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DATA News: December 2018


Chair Communications

"With a new chair comes new traditions.” Starting with this edition of DATA, I will be including a chair’s update so that I can keep you informed on some of the happenings and initiatives in the department. Currently, we are well underway with interviews for two open assistant professor positions in Counseling and Quantitative and Psychometric Methods. The applicant pool was remarkably strong and we invited seven candidates for on-campus interviews. I look forward to updating you on the results of these searches in the near future.

Additionally, faculty and staff are engaged in two department-wide initiatives: developing our Three-year Budget Plan and addressing strategic planning. Budget planning occurs every three years in conjunction with the College of Liberal Arts (CLA). It is the official consultative process through which departments align priorities and resources with those of the College and University over the next three fiscal years. Dr. Monica Luciana first led the department through this process in 2016, successfully gaining several significant allocations from CLA. We hope to repeat that success in this second round.

Strategic planning, on the other hand, is much broader than budget planning, even though the two aligned, somewhat interlocking processes. Through strategic planning, we are seeking to identify decisions and actions that can both shape and guide what our department is, what we do, and why we do it in the coming years. We are still in the early stages of strategic planning, which will also inform a formal department review organized by CLA, which will occur in 2020-21. I will continue to share updates about our progress both department-wide initiatives ad they unfold.

Jeff Simpson (Department Chair)


Administrative Updates and Announcements

Nominations for the 2019 U of M Outstanding Community Service Awards are due December 21st

The Office for Public Engagement is accepting nominations for the 2019 University of Minnesota Outstanding Community Service Awards. Nominations are due Dec. 21. Established in 1999, the awards recognize faculty, staff, students, and University-affiliated community members who have made significant, demonstrable contributions to the public good through research, teaching, and/or public service. See nomination details and more.


Welcome to Faiza Mohamed the newest student worker in Psychology's Main Office. Faiza joined us mid-November and works predominately on Tuesdays and Thursdays. When you have a chance, stop by and say hello to her!


Awards and Accomplishments

Professor Mark Snyder Speaks on the Psychology of Helping

As part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Normandale Community College (Bloomington, MN), Professor Mark Snyder presented a lecture on "The Kindness of Strangers (and of Friends): Reflections on the Psychology of Helping and Being Helped". In his lecture, Professor Snyder reflected on the puzzles and paradoxes of when and why people help/don't help others in need.


Research Assistant Professor Sylia Wilson was awarded an R21 grant from NIH to examine the effects of alcohol on brain morphometry in a large sample of adult twins from the Minnesota Center for Twin and Family Research and adult twins/nontwin siblings from the Human Connectome Project (co-investigators Bill Iacono, Matt McGue, Steve Malone, and Angus MacDonald).


Research Assistant Professor Sylia Wilson was awarded a NARSAD Young Investigator Award from Brain & Behavior Research Foundation to examine the effects of alcohol and cannabis on brain functional connectivity in a large sample of adult twins from the Minnesota Center for Twin and Family Research and a subsample of their young, substance-naive children (co-investigators Bill Iacono and Kelvin Lim).



Congratulations to our recent Department of Psychology PhD Graduates!

Brent Carpenter

Area: CAB

Advisor: Dan Kersten

Dissertation Title: Measuring the Detection of Objects under Simulated Visual Impairment in 3D Rendered Scenes


Craig Marquardt

Area: CSPR

Advisors: Shmuel Lissek, Scott Sponheim

Dissertation Title: N-back Performance with Trauma-Relevant Visual Distractors: Associations with Posttraumatic Stress Symptomatology


Psy Academic Technology

Grading season is approaching fast!

Canvas Tip 1: As the semester ends, a good way to motivate students as they reach the “finish line”, is to share how they can predict their final grade and their standing in class, using the Canvas gradebook [video clip 3:43 min].

Canvas Tip 2: On October 29, 2018 the Course “Analytics Beta” tool was released. This Canvas tool provides instructors feedback and insights about how students are doing overall in their class [video clip 1:00 min].

For questions, please contact Silke Moeller (, N211 Elliott.



