The first of a series of presentations focusing on student research will highlight the inaugural Big Picture of the fall semester.
The event will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13, in the Gault Center recital hall and will feature the research by Sally Bolling, a 2011 graduate of Martin Methodist College who last spring did research on perceptions of sex offenders. Bolling, who earned her degree in psychology, was supervised in her research by Dr. John Lancaster, a member of the psychology faculty.
She was one of five students who received undergraduate research grants through a new initiative developed by the Taylors Honors Program during the 2010-11 academic year. Two subsequent Big Picture presentations during the fall semester will focus on the work of the other recipients whose research grants were in the areas of history and biology.
The Big Picture is a monthly discussion sponsored by the Taylor Honors Program and the five academic honor societies: Gamma Beta Phi, Kappa Delta Pi, Pi Gamma Mu, Sigma Beta Delta, and Sigma Tau Delta.
Bolling focused her research on the public’s attitudes toward sex offenders, including the perceptions of sex offenders themselves. She developed a survey during the spring semester and then administered the survey to a variety of individuals during the month of April. The data has been processed throughout the summer.
“It’s not an area that has much research,” she said. “It’s a subject that is easily dismissed.”
During his professional career, Lancaster is one person who has worked in this area, having conducting therapy for sex offenders for the past 30 years. He was counseling children who had been victims of sexual crimes and was encouraged to provide therapy and counseling for the purveyors of those crimes, with the hopes that such counseling might decrease the number of incidents and, in turn, lessen the number of victims.
He will present background psychological information about the topic before the results of Bolling’s research are presented. Dr. John White, associate professor of criminal justice, will also participate in the Big Picture presentation
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