2021 Conference Recap

The 2nd annual Western New York Undergraduate Psychology Conference was held virtually on Saturday, April 17th, 2021. We had 25 student presentations from 8 institutions across WNY: Elmira College, Houghton College, Niagara University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Buffalo State College, Empire State College, Syracuse University, and the University at Buffalo. In total, 101 unique individuals attended the conference!

Presentation Award Winners

The award for the “Best Presentation” of the Lightning Talks Round 1 goes to…

Cassidy Kuhlmann, Giovanna Malay, Anna Wallace, Josiah Wiedenheft, and Arianna Zampella

for their presentation
“Replication of Sparkman and Walton: Static and Dynamic Norms”
(Houghton College, Faculty Advisor: Dr. Alison Young-Reusser)

The award for the “Best Oral Presentation” goes to…

Thomas McNamara

for their presentation
“Effect of water deprivation with and without subsequent water intake, on cellular activity of paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus-projecting nucleus of the solitary tract neurons”
(University at Buffalo, Faculty Advisor: Dr. Derek Daniels)

The award for the “Best Presentation” of the Lightning Talks Round 2 goes to…

Bethany Laufer

for their presentation
“Investigating the Association Between College Generational Status and Substance Use”
(University at Buffalo, Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jennifer Read)

Thank you to our faculty judges and moderators!

Faculty Moderators
Dr. Wendy Quinton (University at Buffalo)
Dr. Burt Thompson (Niagara University)

Faculty Judges
Dr. Stephani Foraker (SUNY Buffalo State College)
Dr. Stephanie Godleski (Rochester Institute of Technology)
Dr. Kim Kamper-DeMarco (SUNY Buffalo State College)
Dr. Dennis Poepsel (Daemen College)
Dr. Caitlin Szalkowski (Hilbert College)
Dr. Alexis Thompson (University at Buffalo)
Dr. Burt Thompson (Niagara University)

Conference Schedule

09:00 – 09:10 am: Opening Remarks
09:10 – 10:10 am: Lightning Talks Round 1
10:10 – 10:20 am: {Break}
10:20 – 11:20 am: Oral Presentations
11:20 – 11:50 am: {Lunch Break}
11:50 – 12:50 pm: Lightning Talks Round 2
12:50 – 01:00 pm: {Break}
01:00 – 01:45 pm: Keynote Speaker
01:45 – 02:00 pm: Closing Remarks and Awards

*All times are EST

A list of presentation titles and presenters can be found here.

Presenters! Looking for suggestions on how to create your research presentation? Visit our tips for giving talks page!

Keynote Speaker

The 2021 conference keynote speaker is Mary LaLomia! Mary is a Manager of Research at Facebook. Prior to her time at Facebook, she also worked at Microsoft, Philips Medical, Intel, and IBM. Mary is an alumnus of the University at Buffalo. She will be speaking on her experiences conducting psychological research in an industry setting.

About the WNY Undergraduate Psychology Conference

The goal of this conference is to provide an affordable and convenient opportunity for undergraduate psychology students to present their scientific findings at a research meeting. This conference is specifically designed to be open and inviting to undergraduate students and is a great transition to larger national conventions. Additionally, this conference provides an opportunity for local WNY students and faculty to meet and network. 

Registration costs

Registration is free!

Presentation formats

Students can give one of two types of presentations: 1) a lightning talk (a 3 – 4 minute presentation with 1 – 2 minutes for questions for a maximum of 5 minutes total; 2 slide limit) or 2) an oral presentation (a 9 – 10 minute presentation with 2 – 3 minutes for questions for a maximum of 12 minutes total; no limits on slides). If you choose to give a lightning talk, you are only allowed two slides: the first slide should contain the title of the presentation, presenter’s name, faculty advisor, and affiliation, and the second slide should contain research content.

Presenters must indicate which presentation format they would prefer in their abstract submission. For more details on the presentation formats and requirements, visit our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page.


The deadline for abstract submissions has passed. We are no longer accepting submissions.

Question? Contact us

Send us an email and we will get back to you as soon as possible!


The University at Buffalo’s Department of Psychology
The University at Buffalo’s Experiential Learning Network
The University at Buffalo’s Psi Chi Chapter
The University at Buffalo’s Undergraduate Psychology Association (UPA)