Penn State Fayette students present research at national conference

Emily Blaker and Samantha Long present research funded by 2018 Discovery Grants from the Office of Undergraduate Education
Emily Blaker, Samantha Long, and undergraduate research advisor Dr. Aris Karagiorgakis.

Right to left: Emily Blaker, Samantha Long, and undergraduate research advisor Dr. Aris Karagiorgakis.

Credit: Penn State Fayette

LEMONT FURNACE, Pa. — Students of Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus, presented undergraduate research conducted in collaboration with Aris Karagiorgakis, assistant teaching professor of psychology, at the 2019 Undergraduate Research Exhibition at University Park in April.

They also shared their findings at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research in Atlanta earlier this semester.

Emily Blaker, a rising senior from Dilliner, and Samantha Long, a 2019 graduate from Connellsville, are recipients of 2018 Erickson Discovery Grants worth $3,500 each, presented by the Office of Undergraduate Education.

Blaker presented “The Effects of School Stress on Student-Athlete GPA and Sport Enjoyment,” for which she received a University Fellowship and Phi Kappa Phi Peter T. Luckie Award for Outstanding Juniors.

“The study investigated college stress between USCAA student-athletes and non-athletes, and its relationship to academic performance, and to a student-athlete's enjoyment of their sport,” said Blaker. “Athletes were less stressed than non-athletes, and had a lower mean GPA. The athletes who scored higher on stress also scored lower on sport enjoyment.”

Long presented “Self-Regulation does not Moderate the Relationship between Traumatic Life Events and Student Academic Performance.”

“We investigated the relationship between students' self-regulation and how it may predict perseverance to succeed in college, despite traumatic life events,” said Long. “There was no significant correlation between traumatic life events and GPA.”

“The national conference and exhibition award speak to the caliber of students that Penn State Fayette attracts and the quality of research we do on this campus,” said Karagiorgakis.

To learn more about undergraduate research opportunities at Penn State, visit