BETHANY, W.Va. – Four students and three faculty from Bethany College will present research at the Eastern Psychology Association’s annual meeting in March in Boston.

Amanda Casto, of Wellsburg, W.Va, front left.; Dr. Debra Hull, Jenna Scott, of Newcastle, Ind.; Dr. Diane Snyder, back left; Mershawn Smith, of Columbus, Ohio; Dr. John Hull; and Mariah Chobany, of Washington, Pa.

The Bethany representatives are senior Amanda Casto, of Wellsburg, W.Va., senior Jenna Scott, of Newcastle, Ind., senior Mershawn Smith, of Columbus, Ohio, junior Mariah Chobany, of Washington, Pa., professors Dr. Debra Hull and Dr. John Hull, and Dr. Diane Snyder, assistant professor and department chair.

“Cultivating a scholarship of research is one of the key pathways in our ‘Bethany Connect’ strategic vision,” said Dr. Joe Lane, provost and dean of faculty. “The excellent work of our psychology faculty in encouraging students to present their original work at the Eastern Psychological Association in Boston is one of the premier examples of the fine work our students, and their faculty mentors, do. We know that students who present at professional conferences are better prepared for graduate study than those who have not had this opportunity, and we are committed to giving our students these opportunities beyond the classroom that contribute to a distinctive Bethany education.”

The topics of research to be presented by the local contingent are:

  • “Qualitative Studies in Psychology, Biology, and Social Work since 1900,” by Debra Hull and John Hull.
  • “Judgment about Women’s Bodies as a Function of Race and Gender,” by John Hull, Debra Hull and Azaria Davis of Smith College
  • “Quality of Life in Adults with Autism,” by Casto and Snyder.
  • “Stigmas Associated with Pregnant and Parenting Teens,” by Chobany and Debra Hull.
  • “The Effects of Disorder Disclosure on Workplace Social Distancing and Stigma,” by Scott, Debra Hull and Snyder.
  • “Stigma Related to Diagnosed Individuals’ and Participants’ Genders,” by Smith, Debra Hull and John Hull.

Every year since 1977, Bethany College has had at least one psychology major author or co-author a presentation or publication for a refereed professional meeting or journal, John Hull said. In the last decade, an average of three students has done so annually.

The Eastern Psychological Association is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year and is the oldest regional psychological organization in the United States. The annual meeting will be March 12-14 at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel.


Bethany College, founded in 1840, is the oldest private college in West Virginia. The Bethany experience focuses on academic excellence in the area of liberal arts and prepares students for a lifetime of work and a life of significance.