(Posted October 1, 2007)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Two Juniata College professors will discuss how students can get positive outcomes beyond academic achievement while being tutored by their peers in the talk "Peer Learning\" at 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 10 in Neff Lecture Hall in the von Liebig Center for Science on the Juniata campus.
The lecture is free and open to the public. The talk is part of the Bookend Seminar Lecture Series, which features afternoon lectures each month by Juniata faculty.
Lynn Cockett, associate professor of communication, and Kathryn Westcott, assistant professor of psychology, will focus on how peer learning (the educational value students gain from tutoring) complements the education students receive at a liberal arts college. The two professors' research came about as part of a collaborative grant from the Teagle Foundation.
Westcott's portion of the talk will focus on how students assessed the tutoring program available through the academic support services office. She will talk about how students rated their academic skills, self-study habits and attitudes.
Cockett will center her part of the lecture on how students develop better communication skills as a semester progresses. She observed tutoring sessions for Juniata's Organic Chemistry course.
Cockett came to Juniata in 2001 after working as an assistant professor and director of undergraduate studies at Rutgers University. She is a specialist in group communication, particularly in the workplace. She teaches a variety of communication courses, including the department's research methods course.
Cockett earned a bachelor's degree in English in 1989 from Messiah College. She went on to earn a master's degree in library science in 1993 from Rutgers and earned a doctoral degree in communication in 2000 from Rutgers. Her main area of research focuses on how professional work practices relate to issues of identity.
Before arriving at Juniata, she worked as an assistant professor at Rutgers and worked as an instructor in the communication department from 1999 to 2000.
Kathryn Westcott joined Juniata's faculty in 2003. She earned a magna cum laude 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.
She also holds certifications in school psychology from the Ohio and Indiana departments of education. She served as an adjunct professor at Juniata for spring semester 2003.
Westcott worked as a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Cincinnati from 1999 to 2001. Before starting her academic career, Westcott worked as a school psychologist for the Monroe County Community School Corporation in Bloomington, Ind. from 2001-2002.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.