WPA 2023 Psi Chi Research Award Winner, Zandile Makatini
Zandile Makatini is a 4th year Biopsych major working with Dr. Vanessa Woods in the Woods Lab. Zandile presented her honors thesis work as a poster at the Western Psychological Association in May 2023, and was awarded the Psi Chi Research Award for her research. This award recognizes presenters who demonstrate exceptional abstracts of their empirical research, and promotes their futures in the field of psychology. Zandile’s project looks at the effects of belonging interventions that have been written considering intersectionality and uplifting racialized experiences informed by critical race theory, on an individual's perception of their academic capabilities, persistence, social support, and cultural congruence. Overall, the project will contribute to support services that universities can utilize to provide minority students a platform to be heard and acknowledged, as well as to increase academic retention rates. Zandile commented “Winning this Research Award was so unexpected, but exciting to me because the work I’ve done all year was acknowledged and rewarded by Psi Chi board members of the WPA regional conference. I’m hoping someone continues my important research project in the future with passion and grace.” Congratulations Zandile!