Three PSY Graduate Students Receive College Research Awards

February 27, 2024 - Shelly DeJong


Congratulations to three MSU Psychology graduate students on receiving research awards from the College of Social Science to support their dissertation work!  


A headshot of Jo Alanis Jo Alanis Receives the Charles P. and Linda A. Thompson Endowment for Social Science Research 

This endowment supports graduate student research in the College of Social Science. Both graduates of MSU and highly accomplished in their careers, Linda and Charles Thompson are socially conscious philanthropists who provided a generous gift to MSU to establish this endowment in support of research that is rooted in Social Science and crosses academic disciplines to help resolve the world's problems. 

Alanis is specializing in Organizational Psychology. Her dissertation focuses on the overqualification experiences of immigrant workers in the United States, one population that is particularly affected by overqualification. In this work, a model of perceived overqualification will be built that investigates feelings of relative deprivation, or the sense that one is deprived of something compared to others, as well as the impact of factors unique to the immigrant experience, such as acculturation. Through this research, Jo aims to identify strategies organizations and individuals can adopt to reduce the negative consequences of perceived overqualification.  


A headshot of Connor Eichenauer Connor Eichenauer Receives the Kenneth E. Corey Research Enrichment Fund 

This endowed fund benefits students and faculty of the College of Social Science at Michigan State University. Professor Kenneth E. Corey served as Dean of the MSU College of Social Science from 1989-1999. As a reflection of his deep affection for and continued close relationship with the MSU College of Social Science, and to further nurture the research culture within the College, he established this endowed fund to provide ongoing support for research within the College. 

Eichenauer is specializing in Organizational Psychology. His dissertation investigates how employee selection decision-makers choose to utilize (or not) candidate information from different selection procedures when evaluating candidates. Specifically, Connor hypothesizes that utilization of candidate information is driven by hiring manager beliefs about the predictiveness and fairness of selection procedures from which the information was gathered. Nine dimensions of perceptions toward predictor constructs (i.e., candidate attributes measured) and predictor methods (i.e., how attributes were measured) are proposed to influence predictiveness and fairness beliefs. The goal of this research is to identify why hiring managers often do not utilize the most valid predictors when making selection decisions, which would facilitate the development of interventions to improve the predictive accuracy of selection decisions by reducing science-practice gaps. 


A headshot of Abigail Mundrof Abigail Mundorf receives a CSS Research Scholars Award 

The College of Social Science established a research scholars award in 2015 to promote graduate student research initiatives through small grants. Mundorf received funding to pay participants for two experiments related to her dissertation topic and assistance covering travel to a conference. 

Mundorf is specializing in Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience. Her dissertation uses computational modeling to examine the automatic and controlled mechanisms that determine how we navigate through our memories. For example, events are often recalled in the same order they were experienced, but it is unclear if this organization occurs automatically or if it is a result of internal strategies. Across four experiments, Mundorf found evidence that order information is both learned and retrieved automatically, but intentional strategies also play an important role in guiding memory search.