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Published August 19, 2019
Trent Wondra, a doctoral student in the University of Wyoming’s Department of Psychology, has received the Graduate Student Research Award from the Southeastern Psychology Association.
Wondra, of Laramie, was one of four finalists chosen to present his research at the association’s conference in March in Jacksonville, Fla. He presented his research, titled “How Lower Socioeconomic Status Students’ Self-Handicapping Causes Academic Underachievement,” during a half-hour presentation. Wondra’s research was chosen as the winner from more than 277 submissions.
Associate Professor Sean McCrea served as Wondra’s adviser while conducting the research, which focused on self-handicapping. Self-handicapping is when individuals proactively create or claim impediments to construct an excuse for potential failure to protect self-esteem. Wondra’s research focuses on self-handicapping among students of lower socioeconomic status and how it can affect academic performance.
“Trent’s research is a good example of how teaching and research benefit and inform each other,” McCrea says.
Wondra worked closely with the sociology program and the registrar’s office at UW to gather data about the participants in the study. Participants were university students who volunteered. Most of the research participants were students in psychology and sociology classes on campus.
“It is a huge honor to be chosen for this award,” Wondra says. “We are doing great work and research at UW, and to be able to present my research to my peers was a great opportunity to connect with others in the field.”