Administrative Updates and Announcements

Nominations for the 2019 U of M Outstanding Community Service Awards are due December 21st

The Office for Public Engagement is accepting nominations for the 2019 University of Minnesota Outstanding Community Service Awards. Nominations are due Dec. 21. Established in 1999, the awards recognize faculty, staff, students, and University-affiliated community members who have made significant, demonstrable contributions to the public good through research, teaching, and/or public service. See nomination details and more.

Nominations for the Department of Psychology Distinguished Alumni Awards are due November 12th.
The Department of Psychology at the University of Minnesota is pleased to invite nominations for its Distinguished Alumni Awards. The two awards will honor distinguished alumni from our undergraduate and graduate programs, respectively. We made our first two awards in 2018 academic year, and we anticipate making two awards in 2019 (and annually thereafter).

For questions, please contact Missy Jones by phone at 612-626-3171 or by email at Please see the Distinguished Alumni Awards for additional information.


Professor Alex Rothman along with colleagues in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, the School of Public Health, and the Masonic Cancer Center have been awarded a grant from NIH to examine whether prior exposure to conflicting health information affects how people respond to information a novel, unrelated health issue.

Professor Alex Rothman along with colleagues at the University of Southern California, Northeastern University, and the University of Illinois-Chicago have been awarded a grant from NIH to examine the micro-temporal processes (within person) that underlie the initiation and maintenance of patterns of sleep, physical activity, and sedentary behavior.  The project is part of an NIH consortium, "The Intensive Longitudinal Health Behaviors Network".


Awards and Accomplishments

Professor Andrew Oxenham is a co-PI of a new NIH-funded initiative to develop a new type of auditory implant. Along with PI Hubert Lim in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, collaborators in the Department of Neuroscience, as well as other sites in the US and Germany, the team will work towards the goal of implanting the first humans with an auditory-nerve implant to restore hearing.

Professor Deniz Ones has an article titled On “New" Personality Types in the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Science for a Smarter Workplace.

Professor Traci Mann is quoted in The Washington Post about a new Weight Watchers program that critics say is ‘diet culture’ in disguise.

Emeritus Professor James Butcher is quoted in Scientific American about the accuracy of personality tests. The article can be found here.

IO graduate student Jeff Dahlke has been awarded the Meredith Crawford Dissertation Fellowship by the Human Resource Research Organization. This fellowship is awarded annually to the student from an IO or closely related doctoral program with the strongest research record heading into the dissertation year. Jeff is advised by Professor Paul Sackett and Associate Professor Nathan Kuncel. Of the 22 awardees to date he is the 8th from the University of Minnesota.



Congratulations to our recent Department of Psychology PhD Graduates!

Brittany Marcus-Blank

Area: I/O

Advisors: Paul Sackett, Nathan Kuncel

Dissertation Title: Using a Situational Judgement Test to Develop Professionalism and Interpersonal Skills Among Medical Residents

Laura Wallace-Johnson

Area: I/O

Advisor: Aaron Schmidt

Dissertation Title: Investigating Organizational Counterproductivity: The Structurally Oppressive Situations Scale


Psy Academic Technology

Canvas Tips:

Around 75% of students report using the Canvas Student App. with almost half of those students report being in the app several times a day. To find out how students are experiencing your Canvas course site, use the app yourself. This short video [2 min] shows how the Canvas Student App provides instructors with valuable feedback about how students will navigate a site. Canvas also provides a Teacher App for Android and iOS devices.


For questions or requests regarding academic technology, Moodle/Canvas, media, or recordings, please contact Silke Moeller, N211 Eliott,

Publish Date: 
2018-10-31 21:00:00

DATA News: October 2018


Administrative Updates and Announcements

Please welcome Athena Lasco and Teeara Williams, who joined the Department of Psychology this week.  

Athena Lasco, our new student worker, joined the main office team and is working Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. She is working towards her Bachelors of Science in Child Psychology. 

Working part-time, Teeara Williams, is assisting with area support for I/O and CAB. She is located in N211 and will be with us for the next 3 months. Teeara has a solid background in customer service at St. Paul College and at TCF Bank. 


Nominations for the College of Liberal Arts' Outstanding Service Awards are due Friday, October 26, 2018. These awards recognize outstanding service to the college by civil service, labor-represented and academic professional and administrative employees and work groups.

CLA welcomes and encourages peer nominations. Further information, including nomination guidelines and the cover page, can be found on The Neighborhood or contact Angie Plambeck (; 5-1805) with any questions.


