What kinds of projects have our SMP students done?

Katie Grein '13 presents her SMP

Check out the database of past PsycSMP abstracts

Prospective PsycSMPs: A past student may have suggested a path for future research that you would like to follow!

Students can visit the College Archives (Calvert 009-ground floor) to read or view past St. Mary's Projects Mondays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (appointments recommended).

Access to a full SMP can depend on how a student completed a release form, but most SMPs can be read or viewed in the College Archives without restriction.

Electronic copies of SMPs are usually provided to faculty and staff upon request, but students are provided electronic copies of SMPs only with the permission of a faculty member.

Liza Sitz

Sitz, Liza. (2013, May). The effects of chronic corticosterone exposure on long-term memory consolidation in rats.
Mentor: Dr. Aileen Bailey


Depression is a prevalent disorder in the United States’ adult population and has been linked to cognitive impairments. Heightened stress hormones (glucocorticoids) have been associated with the display of depressive-like symptoms in animals, suggesting stress to be a major contributor to depression onset.  Excessive glucocorticoid exposure has also been suggested to damage hippocampal neurons, which are important for learning and memory.  Chronic unpredictable stress has been a common method for investigating stress’ influence on the brain. However, the current study investigated the impact of chronic glucocorticoid exposure through a novel approach by orally administering glucocorticoids in order to study their effects on long-term spatial memory in rats.  Results indicated that long-term memory was not significantly disrupted in rats exposed to glucocorticoids, however, exposed rats did show a trend in behavior that suggests impairment in memory.  Further research is suggested to implement higher CORT doses to further investigate the influence of stress on cognition.  


Read the paper (download the pdf)