News / Blog (All)

September 2019

Message from the Chair

Jeff Simpsons, Department Chair, Photo As we begin another year together in the Department of Psychology, I want to take this opportunity to welcome our new and returning students, faculty, and staff. For our undergraduate population, we have 200 new transfer students joining us this fall, as well as 1,425 returning students. For our graduate program, we successfully oriented 24 students last week and we have 132 returning. I am looking forward to working and connecting with each of you over the course of this academic year. 

I also want to take this opportunity to welcome our two new tenure-track Assistant Professors, Dr. Katerina Marcoulides (Quantitative and Psychometric Methods) and Dr. Richard Douglass (Counseling). Dr. Marcoulides is joining us from the University of Florida, where she was an Assistant Professor in Research and Evaluation Methodology. Dr. Douglass too is coming from the University of Florida, where he just completed his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology. I anticipate that both will make tremendous contributions to our community in the coming years and I am excited to now officially call them colleagues. Please be sure to welcome them and introduce yourselves. Additionally, to read a bit more about them, you can visit our blog at

This year, our department will be focusing on two major initiatives: strategic planning and preparing for our departmental academic program review in fall 2020, which is a process somewhat similar to an external review for accreditation. With regard to strategic planning, last year the leadership team and Executive Committee drafted an initial document outlining a vision, mission, list of initiatives, and possible strategies to achieve those initiatives to help guide our efforts over the next 3-5 years. At the department faculty and staff meeting on September 9, 2019, we will begin working together to review this information and generate next steps. For the academic program review, I appointed an ad hoc group to engage in the work necessary to complete a self-study that we will submit to the College and Provost’s office by June 1, 2020. Please be prepared over the next 9 months to respond to requests from this group and provide them with the information they need to draft the study. 

It is an exciting time for our department and I wish each of you the very best as we pursue our individual and collective endeavors. 

Jeff Simpson
Chair, Department of Psychology


Expense Reimbursements

All Faculty and Staff should now be using Chrome River to reconcile their out-of-pocket and travel expenses.

Graduate Students should continue to use the Employee Expense Worksheet for out-of-pocket and travel expenses and submit the form and receipts to the accounting office.

Travel Reimbursements

  • Reminder that all travel reimbursements MUST be submitted within 60 days of the return of travel. If they are not submitted within 60 days, the reimbursement could be denied or be taxable.
  • CLA has updated the policy on business meals. A reminder that University policy does not permit payment or reimbursement when two or more employees choose to have a meal together to continue their business as an incidental part of the meal, when the meal is of a reciprocal nature, or when the meeting could have been scheduled during regular working hours. In CLA, these types of business meetings are expected to be scheduled during regular working hours. When it is necessary to schedule a business meeting before or after regular working hours or during a lunch break, any meals or food expenses incurred will not be reimbursed. 
  • Other than travel meals, University employees should only incur out-of-pocket expenses in the case of an emergency. Do not spend your own money unless it is a true emergency and you're willing to risk not being reimbursed. 


Submit your p-card receipts and justifications as soon as the purchase has been made.


See our Updated Tipping Guidelines on the intranet.

Check out our new and improved Intranet Accounting page for policy and purchasing resources. If you have any questions, please reach out to Sarah Jahn (, Kamran Motevaze (, or Donnie Wood (


Central Office

Shredding: The Central Office will no longer be sending out calls for confidential shredding. If you have items that need to be shredded, there is a confidential shredding box in the Central Office (N218) by the supply cabinet. If you have large amounts of non-confidential shredding, contact the Central Office and we will be able to assist in getting bins for you.

Trash: Elliott Hall has recently changed to an Organics Recycling Program. What does this mean for Elliott Hall Residents?

  • Individual office trash will no longer be picked up. Everyone must remove their own trash and deposit into one of the quad-bins in the halls. If you need additional trash bags, see the central office.

Registering your International Travel

A reminder that all University employees (faculty, staff, and graduate students) need to register in advance any international travel that occurs in the course of their professional or administrative work - teaching, research, or service. This registration requirement does not apply to international vacation travel, but it does apply to all professional travel, regardless of funding source. This policy requirement was adopted in order to facilitate University assistance in the event of an emergency occurring while employees are traveling abroad.

Additionally, if you need to identify a 24/7 Department emergency contact, please fill out this Google Form.



New Communications

With the start of the new year, we are changing some of the ways we share information with the department.

