Teaching & Learning
The APP Lab is both a physical
space, and a “community of learners.” Consistent with the lab’s mission
statement, the academic development and professional development of graduate
students and undergraduates is a central theme; that development is achieved,
in part, through the teaching and learning enterprise. William Arthur Ward’s
words perhaps best exemplify the approach of the laboratory director towards
the education in the laboratory – “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher
explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”
There are weekly 1.5 hour lab meetings over the regular fall and spring semesters that include a “journal club” in which lab members read and discuss a current or historically-important journal article or chapter. Lab members have the opportunity to learn to present the article/chapter and to guide the discussion about it. In addition to monitoring grant-funded and other projects and facilitating progress toward research goals, these meetings involve didactic and professional development components. Participants complete readings in preparation for the meetings. Graduate students are scheduled to present their work to the lab group once per semester. This ongoing scholarly activity also provides an opportunity for ongoing supervision.
Attending professional conferences and presenting research there is an important aspect of life in the lab. Frequently attended conferences include the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Society for Behavioral Medicine, American Association for Dental Research, and the International Association for Dental Research.
In the WVU Department of Psychology, there is a Health Psychology specialization in the Clinical Psychology doctoral programs, in which Dr. McNeil is a core faculty member. The Psychology Department has a policy of encouraging both graduate and undergraduate students to participate meaningfully in faculty research. The health-related focus of the APP Laboratory fits well with the Health Psychology specialization. With the lab’s emphasis on pain, and health behaviors in general, there are opportunities for students to conduct supervised research that allows completion of specialization requirements, and which fit seamlessly with coursework.
Similarly, the School of Dentistry includes research experience as part of its curriculum for dental students. Consistent with these policies and practices, the PI conducts weekly lab meetings that include 3 graduate students and 3 selected, advanced undergraduates, and periodically, dental students as well. In addition to monitoring projects and facilitating progress toward research goals, these meetings involve didactic and professional development components. Participants are expected to complete readings in preparation for the meetings. Students are scheduled to present their work to the lab for critique at least once per semester. Staff members for this grant will participate in this ongoing scholarly activity, which also provides an opportunity for ongoing supervision.