Alumna shares Facebook findings at campus event

Mandy Guitar_0023What do our Facebook tendencies say about the way we view relationships? One SUNY New Paltz alumna returned to campus to share her conclusions on the subject during the Evolutionary Studies Seminar event, “Facebook Frenemies and Selfie-Promotion: Intrasexual Competition in the Digital Age,” held on campus in April.

Led by Amanda “Mandy” Guitar ’13g (Psychology), the presentation highlighted the impact of social networks on human communication.

Evolutionary Studies Program Director Glenn Geher (Psychology) said having Guitar visit the campus both showcased an all-star alumna in her role as a scholar and inspired current students to realize they could do something similar one day.

“Our alumni are the ultimate fruits of our labor and bringing a successful alumna back to campus has clear and enormous value for the College,” said Geher. “Mandy’s work has the added bonus of showing students how valuable an interdisciplinary liberal arts education can be.”

As a graduate student at New Paltz, Guitar was encouraged to explore research opportunities that interested her. These ventures eventually led to both publication and numerous awards.

“Due to the confidence I gained during my time at SUNY New Paltz, I am continuing to take on research opportunities when they arise,” said Guitar. “The most important thing the College offered me was a truly incredible adviser in Dr. Glenn Geher. He is passionate about research and his excitement and motivation is contagious.”

Guitar is the recipient of the Outstanding Student Oral Presentation award by the NorthEastern Evolutionary Psychology Society for her talk titled “Situation-specific emotional states: A test of evolutionary functionality.” She was also awarded Outstanding Student Poster Presentation by the Feminist Evolutionary Psychology Society for her poster titled “Defining and interpreting definitions of emotional and sexual infidelity,” a study featured in The Huffington Post. She is currently enrolled in the biological anthropology Ph.D. program at SUNY Binghamton, where she teaches an undergraduate course in evolutionary medicine.