  1. DATA: In the past, this newsletter has been used to communicate all departmental news and reminders. We are now breaking the information into 2 different communications: DATA and BrainWave. DATA will be used as a tool to inform the department of important administrative updates and reminders.
  2. BrainWave: This newsletter will be sent out weekly.  It will include any news the department has throughout the week. This news can include, but is not limited to, students who graduated, publications, awards, and more. Here is what the header will look like on the BrainWave emails:
    BrainWave Banner
  3. Have news that should be shared?  Email This email address is our repository of all news. Depending on what you send, your news can fee: the UMN Events Calendar, DATA, BrainWave, social media, the digital display, and more. Your email does not need to be formatted in any particular way. All emails will be reviewed and distributed to the appropriate feeds.

A Request

To enhance our communications functionality, we would like to encourage all faculty and graduate students to set up a Google Scholar Profile. Doing so will allow us to better publicize your achievements.

Need assistance setting up your profile?  Google has instructions.


We Now Have an Intent to Submit Form!

The Intent to Submit form helps the grants team gather the information needed to start working on your proposal and map out your important deadlines. The form must be completed NO LATER than 6 weeks prior to the sponsor due date. You can always find the form, as well as other grants-related information, on the Intranet under the Grants tab. 

Upcoming NIH Deadlines:

  • New R01, U01 - October 5, 2019 (intent to submit form was due 8/24/2019)
  • New R21 - October 16, 2019 (intent to submit form due 9/4/2019)
  • Renewal, Resubmission, Revision R01, U01 - November 5, 2019 (intent to submit form due 9/24/2019)
  • Renewal, Resubmission, Revision R21 - November 16, 2019 (intent to submit form due 10/5/2019)

Reminder to Graduate Students

If you are interested in submitting an application for any type of funding (eg. research, fellowships), please check with Anjeanette Roy ( or Kristen Abernethy ( prior to applying. Most applications must be submitted via proper university channels to avoid complications if they are funded. We are here to help!


Reporting Data Security Incidents

Send email to with as many details as possible. 

Please copy the Department Chief of Staff, Holley Locher (  and your adviser or lab manager. University Information Security will contact you with further instructions.

If a desktop, laptop or mobile device is involved: 

  • do not turn it off;
  • do disconnect it from the network; and,
  • do not attempt to fix it!

Please reach out to the Associate Chair for Research, Rich Lee (, the Chief of Staff, Holley Locher (, or PsyIT ( if you have any questions. 

Recognizing a Data Security Incident

The University has an excellent overview of how to recognize a data security incident at

Undergraduate Advising

A new resource was developed over the summer to highlight who you might contact if you are working with student issues (e.g. mental health concerns, incompletes, classroom behavioral issues). Please review the Psychology Department Student Issues - Contact for Assistance Reporting Google document. If you have any feedback on this document or questions, please contact Mike Houlahan (

Psychology Undergraduate Research Contracts (PSY 5993)

Please do not issue permission numbers for the undergraduate students (Research Assistants) in your research lab (PSY 5993), even if you have access to those permission numbers. 

The Undergraduate Research Contract is located online - this contract is the Department process to enroll undergraduate students in your PSY 5993 section. The online system, Knack, allows you to log-in to view your pending and approved contracts.

Psychology Advising staff review completed contracts and issue permission numbers for student registration. Recommended deadline: Monday, September 16th. 

Registration FAQs: Closed Classes & Wait Lists

Students often contact instructors requesting permission to add a course via a permission number. Please feel free to simply refer these students to

Please keep the following in mind when responding to student requests:

  • Adding seats to your class capacity rather than admitting extras via permission numbers gives all students equal opportunity for admission to the class. Enrollment capacity may be increased if classroom size permits (you can check classroom capacity at If you considering doing so, first contact Michael Walsh ( regarding any impact on TA workload. 
  • Students will often present a crisis situation to an individual instructor when other solutions are readily available (i.e., academic and financial holds are common). Academic Advising has access to students' records and can assist them with making alternate arrangements that enable them to progress toward timely degree completion. Again, please refer students to or N108 Elliott for Psychology Advising assistance.
  • A number of our undergraduate Psychology courses have prerequisites, the completion of which is required prior to enrollment in subsequent courses. There are times when a student's registration is blocked because they have not met appropriate prerequisites. Please refer students to Psychology Advising for trouble-shooting when your course has a prerequisite. If you are willing to admit a student beyond your class capacity or want to verify preparation, please notify Psychology Advising.