Undergraduate Research Assistant List - At the end of spring 2018, undergraduate students who were looking to work as research assistants, completed a form with their interests, experience, previous coursework, goals, etc. This information has been compiled into a spreadsheet and is now available to Psychology faculty and grad students, in order to identify students who may be best suited for research projects. For access to this spreadsheet, please send Professor Mark Stellmack ( an email. (All information in the spreadsheet is deleted/updated with new students each semester)


Awards and Accomplishment​s

Listed on the American Psychological Association (APA) Monitor, Professor Richard Lee is ranked among 33 of the most influential psychologists of our day! His research seeks to identify ways to improve the lives of racial and ethnic minorities. That article is located here.


A medium-scale neuromodulation trial is being conducted by Professor Angus MacDonald's TRiCAM lab. The study will build on results suggesting subtle transcranial electrical stimulation improves the rate at which patients benefit from and generalize cognitive training. In a collaboration with Kelvin Lim, this BRAINS initiative-funded R01 study will conduct a triple-blinded, placebo-controlled trial in both psychosis patients and healthy community members.


A new multi-site NSF grant studying the relationship between musical training and enhanced neural coding and perception of sound, will be led by Professor Andrew Oxenham. He will undertake a large-scale reproducibility study of some of the neural and perceptual effects that have been associated with formal musical training, which include enhancements in the ability to understand speech in noisy backgrounds. Former graduate student, Dr. Kelly Whiteford, will coordinate the two-year study.


Heather J. Peters, a former student of our graduate program and an Associate Professor with a Psychology Discipline at UofM Morris, has won the Charlotte Striebel Equity Award. This October, she will be honored at the Celebrating Changemakers Awards Program (formerly titled Celebrating the University Women)  



Congratulations to our recent Department of Psychology Ph. D graduates!

Alex Ajayi 

Area: Counseling

Advisor: Moin Syed

Dissertation Title: Racial Ideology and Psychosocial Implications among African Americans: Integrating Variable-Centered and Person-Centered Approaches


AnnaMarie Vu

Area: Counseling

Advisor: Pat Frazier

Dissertation Title: Randomized Controlled Trial of Pacifica, a CBT and Mindfulness-based App for Stress, Depression, and Anxiety Management with Health Monitoring


Kelly Jordan

Area: Counseling

Advisor: Jo-Ida Hansen

Dissertation Title: Factor Structure of Career Adaptability and Vocational Identity Development and Relationship to Vocational Interests


Katie Broadwell

Area: CAB

Advisors: Chad Marsolek, Randy Fletcher

Dissertation Title: Handedness and Motivational Asymmetries as Precursors to Personality and Political Ideology


Merav Silverman

Area: CSPR

Advisor: Bob Krueger

Dissertation Title: Operationalizing Neuroticism Using Task-Based FMRI and Psychological Measures in a Large Sample


Alex Rautu

Area: PIB

Advisor: Colin DeYoung

Dissertation Title: Toward a Structurally-Sound Model of Uncertainty-Related Personality Traits


William Johnson

Area: Social

Advisors: Mark Snyder, Jeff Simpson

Dissertation Title: Associations between birth weight/gestational age and social/cognitive functioning across development: Do differences endure?


Upcoming Events

Mark your calendars…The Department of Psychology will be hosting two events for the Community Fund Drive. The Community Fund Drive (CFD) is the University of Minnesota’s annual charitable giving campaign where employees donate through payroll deduction or a one-time gift to the causes they care about—ending hunger, curing diseases, helping students pay their college tuition, preserving the environment, sheltering the homeless, or supporting the arts. Please consider donating!

