Psychology Graduate Receives Award for Research Completed at GWU

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Brittney Diane Jones ’17 Pursues Master’s in Counseling

photo of Brittney JonesDoes playing video games increase mental alertness? Through her research at Gardner-Webb University, Brittney Diane Jones discovered an answer to the question. “My findings suggested significant data in that action video games do increase mental-alertness skills among individuals,” concluded Jones, who graduated in 2017.

A psychology major with a minor in sociology, Jones submitted her research in the Psi Chi Regional Research Award competition. The 12 awards are presented during the Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) conference, which was held during her last semester at GWU.

Jones left the conference thinking she hadn’t won an award, but found out later two people named “B. Jones” submitted papers, and the judges had mistakenly given the award to the other person. “The vice president stated that my research was outstanding and congratulated me on the award,” Jones related. “I was so excited to be the first person from Gardner-Webb to receive the Psi Chi Regional Research Award. I wrote this paper during Dr. Brooke Thompson’s Experimental Psychology class, and she went above and beyond in helping me prepare for the conference. Dr. Iva Naydenova also helped tremendously.”

From a young age, Jones recognized that she had a servant’s heart and the ability to lead and care for others. “As a required course for my associate degree, I took a psychology class,” she elaborated. “I immediately fell in love with the material I learned and I was excited to attend class. In my psychology classes, I loved studying the behavior of different individuals. I also loved studying the relationship between groups of people, so I chose sociology as my minor. I completed several internships, and I know that counseling is exactly what God is calling me to do.”

Brittney Jones, a graduate assistant in the GWU Writing Center, talks with The Center's Director, Matt Duffus
Brittney Jones, a graduate assistant in the GWU Writing Center, talks with The Center’s Director, Matt Duffus, about her job responsibilities.

To reach her goal, she is pursuing her Master’s in Mental Health Counseling at GWU and will work as a graduate assistant in the University’s Writing Center. “All of my professors went above and beyond to prepare me for my career and continuing my education,” Jones affirmed. “The first semester, I took statistics with Dr. David Carscaddon. That class prepared me for all of my other classes, specifically, experimental psychology with Dr. Thompson. Both of those classes—statistics and experimental psychology—prepared me for writing my honors thesis and will prepare me for graduate school as I will be taking another statistics class and continue my research.”

Classes in Child Psychology and Crisis and Intervention with Dr. Sharon Webb prepared her for her internship experiences working alongside play therapists in a counseling office and listening to clients in a shelter for abused women. In his Psychopathology (abnormal psychology) course, Carscaddon stressed the importance of taking care of the individual. Jones also learned in Dr. James Morgan’s Positive Psychology class that psychology is about serving others and expressing gratitude and love towards all groups of people. “Many people believe that psychology is all about finding out what is wrong with patients,” Jones explained, “but in Positive Psychology, we study what is good about people.”