Powers to Present Distinguished Faculty Lecture
On Monday, April 27, 2009 at 4:00 p.m. in the Massachusetts Room of the Mullins Center at UMass Amherst, Sally I. Powers (psychology), director of the Center for Research on Families, will present the last of this academic year’s presentations in the Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series. Her talk is entitled, "Hormones and Lovers’ Quarrels: How Stress Translates Into Depression."
For more than thirty years, UMass Amherst has recognized distinguished achievements through the Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series. The lectures honor individual faculty members and celebrate the value of academic excellence. Following their lectures faculty members chosen for the series receive the Chancellor's Medal, the highest honor bestowed on individuals for exemplary and extraordinary service to the University.
It’s normal for romantic partners to experience conflict and produce “stress” hormones. Chronic stress, however, disrupts hormonal regulation, often leading to physical and mental health problems. Professor Powers will describe how her research illuminates people’s hormonal stress responses, differentiates how men and women resolve conflicts and calm themselves, and helps explain why women and girls are twice as prone to depression.
Professor Powers joined the university in 1988. She is a professor of psychology, clinical division and has been director of the Center for Research on Families in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences since 2003. Professor Powers’ research investigates the interaction of normal developmental processes and psychopathology in adolescents. She focuses on understanding the role of interpersonal behavior in close relationships and social-cognition in the development of psychopathology. Her most recent studies investigate a biopsychosocial model of factors hypothesized to contribute to the gender difference in the prevalence of adolescent depression.
Professor Powers was an assistant professor of psychology from 1988-91 and an associate professor from 1991-95. She has been a professor since 1995. She served as coordinator of the Psychological Services Center from 1998-2000 and was head of the department of psychology’s clinical division in 2003-06. Professor Powers has also been a professor in the neuroscience and behavior program since 2007.
From 1987-91 Professor Powers was director of family research at the Laboratory of Developmental Psychopathology at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass., and was an assistant in child psychology at the Hall-Mercer Children’s Center there from 1985-89. She was an instructor of psychology in the department of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School from 1982-92. Professor Powers was a senior research associate at the Henry A. Murray Research Center at Harvard University from 1981-88 and a research associate from 1981-87. She was associate director of the Adolescent and Family Development Project in the department of psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Mental Health Center in Boston from 1978-83.
Professor Powers earned a bachelor’s degree from Occidental College in California in 1975 and earned a master’s degree in education from Harvard University in 1976. In 1977-78 she was a clinical psychology intern at the James Jackson Putnam Child Guidance Center in Boston. In 1981 Professor Powers completed a one-year course in clinical concepts of psychoanalysis at the Boston Psychoanalysis Institute. She earned a doctorate of education in human development from Harvard University in 1982.
To read about this year’s Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series, click here.
April 14, 2009