Outward mobility to Florida [] Symudedd allanol i Florida

Outward mobility to Florida

This year two colleagues in forensic psychology (Drs Nic Bowes and Karen de Claire) were successful in gaining funding for an outward mobility visit.  Building strong international collaborations is vital to how we critically understand our own practices and knowledge, and helps us develop research into new areas, and to design courses to better support students.  Here, Dr Karen de Claire outlines the trip, what was covered and some of the outcomes.

 The Santander funding allowed us to visit the Miami Dade University. Miami Dade is the largest HE provider in the US, with more students than any other college.  They lead the way in activities to widen access to study and improve employability for people who would not be typically expected to attend university.  This University has a School of Justice and has similar practice concerns and research interests; weapon crime, violence and community issues related to offending. Miami Dade University were very interested in meeting and working with us and arranged an amazing itinerary. On arrival we met with the Dean of the School of Justice and his team and toured the campus. They explained the Police and Correctional Officer Academies that they run, which are both based on the psychological concept of procedural justice. A concept we are working on currently in the UK. They also talked about their role in promotion boards for criminal justice organisations, something we as a university could consider exploring.

We followed this with attendance at a gun crime conference, meeting gang leaders, victims, police chiefs and national experts. Obviously this is a huge issue for the American people. While it was great to see all of these groups working together with academics to deal with the problem, it was concerning to hear the message that the gun control laws are not widely or effectively applied. While we were in Miami there were a number of shootings including the murders of two high school students.

On day two of our visit we were invited to observe a disaster recovery exercise by Florida Emergency Mortuary Operations Response System (FEMOR).  They had created a disaster scenario (terrorist attack) and had established a body recovery and identification exercise including the use of real human remains to test out all aspects of the emergency team response (including cadaver dogs). Miami Dade trains crime scene investigators and mortuary staff. In America they do not have Forensic Psychologists and our title confused them. This misunderstanding lead to them thinking we would be comfortable surrounded by cadavers and body parts. We were able to fake insouciance. It was fascinating to see how a mobile mortuary operates following a major incident of multiple deaths and it was great to see Bella the cadaver dog in action.

The trip gave us a wonderful insight into the way American university funding works and the entrepreneurial nature of the academics work. In the School of Justice all of the staff were practitioners in their field prior to joining the university and the ethos is innovation. The motto being try anything we will support you and if it works great. The academic team is multicultural and multilingual and southern hospitality was offered by everyone we met.

As part of their practitioner contact we were taken to a low security prison. Here we met the education, drug treatment and industries staff who work tirelessly to rehabilitate men who may have been in prison all their adult life. This experience was nothing like the view of American prisons presented by the media. Staff and prisoners worked alongside each other and showed considerable respect to each other. We met a group of 20 prisoners who had undertaken a treatment programme with university staff and students. They were welcoming to us and spoke positively about the experience as did the students.

On the final day we met the Virtual Campus team their professional approach was amazing with the University offering 300 MSc programmes on line. We learned how to develop our own programmes to provide a more blended learning approach and this discussion sparked many ideas for the future.

This turned out to be a very productive visit and has the potential to lead to the following collaborations, including research and student exchanges. 

Our visit ended with a meeting with red Dragon radios Dr Johnny Love, but that is another story. 

 

 Symudedd allanol i Florida

 

Eleni, bu dau gydweithiwr mewn seicoleg fforensig (Drs Nic Bowes & Karen de Claire) yn llwyddiannus wrth ennill cyllid ar gyfer ymweliad symudedd allanol. Mae adeiladu cydweithrediadau rhyngwladol cryf yn hollbwysig i’r modd yr ydym yn deall yn feirniadol ein hymarfer a’n gwybodaeth ein hunain, ac yn ein cynorthwyo i ddatblygu ymchwil i feysydd newydd, a dylunio cyrsiau i gynorthwyo myfyrwyr yn well. Yma, mae Dr Karen de Claire yn amlinellu’r daith, yr hyn a gwmpaswyd a rhai o’r canlyniadau.

 

Caniataodd arian Santander i ni ymweld â Phrifysgol Miami Dade. Miami Dade yw’r darparwr AU mwyaf yn yr Unol Daleithiau, gyda mwy o fyfyrwyr nag unrhyw goleg arall. Maent yn arwain y ffordd mewn gweithgareddau i ehangu mynediad i astudio a gwella cyflogadwyedd ar gyfer pobl na fyddai disgwyl iddynt fynychu’r brifysgol fel arfer. Mae gan y Brifysgol hon Ysgol Cyfiawnder ac mae ganddi bryderon ymarfer a diddordebau ymchwil tebyg; troseddau arfau, trais a materion cymunedol sy’n ymwneud â throseddu. Roedd gan Brifysgol Miami Dade ddiddordeb mawr mewn cyfarfod a gweithio gyda ni a threfnwyd taith anhygoel. Ar ôl cyrraedd, gwnaethom gyfarfod â Deon yr Ysgol Cyfiawnder a’i dîm a theithio o amgylch y campws. Esboniodd yr Academïau Swyddog yr Heddlu a Chywirol maent yn eu rhedeg, sy’n seiliedig ar gysyniad seicolegol cyfiawnder trefniadol. Cysyniad yr ydym yn gweithio arno ar hyn o bryd yn y DU. Buont hefyd yn sôn am eu rôl mewn byrddau dyrchafiad ar gyfer sefydliadau cyfiawnder troseddol, rhywbeth y gallwn ni fel prifysgol ystyried ei archwilio.

 

Dilynwyd hyn gyda mynychu cynhadledd troseddau gwn, gan gyfarfod ag arweinwyr gang, dioddefwyr, penaethiaid yr heddlu ac arbenigwyr cenedlaethol. Yn amlwg, mae hwn yn fater enfawr i bobl America. Er ei bod yn wych gweld pob un o’r grwpiau hyn yn cydweithio ag academyddion i ddelio â’r broblem, roedd yn ymwneud â chlywed y neges nad yw’r cyfreithiau rheoli gwn yn cael eu defnyddio’n eang neu’n effeithiol. Tra’n bod ni yn Miami roedd yna nifer o saethiadau gan gynnwys llofruddiaethau dau fyfyriwr ysgol uwchradd.

 

Ar ddiwrnod dau o’n hymweliad, cawsom wahoddiad i arsylwi ar ymarfer adfer trychineb gan System Ymateb Gweithrediadau Brys Marwdy Fflorida (FEMOR). Roeddent wedi creu senario trychineb (ymosodiad terfysgol) ac wedi sefydlu adfer ac adnabod corff gan gynnwys defnyddio gweddillion dynol go iawn i brofi pob agwedd ar ymateb y tîm brys (gan gynnwys cŵn darganfod cyrff meirw). Mae Miami Dade yn hyfforddi ymchwilwyr lleoliad troseddau a staff marwdy. Yn America, nid oes ganddynt Seicolegwyr Fforensig ac mae ein teitl yn eu drysu. Arweiniodd y camddealltwriaeth hwn atynt yn meddwl y byddem yn gyfforddus o amgylch carcharorion a rhannau o’r corff.  Llwyddom i ffugio dihidrwydd. Roedd hi’n ddiddorol gweld sut mae marwdy symudol yn gweithredu yn dilyn digwyddiad mawr o farwolaethau lluosog ac roedd hi’n wych gweld Bella y ci darganfod cyrff meirw yn gweithio.

 

Rhoddodd y daith gipolwg gwych i ni ar y ffordd y mae arian prifysgol America yn gweithio a natur entrepreneuraidd gwaith yr academyddion. Yn yr Ysgol Cyfiawnder roedd yr holl staff yn ymarferwyr yn eu maes cyn ymuno â’r brifysgol ac mae’r ethos yn arloesol.  Yr arwyddair oedd rhowch gynnig ar unrhyw beth, byddwn yn eich cefnogi ac os yw’n gweithio, gwych. Mae’r tîm academaidd yn amlddiwylliannol ac yn amlieithog a chynigiwyd lletygarwch deheuol gan bawb a gyfarfuom.

 

Fel rhan o’u cysylltiad ymarferydd, cawsom ein tywys i garchar diogelwch isel. Yma fe wnaethom gyfarfod â staff addysg, triniaeth cyffuriau a diwydiannau sy’n gweithio’n ddiflino i adsefydlu dynion a allai fod wedi bod yn y carchar trwy gydol eu bywydau oedolion. Nid oedd y profiad hwn yn debyg i farn carchardai America a gyflwynwyd gan y cyfryngau. Roedd staff a charcharorion yn gweithio ochr yn ochr â’i gilydd ac yn dangos cryn barch at ei gilydd. Cyfarfuom â grŵp o 20 o garcharorion a oedd wedi ymgymryd â rhaglen driniaeth gyda staff a myfyrwyr y brifysgol. Roeddent yn groesawgar i ni ac yn siarad yn gadarnhaol am y profiad fel yr oedd y myfyrwyr.