Bake Sale on October 10th from 11-1 Room N230 

Chili/Soup cook off on October 24th from 11-1 Room N219

If you would like to participate by bringing in goodies for either event please email (Lisa Keith)

Publish Date: 
2018-10-03 20:15:00

DATA News: September 2018

Administrative Updates and Announcements

The Department of Psychology is excited to welcome Dr. Iris Vilares from University College London and the Virginia Tech Carillion Research Institute. Iris will be joining our faculty in the Cognitive and Brain Sciences area as an Assistant Professor. Please feel free to welcome Iris at 

We're also excited to welcome Dr. Richard Landers from Old Dominion University. Richard will be joining us as the John P. Campbell Distinguished Professor of I-O Psychology. If you would like to reach out to welcome Richard, his email address is

We're happy to announce that we've hired our newest IT staff member, Silke Moeller, to the Department of Psychology. Silke is the new Academic Technologist who will be working with department faculty, staff, and students to identify, develop, and implement digital solutions for teaching and learning. Silke is coming to us from working in instructional technology at the UM School of Kinesiology, and will be located in N211 Elliott Hall. You can welcome Silke at 

We're also excited to announce that we've hired Charisma Love in our department! Charisma is temping for us part-time to help cover area support for I/O and CAB, and will be working on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays for the next 3 months. Charisma has a solid background of professional experience, including previous administrative experience at Rasmussen College. Fell free to welcome Charisma at

Psych Undergraduate Advising has launched a new online research contract for undergrad students (4993/5993). In collaboration with PsyIT, they launched the new contract in late August using Knack for contract submission and approvals. The new online research contract makes it easier for students to submit contracts, for faculty members to sign off on contracts, and for our Psych Advising staff to monitor the process and assist with registration in PSY 4993/5993 for Undergraduates. If you have any questions about the new online Undergraduate Research Contract, please contact Visit for more details. 

The Office for Public Engagement is pleased to announce the call for nominations for the 2019 University of Minnesota Outstanding Community Service Awards (OCSA). The OCSA recognizes faculty, staff, students and University-affiliated community members who have made significant, demonstrable contributions to the public good through research, teaching, and/or public service. Nominations for awards are due by 5 p.m., Friday, December 14th, Full nomination guidelines can be found on the award's web page.

Awards and Accomplishments

Congratulations to our 2018-2019 Quell Scholars! The Quell Foundation works to educate communities about issues and concerns surrounding mental health, promoting open, judgement-free dialogue. This scholarship was established by Quell Foundation's Project Access as a means of fulfilling its mission to increase the talent pipeline through scholarship awards to students entering the mental health care profession, to expand the delivery of needed mental health care services, and to promote reformation to extend the scope of clinical behavioral health professional services. Department of Psychology students Hanna Boleman, Brianna Lundgren, and Abigail Runyon were selected by the Undergrad Awards committee after a competitive application process.

Adjunct Professor Brian Engdahl PhD, Minneapolis VA Brain Sciences Center, and holder of the Anderson Chair for PTSD Research, was recognized on August 24th during the national convention of the American Legion by their TBI / PTSD Committee for “unwavering commitment to our nation’s veterans, and for inspiring us with your motivating words during our 100th national convention”.

Co-edited by Adjunct Professor Ken Winters, A scholarly book on the contemporary health issues on marijuana, was just recently published. Sabet, K.A. & Winters, K.C. (2018) (Eds.). Contemporary health issues on marijuana. New York: Oxford University Press.


Congratulations to our recent Department of Psychology Ph. D graduates!

Samantha Abram
Area: CSPR
Advisor: Angus MacDonald
Dissertation Title: Normalizing Discourses of Upward Mobility: Working Class Roots, Motherhood, and Idealized White Femininity 
Jacob Appleby
Area: Social
Advisors: Gene Borgida, Chris Federico
Dissertation Title: Do they like us? Meta-stereotypes and meta-evaluations between political groups
Pierce Ekstrom
Area: Social
Advisors: Marti Gonzales, Chris Federico
Dissertation Title: We're Good People: Moral conviction as social identity
Mary Panos
Area: Social
Advisors: Traci Mann, Alex Rothman
Dissertation Title: Treat Yourself or Promote Your Health: A Presentation and Examination of the Mechanisms Behind Health Behavior Spillover
Jacob Paulsen
Area: Counseling
Advisors: Jo-Ida Hansen, Pat Frazier
Dissertation Title: Correlates of Measures of Adaptive and Pathological Narcissism

Upcoming Events

Psy & CPSY Undergraduate Advising Present
2018 Career Exploration and Alumni Connections Event
9/21 3:00-4:00pm
312 Bruininks Hall
RSVP at for CPSY Majors
Wondering what you can do with your major in Psychology or Child Psychology? You are not alone! Visit the Psy and CPsy Exploration & Alumni Connections Event to talk to alumni about various Psy/CPsy career pathways. Stop by as your schedule allows. Light refreshments provided!
Publish Date: 
2018-09-06 17:45:00