    The Best Advice for Students is to:
    Continue to check online for an open seat. If a seat opens, another student has the opportunity to add the class via on-line registration. Instructors may wish to set up a standard reply for student requests, encouraging them to check for open seats. 

    Electronic Wait Lists:
    Electronic waiting lists were available for almost all PSY 3xxx/4xxx/5xxx level classes all summer. The online Wait List runs for the final time today, Tuesday, September 3rd. 

    There are no Wait Lists as of Wednesday, September 4th. Students should monitor the online registration system through Monday, September 9th for open seats (Add/Drop period). 

    Starting Tuesday, September 10th, instructors may choose to allow a student to add their class and provide a permission number up until the end of Monday, September 16th.

    Graduate Student registration issues, questions, and permission numbers are managed by Rachel Goeller (

June 2019 DATA Correction

One additional graduate student in the Psychology Department, Tatyana Matveeva in the Cognitive and Brain Sciences Area, was awarded a Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship.

Publish Date: 
2019-09-12 13:30:00

June 2019

Chair Communications

Jeff's PictureAs we head into summer, I hope that everyone will have some time to recuperate from what has been a busy and productive 2018-19 academic year.

In collaboration with several members of the department, I will be working on several initiatives this summer. They include beginning to make revisions to our 7.12 document and our Constitution, both of which require a little updating. I will also be forming an ad hoc committee that will oversee the planning and preparation for our external department review, which will take place during the 2020-21 academic year. Finally, the Executive Committee and I are currently drafting a job ad for an assistant professor position in the area of health, with an emphasis on disparities in physical health outcomes, broadly defined. We will bring candidates in for interviews in the fall.

I will not be writing a Chair Communications report over the summer, so look for my next message in September. I wish everyone a wonderful summer!

Jeff Simpson, PhD
Distinguished University Teaching Professor
Chair, Department of Psychology

Administrative Updates & Announcements

Academic Technology

Whether you would like to...

  • discuss your Canvas course
  • create a video greeting for your students; 
  • add an interactive “Clicker” tool to your lecture; or,
  • move your exams online;

...find the solution with your academic technologist!

Here are Summer Drop-in slots to meet with Silke Moeller (, your academic technologist.

For your reference: Instructor Canvas Guide (Ctrl-F/Cmd-F is your friend)

Research Technology

R Summer Workshop Series

Join us this summer for an R workshop series. This workshop series will teach you how to get started using R to clean, manipulate, summarize,  and visualize data as well as how to use R reproducibly with R Markdown. Each workshop will run on Thursdays from 10 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Get help with your own R code and data in the consultation session the afternoon of the final workshop. Learn more about the workshop series and register today.

For question contact Carla Bates (

Awards and Accomplishments

Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship

Chloe Huelsnitz, a student of the social area, was awarded a Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship.

The Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship (DDF) gives the University's most accomplished Ph.D. candidates an opportunity to devote full-time effort to an outstanding research project by providing time to finalize and write a dissertation during the fellowship year.

The award includes a stipend of $25,000 for the academic year (September-May), tuition for up to 14 thesis credits each semester (fall & spring), and subsidized health insurance through the Graduate Assistant Health Plan.

UMN Ranked 3rd!

The Consortium of Social Science and Associations has released the 2019 rankings of College and Universities listing the University of Minnesota in 3rd place for federal research development expenditures for social sciences, psychology, law, communications, and social work. UMN was ranked 4th in the 2018 edition and ranked 5th in the 2017 edition


Jack Kostal

Area: I/O
Advisors: Deniz Ones, Nathan Kuncel
Dissertation Title: Human Cognitive Abilities: The Structure and Predictive Power of Group Factors


Postdoctoral Associate Dr. Anahita Mehta awarded prestigious NIH grant

Dr. Anahita Mehta in the Oxenham lab has received a prestigious 5-year K99/R00 Transition to Independence award from the National Institutes of Health. The award is designed to facilitate the transition from a postdoctoral researcher to an independent faculty position.

Dr. Andrew Oxenham's NIH grant renewed for 5 years

Dr. Andrew Oxenham's R01 award from the National Institutes of Health to study auditory and speech context effects under normal and impaired hearing and with cochlear implants has been renewed for a 5-year period.

Publish Date: 
2019-06-05 20:15:00


Chair Communications

I’m pleased to report good news in the department this month, which highlights the success and accomplishments of our fine group of staff and students.


It is my great pleasure to announce the two winners of our new Psychology Staff Excellence Award: Michael (Mike) Houlahan, Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies, and Felix Pichardo, NeuroHealth Research Assistant in the Minnesota Center for Twin Family Research (MCTFR). This new award recognizes staff members who have demonstrated excellence and professionalism in their overall performance and who have made meaningful contributions to their unit and/or the Department of Psychology.  Mike has done an outstanding job in his role as Associate Director of Undergraduate studies, serving as the “backbone” of our undergraduate programs. Felix Pichardo, a NeuroHealth Research Assistant in the MCTFR, has done an excellent job making several important innovations in the collection data. Congratulations to both Mike and Felix!


I’m also happy to announce the hiring of Darian Schwietz, who will provide area support to the CSPR, PIB, and BP areas of the department. Her first day will be April 29. Welcome Darian!


Finally, I’d like to congratulate all of our undergraduate majors, masters, and Ph.D. students who have completed their degrees and are graduating.  We will be celebrating the commencement of 18 of our graduate students on May 3, with a reception at 4:00pm on May 2 in N219 Elliott Hall. Commencement for our undergraduates – 375 students in all -- will occur on May 19, with our Psychology Undergraduate Celebration occurring at 4:00pm on May 3 at the Campus Club.


Congratulations to everyone!  We wish you much success and enjoyment in your future endeavors!


Jeff Simpson

Distinguished University Teaching Professor

Chair, Department of Psychology


Awards and Accomplishments

Staff Spotlight

Congratulations to the staff members who received Staff Spotlight submissions this past quarter! The Staff Spotlight is a way for members of the department to recognize a Psychology staff member for excellent performance in real time via Google form. Each quarter one recipient will be chosen at random to receive a small token of appreciation from the Department and a congratulations in DATA. This quarter's chosen recipient is Carla Bates, IT manager. Carla's nominator pointed out that her experience has brought a valuable perspective to our department. They expressed appreciation for some challenging projects she completed, stating the projects would not have been successful without her knowledge, experience, and effort. Congratulations, Carla!


Associate Professor Richard Landers has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation Science of Organizations program to host a workshop on the topic of game-based assessment. The workshop will bring roughly 125 academic researchers and practitioners to UMN campus in August 2019.


Jill Fish (Graduate Student, Counseling Psychology) is the 2019 recipient of the Vera S. Paster Award from the Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice. This award is presented annually to a graduate student or post-graduate resident or fellow in a behavioral health or social justice program who is engaged in work that contributes significantly to the social, education, physical, or psychological well-being of persons of color, thereby promoting their empowerment and ameliorating disadvantage from oppression and its effects.


Ummul Kathawalla (Graduate Student, Counseling Psychology) has been awarded the 2019 Doctoral-level Research Award from the International Society for Research on Identity. This award is given out biennially to a doctoral student conducting outstanding research on identity.


We are pleased to announce that the following graduate students in our program received a prestigious three-year graduate research fellowship from the National Science Foundation!

  • Kelsey Hobbs (Clinical Science and Psychopathology Research) working with Prof. Bob Krueger
  • Kayla Huber (Counseling Psychology) working with Prof. Pat Frazier
  • Claire Park (Counseling Psychology) working with Prof. Rich Lee
  • Caitlin Sisk (Cognitive and Brain Sciences) working with Prof. Yuhong Jiang   


Erin Standen (Graduate Student, Social Psychology) has received a Graduate Student Research Award from the Society for Health Psychology (Division 38, APA).  This $2,000 award will support the research project described in her proposal, "Optimizing features of calorie-tracking applications: Implications for behavioral and psychological health".


Hunter Throndsen (Psychology Senior) has been awarded the Daniel McFadden and Beverlee Simboli Research Scholarship from CLA. The scholarship recognizes outstanding undergraduate research and student quality.



Congratulations to our recent Department of Psychology PhD Graduates!

Jordan Beim

Area: CAB

Advisor: Andrew Oxenham

Dissertation Title: Effects of selective attention on the peripheral auditory system: Otoacoustic emission assays of cochlear function during behavior



The biennial conference of the International Association for Computerized Adaptive Testing (IACAT) will be held at the Graduate Hotel on campus June 10 - 13, 2019. Professor Dave Weiss will give a plenary address at the conference titled "The CAT Curmudgeon: Some Thoughts from 50 Years of CAT".  Further information is available at



Viann Nguyen-Feng and Professor Mark Stellmack have written a 90-page guide to R Commander, which is a point-and-click interface to R. The guide, which includes instructions the R Commander, can be downloaded from Mark Stellmack's faculty website here.


