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UTOPSS Conference

For High School Psychology Teachers

Friday, October 23, 2015
8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Westminster College, Gore Auditorium (Room 112)


Click here to view bios of the presenters

Unsimplifying Mental Disorders: Principles for Understanding and Teaching Abnormal Psychology
Rik Seefeldt—University of Wisconsin—River Falls

Current popular explanations for mental disorders are often gross oversimplifications that are not only inaccurate but can also exacerbate the public stigmas associated with them. Four Principles for teaching abnormal psychology are presented as a foundation for providing a better understanding of, and perhaps reducing the stigmas associated with mental disorders.


Attitudes and Approaches for Diversity in the Classroom
Jen Simonds—Westminster College

What do we need to get ourselves ready for addressing diversity effectively in our classrooms? This presentation helps with approaches and mindsets for productive and respectful diversity efforts and shares an activity that has been effective for relaying some core issues in diversity and social psychology time and time again.


Homeless Youth in Utah: What We Know and What Is Being Done
Justice Morath—Salt Lake Community College

While it’s hard to know exactly how many youth experience the various degrees of homelessness in Utah, we know the numbers are high. They are a hidden group. While Utah has made great strides in helping the adult homeless population, the new focus is on homeless youth and this presentation will help you take part in the solutions.

Unaccompanied youth end up homeless or in unstable and unsafe housing through a number of ways including behavioral problems, gender and sexual identity, economic forces, and abuse. Many more are at high risk for homelessness due to being thrown away, running away, or when foster care fails them. Many still try to remain in school, and research shows that this stability can be the last safety net that keeps them from falling off the grid of mainstream society and deeper into dangerous street culture.

This presentation will talk about the current state of adolescents and emerging adults experiencing homelessness in Utah and the resources available. Advocacy and ongoing research from the Utah Coalition to End Youth Homelessness will also be presented. Resources on what you can do and what to look for in at-risk youth will be shared.



One of our most popular sessions at UTOPSS is the Participant Idea Share! If you’d like to present a favorite lesson plan, demonstration, teaching practice, and/or media resource, contact Annette Nielsen at For inclusion in the resource binder, ideas must be submitted electronically to Annette no later than Friday, October 16.

Breakout Sessions

  • Effective Methods in Teaching Sports Psychology
    David Rockwood—Payson High School
  • Using Myths to Teach Introductory Psychology
    Annette Nielsen—Woods Cross High School
  • Summary of the 2015 AP Psychology Reading
    Dr. Rik Seefeldt—University of Wisconsin—River Falls
    Kristin Whitlock—Davis High School


Registration is $50.00 and is due October 16. Please note there is a $10.00 late fee for registration received after this date.

Cost includes materials, continental breakfast, lunch, and a certificate of completion.

CLICK HERE to register for the UTOPSS Fall Conference and pay online with a credit card.

If your district requires that you pay for your registration fees with a check, please DOWNLOAD and PRINT the registration form. Have checks made out to WESTMINSTER COLLEGE.


Kristin Whitlock
Davis High School
325 S. Main Street
Kaysville, Utah 84037

Please note: If you are unable to attend, refunds will be given until October 16. After that date there will be NO REFUNDS. If you have any questions, please contact Kristin Whitlock at


Please park in Dumke Field Parking (access from 1700 South, 1200 East). Refer to the Westminster College map, location “C.” (Gore Auditorium is location 3). Parking is free. Maps of the campus are available here.

TOPSS Membership

It’s time to renew or apply for TOPSS membership! Benefits are many for $50.00! Apply online here.

Special Thanks to:

  • Westminster College; Department of Psychology
  • Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools (TOPSS)
  • University of Utah; Department of Psychology