Kennesaw State student’s research to debut on Capitol Hill

KENNESAW, Ga. | Apr 17, 2018

Work on factors impacting women’s mental health puts University in national spotlight

 Olivia Lauzon
Olivia Lauzon

Kennesaw State University psychology major Olivia Lauzon has been selected to present her research to members of Congress, their staffs and other federal officials in Washington, D.C., during the 22nd Annual “Posters on the Hill” competition. It is the first time a KSU student has presented at the Capitol Hill event.

Lauzon, whose research focuses on women’s mental health, is among 60 presenters chosen from a field of 400 students who competed for the honor. The two-day event is sponsored by The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) in partnership with the American Chemical Society.

Along with her faculty mentor, Ebony Glover, assistant professor of neuroscience at Kennesaw State, Lauzon will present findings from their study of hormone-related factors involved in regulating emotions and their implications for treating anxiety disorders.

“Dr. Glover’s Affective Neuroscience Lab examines biological factors that help regulate women’s emotions,” Lauzon said. “There are significant gaps in the literature surrounding the role of hormonal contraceptive use in the processing of emotion. Our findings – that the regulation of emotions may be impacted among women taking certain oral contraceptives – could have widespread implications for the treatment of specific anxiety disorders among women.”

Lauzon said the data acquired through this project could inform mental health research, and the opportunity to present it on Capitol Hill will help increase public awareness of the issues surrounding gender disparities in psychiatric illnesses.

Poster on Capitol Hill

From left, Amy Buddie, Olivia Lauzon and Ebony Glover

Kennesaw State’s representation in this competition is also a source of pride for Amy M. Buddie, director of KSU’s Office of Undergraduate Research and psychology professor, and others who have long worked to promote undergraduate research at KSU.

“Historically, only one or two posters are accepted per state,” Buddie explained. “If you look at some of the recent past winners, you’ll see that typically the Georgia posters come from the University of Georgia, and perhaps one from another school in Georgia, though never from Kennesaw State, until now.”

Kennesaw State’s emphasis on research is also reflected in its selection as host of the 33rd National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), April 11-13, 2019. More than 5,000 students and their faculty mentors from around the country are expected to attend the three-day conference.

NCUR provides students the opportunity to present scholarly research in a professional setting and interact with their peers, in addition to meeting with graduate school and corporate recruiters.

– Robert S. Godlewski

Photos by Lauren Kress

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 45,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit