Baruch Psychology Professors Awarded National Science Foundation Grant

Three-Year Funding to Create Undergraduate Training Program

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New York, NY – March 14, 2007—Baruch College Assistant Professor Charles Scherbaum and Associate Professor Kristin Sommer of the Psychology Department were awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation entitled: Basic and Applied Dimensions of Scientific Psychology: Research  Experience for Undergraduates at Baruch College. The grant is funded for three years starting March 1, at $89,929 for each year.

 Their work will create the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program at Baruch, a way to provide direct and concentrated research training for one academic year to promising undergraduate students from Baruch, CUNY institutions, and other schools in the New York metropolitan area.

The program targets individuals from underrepresented groups: ethnic minority students, students with disabilities, students from low income families, and first generation college students. The need for an infusion of students from diverse backgrounds into psychology is reflected in the rising enrollment in graduate programs in psychology that has not translated into equal representation for these underrepresented groups. For many CUNY students, the REU program is the only means of gaining the research experience necessary to achieve admission to competitive graduate programs. 

  • The REU program will provide students with two semesters of experience and training in psychological research while working for a stipend.
  • In pairs, REU students will propose and complete independent projects under the supervision of a research scientist.
  • Students maintain close contact with their faculty mentors until they finish their bachelor programs and successfully enroll in graduate programs or elect other professional training.
  • The program will not run over the summer, as most students who would be targeted by the program come from low-income families and must work one or more jobs over the summer to support their families and to be able to afford college tuition. 

 Besides providing junior and senior students with a strong foundation in research processes, the program will take advantage of the diverse student bodies of both Baruch College and CUNY to increase psychologists’ exposure to cultural and minority issues in their research. For the past five years, U.S. News and World Report has rated Baruch College as the most diverse student body in the United States, a place where research interests and experiences of faculty can be enriched through dialogue with colleagues and students of varied backgrounds and experiences.

Dr. Scherbaum has taught courses in statistics, industrial and organizational psychology, human resource management, and general psychology in the United States, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. He has published articles in Personnel Psychology, The Journal of Applied Psychology, and Organizational Research Methods.

Professor Sommer joined the Baruch College faculty in 1998 and is currently conducting research on motivated decision-making in groups, self-regulation, and interpersonal forgiveness.

Lara Moon
Communications & Marketing
(646) 660-6093