Scott's Research Presented Across the Pond

Research, research and more research. It is part of a typical day in the life of a college student.

But when research by an undergraduate student is presented at an international conference, it is anything but typical.

Arkansas Tech University senior Sarah Scott of Fort Smith (photographed) had that experience this spring when the volume that she co-authored, “To Attribute or Not to Attribute: That is the Post-Traumatic Question,” was presented at the 2010 World Scientific and Engineering Academy and Society Conference at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

“The research I conducted focused on college-age students exposed to a tornado and what they attribute the tornado to, whether it is luck, God, fate or any other reason,” said Scott. “In addition to attributions, the book also focuses on post-traumatic stress symptoms that are evident among those exposed to a natural disaster.

“I was ecstatic when I found out in November that the book would be presented at Cambridge,” continued Scott. “As an undergraduate, it is awesome to have a publication with your name on it. I am hoping that there will be many more to come.”

Scott and fellow Arkansas Tech psychology student Lisa Beck, who graduated Magna Cum Laude from Arkansas Tech in 2009, assisted former Tech faculty member Dr. Caleb Lack with the research during the spring 2009 semester.

“When conducting the research and analyzing the data, I formed a new perspective on the subject of post-traumatic stress,” said Scott. “Initially, I was not very familiar with post-traumatic stress and could not believe all of the individuals that suffer from it due to a natural disaster. Additionally, I was shocked at the amount of attributions the individuals make. I began to realize just how real post-traumatic stress is and how terrible the results are. They can literally affect people the rest of their lives.”

Scott will graduate from Arkansas Tech in May with a degree in psychology, and she plans on pursuing further studies in the field.

“I have always had the desire to succeed as a clinical psychologist,” said Scott. “However, it is an extremely competitive field. I have taken steps to apply for graduate school and am currently waiting to hear back from all the schools I have applied to until I decide which I would like to attend.

“In the end, I plan on obtaining my Ph.D. in clinical psychology and practicing as a clinical psychologist in addition to furthering my research,” continued Scott. “I have grown to love the field of anxiety disorders and have intentions of someday helping those that have suffered from an unfortunate experience in their life.”