PBSC alumnus wins national research award

 Palm Beach State College alumnus Craig Tomlin has won another national award for research conducted during the height of the pandemic and while pursuing his Associate in Arts degree.

The aspiring psychologist is among only 20 winners selected in 10 categories by the Council on Undergraduate Research. CUR received over 2,600 abstract submissions from students at universities and colleges around the country vying to present at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research, held virtually April 2-6, and 200 of those entries also competed for the NCUR 2022@Home Award.

In addition to being selected to present his research at the national conference, Tomlin also will be recognized at a virtual ceremony April 11 as a NCUR 2022 competition winner for the Social Sciences division.

“It’s an honor to be recognized on a national platform of this magnitude and share the stage with peers from larger institutions with high-caliber research facilities,” Tomlin said.

Tomlin conducted his research titled, “Dispositional Mindfulness and Subjective Stress Coping Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Exploration of Potential Problem-Focused Mediators,” in 2020 with Dr. Ted Cascio, a psychology professor at the Palm Beach Gardens campus, and two other students. Citing 40 previous research articles and surveying over 100-student participants, it takes a deeper dive into the long-studied psychological phenomenon of mindfulness and examines how coping strategies mediate the link between mindfulness and well-being during stressful events. Essentially, it centers on how people live their lives: in the moment (mindfulness) or in the past.

This is not the first time Tomlin has been recognized for the research. As primary author, he and student Rivkah Estrin also won an Emerging Researcher Award from Psi Beta, a national honor society in psychology, last year and their research article was published last fall in the inaugural edition of Psi Beta Journal of Student Research.

Tomlin graduated magna cum laude with his A.A. degree in December 2020. He is currently planning to continue his education at Rollins College this fall to pursue a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in neuroscience. He plans to eventually complete his doctorate in clinical psychology or behavioral neuroscience.

“In my eight years or so as professor here I’ve noticed an enormous groundswell of interest among our students in conducting impactful original research,’’ Cascio said. “These outstanding students seem particularly eager to demonstrate that they can contribute to knowledge and stimulate scientific discovery on the large stages out there, just like their counterparts at more prestigious colleges and universities.”

Tomlin said the level of autonomy and direct involvement he was granted during his research with Cascio was paramount to his development as a student and academic researcher.  “I’m profoundly more prepared to navigate the next stages of my academic journey thanks to the opportunity I was given by Dr. Cascio.”

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2 comments on “PBSC alumnus wins national research award”

  1. Congratulations, Craig,

    We are extremely proud of you, as a representative of the College. You are a perfect example for the undergraduates to see what can be achieved when they apply themselves. All the best in your future endeavors!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Joy! I thoroughly enjoyed my time at PBSC and am forever grateful to the support I received from Psi Beta mentors and Psych faculty like Dr. Cascio, Professor Havrede Hill, & Dr. Blair.

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