Letter from the Chair, Spring 2017

Dear Alumni, Students, Colleagues, and Friends,

Rick Bevins, Department of Psychology Chair

I am pleased to present this Spring 2017 edition of the Department of Psychology Newsletter! This edition highlights the Department as a community of faculty, students, and professional staff who have a strong affiliation and concern for one another. Such concern is exemplified by faculty member David Hansen donating his kidney for a fellow faculty member in the Department, Dennis Molfese, who was in desperate need of an organ transplant. We also highlight such concern by featuring the efforts of people in the Department, as seen with our excellent professional staff who serve in our Advising and Business Offices. A common theme with our Professional Staff within these Departmental Offices is the extent to which they enjoy their interactions with Departmental students, alumni, and faculty, and their efforts are much appreciated by all of us.

Of course, such concern also extends beyond the confines of the Department. We appreciate that many of our alumni take on career paths in the service of others. This newsletter highlights two such alumni, Mallory Netz and Zain Saleh. Mallory is seeking to help families who are challenged by having children with chronic illnesses. Zain is working as a Youth Program Coordinator with the goal of enhancing the educational and cultural experiences of young people and the communities in which they live. Our faculty also conduct research that seeks to improve the quality of life. This issue of the newsletter highlights the work of faculty member Dennis McChargue who is conducting research that focuses on reducing the prevalence of date rape. As our Department cherishes the academic community that is the heart of all that we do, and work that benefits others more broadly, it is not surprising that the number of our majors continues to grow, approaching 1000 undergraduate students who select psychology as their major. We are proud of the fact that our Department has the largest number of majors in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Alongside our majors, our Department continues to grow in the number of faculty. During the Fall of 2016 we have had four new faculty join the Department in the professorial track. Trey Andrews, a faculty member in the Clinical Program, researches Latina/o mental health with an emphasis on reducing health disparities among these populations. Carolyn Brown-Kramer, assistant professor of practice, teaches courses in Social Psychology, Motivation and Emotion, and also a very large section of Introductory Psychology. Kathy Chiou, a faculty member in the Clinical Program, researches traumatic brain injuries from a neuropsychological and neurocognitive perspective. Mark Holden, assistant professor of practice, teaches courses in Introductory Psychology, Perception, Attention and Performance, and Developmental. Also, the year before (Fall 2015) Manda Williamson joined us as an assistant professor of psychology. She teaches courses in Introductory Psychology and on-line and face-to-face courses in Motivation and Emotion. We are excited with these new faculty joining our Department!

Since the last newsletter, Alan Tomkins retired after the Spring semester of 2016, and Dan Leger after the Spring semester of 2017. Both will be sorely missed. We are grateful, however, for their many years of service in the Department and are pleased that they are looking forward to new opportunities during their retirement years!

Other features in this newsletter highlight the recent achievements and awards of faculty, staff, and students. Of course, we can only provide a snapshot of all of the fantastic activities of the people in our Department. If you’re interested in learning more (e.g., talks, symposia, research) or how you can help, please visit our webpage, like our Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter.

Rick Bevins Chair, Department of Psychology