Fayette students and professor

Michelle Yezek and Elaine Barry present research in Paris, France.

Image: Michelle Yezek

Fayette student travels to Paris to present undergraduate research

Michelle Yezek and Elaine Barry present at the International Convention of Psychological Science in Paris, France.

LEMONT FURNACE, Pa. — Michelle Yezek, a student at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus, presented scholarly research in Paris, France in collaboration with Elaine Barry, associate professor of human development and family studies.

Yezek is a junior human development and family studies student and a Connellsville Area Senior High School graduate. In the fall of 2018, she began an independent study under Barry’s supervision and will complete research this semester.

Yezek and Barry presented their poster, “It’s more okay to cheat in an online class: How student variables and teacher characteristics matter,” at the 2019 International Convention of Psychological Science in Paris on March 7.

In the study, college students responded to a cheating scenario involving online or face-to-face classes. Participants reported significant differences showing greater acceptance of and greater need to cheat in online classes. Significant differences also favored face-to-face classes in student motivation, focus, and enthusiasm as well as greater perceived teacher preparation and enthusiasm.

“Michelle approached me during her first year on campus with an interest in doing an independent study. It is unusual for undergraduate students to seek research opportunities so early on, and so we were able to plan ahead for a possible travel component,” said Barry. “She is committed to excellence, and I am sure she will succeed in whatever she decides to do. It was a joy working with her.”

Michelle Yezek and Dr. Elaine Barry

Michelle Yezek and Dr. Elaine Barry

Image: Michelle Yezek

Yezek is active on campus, serving on the Student Activities Advisory Council, as a student coordinator for the Global Engagement and Leadership Experience (GELE), as a Stand for State advocate, as a chair for the Student Government Association, and as a member of the Pi Sigma Phi honor society, the Christian Club, and the Lion Players.

“Undergraduate research has enriched my experience at Penn State Fayette and prepared me for graduate school."

-- Michelle Yezek, junior in human development and family studies 

“Dr. Barry has been a phenomenal resource, both in the classroom setting and throughout this independent study,” said Yezek. “Undergraduate research has enriched my experience at Penn State Fayette and prepared me for graduate school. Presenting at an international conference allowed me to present our findings, listen to other researchers, and network with other students who are doing incredible things. It was truly a life changing experience and I’m so thankful for the opportunity.”

She will intern with New Directions in Uniontown next year and plans to pursue graduate school in the future.

Contacts: 

Shannon Sankey

Work Phone: 
724-430-4199