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WIU-QC Graduates First Psychology Student

March 10, 2021

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MOLINE, IL – The psychology program on Western Illinois University's Quad Cities campus has marked its first graduate.

The University began offering a psychology major on its Quad Cities campus in the Fall 2019 semester. The first graduate, Laura Albright, of Davenport, IA, finished her degree at the end of the Fall 2020 semester. She was among the first cohort of students to begin studies in the program.

"I remember meeting Mrs. Albright and her family at one of the WIU-QC's Psychology open houses in Spring 2019, and was pleased to see that she was among the QC psychology majors to sign up with us for the following fall," said Professor Colin Harbke. "Since then, I've enjoyed working with Mrs. Albright in three classes. Even when attending classes via livestream because of COVID, she consistently contributed to class discussions, asked helpful questions, and it was clear from her work that she really engaged with and had a passion for psychology and neuroscience. This was most apparent with her research project last semester that explored how self-actualization experiences impact the feelings of loneliness that can accompanying social media use for some people."

The WIU-QC program has three faculty on campus, with a combined 40 years of teaching experience, as well as activity in practice, forensic/applied work and research: Instructor Jeff Sim, Professor Dana Lindemann and Harbke. The Spring 2021 semester began with another cohort starting classes and it is anticipated that an additional 10 students from the first cohort will complete their bachelor's degrees in May.

Albright will continue on with her studies at WIU, starting as a student in the experimental psychology master's degree program in the fall. She said she chose WIU because she had confidence it would help her obtain her academic goals.

"My future objective was to perform neurological studies, allowing me to integrate technology and synaptic frequencies in alleviating neurological imbalances," she said. "Western has the undergraduate and graduate programs that will promote my personal growth and give me the opportunity to begin an optimistic career in neurology. They provided the courses and experiences to understand the neuroscience of individuals into larger demographics that are applicable in any quantitative and qualitative behavioral research."

Navigating her studies during the pandemic, Albright also volunteers for the Mental Health Alliance and the Dementia Friendly Coalition, both aiming to decrease the stigma and isolation surrounding them. She has also co-founded a business promoting self-awareness and personal growth.

For more information about WIU's psychology programming, visit

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