TWC psychology students present family tree projects

Posted on: April 29, 2014

On Thursday, April 24, TWC developmental psychology students presented family tree posters to their classmates and TWC faculty and staff.

On Thursday, April 24, Tennessee Wesleyan College developmental psychology students presented family tree posters to their classmates and TWC faculty and staff. The students’ class project was inspired by Sidney Poitier’s autobiographical book entitled Life Beyond Measure: Letters to my Great-Granddaughter. The students read and discussed the book in context with course concepts from the semester.

Mr. Poitier’s stories of his childhood on Kat Island in the Bahamas, discovery of life and living in the United States, and involvement with the civil rights movement, provided an enriching cultural context for the study of human development. The students created the posters based upon their own life experiences, including family photos and stories, as well as, comparing personal histories between individuals from different generations.

“These students were encouraged to be creative as they built their presentations on tri-fold poster boards,” said Dr. Kerry Towler, TWC assistant professor of psychology. “Some students created elaborate trees on which leaves representing each family member were placed. Students with large families produced extremely intricate family trees.” 

Towler’s psychology students enjoyed the opportunity to share their studies and family histories with classmates and the TWC community.

“I enjoyed presenting my project to the faculty and staff,” said Leah Pitcock, a TWC senior psychology major. “It gave me the opportunity to share what I had learned with people who were not so versed in the subject.”

Dr. Towler believes that when students complete this project each year in her developmental psychology class, they often find investigating their family origins and stories to be an enriching experience.

“It was great to see a part of everyone’s family history and get to share my own,” said Madison Cole, a TWC junior psychology major. “I enjoyed finding the similarities in the characteristics of my classmates and their families from generation to generation.”

For more information on TWC’s psychology program, contact Dr. Kerry Towler by email at or by phone at 423- 746-5257.