STEFFI RENNINGER: I am a sixth year doctoral student in the Applied Social Psychology program. My general research interests are in testing how health communications influence or promote health behaviors, particularly physical activity and vaccination uptake. I am currently conducting a project that tests the effectiveness of a health message regarding the measles-mumps-rubella vaccination, a common childhood vaccine. I have also conducted research that investigated the effectiveness of a self-affirmation intervention to increase physical activity. My ultimate career aspirations are to apply social psychology to leverage behavior changes that will improve health.
DEEPTI JOSHI: I am a fifth year doctoral student in the Applied Social Psychology doctoral program. My current research focuses utilizing the Self-Determination Theory framework to study motives underlying exercise behaviors. One of my current projects tests whether exercise driven by weight maintenance/weight loss motives can lead to the development of exercise habits through autonomous forms of regulation. In the summer of 2018, I interned as a Consumer Insight intern at the HQ of Dollar Shave Club. It was exciting to see how business strategy in consumer-facing businesses is heavily informed by basic social psychology principles (i.e., attitudes, willingness, intentions). Besides, I had an opportunity to work on a research project start to finish wherein I was engaged in both primary and secondary research and was able to apply the skills I have gained in my doctoral training (i.e., survey construction and programming, data analysis, dissemination).
SRUTHI VAYLAY: I am a second year student in the Applied Social Psychology doctoral program. My research interests are on the using Self-Determination Theory to facilitate the maintenance of physical activity. I just completed a summer internship as a Decision Science Analyst at Noblis. As an intern I helped apply social psychological principles to develop a decision-making methodology for consultants who work with agencies of the federal government.
ABBIGAIL RUGGERIO. I am a Senior double majoring in criminal justice and psychology. When I graduate I am eager to get involved in different avenues of nonprofit work, such as criminal justice reform or social support for mental illness.