 

Ar y diwrnod olaf, gwnaethom gyfarfod â thîm y Campws Rhithwir, roedd eu hymagwedd broffesiynol yn rhyfeddol gyda’r Brifysgol yn cynnig 300 o raglenni MSc ar-lein. Fe wnaethon ni ddysgu sut i ddatblygu ein rhaglenni ein hunain i ddarparu dull dysgu mwy cymysg a thaniodd y drafodaeth hon lawer o syniadau ar gyfer y dyfodol.

Bu hyn yn ymweliad cynhyrchiol iawn ac mae ganddo’r potensial i arwain at y cydweithrediadau canlynol, gan gynnwys ymchwil a chyfnewidfeydd myfyrwyr.

Daeth ein hymweliad i ben gyda chyfarfod gyda Dr Johnny Love, red Dragon radios, ond  stori arall yw honno.

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Cangen Cymru o Gymdeithas Seicolegol Prydain [BPS] Welsh Branch Student Conference

Bob blwyddyn mae Cangen Cymru o’r BPS yn trefnu cynhadledd myfyrwyr ar gyfer myfyrwyr y flwyddyn olaf ac ôl-raddedigion i arddangos eu gwaith ymchwil. Eleni, roeddem yn ffodus gan i’r gynhadledd gael ei chynnal ym Met Caerdydd ar ddiwedd mis Mawrth. Yma mae Dr Nick Perham yn sôn am y gynhadledd.

Cynhadledd Myfyrwyr Cymru o Gymdeithas Seicolegol Prydain – cyfle gwych i fyfyrwyr israddedig ac ôl-raddedig y flwyddyn olaf i ledaenu eu Prosiectau i gynulleidfa dderbyngar, wybodus ac sydd â diddordeb. Bu’n dipyn o amser ers i mi fynychu un o’r cynadleddau hyn ond unwaith eto gwnaethpwyd argraff aruthrol arnaf o ganlyniad i ystod eang a dyfnder y pynciau a’r wybodaeth a ddangosodd y myfyrwyr.

Cynhaliwyd cynhadledd eleni ym Mhrifysgol Metropolitan Caerdydd ac roedd wedi bod yn naw mlynedd ers iddi gael ei chynnal yma ddiwethaf. Byddai unrhyw un nad oedd wedi bod ar y campws ers hynny wedi sylwi ar y nifer o newidiadau sydd wedi digwydd ers hynny, yn enwedig yr enw.

Dechreuodd y gynhadledd gyda Dr Paul Hutchings yn gosod yr olygfa ar gyfer digwyddiadau’r dydd a thawelu nerfau pawb. Yna symudom i dri sesiwn cyfochrog yn y bore. Roedd sgyrsiau yn amrywio o edrych ar y rhagfynegydd gorau o grefyddrwydd i ddefnyddio defnydd caethiwus ar y rhyngrwyd i ragfynegi camddefnyddio sylweddau, o empathi poen tuag at robot i wahaniaethau rhywedd mewn sweipio ap detio ar-lein, a pherthnasoedd agos i ofalu am unigolion â dementia o safbwynt dyn.

 

Yn ystod cinio pleserus iawn, cafodd y rhai a fynychodd gyfle i gymysgu a gweld y posteri a oedd yn cynnwys pynciau megis effaith lle glas / gwyrdd ar straen, effaith, a hapusrwydd, a datblygu rhaglen llesiant gadarnhaol i fyfyrwyr prifysgol. Ar ôl cinio, cawsom ddwy sesiwn gyfochrog arall.

I gloi’r gynhadledd, rhoddais y prif anerchiad a aeth yn dda yn fy marn i – ni syrthiodd neb i gysgu, roedd y gynulleidfa yn rhyngweithio â mi, roedd pobl yn chwerthin â mi yn hytrach nag ar fy mhen, ac roedd y cwestiynau’n wybodus iawn. Wrth gloi’r digwyddiad cyfan, dyfarnodd Dr Paul Hutchings y gwobrau am y poster gorau a’r ail – Rebecca Nicholls (Prifysgol Metropolitan Caerdydd) a Murat Karakas (Prifysgol Bangor) yn y drefn honno – ac am y sgwrs orau a’r ail – Bethan Elliott (Prifysgol Metropolitan Caerdydd) a John Butler (Prifysgol Caerdydd) yn y drefn honno.

