Renee Penalver teaching an Introduction to Psychology course

Internships & Research

Research opportunities provide valuable practical experience. Whether the research is conducted as your own independent project or working as a research assistant in one of our faculty's research programs, you will learn skills to be successful in life. Research experience is extremely valuable if you intend to pursue advanced study after graduating from Coe, but it also is valuable if you wish to begin a career immediately upon graduation. You will sharpen your critical thinking skills by learning to formulate a problem; define variables; collect, analyze and interpret data; and communicate your findings to others. Communication skills are important in today's world, and you’ll have numerous opportunities to present your research findings. On-campus opportunities include the Coe College Student Research Symposium and the Psychology Research Symposium sponsored by the Coe Psychology Club. Additionally, Coe students have regular opportunities to present their research at regional undergraduate conferences and national professional conferences.

Recent Student/Faculty Research Projects



  • Pedestrian Safety when Crossing a Bicycle Path in a Virtual Environment.  
    • James Bordwell, Brody Stanford, Ben Chihak*
  • Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQL) Following an Elective Orthopedic Surgery and the Implementation of Research into Clinical Practice.
    • Megan Peterson, Cody Leach, Sonja Peterson, Carrie Van Houten, MHA, BSN, RN, Benjamim Tallman*
  • Memory Access in Creative Thinking and Categorization.
    • Claire Tollefsrud, Mikaela Martinez, & Nükhet Yarbrough*
  • Do Good Things Come to Those Who Wait? Evaluating the Relationship between Procrastination and Physical Activity.
    • ​​​​​​​Galen Kardinal, Meg Golder, Paige Nelson, Hayley Walton, & Scout Kelly*
  • The Relationship Between Grit, PsyCap, and Academic Outcome.
    • ​​​​​​​Rachel Thoma, Claire Tollefsrud, Kei Yoshida, Yara Alarcon-Furman, & Sara Farrell*
  • We Know Where You (Want To) Live: Survey On Coe College Room Draw And Housing.
    • ​​​​​​​Jocelyn Gilbert, Lindo Castillo, Kathryn Koehler, Katrina Denzer, & Wendy Dunn*
  • Creative Thinking and Memory for Word Lists: Are Divergent Thinkers More or Less Likely to Construct False Memories?
    • ​​​​​​​Wenxia Sweeney, Iyonna Heisterman, & Nükhet Yarbrough*
  • Nurses’ Perceptions and Attitudes Toward the Management of Patients’ Pain.
    • ​​​​​​​Brandon Miller, Kelsey Craig, Erica Coxhead, Emma Gooding-Lord, April Golwitzer, MSN, RN, APN, Teresa Young, PhD & Benjamin Tallman*
  • The Effects Of The Bilingual Experience On Source Memory.
    • ​​​​​​​SaCora Fisher, Erica Ernzen, Alivia Nelson, Mia Resa, Auden Ovick, and Renee Penalver*


