Dr. Harlan Fichtenholtz, an assistant professor of psychology at Keene State College, conducted the Science, Sustainability, and Health seminar surrounding psychological trauma.
The presentation revolved around the rationale and research plan for a new grant he was awarded last spring which began this summer, funded by the New Hampshire IDEA Network of Biomedical Excellence group — a network of faculty and students involved in original scientific research.
Fichtenholtz explained that last year, the NH-INBRE group opened up an application process for anyone who does biomedical research to apply for two years of research funding and get new projects started.
“I had given a similar presentation at the annual meeting of the New Hampshire INBRE research group over the summer, and so the school asked since I had done it recently if I would be willing to go at the beginning of the semester, and I didn’t mind,” Fichtenholtz said.
“It is a new seminar series. I think it’s good because the disciplines that are included in the school of science, sustainability, and health are incredibly diverse. What I think this will allow for students and faculty is to get to know what’s going on in the other disciplines that we’re now in a school with.”
Prior to giving his lecture, Fichtenholtz said, “I’ve asked some of my students and other psychology students to come so that they can get something out of it for the content because they’ll have an interest, and I think it’s good to show what we, as a psychology department, are doing to the rest of campus.”
First year psychology major Jack Cimino professed that he admired Fichtenholtz and his work.
“I have sat in on a lecture with Dr. Fichtenholtz before, and he piqued my interest with his work about trauma exposure, and it seemed like something that I’d be interested in. So, when presented with another opportunity to see him speak, I jumped at it and hopped over to Morrison,” Cimino said.
Cimino further commented,
“It more than met my expectations. I was surprised with how much they had already found out and how prepared Dr. Fichtenholtz was to conduct the experiment. It was definitely really, really informative.”
Two neuroscience majors who work with Dr. Fichtenholtz, Grace Vogel and Megan Marshall, expressed how helpful the seminar is in their area of study.
“It gives me a better understanding of what I’m going to be doing in the lab in the future,” said Vogel.
“I think it’s important because it helps students and faculty to really get to know their professors and advisors and the kind of work that they’re getting to know and getting to do,” Marshall said.
Katherine Carpiniello, a junior psychology major, admitted that while she attended the seminar for extra credit and is not a student of Dr. Fichtenholtz, the knowledge she obtained was worthwhile.
Before the seminar, she said she thought it would be interesting, as she did not know much about psychological trauma.
“It’ll give me something that I didn’t already know before, which will be good. You need to know how to approach certain things, and certain stuff needs a different approach, and I think it’s good to know all the approaches.”
Dr. Fichtenholtz shared his excitement with the lectures as a whole.
“I think that these sorts of seminar series are really good, especially in an undergraduate institution where there aren’t always presentations going on, or there aren’t always pre-established avenues for anyone — whether it’s faculty or students — to present work,” he explained.
“I don’t think it’s going to happen until the spring, but there are a couple of student researchers: one who worked with me and a couple other faculty who graduated last year, and one in the Biology Department, who are going to be able present their work also, so it gives them an avenue to do this as well, in an environment where hopefully there will be a recurring audience.”
Amanda Bevis can be contacted at