Melissa A. Bartolomeo Presents Research at National Conference

Pine Plains, N.Y., psychology student one of seven invited to show research posters

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Melissa Bartolomeo poses with her poster at the Eastern Psychological Associations’ 84th Annual Meeting in New York City

CAZENOVIA, NY (04/02/2013)(readMedia)-- Melissa A. Bartolomeo, of Pine Plains, N.Y., was among seven Cazenovia College psychology majors to have a poster presentation accepted at the recent Eastern Psychological Associations' (EPA) 84th Annual Meeting in New York City, on the first weekend in March.

"At Cazenovia College, a significant number of psychology majors conduct research when working on their senior capstones," says Bartolomeo. "From freshman year on, we are encouraged to attend the Eastern Psychological Association's conference in New York City. Whether it's to get a better understanding of the field, support our fellow psychology majors, or have the opportunity to present our own research, I am grateful that the professors here work hard to make attendance possible."

Bartolomeo continues, "It seems to me that so many Caz students were chosen to attend EPA because of the incredible amount of one-on-one time we are given from faculty members like Dr. Rachel Dinero. She puts just as much time into assisting us with our research and presentations as we do. Our work is of a very high quality due to the close attention we all pay to it as a team."

Dr. Rachel Dinero, assistant professor of psychology at Cazenovia College, says that ten of her 19 seniors chose collect data for their capstone projects and the seven who submitted their research were all accepted to present. At the conference, she says, "They each spoke knowledgeably about their work and had a great deal of interest from student and faculty conference attendees. I think the individual attention these students receive in both the Research Methods and Capstone classes facilitates their success with independent research. I am extremely passionate about research and make every effort to encourage students to conduct their own research."

Bartolomeo has been interested in psychology for most of her life. She says, "As a child I frequently found myself mediating among my peers. Eventually, I received some training in becoming a peer mentor for the students in my middle school. In high school, I had the opportunity to take a psychology course. Needless to say I became an instant psychology nerd. I loved everything the field had to offer and the information fascinated me. There is so much room for growth and development in the psychology field and that is extremely appealing."

In addition to her academic work, Bartolomeo is a junior adviser for the Cazenovia College chapter of the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society and the head resident adviser in her residence hall. Her research focused on biomechanism (biological evidence, such as a brain scan, indicating the potential presence of a psychological or personality disorder) and its effects on the sentencing stage of the criminal justice system. She says, "Being a dual psychology and criminal justice and homeland security major, I wanted to find a topic that connected both of my majors in a cohesive and interesting way. I was also drawn to this topic because of the lack of research in this field. I really enjoyed the challenge it presented."

Graduate study is the next step on Bartolomeo's career path. She plans to study mental health counseling with a specialization in forensic psychology. She says, "Forensic psych is my long term goal because it sets me up to work in a prison setting."

There were more than 100 posters presented by students from colleges and universities in the eastern United States. Conference attendees roamed the corridors of the exhibition room to study the posters and ask questions of the student researchers. Naturally, discussing her research in a public forum was not a problem for Bartolomeo. "Throughout high school and college I have done a large variety of presentations," she says. "Public speaking and performance is something I really enjoy doing. I was excited to share my research and find others interested in the same areas of study."

Cazenovia College, founded in 1824, is an independent, co-educational, baccalaureate college near Syracuse, N.Y., offering a comprehensive liberal arts education in an exceptional community environment, with academic and co-curricular programs devoted to developing leaders in their professional fields. Cazenovia, named one of "America's Best Colleges" by U.S. News & World Report, is also a national College of Distinction. For more information, visit

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