UTOPSS Fall Teaching Conference 2023

Friday, November 3, 2023
9:00 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
Gore Auditorium


UTOPSS is a grassroots organization affiliated with the American Psychological Association’s Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools (TOPSS). In a unique partnership, Westminster University and UTOPSS collaborate to improve the teaching of scientific psychology at the high school level by hosting the UTOPSS Fall Conference for High School Psychology Teachers. This conference provides opportunities for teachers to learn new content, obtain new teaching resources, and build professional networks.


Dr. Regan Gurung (Oregon State University)


Dr. Regan Gurung (Oregon State University)

About the Presenter

Regan A.R. Gurung is a social psychologist by training with research encompassing social, health, and pedagogical psychology. Over 100 of his articles have been published in peer-reviewed journals and he has co-authored/co-edited 15 books. His most recent books are Thriving in Academia and Study Like a Champ. Regan was also the co-chair of the APA Introductory Psychology Initiative. He was a founding co-editor of APA's journal Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology and is past president of the Society for the Teaching of Psychology, and Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology.

Helping Students Study Like Champions: A Psychological Science Training Manual

Cognitive science has pulled together some key knowledge about how humans learn and what can be done to improve learning. Unfortunately, few teachers, whether in high school or college, have full access to these insights. In this talk I shall provide some key facts about learning and debunk some prevalent myths, share key strategies for you to take to students, and highlight practical strategies for inclusion in class. You also get access to ready-for-use videos and artwork to help you share these strategies.

Dr. Matthew L. Sanders (Utah State University)


Dr. Tom Golightly (Brigham Young University)

About the Presenter

Dr. Golightly is the Associate Clinical Director for BYU Counseling and Psychological Services. He joined the clinical faculty in 2008 and the sports medicine team in 2014. Golightly is responsible for treating a variety of mental health issues to help student-athletes remove any obstacles preventing successful academic and sport performance. He conducts individual, couples and group therapy for student-athletes. He also teaches two courses for the university – Performance Psychology and Contemporary Issues for Student-athletes.

Come Here! No! Go Away!”: How we can help GenZ flourish in a (dis)connected world

As a follow up to last year’s presentation, GenZ – The Most and Least Connected of All Generations: What does this mean for psychology?, this year’s edition will offer discussion centering on how educators might encourage students to accept the world in which they live and engage life in meaningful ways. Dialogue and brainstorming will be encouraged around the notion of flourishing and will seek to empower participants to promote self-awareness, reduce shame/increase self-compassion, foster well-being, and expand engagement and connection in their students. Participants will begin to prepare how they might set the stage for empowering emotional resilience, value-congruent decision making, and more accurate self-assessment.

Participant Idea Share

A portion of the UTOPSS Conference focuses on sharing your ideas for teaching concepts, managing classes, updating technological prowess, or other tidbits that can help improve teaching methods and students' learning.

To participate, contact Emily Checketts (Roy High School) by Nov. 1, 2023, and provide:

  1. The title or subject of your presentation
  2. An electronic copy of any handouts (alternatively, you can bring 70, 3-hole punched copies to the conference, but you still must contact Emily by Nov. 1)

Break-out Sessions

  • AP Psychology: Annette Nielsen (Woods Cross High School) and Megan Crouch (Syracuse High School)
  • Introductory Psychology: Jace Johannsen (Layton High School)
  • Sports Psychology: Shannon Guymon (Northridge High School) and Rachel Farrell (Farmington HS)


Registration is $60 until Friday, October 27, 2023, and includes materials, continental breakfast, lunch, and a certificate of completion. You must register online in advance. Online registration allows check or credit card payment and there are no registration refunds.

Contact Kristin Whitlock with registration questions.



You will receive a visitor parking pass by email after registration. Print the pass and leave it on the dashboard of your vehicle. The pass is valid for any campus lot and only on the days of the conference. 

parking information campus map directions

TOPSS Membership

The Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools (TOPSS) is the voice of high school psychology within the American Psychological Association. TOPSS promotes excellence in the teaching of psychological science at the high school level. Whether you are an experienced teacher of psychology, or new to the field, TOPSS is where you belong.

Check out the membership benefits including unit lesson plans, the National Standards, classroom activities, and more!

If it's time to join or renew your TOPSS membership, you can do so for $50.

Join or Renew TOPSS Membership

Special Thanks

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