DATA News: August 2018

Administrative Updates and Announcements

August 3rd was Terry Klosterman's last day with the Department of Psychology. She is retiring after 7 years in the department as our Accounting Supervisor. Terry was instrumental in shoring up our department's finances; she has been steadfast in providing expert guidance to departmental leadership and colleagues; and she has been a wonderful supervisor, colleague, and friend. She will be missed and we offer her our deepest thanks. In lieu of a gift, Terry has asked that colleagues donate to her daughter Kate's Walk to End Alzheimer's donation page, which can be found here.

Please join us in welcoming Sarah Jahn, Accounting Supervisor (Finance Professional 4), to the Department of Psychology. Sarah is replacing Terry Klosterman in accounting. Sarah has a bachelors degree in business and marketing and a masters degree in applied kinesiology, both from the University of MN. Sarah's first day was August 13th, and she can be reached at Please stop by S256 and welcome her!

Please join us in also welcoming Lisa Keith, Executive Office and Administrative Specialist, to the Chair's Office in the Department of Psychology. Lisa's first day was July 17th, and she will be working in N210. Lisa has worked at the University since 2006 in a variety of Administrative Specialist roles; she brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in that area. She is also working toward a B.A. in American Indian Studies here at the University.

Also joining us is Amy Landers, who will be our Communications and Outreach Specialist in the Department of Psychology starting August 13th. Amy is a graduate of our PhD program in Cognitive and Brain Sciences. For this one-year appointment, Amy has been charged with producing a strategic plan for communications and outreach for our Department, including suggestions for a sustainable infrastructure and who will do what over the long-term. She will also focus on how can Psychology best communicate the great work being done here to potential graduate students, alumni, and the public at large. In addition, Amy will teach PSY 3896, Internship in Psychology, in the fall and spring semester. Her email is Please stop by her office in Elliott S246 and say hello!

Awards and Accomplishments

Professor Mark Snyder and his research on the psychology of volunteerism were featured in a report on The article can be found here.

Samantha Abram, a 2018 CSPR graduate, along with Professors Angus MacDonald and Mark Thomas, co-authored a paper appearing in Science, entitled “Sensitivity to "Sunk Costs" in Mice, Rats, and Humans". First authored by Brian Sweiss, an MD/PhD student, this work represents a longterm collaboration between MacDonald’s and Thomas’ labs, along with that of David Redish from the AHC Neuroscience Department. These efforts have been focused on developing parallel foraging paradigms that can provide insights across all three species. The article can be found here.

Assistant Professor Nicola Grissom was recently featured in a "Beyond the Bench" interview in Spectrum, an autism news organization run by the Simons Foundation. The article can be found here.

Research Associate Ying-zi Xiong, who works in the Lab for Low Vision Research in our department, won the 2018 Envision-Atwell Award last month for research in low vision and low vision rehabilitation. Ying-zi received the award, which includes a $1,000 stipend and a trophy, at a gathering of the Low Vision Research Group at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) in Honolulu, Hawaii. The award is sponsored by the Gigi & Carl Allen Envision Research Institute in Wichita. Details on the award may be found here.

Upcoming Events

Psy & CPSY Undergraduate Advising Present

2018 Career Exploration and Alumni Connections Event

9/21 3:00-4:00pm

312 Bruininks Hall

RSVP at for Psy Majors for CPSY Majors

Wondering what you can do with your major in Psychology or Child Psychology? You are not alone! Visit the Psy and CPsy Exploration & Alumni Connections Event to talk to alumni about various Psy/CPsy career pathways. Stop by as your schedule allows. Light refreshments provided!


Minnesota State Fair – August 23rd to September 3rd, 2018

If you’re heading to the Great Minnesota Get-together, The  College of Liberal Arts departments and researchers will be in the U of M Central (Crossroads) building at Dan Patch Avenue & Underwood Street or in the Driven to Discover building on Cosgrove Street. Stop by for a visit!