  • Relaxation Techniques for Patients Completing Elective Orthopedic Procedures.
    • ​​​​​​​Cody Leach, Ashley Peterson, Megan Peterson, Sonja Peterson, Adriana Morales, Rachel Hunter, Emily Laing & Benjamin Tallman*
  • Perceptual Category Boundaries and Need for Closure.
    • ​​​​​​​Emily Laing, Tom Moye* and Nükhet Yarbrough*
  • Outcomes of Mindfulness-Based Strengths Practice in College Students.
    • ​​​​​​​Kaitlin Fosler & Sara Farrell*
  • Extraneous Stimulus Does Not Disrupt Sensitization of Methamphetamine-Induced Motor Effects in Male Chicks.
    • ​​​​​​​Jeffry Hernandez, Yareli Hernandez, Adriana Morales, Hanna Reese, Thomas Schakel & Mike Baker*
  • Where the Rubber Meets the Road in Clinical Intervention Research: Implementing Research Results Into Clinical Practice.
    • ​​​​​​​Megan Peterson, Ashley Peterson, Cody Leach, Sonja Peterson, Adriana Morales, Rachel Hunter, Emily Laing, & Benjamin Tallman*
  • External Inhibition Of Methamphetamine Cpp-Mediated Drug-Seeking Behavior In Female Chicks.
    • ​​​​​​​Rhiannan Heikens, Jade Hess, Cody Leach, Alexandria Muldrew, Justin Vink, Alexa Wasicek, Ella Remund Wiger,& Mike Baker*
  • The Impact of a Positive Psychology Intervention on State Gratitude and Organizational Citizenship Behavior.
    • ​​​​​​​Claire Tollefsrud, Adriana Morales, & Sara Farrell*
  • Perceptual Boundaries, Magical Ideation, Need for Closure, and Creative Ideation.
    • ​​​​​​​Sarah Brickson, Lindo Castillo, Jancillin Chacko, Yareli Hernandez, Mckayla Morris, Paige Nelson, Delaney Novy, Tom Moye* and Nükhet Yarbrough*
  • Cultural Competency on Coe’s Campus.
    • ​​​​​​​Bailey Dixon, Sonja Peterson, Thomas Moye* & Nukhet Yarbrough*
  • A new type of indirect contact: Video news media and college students' perceptions of transgender individuals.
    • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Alexandria Muldrew, Dan Lehn* & Tom Moye*

Internship Opportunities

An internship can significantly strengthen a your candidacy for graduate schools and for jobs. Student internships are an important vehicle to attain various learning outcomes identified by the American Psychological Association (APA) as key learning goals. These goals emphasize ethical, interpersonal and professional development goals.

We designed our internship program to impart these values and skills through a pre-internship course, Applied Contemporary Psychology (ACP; PSY-295). In ACP, you will be presented with information about a wide range of potential careers in applied psychology (the helping professions). You also will learn practical career-related skills, such as writing cover letters and resumes, as well as networking skills important to procuring a job or graduate admission. The instructor provides mentorship and encouragement as you prepare your internship applications.

This course is followed by an on-site internship experience coupled with weekly discussion sessions addressing ethical, legal, moral, social and interpersonal issues that accompany work in a psychology-related field. The discussions allow you to explore your values and enhance your self-efficacy. During the 2015-’16 and ’16-’17 academic years 68 psychology students completed internships at 30 different sites, including local human service organizations, businesses and public mental health organizations. Coe’s close proximity to the MedQuarter, including two hospitals, provides easy access to internship sites for our students.

2017-18 Internships

  • Caitlyn Barret — Teaching Interventions to Empower and Strengthen Families (TIES)
  • Sienna Church — TIES
  • Natalie Zutter — Coe Admissions
  • Kasey Bruns — Young Parents Network
  • Claire Tollesfsrud — Waypoint Domestic Violence Division
  • Megan Morris — Junior Achievement
  • Christina Freese — Waypoint Human Resources
  • David Hansen — Tanager Place
  • Anita Wong — The Linn County History Center
  • Jack Redmond — TIES
  • Emma Gooding-Lord — St. Luke’s Hospital Chemical Dependency Program
  • Jackie Villagomez — TIES
  • Katie Pontious — The ARC of East Central Iowa
  • Hayley Walton — TIES
  • Kristjan Nixon — TIES
  • Erica Coxhead — Waypoint Domestic Violence Division
  • Jaclyn Pecille — TIES
  • Devyn Velaazco — Cedar Rapids Police Department
  • Brody Stanford — Coe Admissions
  • Meg Heartlein — TIES

Additional internships sites since 2015-16:

Abbe Community Mental Health Center; Bare Minerals, Inc.; Bernie Sanders Presidential Campaign; Catherine McCauly Center; Coe College Human Resources; Coe College Public Relations; Coe College Student Development; Common Road to Recovery; Community Hands; Four Oaks; Freedom Foundation; Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa; Great America Financial Services; Hy Vee, Inc.; Kids on Course; Kirkwood Community College; Linn County Public Health; Mercy Medical Center; Rockwell Collins, Inc.; St. Luke’s Hospital; Theatre Cedar Rapids; TransAmerica; United Way of East Central Iowa; Unity Point Foundation; Van Meter, Inc.