Student Voice


June 20, 2024

7th annual psych conference to be held in University Center

March 1, 2007

UW-River Falls will host the 7th annual Enhancing the Teaching of Psychology conference late spring semester.

"The main goal is to get faculty members from across the state together who teach psychology," associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and psychology professor Brad Caskey said.

This year's keynote speaker is Auburn University (AU) psychology professor, William Buskist.

According to the AU Web site, Buskist has been a faculty member at AU for over 18 years. Every freshman at AU has the opportunity to be taught by Buskist through a required core course titled "The Individual and Society." The Web site also explained that each quarter, he teaches three classes composed of around 350 students, and is considered the go-to guy for undergraduate students interested in psychology. He has taught more than 28,000 AU students.

In 1999, Buskist won the American Psychological Association's Robert S. Daniel Teaching Excellence Award of the Society for the Teaching of Psychology.

"Bill's commitment to teaching stands out because he, unlike others, not only performs well in the classroom, but has devoted the last decade of his career to advancing the teaching of psychology in the classroom, in the department, in the university and in the profession," Virginia O'Leary, professor and chair of the Department of Psychology at AU said on the Web site.

Last year, the conference was held at UW-Green Bay and was met with much success. There were 40 to 50 faculty members from the UW System who shared different practices and methods of teaching psychology.

"It is always a great experience to see the similarities among faculty members between public and private settings and big and small settings," Caskey said.

There is a four-member steering committee for this year's conference, of which Caskey is a member. UW-LaCrosse, UW-Green Bay and UW-Oshkosh are the other universities that have members on the committee.

This year's conference is funded by three different sources. The UW System provided a grant. The Dean's office of the CAS supplied a grant, and the psychology department also helped with funds.

The invitation has been extended for the first time in the seven-year history to Minnesota colleges and universities.

"It made sense to invite those on the other side of the Wisconsin-Minnesota border due to proximity and existing connections," Caskey said.

UWRF students take part in the Minnesota Undergraduate Psychology Research Conference (MUPC), one of the longest running undergraduate conferences in the world.

UWRF hosted the 37th annual MUPC conference in 2002.

"It was the largest conference yet for the event, with over 250 student presenters and faculty from five different states," Caskey said.

With universities from Minnesota and Wisconsin participating, Caskey said he has high expectations for this year's conference.

"In the past is has been a successful event and this year we expect to have a big turnout," Caskey said.

There will be many topics discussed throughout the eight-hour event. Topics will range form psychology major/minor curriculum in the 2000s to best practices in the classroom.