Wedi bod yn gadeirydd cangen Cymru, yr wyf yn ymwybodol iawn o faint o amser ac ymdrech sydd yn ofynnol fel rhan o’r cynadleddau hyn, yn enwedig pan fyddant fel arfer yn cael eu gwneud trwy ewyllys da’r aelodau. Diolch i bawb sydd wedi helpu i drefnu digwyddiad sydd wedi rhedeg mor llyfn.

Felly, o’i hystyried yn ei chyfanrwydd, cynhadledd wych. Fe’ch gwelwn i gyd eto’r flwyddyn nesaf.

Roedd gan Becky y canlynol i’w ddweud am y digwyddiad:

“Roedd cynhadledd myfyrwyr BPS yn brofiad gwerthfawr iawn, rhoddodd ddealltwriaeth well i mi o’r BPS cyfan, a’r ffordd y byddai cynhadledd fel arfer yn rhedeg. Roedd hefyd yn ddiddorol iawn clywed am brosiectau myfyrwyr eraill o blith israddedigion a graddau meistr. Byddwn yn argymell yn fawr i unrhyw un fynychu gan y bydd hefyd yn ychwanegiad da i’ch CV, ac edrychaf ymlaen at fynychu’r flwyddyn nesaf gyda’m prosiect meistr.”

Aeth Bethan yn syth at y pwynt yn dweud hyn:

“Roedd yn wych, wir wedi mwynhau”

 

BPS Welsh Branch Student Conference

Each year the BPS Welsh Branch organises a student conference for final year students and postgraduates to showcase their research work.  This year we were fortunate as the conference was held at Cardiff Met at the end of March.  Here Dr Nick Perham talks about the conference.

The Welsh British Psychological Society Student conference – a fantastic opportunity for final year undergraduate student and postgraduate students to disseminate their Projects to a receptive, knowledgeable, and interested audience. It has been a while since I attended one of these conferences but once again I was incredibly impressed at the sheer range and depths of topics and knowledge that students demonstrated.

This year’s conference was held at Cardiff Metropolitan University and it had been nine years since it was last held here. Anyone who had not been on campus since then would have noticed the many changes that have taken place since then, not least of all the name.

The conference started with Dr Paul Hutchings setting the scene for the day’s events and calming everyone’s nerves. We then moved onto three parallel sessions in the morning. Talks ranged from exploring the best predictor of religiosity to using addictive internet use to predict substance abuse, from pain empathy toward a robot to gender differences in online dating app swipes, and from a male perspective of intimate relationships to caring for individuals with dementia.

During a very enjoyable lunch, attendees had the opportunity to mingle and view the posters which covered topics such as the impact of blue/green space on stress, affect, and happiness, and developing a positive wellbeing programme for university students. After lunch we had two more parallel sessions.

 

To conclude the conference I gave the keynote address which I feel went well – no one fell asleep, the audience interacted with me, people laughed with me rather than at me, and the questions were very insightful. In wrapping up the whole event, Dr Paul Hutchings awarded the prizes for first and second best posters – Rebecca Nicholls (Cardiff Metropolitan University) and Murat Karakas (Bangor University) respectively – and for first and second best talks – Bethan Elliott (Cardiff Metropolitan University) and John Butler (Cardiff University) respectively.

Having been chair of the Welsh branch, I am acutely aware of how much time and effort these conferences require especially when they are usually done through members’ goodwill. Thank you to all of those who helped out in organising such a smoothly-run event.

So, all in all, a wonderful conference. See you all again next year.

Becky had this to say about the event:

“The BPS student conference was a really valuable experience, it gave me a better understanding of both the BPS as a whole, and the way in which a conference would typically run. It was also very interesting to hear about other students projects from undergraduate and masters. I would highly recommend anyone to attend as it will also make a nice addition to a CV, and I look forward to attending next year with my masters project.”

And Bethan got straight to the point saying this,

“it was wonderful, really enjoyed it.”