Publish Date: 
2018-08-17 17:30:00

DATA News: July 2018


Administrative Updates & Announcements

Nasser Al-Rasbi, an undergraduate major in aerospace engineering, is our new student tech support for instructional technology.  Nasser will be primarily focused on supporting the video production work we do for numerous courses and he will be working on specific Moodle-Canvas transition projects.  Nasser will be working in Elliott N211, downstairs in the N108b studio and with the CLA Moodle-Canvas web team on the west bank as well.  If you need Moodle-Canvas support, please let me know and we will get you connected to support.  It is great to have Nasser on board as IT itself transitions.  
The Department of Psychology is currently hiring for 3 staff positions: 
Ed and Media Tech Coordinator - Academic Technologist 2
Responsibilities include collaborating with instructors, researchers, and other department staff to develop and implement appropriate technology solutions for teaching and learning; providing audio/visual media production for instruction, research, service, and training; and coordinating with faculty and staff on updating the main Department website, Intranet, and individual laboratory sites. To read more about the position, and/or to apply, visit visit and search for position ID 324610.
Executive Office and Admin Specialist
Responsibilities include providing faculty and staff support (e.g., hiring, personnel files, etc.), visa coordination, space coordination, scheduling, and accounting. To read more about the position, and/or to apply, visit and search for position ID 324431.
Finance Professional 4 Supervisor
Responsibilities include sponsored project management, fiscal oversight and coordination, non-sponsored financial management, and employee management and development. To read more about the position, and/or to apply, visit and search for position ID 324469.

Awards & Accomplishments

Professor Richard Lee was selected for the Distinguished Career Contribution to Research Award by The Society for the Psychological Studies of Culture, Ethnicity and Race (APA Division 45). This award was created to honor the contributions of a senior person in the field of psychology who has made significant contributions in research related to ethnic minority populations. Candidates for this award should have been in the field 15 or more years, and have made scholarly contributions in writing, publishing, and disseminating information on ethnic minority populations and issues, thereby substantively contributing to the current understanding of ethnic minorities. The award will be presented at the 2018 APA Convention in San Francisco during the Division 45 Presidential Address, Business Meeting and Awards Ceremony
Associate Professor Bonnie Klimes-Dougan and graduate student Michelle Thai have been awarded the Brain Imaging Grant and the OFAA-Social Sciences grant through CLA at UMN to conduct a study titled: Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation in Adolescents with Depression: Examining the Tolerance, Efficacy, and Mechanisms
At the annual meeting of the Behavior Genetics Association in Boston, Assistant Professor Scott Vrieze was awarded the association's early career award (Fuller Scott Award). You can learn more about the award here.

Upcoming Events

Dr. Marc Lewis, a neuroscientist and professor of developmental psychology formerly at the University of Toronto and now at Radboud University in the Netherlands, will be giving a talk titled "Addiction as learning (not disease): The view from embodied cognition" on Wednesday, July 18 at 1 pm in N219 Elliott Hall.

Publish Date: 
2018-07-09 19:45:00

DATA News: June 2018


Administrative Updates & Announcements

Department Administrator Guillermo De Paz, who has been with the University of Minnesota for 32 years, will be retiring on June 8th. Guillermo has spent the last 17 years with the Department of Psychology, and we can attribute many of our successes as a department to his great leadership as the administrator. He looks forward to traveling and spending time with his grandchildren in his retirement. Congrats, Guillermo!
IT staff member Nou Yin, has resigned from her position effective 6/6/18. Nou has accepted an offer to be a security risk analyst with Securian in St. Paul.  Nou has been interested in IT security and she is looking forward to building on what she has learned here at the U. The position is a promotion and it is much closer to home.
IT staff member Ben Cowper, has resigned from his position effective 5/14/18. Ben has decided to pursue freelance work and focus on his first love - film-making.  In the short time with the department Ben has helped us transition Psych 1001 to Canvas - no small feat - and make improvements in quality and navigability in our online presence. 

