group photo

October 9, 2013 (Jackson) - Five Belhaven students from the Psychology Department won the best undergraduate research poster for the second year in a row at the Annual Convention of the Mississippi Psychological Association on September 11 in Gulfport, Miss. The students conceived, designed and conducted their original study as part of the Undergraduate Honors Research class taught by Dr. Scott White, Professor of Psychology. Katie Blough and Julianna Montgomery representing their co-authors, Monica Armes, Elizabeth Kurashige and Sarah McCallister, presented their study to psychologists and other participants at the annual convention who then voted for the best undergraduate poster at the convention.

The title of their study was “Mixed Signals: Exploring the Use of Emoticons as Nonverbal Communication in Text Messaging.” The class explored whether adding emoticons (smiley faces) to text messages would enhance the subject’s opinions and evaluations of a research assistant communicating to nearly 300 subjects in their study.

Dr. White said, “Participating in original research is an excellent experience for students who think they may wish to pursue a career in psychology. Graduate programs look very favorably on students who have undergraduate research experience. Having this experience can often be a key difference in whether a student gets accepted into a doctoral program in the highly competitive field of psychology.”


Belhaven University stands among select Christian colleges and universities and has been repeatedly named one of “America’s 100 Best College Buys." The University offers 30 academic majors across a full spectrum of disciplines as well as a variety of graduate programs. In addition, Belhaven has achieved the distinction of being among only 30 universities nationally accredited in each of the major arts – music, theatre, visual art and dance. All programs are taught from a Christian worldview perspective and are guided by the mission to prepare students academically and spiritually to serve Christ Jesus in their careers, in human relationships, and in the world of ideas.

Belhaven University serves over 3,700 students offering undergraduate and graduate degrees on its residential campus, an online degree program, and graduate and adult degree programs in Jackson, Memphis, Orlando, Houston, Chattanooga, and Atlanta.