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College of Professional and Liberal Studies students stand out in the 2020 Grad Ben Talks event

The College of Liberal and Professional Studies is proud to recognize Cameo Hazlewood and Justin Thompson, whose collaborative research won the category for Group Presentations at the 2020 Grad Ben Talks event on February 21, as well as Darlene Marshall, whose presentation not only won the Professional Master’s Programs category but also the Audience Choice award for this year.

Grad Ben Talks is an afternoon of TED Talk-style presentations, challenging Penn Arts and Sciences graduate students to make their research accessible and engaging to people outside their areas of specialization or expertise. Vice Dean Nora E. Lewis welcomed the eager audience in Amado Recital Hall in Irvine Auditorium and introduced the student presenters.

The event opened with a series of presentations researched and presented by groups of students in the Master of Behavioral and Decision Sciences (MBDS) program. Presented by Paige Tomlinson and Ruiling Wen, “Does Phone Presence Disrupt Collaborative Performance?” (group members: Noah Beam, Bella Dai, Nathan Rosenstein, Paige Tomlinson, Ruiling Wen, and Cedric Whitney) explored the effect of cell phone access on cognitive performance in group activities.

Ishwari Deshpande and Hans Max Spohn presented “In-Group Solidarity Under Social Identity Threat and Self-Interest” (group members: Ting Chang, Ishwari Deshpande, Ting-Yi Lin, Dillon Myers, Hans Max Spohn, and Abigail Williams), which measured the impact of factors including monetary incentives and inequality on racial solidarity.

The winning presentation presented by Justin Thompson, “Leveraging Behavioral Economics to Increase Concussion Symptom Reporting Among High School Athletes” (group members: Cameo Hazlewood and Justin Thompson), researched ways to counteract the norms that discourage high school athletes from reporting concussions. Watch their presentation on Vimeo.

The Professional Master’s Programs segment featured students in the Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP), Master of Liberal Arts (MLA), Master of Philosophy in Liberal Arts (MPhil), and Master of Science in Organizational Dynamics (MSOD) programs:

  • Keith Coleman (MAPP) explored the character traits of student-athletes in “Student-Athlete or Athlete-Student: Social Norm Influence on Character, Intellectual Pursuit, and Well-Being.”
  • Pallavi Gopee (MSOD) addressed the question of how to encourage collaboration in an age-diverse professional environment in “The Generation Game: A Glance at Intergenerational Conflicts in the Workplace.”
  • Daniel Murray (MPhil) tackled complex ethical issues in “Physician-Assisted Suicide as an End of Life Option for Terminally Ill Patients Nationally.”
  • Emily Waller (MLA) drew a connection between the gender politics of classical Greek narratives and 18th-century novels in “Violent Delights: The Vulnerable Female Body in the Hellenistic Romance and the 18th-Century Novel.”

The winning presentation, “Building the Self So You Can Give It Away: The Upward Cycle of Self-Improvement” by Darlene Marshall (MAPP), demonstrated that service to others can be a powerful motivator for self-improvement. Watch Darlene's presentation on Vimeo.

The winners for each category are selected by a panel of judges. The Audience Choice winner is selected from text message responses submitted by audience members after each category concludes.

Learn more about Grad Ben Talks >