Publish Date: 
2019-05-02 20:45:00

DATA News - APRIL 2019

Chair Communications

I have good news to share with the department this month, which once again highlights the success and accomplishments of both of our faculty and our graduates.

To begin with, Professor Rich Lee has been awarded a McKnight Distinguished University Professorship for his outstanding programs of research on diversity issues. This is one of the highest research-based honors that can be bestowed on a faculty member at the university. In addition, Professor Marti Hope Gonzales is the recipient of the Arthur “Red” Motley award. This honor is one of the highest honors that can be given to exceptional teachers who have consistently excelled in our undergraduate education mission.  Please join me in congratulating both Rich and Marti for these major accomplishments!

On the “graduates” side, our 2019 Distinguished Undergraduate Alumni Award winner is Dr. Scott Plous, who is a professor at Wesleyan University. Dr. Plous will receive his award and speak at the Undergraduate Celebration on the afternoon of May 3. Our 2019 Distinguished Graduate Alumni Award winner is Dr. Ronald Petersen, who works at Mayo Clinic. We are hoping that Dr. Petersen will be able to attend the Graduate Celebration on May 2 to receive his award. Further information about these two events is shared below.

I'd like to thank Professor Mark Snyder and the Alumni Awards Committee for all the work they did to identify these award winners.

Finally, with regard to the staff, our long-time Grant and Contract Administrator, Liz Gates, retired in March.  Liz will be deeply missed and we thank her for the many years of service she devoted to the department. Also, we are excited to announce that Anjeanette Roy is joining us as our new Grant and Contract Administrator. Anjeanette most recently worked at Sponsored Projects Administration (SPA) at the University and was, in fact, their designated Grant Administrator for our department. Welcome Anjeanette!



Administrative Updates

Effective Monday, April 1, the roles of three department staff members will change. First, Amy Kranz will transition to serve as area support for the Counseling and Quantitative and Psychometric Methods (QPM) areas. For now, Amy will continue to office out of N555. Second, Siobhán Swiderski will transition out of the Central Office into area support for the Cognitive and Brain Science (CAB), Industrial/Organizational (I/O), and Social areas. Siobhán's new office will be in N307. Finally, Amanda Schmit will transition from area support to the Central Office in N218 to serve as our new Office and Communications Manager. We are currently interviewing candidates to replace Amanda as area support for Clinical Science and Psychopathology Research (CSPR); Personality, Individual Differences, and Behavior Genetics (PIB); and Biological Psychopathology (BP). Amanda will continue to assist with support for those three areas until a new staff member is hired and trained. Questions? Contact Holley Locher,


Awards and Accomplishments

Associate Professor Moin Syed (PIB) has received a CLA Talle Faculty Research Award for the project, "Facilitating Open Science in Ethnic Minority Psychology." The project will involve archival analysis, new data collection on current practices, and the establishment of an online network for data sharing.


Emeritus Professor Gloria Leon gave the leadoff presentation at the A Brighter U, CLA in Space event at the Bell Museum on February 28, 2019.  The title of her talk was Enhancing Human Performance in Space.


CAB grad student Nilsu Atilgan has been awarded a Science Communication Fellowship from the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO). This fellowship aims to train young scientists to become more effective communicators of vision research to all audiences. The recipients of this fellowship participate in several science communication events during the one-year program and are invited to be a trainer for next year's class. The first event will be held on April 30 in Vancouver at the ARVO annual meeting.


Featured Profile for the Graduate School

Jill Fish Ph.D. candidate in Counseling Psychology in the College of Liberal Arts on the Twin Cities campus and 2018 Scholarly Excellence in Equity and Diversity (SEED) Award winner is featured on the Graduate School website.



ZOOM Video Conferencing

Today, April 1, OIT released the video-conferencing tool ZOOM. Here are the 5 reasons for everyone at the U of M to use

  1. ZOOM replaces WebEx. Compared to WebEx, ZOOM is very intuitive yet very powerful.
  2. ZOOM provides high-quality video streaming and recording
  3. ZOOM scores high in usability and accessibility. It even offers live captioning.
  4. ZOOM will be integrated into Canvas and our Google Calendars (with one click ZOOM invitations can be added to any event).
  5. Psychology IT received a small grant from the college to purchase webcams for use by small groups -
  • research lab meetings
  • project huddles
  • meetings with international partners
  • online office hours for students

On Thursday, April 25, at noon we will facilitate a D2T (Driven to Tech) to experience ZOOM and learn more about its unique features. Join us in person or online. Invitations will follow via email.

