been accepted into the Master of Social Work program at University of Michigan. Her practice area is Aging in Families and Society, and she has also been accepted into the Geriatric Scholarship Program.
Jenna’s presentation, titled “Exploring Military Experiences: Clarifying the Relation Between Resiliency and Posttraumatic Growth,” was designed to 1) clarify the relation between resiliency and PTG, 2) examine relations between the two concepts and other related variables (e.g., altruism, growth motivation, social support), and 3) compare two measures of resiliency. Jenna’s defense committee included Dr. Taku and Dr. Matt McLarnon, each of whom first introduced Jenna to the concepts of PTG and resiliency and got her interested in studying the relation between the two. In addition, both Drs. Taku and McLarnon served as advisors to Jenna for her study over the past year during development, implementation, and analyses. After the presentation, Jenna responded to questions from her committee and other attendees and was thrilled to receive unanimous approval of her defense. Upon graduation, Jenna will move to Florida to begin her graduate studies beginning Fall 2018. Jenna has been accepted into the PhD program in Industrial and Organizational Psychology at the University of Central Florida. The PTG lab recognizes the hard work that both Lauren and Jenna put into their respective research studies and is excited for them as they begin their graduate programs in the fall!