Psychology Department Faculty, Students, and Staff are Recognized for their Work

The psychology department faculty, students, and staff have some impressive accomplishments over the last year. Below is a brief snapshot of some recent happenings.

Eve Brank, associate professor of psychology, Law-Psychology Program, Social and Cognitive Program, received a fellowship to participate in the American Psychological Association’s Leadership Institute for Women in Psychology.

Lisa Crockett, professor of psychology, Developmental Program, will become president of the Society for Research on Adolescence in the spring.

Sarah Gervais, associate professor of psychology, Social and Cognitive Program, Law-Psychology Program, was named associate editor at the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

Debra Hope, professor of psychology, Clinical Program, received the McNair Faculty Mentor Award for her outstanding mentorship of McNair Scholars.

Ming Li, associate professor of psychology, Neuroscience and Behavior Program, was awarded the Outstanding Research and Creative Activity Award (ORCA) from the College of Arts and Sciences at UNL.

Dennis Molfese, professor of psychology, received the inaugural Electrical Geodedics Educator Award in recognition of his work in advancing human brain research and educating people on the advanced methods of human brain electrophysiology

Maital Neta, assistant professor of psychology, Neuroscience and Behavior, won the Searle Scholar internal competition from the University of Nebraska Searle Scholars Program and will go on to compete with scholars from other universities for a prestigious research award in biomedical sciences and chemistry.

Cynthia Willis-Esqueda, associate professor of psychology, Social and Cognitive Program, Law-Psychology Program, and former UNL psychology Ph.D. student Russ Espinosa were honored by the Death Penalty Focus in Beverly Hills for their recent research into the social bias in the criminal justice system, particularly regarding the sentencing of Hispanic Americans.

Several faculty members from the Clinical Program were recognized as inaugural Fellows for the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies including:
David DiLillo
Dave Hansen
Debra Hope
Will Spaulding
and
Mary Sullivan

The psychology department has also received several grants to fund important research as well as publications on fascinating topics.

Research

Lisa Crockett, professor of psychology, Developmental Program, received a research grant to study racial and ethnic disparities and efforts to promote smoking cessation from the National Institutes of Health.

Michelle Haikalis, graduate student, Clinical Program, received a grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the effects of alcohol and online bystander intervention programs on reducing sexual assault.

Dave Hansen, professor of psychology, Clinical Program, received an award for Project SAFE from the Woods Charitable Fund.

Lori Hoetger, graduate student, Social and Cognitive Program, Law-Psychology Program, received a grant from the National Science Foundation to examine expectations of privacy and development, digital natives, and online information management.

Debra Hope, professor of psychology, Clinical Program, received the Ryan White Award from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

Anna Jaffe, graduate student, Clinical Program, received a dissertation grant from the American Psychological Association to study the effects of acute alcohol intoxication on intrusive memories following exposure to a stressful film.

Ming Li, associate professor of psychology, Neuroscience and Behavior Program, received a grant from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services to study how nicotine sensitivity in adulthood is altered by adolescence antipsychotic treatment.

Dennis Molfese, professor of psychology, Developmental Program, Neuroscience and Behavior Program, received a grant from the National Science Foundation to study visualization and problem-solving in the brain.

Abigail Riemer, graduate student, Social and Cognitive Program, received a grant from the National Science Foundation to study the effects of everyday sexism on girls’ motivation to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers.

Monica Rosen, graduate student, Social and Cognitive Program, received a grant from Sigma Xi to study depth perception in simple 3D environments.

Johanna Shattuck, graduate student, Neuroscience and Behavior Program, received a grant from Sigma Xi to study sound wave enhanced physical therapy.

Rich Wiener, professor of psychology, Social and Cognitive Program, Law-Psychology Program, received an award from the Nebraska Supreme Court to study the effectiveness of probation services and risk assessment instruments.

Publications

John Kiat, graduate student, Social and Cognitive Program, Neuroscience and Behavior Program, along with Beth Straley and Jacob Cheadle, recently published a paper titled “Escalating risk and the moderating effect of resistance to peer influence on the P200 and feedback related negativity” in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. When asked about what he discovered, here is what he had to say:

“What goes on in our brains as we decide to have just one more drink and engage in other risky behaviors as our friends urge us on? In our study, we investigated neural activity associated with escalating risk-taking behavior by applying a novel analysis approach towards the well-known Balloon Analogue Risk Task. As risk-taking levels increased, virtually all participants showed increases in activity associated with awareness of higher risk. However, only individuals who reported high resistance to peer influence showed evidence of calibrating their outcome expectations with increased risk, suggesting that vulnerability to peer influence may be more strongly linked with unrealistically positive outcome expectations as opposed to distortions in risk perception.”

Will Spaulding, Professor of Psychology, Clinical Program, along with Elaina Montague and Andrea Avila, graduate students, Clinical Program, and Mary Sullivan, recently published a chapter titled “The idea of recovery” in Recovery: Principles, research and practice in inpatient psychiatric hospitals. When asked to describe this chapter, here is what they had to say:

“This chapter systematically analyzes the idea of recovery, as it is used in contemporary mental health research, practice, services and policy, the scientific and social issues that fall under its rubric, the evolution of related ideas that results in the current state of affairs, and where that evolution may take us in the foreseeable future.”

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