For questions, please contact Carla Bates or Silke Moeller <>, N211 Elliott.


Upcoming Events

Research in Psychology Fair

Thursday, April 11, 2019, 1:00 pm- 3:00 pm

Cost: Free

Location: Elliott Hall 6th Floor

Psychology undergraduate students, stop by the 6th Floor of Elliott Hall anytime between 1:00- 3:00 pm on Thursday, April 11th to learn about psychology research opportunities! Representatives from psychology research labs, UROP, and Psychology Advising will be available to answer your questions. This event is specifically recommended for Psychology BS majors planning to complete the capstone during the 2019-20 academic year, but all students interested in learning more about psychology research opportunities are welcome.


Psychology Undergraduate Celebration in May!

Friday, May 3rd, 2019 from 4:00pm - 6:00pm

Campus Club - Coffman Memorial Union

May 2019 Graduates, Award Winners, and the 2019 Distinguished Undergraduate Award winner, Dr. Scott Plous.

Official RSVP invitations will be sent out next week to all members of the Psychology Department - please come recognize and celebrate our Psychology Undergraduates with us!


Sent by Department of Psychology Chair's Office to all Psychology Faculty, Staff and Graduate Students.

Publish Date: 
2019-04-01 20:15:00

MARCH 2019

Chair Communications

There has been a lot of good news since my last Chair’s update.
First, we will be welcoming two new faculty members this fall—Richard Douglass, who will join the Counseling program, and Katerina Marcoulides, who will join Quantitative/Psychometrics program.  This caps off a successful search process, which was led by the Chair of the Appointments Committee, Professor Andrew Oxenham.

Second, I am delighted to recognize two of our faculty members who have received major teaching awards! Professor Monica Luciana is the recipient of a 2018-19 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.  In addition, Associate Professor Cheryl Olman is the recipient of a 2018-19 Horace T. Morse - University of Minnesota Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education. This honor is awarded to exceptional candidates nominated by colleges in their quest to identify excellence in undergraduate education. Please join me in congratulating both Cheryl and Monica for these major accomplishments!

In other news, Dr. Jennifer Berdahl, a leading expert on sexual harassment from the University of British Columbia, visited our department in January to speak on this topic.  To view the video of her lecture, click here

Dr. Berdahl also met with various student, faculty, and staff groups to offer suggestions for ways in which we can continue to improve the climate within the department and university. The current administrative team, along with Monica Luciana, are working with the Graduate Student Liaison Committee to adopt some of the suggestions that were discussed. We will continue to monitor their implementation, as well as their impact on our departmental climate, in the coming years.  



Administrative Updates and Announcements

After 27 years, Liz Gates is retiring! Her last day is Friday, April 1st! Stop by and wish her well! Pictures taken at her party on February 26th are located at this here


Awards and Accomplishments

Professor Rich Lee and a team of other University of Minnesota researchers are featured in MN Daily for piloting a new text messaging system that aims to promote child and maternal wellness in the Cedar-Riverside community.

The Grand Challenge-funded project, Reminders for Readiness (R4R), sends text messages to parents reminding them about child and maternal wellness and to take their children to check-ups. The reminders are short audio packages — in English and Somali — that integrate Somali culture and tradition into their content. The text messaging system aims to erase barriers to health care that many Somalis experience.The article and more information on the study can be found here


Chloe Huelsnitz from our Social Area has received $2500 as a runner-up at the Inside the Grant Panel Small Grants Competition at the 2019 Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) Conference. Inside the Grant Panel provides small grants to individuals (or a team of two) that is intended to support a relatively inexpensive, well-powered study that may be submitted for publication and for presentation at a future SPSP convention. She will use the grant to fund her dissertation studies.


Upcoming Events

Research in Psychology Fair

Thurs. April 11th 1-3pm

Elliott Hall 6th Floor - (N647 and N639)

Psychology Undergraduate Advising is hosting the Annual Research in Psychology Fair.

The goal is to connect Psychology Department and Related Area Labs to our Psychology Undergraduates. Some labs have used this as an RA recruitment opportunity, while others are simply sharing out information about research happening in the lab. All are encouraged to participate. Faculty/Lab invitations and registration information have been sent out already via email. Please contact Mike Houlahan ( with any questions.


Psychology Undergraduate Celebration

Friday, May 3rd, 2019 from 4:00pm - 6:00pm

Campus Club - Coffman Memorial Union

Official RSVP invitations will be sent at a future date!