Awards & Accomplishments

Graduate students Max Bai, Jill Fish, Lexi Scharmer, and Jingyuan Tian were each awarded a $4,000 Robert W. Eichinger and Korn/Ferry Fellowship for 2018-2019. The purpose of the fellowship is to support exceptional third, fourth, or fifth year graduate students in the Counseling, I/O, PIB and Social programs. Eligible students are interested in pursuing professional careers outside of academia, in industry, consulting, government, or non-profit sectors.
Alumna Dr. Yingchen He received the U of M Graduate School's "Best Dissertation Award" in the Social Sciences and Education for 2018.
Alumnus Dr. Joseph Vitriol received a Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences (FABBS) Doctoral Dissertation Research Excellence Award for 2017-2018. FABBS brings together organizations with interests in advancing the sciences of mind, brain, and behavior. The purpose of the award is to acknowledge and honor graduate student scientists who have conducted doctoral dissertation research of superior scientific quality and broader impact.
Dr. David Wark, alum of the Counseling Psychology program, recently received the Morton Prince Award which is conferred annually by the members of the American Board of Psychological Hypnosis to an individual who has demonstrated distinguished contributions to the development of hypnosis in the science and profession of psychology. Dr. Wark was honored for his decades of work studying the role of hypnosis in improving student academic performance.
Publish Date: 
2018-06-06 13:45:00

DATA News: May 2018

Administrative Updates & Announcements

We are very pleased to announce that Holley Locher will be joining our department as our new administrator, replacing Guillermo De Paz, who is retiring in early June. Holley currently serves as Chief of Staff in the College of Design. She will begin her position in our department on May 21, 2018, allowing some overlap before Guillermo's departure.

Richard Landers from Old Dominion University has accepted our faculty offer, and will be joining us as the John P. Campbell Distinguished Professor of I-O Psychology in Fall of 2018 as an Associate Professor.

Korrina Griffith joined the Psychology Undergraduate Advising staff in late March as our new Advisor (replacing Kelley Redmond, who moved to a new role at the Learning Abroad Center). Korrina will be working directly with Psychology Undergraduates and also helping to manage many of our office processes

Awards & Accomplishments

On March 21, Professor Gordon Legge received the inaugural Inspirational Vision Research Award from NIH “established in recognition of the 50th Anniversary of the National Eye Institute honors research to preserve the independence and quality of life of individuals with low vision or blindness.” The award was presented to Gordon by Congressman Pete Sessions at a reception on Capitol Hill honoring the National Eye Institute’s 50th anniversary. Information on the award ceremony can be found here.

Associate Professor Mark Thomas was interviewed by the Minnesota Daily about his work to create a vaccine to prevent opioid addiction. The article can be found here.

Professors Emeritus, John Campbell and Jo-Ida Hansen, received the BraVada Garrett-Akinsanya Distinguished Elders Award for Leadership in Minnesota Psychology from the Minnesota Psychological Association (MPA). MPA held a recognition ceremony at their Annual Convention to honor awardees who have made significant contributions to mental health in Minnesota through their roles as scholars, teachers, mentors, practitioners, and/or advocates for rights and just causes.

Counseling Psychology doctoral student Jillian Fish has been awarded the 2018 Graduate and Professional Scholarly Excellence in Equity and Diversity (SEED) Award at the University of Minnesota. SEED recipients are recognized for their contributions to equity and diversity in research, teaching, and service with a $2000 award and recognition at the annual Equity and Diversity Breakfast.

Publish Date: 
2018-05-02 14:45:00

DATA News: April 2018

Administrative Updates & Announcements

The Department of Psychology is pleased to announce that Professor Jeff Simpson (Social Psychology area) will take over as the Department Chair beginning June 11th, 2018. We are also pleased to announce the appointment of our next Associate Chairs and Director of Graduate Studies. The next Associate Chair for Research will be Professor Rich Lee, and the next Associate Chair for Curriculum/Instruction will be Associate Professor Moin Syed. Our new Director of Graduate Studies will be Professor Pat Frazier.

Iris Vilares from University College London and the Virginia Tech Carillion Research Institute has accepted our faculty offer and will be joining us in the Fall of 2018 as an Assistant Professor. She will join the faculty in the Cognitive and Brain Sciences area.

Marina McCuskey, Assistant to the Chair's Office since October 2016, has resigned from her position effective 3/27/2017. Marina accepted an Executive Accounts Specialist position in Plant Sciences/Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering Finance Team in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) Office of Finance and Budget.

Awards & Accomplishments

Professor Jeff Simpson has received the 2018 Distinguished Mentoring Award, which is given every two years by the International Association for Relationship Research. 

