Lisa Platt Hjelm receives honors for research on teachers' prejudices
2009 Jul 21Lisa Platt Hjelm, a '09 graduate of Augustana College, earned Honors in Psychology for her award-winning research on prejudice in education. She was the only graduate to receive this award and was recognized at the psychology honors banquet and honors convocation in May. Platt Hjelm, a double major in elementary education and psychology, investigated how students' socioeconomic class might affect teachers' behavior in the classroom. She gave participants a computerized test, where they had to make associations between words like "tardy," "well-prepared" or "cheating" and either the word "rich" or "poor." She was awarded a regional research award through Psi Chi National Honors Society in Psychology for her study. Platt Hjelm believes the psychology department helped her become a better educator by teaching her to understand the whole child. She is grateful for the department's support. "When I needed something, school related or not, someone in the psych department was always willing to listen. The faculty really felt like family." Lisa Platt Hjelm is the daughter of Gary and Christine Platt of Barrington, Illinois, and is a graduate of Barrington High School. At Augustana, Platt Hjelm was the President and publicity chair for the psychology club and the Jonquil chair for the service sorority Epsilon Sigma Alpha. She was married to Greg Hjelm shortly after graduation and is currently living in St. Charles, Illinois. She hopes to pursue her master's degree in early childhood special education. Honors in Psychology are selectively awarded to students who complete a special research project during their senior year. Professor Dr. Daniel Corts said, "Every psychology student completes an original research project under the supervision of a faculty member. Honors in Psychology is awarded to students who complete a project above and beyond what is required for the psychology major."