Publish Date: 
2019-03-01 17:15:00


Chair Communications

This month, the Chair’s Update is all about awards. First, I want to congratulate Assistant Professor Scott Vrieze, who was selected to receive the University of Minnesota’s McKnight Land-Grant Professorship, a two-year award designed to advance the careers of exceptional junior faculty. In the two years that Scott has been on our faculty, he has had a string of accomplishments, ranging from new grants to several highly visible publications.


Scott has also just received the 2019 Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Contributions. This is a major award given annually by APS. Scott is most deserving of these awards. Please join me in congratulating him!


I also want to congratulate Marina Bryants (Lead Research Assistant, MCTFR), Liz Gates (Grant and Contract Administrator), and Tasha Walvig (Principal Interviewer, MCTFR), all of whom have received a 2017-18 CLA Outstanding Service Award. Outstanding Service Awards are “…intended to recognize employees and work groups who make outstanding contributions to the objectives of their units and/or the college, and who consistently achieve high performance in carrying out the responsibilities of their positions.” These strong employees clearly meet the criteria of this award, and we are honored to have them as colleagues in our department. Again, please join me in congratulating them!


When I became chair last June, I felt it was important to develop an internal departmental process for staff awards to better recognize excellence at the local level. To that end, the Staff Recognition Committee was formed last fall. Members include Holley Locher, Penny Nichol, Rachel Satterlee, Heidi Wolff, and Donnie Wood. The Committee developed two mechanisms through which staff can now be recognized: the annual Staff Excellence Award and the Staff Spotlight. The Staff Excellence Award recognizes staff who have demonstrated excellence and professionalism in their overall performance and who have made meaningful contributions to their unit and/or the Department of Psychology. Nominations are due March 15. The Staff Spotlight, on the other hand, is a mechanism that routinely recognizes staff in real-time via a brief Google Form submission. More information about both of these awards will be shared via email and in a later edition of DATA. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Holley Locher at  



Administrative Updates and Announcements

Welcome to Zuzanna Tajchman! On January 15, 2019, Zuzanna Tajchman started working as a lab manager/research assistant in Iris Vilares's lab. She is coming from University College London, where she recently completed her Master’s degree in Clinical Neuroscience.  


Awards and Accomplishments

The 2018 Scholarly Excellence in Equity and Diversity (SEED) Award was given to Jill Fish, a Ph.D. candidate in counseling psychology in the College of Liberal Arts on the Twin Cities campus focusing on how systems of oppression that impact Native American peoples can be challenged and transformed.  


Department of Psychology Staff Spotlight

The Department of Psychology’s Staff Recognition Committee is excited to announce the new Staff Spotlight. The Staff Spotlight is a way for members of the department to recognize a Psychology staff member for excellent performance in real time. Students, staff, or faculty may submit a Spotlight by filling out a brief Google form at The committee will then share each submission with the staff member and their supervisor. Additionally, each quarter, staff members who received a Spotlight in the previous three months will be chosen at random to receive a small token of appreciation from the department. A congratulations to the staff member chosen will be included in the DATA newsletter, along with details from the submission. 


Department of Psychology Staff Excellence Award

The Department of Psychology’s Staff Recognition Committee is pleased to announce the Staff Excellence Award! This annual award recognizes staff who have demonstrated excellence and professionalism in their overall performance and who have made meaningful contributions to their unit and/or the Department of Psychology. A primary nomination letter and at least one letter of support are required to nominate someone. One of the nominators must be the nominee’s direct supervisor. Nominations are due to Holley Locher no later than March 15, 2019. To learn more about it, visit    


Upcoming Events

Save the Date: Psychology Undergraduate Celebration in May!

Psychology Undergraduate Celebration
Friday, May 3rd, 2019 from 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Campus Club - Coffman Memorial Union

Official RSVP invitations will be sent at a future date!



The University has a self-service tool called MY-ACCOUNT that allows you to manage your UM Internet ID as well as create and manage sponsored accounts and Google groups, set reset questions for your Internet ID, manage DUO, and so on. Free nerd fact: MY-ACCOUNT is built on Oracle Identity Management and has replaced the x500 system; we now use Internet IDs rather than x500s. is where you manage your UM Internet ID.

And for all instructors: MY-ACCOUNT lets you make course email lists outside of Canvas! You can create a course specific email so that you do not have to use your own Internet ID or a ‘rogue’ non-UM gmail account. These are Google Group email lists that sync with PeopleSoft (drop-outs or late sign-ups will be on this list). You can reach out to all your students and students can email you using this email. Contact Silke if you have questions <>, N211 Elliott.

