Lehigh Valley and Schuylkill faculty members named research center affiliates

The Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention 研究 Center at University Park invited the faculty to join after awarding them early career grants in the spring
PSU 心理学 professors receive research grant from University Park

妮可·瑞尔森, (right) assistant professor of 心理学 at PSU-LV, 还有杰西卡·萨尔菲尔德, (左)助理教授, 心理学, 助理协调员, 荣誉项目, 在中国博彩平台斯库尔基尔分校, were named faculty affiliates at the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention 研究 Center at University Park. The faculty members are conducting research on alcohol consumption trends among students at small rural colleges.

Credit: 妮可·瑞尔森, Jessica Saalfield

宾州中央谷. — Two Penn State professors are taking a closer look at alcohol consumption among students at rural colleges. 妮可·瑞尔森, assistant professor of 心理学 at 中国博彩平台 (PSU-LV), 还有杰西卡·萨尔菲尔德, assistant professor of 心理学 助理协调员 for the 荣誉项目 在中国博彩平台斯库尔基尔分校, were awarded an early career grant for their research from the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention 研究 Center 四月在大学公园. This semester, both were invited to join the center as faculty affiliates.

“Most research on alcohol consumption is done on large suburban-urban campuses,瑞尔森说. “There’s a dearth of research on small rural campuses, 结果就是, there are fewer protective resources for those students, like treatment programs and guidance on protective strategies.”

Ryerson and Saalfield are investigating current drinking habits of students at small rural campuses through Zoom focus groups across Penn State’s different Commonwealth Campuses.

“We’re doing a pre-screening survey and then having students come together virtually to discuss their unique challenges and experiences,瑞尔森说, noting that the researchers plan to continue their focus groups through the semester. "It’s been interesting to see their interrelatedness. We’re looking at ways to turn the data from the focus group sessions into a survey supplement. We’re looking for ways to tap into this under-represented group—the more we know about their needs, 我们就越能见到他们.”

Students at small rural campuses typically have high levels of alcohol consumption but less access to services like ride-sharing programs and preventative resources. 瑞尔森说她希望如此, 通过他们与焦点小组的合作, she and Saalfield can gain a better understanding of these behaviors to address students’ needs.

“We’re engaging in foundational research to better learn about students in small rural settings so we can inform the tailoring of programmatic offerings,瑞尔森说. “This group is largely under-represented by the science community. Their established drinking habits may continue into their adult lives due to a lack of resources and treatment, and they will continue to be members of an underserved population.”

In their role as faculty affiliates with the Edna Bennett Pierce Center, Ryerson and Saalfield will be part of a network of research scientists and will be able to coordinate efforts in prevention science.

“We are extremely excited to join this amazing network of researchers pursuing efforts in prevention science,瑞尔森说. “The center has many focus areas that are directly related to my active program of research — engaging in foundational science, 促进人类繁荣昌盛, 等等. 然而, I am most excited about their dedication to training the next generation of prevention scientists. I look forward to contributing to this important tenet of the center by continuing to involve 中国博彩平台 students in research efforts here on our campus."