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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Dr. Emily Stark Publishes Article in Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council

Stark’s article describes how the Honors Program partnered with the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation



Minnesota State University, Mankato, 01-08-2014

Dr. Emily Stark, Associate Professor of Psychology at Minnesota State University, Mankato, recently published an article in the Fall/Winter 2013 issue of the Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council (JNCHC). Stark’s article, titled “Real-Life Solutions to Real-Life Problems: Collaborating with a Non-Profit Foundation to Engage Honors Students in Applied Research,” describes how the Honors Program at Minnesota State University, Mankato partnered with the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF), a local non-profit, to provide honors students with applied research projects.

Dr. Stark, who served as interim Honors Program Director during fall 2012, began working with SMIF while teaching an Honors Seminar on research methods during spring 2012. “This work was accomplished both through an honors course on research methods, and through an independent study experience,” says Stark. “In the paper, I present the advantages and disadvantages of each approach, and how these experiences broadened the students’ understanding of the research process, developed their research skills, and gave them an opportunity to contribute to their community.”

Dr. Stark earned her Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Minnesota in 2007, and then joined the Psychology Department here at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her research interests lie in understanding the things that influence our judgments and decisions, such as emotions, logical reasoning, personality traits, the context of the decision, and other factors. She is also involved in several research projects tied to understanding how students learn and how to motivate better study habits, as well as how to improve students’ critical thinking abilities.

The mission of the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, according to its website, is to promote regional economic opportunities and collaborations with a focus on entrepreneurs and early childhood development. For more information on SMIF, see


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