Publish Date: 
2019-02-05 17:45:00


Chair Communications

Happy New Year and best wishes to everyone as we soon begin the spring semester! I hope each of you had a safe and relaxing break and are enjoying a productive start to 2019.

Just prior to the winter break, we extended offers to two faculty candidates, one in Counseling and one in Quantitative/Psychometric Methods. Negotiations are currently underway, and I will share an update as soon as I can. I want to take this opportunity to thank the Appointments Committee, in particular Andrew Oxenham (chair) and Missy Jones (staff support), who expertly shepherded our two faculty searches this fall. The candidates they helped to recruit and court are excellent, and the recruitment process ran very well.

As I mentioned in my December update, we are putting the finishing touches on our Three-year Budget Plan, which we will submit to the college on January 15. After that, we plan to dive into longer-term departmental strategic planning. Thus far, we have identified four strategic goals: 1) improve our science by becoming leaders in the development, adoption, and dissemination of open science best practices; 2) enhance diversity and inclusion by increasing our number of underrepresented students, faculty, and staff and by improving the department’s diversity climate; 3) improve the undergraduate and graduate student experience/training by enhancing opportunities with mentoring, research, engagement, and advanced methodologies; and 4) increase collaboration within the department to foster more partnerships with research, grants, projects, and teaching. This spring, we will identify strategies and specific action plans to help us achieve these goals. I will be soliciting input from faculty, staff, and students, so please watch for ways in which you can be involved in this important process. 

For now, enjoy the rest of winter break prior to the start of spring classes!




Psychology Undergraduate Advising created a new video to help students better learn about our final Capstone Course. Those who watch the video will learn more specifics about the Psychology Capstone Course. This video, which highlights the differences between the three capstone track options (3901W-Research, 3902W-Individual Interest, 3903W-Community Engagement) and explains how the course is set up & what are class expectations, is now housed on the undergraduate website. Please feel free to share it. Vimeo link.


Awards and Accomplishments

Professor Robert Krueger is listed on the Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers list for 2018. Clarivate Analytics describes the list as follows: "This list recognizes world-class researchers selected for their exceptional research performance, demonstrated by the production of multiple highly cited papers that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and year in Web of Science."


Jill Fish (Counseling Psychology - Graduate student) gave a TEDxTalk on “Honoring Indigenous Cultures and Histories”. This took place at the TEDxMinneapolis in August 2018. Here you may find more information on Jill's work and her talk may be viewed here.


Mindy Westlund Schreiner (CSPR Graduate Student) received the UofM’s Nomination for the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools’ (MAGS) Annual Distinguished Master’s Thesis Competition for her master's thesis titled "Resting-State Functional Connectivity of the Precuneus Associated with Suicidality in Adolescents with Major Depressive Disorder", which she defended in July 2016. Congratulations, Mindy and best of luck in the MAGS competition!


Ummul Kathawalla (Counseling Psychology - Graduate Student) has been selected as the Graduate Student Representative to the Society for the Improvement of Psychological Science (SIPS). SIPS brings together scholars working to improve methods and practices in psychological science. More information


The Sharon Borine Award, given each semester to acknowledge undergraduate seniors whose final submissions for their major project course are of the highest quality. Congratulations to these Fall 2018 award winners!

  1. Sydney Hosley (Interrogative Techniques and the Formation of False Memories and False Confessions)
  2. Linda Lu (The Relationship Between Physicians’ Nonverbal Behaviors and Patients’ Perceptions of Empathy) and
  3. Kelly Ochocki (Personality, depression and affective experience across the transition to parenthood).



Start the New Year with Google Calendar

View this short video clip [38 sec] to see how easy it is to schedule an event with multiple people without emails or Doodles. This works best if all of us use Google Calendar for work (you can sync your Work calendar with other calendars like iCal or Fantastical).

To hear more about features and best practices of Google Calendar, Drive and Docs, join the next D2T (Driven to Teach) lunchtime meeting on February 7, 2019.

For questions, please contact Silke Moeller <>, N211 Elliott.

Upcoming Events

Save the Date: Psychology Undergraduate Celebration in May!

Psychology Undergraduate Celebration
Friday, May 3rd, 2019 from 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Campus Club - Coffman Memorial Union

Official RSVP invitations will be sent at a future date!


Latest Events:

Pictures from our ugly DEPARTMENTAL sweater meeting December 14, 2018 are found here.

Publish Date: 
2019-01-02 20:00:00

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