Stephanie Michel ACRE


Photo Courtesy of Dr. John Pankratz

Hello all! 🙂 Welcome to my first blog post about my Albright Collaborative Research Experience (ACRE)! In this blog postI will be speaking about what brought me to the ACRE program! I first learned about the ACRE program during my freshman year by visiting the Experiential Learning and Career Development (ELCDC) Office. I’d like to call that office one of my homes at Albright because I am definitely a regular. Everyone is so helpful in the office! I’ve worked with Laura Kline, Karen Rieker, and Karen Evans. It got to the point where I would call and Cindy Becker would know who I was by just saying, “Hello, my name is Stephanie!”  So….shout out to the ELCDC! If you haven’t gone to the ELCDC yet during your time at Albright so far, put that on your to do list! I have learned so much from them about networking, resumes, interview tips, and internship searching!  

Now, back to my ACRE! 🙂 I knew I needed to complete an honors thesis to graduate with college honors but I also knew that I would have no time senior year to compile my data from start to finish with all my school work and outside work to attend as well. Well… I may have been able to do it but I wouldn’t have done it to the best of my ability and that is important to me. After some deliberation, I thought maybe I should apply for an ACRE since I would have some free time over the summer. Well, the thought of applying for ACRE works but you need to ask a Professor to work with you, and….you need a PROJECT! I was missing both.


Fall of 2015, the Psychology Department gained a new professor, Dr. Hearon, a Clinical Psychologist and Health Psychologist. Before she arrived, during spring of 2015, my advisor, Dr. Couchman knew that I needed to complete a thesis and also suggested the possibility of completing an ACRE to me. He knew that my interests lie in health so he told me that the Psych Dept.will be welcoming Dr. Hearon to Albright the following semester and that I should wait, introduce myself, and speak to her about my interests and ideas to see if she would be willing to work with me. I was scheduled to take Dr. Hearon’s Health Psychology course during the Fall so I knew I would meet her then. I also knew that I needed to establish myself as a good student in her course so she would be willing to work with me. I know… sounds devious right but I didn’t do anymore than I expected of myself because my grades are important to me as well as having the respect of my professors. I added that piece because it is important to be conscious about what steps you need to take to reach your goals. There is nothing wrong with that!

Sorry everyone! I get sidetracked sometimes! 😀 To continue, on one of Dr. Hearon’s first days at Albright, I met with her during an office hour and we began to brainstorm. I am interested in meditation and how it affects individuals, which matched Dr. Hearon’s interests in health psychology. So then, over the Fall and Spring we came up with a project idea and Dr. Hearon agreed to work over Summer 2016 on an ACRE with me, upon approval from the ACRE Committee. Yay!

Our project is titled “The Effects of Meditation on Perceptions of Attractiveness in Women.” We had to complete the ACRE application which took some work and time to do. Since we also had to complete an Institutional Review Board Research Review Form (IRB), we explained the same information twice which made the process a little easier. I’m so excited to learn more about how to do research, use new software, and run participants!


My IRB and Planner are ready for Summer ACRE 2016!


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