Concord University Mcnair Scholar Earns Doctorate

For Immediate Release: 
Sep 09 2012

CONTACT: Sarah Dalton
Concord University
Office of Advancement
PO Box 1000, Athens, WV 24712
(304) 384-6312,


ATHENS, W.Va. - In August 2012, Kira Bailey became the fifth alumnus of Concord University’s McNair Scholars Program to earn a doctorate.

As a doctoral student in cognitive psychology at Iowa State University, she received numerous accolades and awards. Among these are Graduate College Excellence in Research Award, Exceptional Undergraduate Mentoring Award and the Exceptional Research Productivity Award.

Her dissertation, “What Would My Avatar Do? Video Games and Risky Decision Making,” investigated the effects of video games on emotion and cognition and how pathological video game use is related to impulsivity and decision making under risk.

The Concord University McNair Scholars Program provides access to training and resources designed to make the transition into graduate school smooth and successful. Through workshops, counseling, research, and other services and scholarly activities, the program helps scholars sharpen their academic skills, prepare for the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) and apply to graduate schools.

Participating in the program at Concord was an integral piece of Dr. Bailey’s academic career. As a McNair Scholar she completed a 10-week summer research internship with Dr. Robert Astur, who at the time was a research faculty member at The Institute of Living and Yale University. During this internship, she was able to expand on her line of research examining the effects of video games on violent and aggressive behaviors.

“McNair was the perfect vehicle for transforming the dream of graduate school into a reality,” Dr. Bailey said. “It gave me the confidence to apply to graduate school and the research skills to succeed as a doctoral student.”

Dr. Bailey continues to research decision making, cognitive control and video games as a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Social Cognitive Neuroscience Lab at the University of Missouri at Columbia. In a few years, she hopes to secure employment in the Virginias. Dr. Bailey is a Huntington, W.Va. native and a 2007 graduate of Concord’s psychology program.


Dr. Kira Bailey