From left, Olivia Schnur, Adriana Chase, Heather Lewis and Ain Suraya Mior Azri, presented a poster titled, "Austim Versus the World," comparing the differences in prevalence and treatment of autism between the United States and various cultures throughout the world.
FAYETTE, Iowa (April 2, 2013) – Four Upper Iowa University psychology majors recently presented research related to autism and its perception around the world. The group earned first place in their poster division at the 25th Great Plains Conference held at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb.
Olivia Schnur from Charlotte, N.C., Adriana Chase from Lansing, Iowa, Heather Lewis from Delhi, Iowa, and Ain Suraya Mior Azri from Malaysia, began preparations for the conference months ago by researching the differences in prevalence and treatment of autism in the United States. They then compared their findings to the perception of the developmental disorder in various cultures around the world.
"They volunteered to participate in this research area because it interests them," said Dr. Steffanie Schilder, UIU assistant professor of psychology. "Their interest in this topic mirrors my research in autism awareness internationally. I asked them to write a literature review to help develop background for my current study."
The four UIU students cut their winter break short to head back to campus and put the final touches on their poster for presentation. "We all spent about five hours re-reading our articles and finalizing our research," said Lewis, a junior double majoring in psychology and human services. "We took the most significant pieces of the paper and worked them into the actual poster, which Adriana designed."
To prepare for the Great Plains Conference, which was held in March, the four students attended poster sessions to get a feel for what they needed to say during the presentation and how to effectively present their research.
"Since we spent a lot of time writing the literature review, we were already knowledgeable on the subject, but we reviewed our material the night before the conference to refresh our memories," said Schnur, a senior who has been accepted to graduate school and will embark on earning her counseling degree in the fall.
"They did an outstanding job presenting the information and answering questions for the judges and the many other students and faculty who were interested in the topic," added Schilder. "They will now help collect data for the remainder of my study on different cultural experiences with autism."
About Upper Iowa University Founded in 1857, Upper Iowa University is a private, not-for-profit university providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs and leadership development opportunities to some 6,200 students—nationally and internationally—at its Fayette campus and learning centers worldwide. Upper Iowa University is a recognized innovator in offering accredited, quality programs through flexible, multiple delivery systems, including online and independent study. For more information, visit www.uiu.edu.