Emeritus Professor James N. Butcher has published two new volumes:

Butcher, J. N. (Editor-in-Chief), & Hooley, J. M. (Ed.) (2018). APA Handbook of Psychopathology: Vol 1. Understanding, assessing, and treating adult mental disorders. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Butcher, J. N. (Editor-in-Chief), & Kendall, P.C. (Ed.) (2018). APA handbook of psychopathology: Vol 2. Psychopathology of children and adolescents. Washington, D. C. American Psychological Association.


Congratulations to our recent Department of Psychology Ph. D graduate!

Heidi Keiser
Area: I/O
Advisor: Paul Sackett
Dissertation Title: Does Personality Predict Occupational Gravitation?

Publish Date: 
2018-04-02 18:00:00

DATA News: March 2018

Administrative Updates & Announcements

The Department of Psychology is pleased to announce that the search to fill the newly created grant-accounting assistant position was a success and that Kristen Abernethy accepted our offer. She will begin transitioning to her new duties on Monday, February 19th.  

As Kristen is currently working in the accounting area, we will begin the search for someone to replace her. You will not notice any changes right away. Kristen will remain in her current office and you should continue to contact Terry Klosterman, Kamran Motevaze and Kristen with any accounting questions you have for now. Also, continue to contact Liz Gates for grant related issues. An announcement will be sent out at a later date to describe changes that will affect you as accounting and grant duties are re-assigned.

Awards & Accomplishments

Professor Jonathan Gewirtz, Associate Chair for Curriculum and Director of Undergraduate Studies, has been awarded the Horace T. Morse Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education. The award honors individuals who are judged to be among the University's most outstanding undergraduate teachers. Details on the award may be found here

Professor Alex Rothman, director of the Social Psychology area, has been awarded a 2017-18 Award for Outstanding Contributions to Graduate and Professional Education. This honor is awarded to exceptional candidates nominated by colleges in their quest to identify excellence in graduate and professional education. More information and a list of awardees may be found here.

The Minnesota Center for Twin and Family Research’s Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study, with University of Minnesota PIs Bill Iacono and Monica Luciana, was featured in the Today Show. The MCTFR is one of 21 sites across the US implementing the study. Watch here.

Social area graduate student Richie Lenne received the Preregistration Challenge Award from the Center for Open Science for research published in the Journal of Health Psychology.

Personality, Individual Differences, and Behavior Genetics (PIB) and Quantitative/Psychometric Methods (QPM) graduate student Gretchen Saunders received the Eva O. Miller Fellowship for the 2018-2019 academic year. The title of her fellowship proposal is “The Relationship Between Early Substance Exposure and Adult Health Outcomes Using Causally Informative Designs.” She is jointly advised by Matt McGue (PIB) and Niels Waller (QPM).

The Department of Psychology is delighted to announce the recipients of the first annual Psychology Department Distinguished Alumni Awards. Nominations were invited from graduate and undergraduate alumni with the expectation that we would make one award from each area. We received over 20 nominations yielding an exceptional pool of candidates. The nominations were reviewed by a selection committee, who provided recommendations to the department.

The Distinguished Alumni award winners are:

Mary P. Koss, Ph.D.

Dr. Koss received her Ph.D. from the clinical psychology program in 1972. She is currently Regents’ Professor in the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, Division of Health Promotion Sciences at the University of Arizona.

Heather J. Peters, Ph.D. LP, CC-AASP

Dr. Peters received her B.A. from our department in 2000. She is currently Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Minnesota, Morris.

Drs. Koss and Peters have been invited to attend our Centennial gala on May 11th to receive their awards. You will learn more about their achievements at that time. Dr. Koss cannot make it due to another travel commitment but she plans to capture her acceptance on video to be shared during the event. Dr. Peters is able to attend.


Congratulations to our recent Department of Psychology Ph. D graduate!

Jackson Graves
Area: CAB
Advisor: Andrew Oxenham
Dissertation Title: Perception of multiple pitches: Sequential and simultaneous pitch relationships

Juraj Mesik
Area: CAB
Advisors: Steve Engel & Sheng He
Dissertation Title: Context-dependent adaptation in the visual system

Sarah Semmel
Area: I/O
Advisor: Deniz Ones
Dissertation Title: Multiple Regression in Industrial Organizational Psychology: Relative Importance and Model Sensitivity

Publish Date: 
2018-03-02 01:45:00