(Posted October 6, 2014)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- If a Juniata College student attends a lecture, concert or play, does it make an impact? Three Juniata professors will outline a research project that attempts to answer that question in a lecture, "Evaluating The Effects of Cultural Event Attendance," at 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 15, in Neff Lecture Hall in the von Liebig Center for Science

Kathy Westcott, assistant provost and professor of psychology, Jim Tuten, professor of history, and David Drews, professor emeritus of psychology, will present the talk, which is part of the Bookend Seminar Lecture Series, a monthly lecture delivered by Juniata faculty.

The talk will center on a four-year study of incoming freshman Juniata students through that particular class' graduation. Typically, freshmen are required to attend at least five cultural events during their freshman year. The purpose of the study tried to determine whether engaging in out-of-class activities such as lectures, performances or art-gallery openings positively contribute to the intellectual and emotional growth of individual students.

The three faculty will present the initial results of their project and will talk about how they were able to collect data on student critiques of each event in order to determine if attending an event made them respond emotionally in some way, think critically, or take some sort of action.

Kathryn Westcott joined Juniata's faculty in 2003. She earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Ohio State University in 1994. She went on to earn a master's degree in psychology in 1998 and a doctorate in psychology in 2001, both from the University of Cincinnati.

From 2011 to 2013, Westcott served as assistant provost and was co-chair of Juniata's most recent accreditation review by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. She also has helped develop and implement Juniata's general education assessment plan and served as director of Juniata's Lakso Center for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning from 2009 to 2010. She was promoted to associate professor in 2009. She received the Beachley Award for Distinguished Service in 2014.

She also served as interim provost for the 2013-2014 academic year.
David Drews retired as professor of psychology and chair of the psychology department in 2004. During his long career at Juniata, starting in 1969, Drews has taught courses in learning and conditioning, memory, statistics, and student research. He continues to teach courses at the Baker Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies.

He earned a bachelor's degree from Denison University and went on to earn a master's degree and doctorate from the University of Delaware. Drews received the Beachley Distinguished Teaching Award in 1989 and was named a Charles A. Dana Professor in 1998.


He has authored and co-authored numerous papers and articles presented to such organizations as the Peace Studies Association, Eastern Psychological Association and the American Psychological Association, and published papers in such journals as The Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, The Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, Teaching of Psychology, and Cross-Cultural Research.

James Tuten came to Juniata in 1998 from Emory University. He earned a bachelor's degree in fine arts and United States history in 1990 from the College of Charleston and went on to earn a master's degree in history in 1992 from Wake Forest University. He earned a doctoral degree in history in 2003 from Emory University.

His research interests include the history of southern rice culture from the Civil War until 1920. He also is researching the life and career of Confederate General E.W. Gantt. Tuten published "Lowcountry Time and Tide: The Collapse of the Rice Kingdom" in 2010 and has published numerous opinion pieces in national and regional newspapers.

He served as an instructor in history at Juniata from 1998 to 2000 and was the college's assistant provost from 2001 to 2006. He was promoted to associate professor in 2008.

Juniata College is one of the top liberal arts colleges in the nation, specializing in experiential learning, science research and education, and personal attention for all students. Juniata offers a college experience that emphasizes a student-alumni-faculty community extending beyond graduation.

Contact Gabe Welsch at welschg@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.