2019 Graduate School Commencement

Congratulations to our 2019 Master's and Doctoral Degree recipients!

Front l-r, several of our new Doctors of Philosophy: Nick Morrison, Marykate Oakley, Hillary Halpern, Gennarina Santorelli, and Hema Preya Selvanathan

Back l-r, Faculty Advisors: Brian Lickel, Michael Constantino, Maureen Perry-Jenkins, Rebecca Ready, and Katherine Dixon-Gordon

Spring 2019 Newsletter

spring blossoms at south college

We invite you to read the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences Spring Newsletter! Featuring:

  • Research Highlights: Risky Decisions—Helpful or Harmful
  • Allison Epstein ’17 Finds Her Calling as a Forensic Psychologist
  • 2019 Senior Award Winners Share Reflections from UMass
  • Undergraduate Research Symposium
  • UMassGives Wrap Up
  • Award Highlights: Linda Tropp Named Chancellor's Leadership Fellow for 2019
  • Community Outreach: NSB Outreach Committee visits Holyoke North Campus High School

Read full issue

Andrea Craft awarded Ford Foundation Fellowship

andrea craftAndrea Craft, graduate student in clinical psychology, has been awarded a prestigious 3-year Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship. The Foundation's mission states, “through its Fellowship Programs, the Ford Foundation seeks to increase the diversity of the nation’s college and university faculties by increasing their ethnic and racial diversity, maximize the educational benefits of diversity, and increase the number of professors who can and will use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students.”

Allison Epstein ’17 Finds Her Calling as a Forensic Psychologist

alison epsteinFascinated by questions about the nature and nurture of everyday people, Allison Epstein ’17 explores how our environment shapes who we are. Gaining critical research experience at UMass Amherst and completing several internships in the field are just a few experiences that greatly prepared her for graduate study in forensic psychology. Along the way, she found the courage to interact with individuals in challenging environments and offer guidance as they strove to reenter the community.

Undergraduate Research Symposium

students and faculty gather around posters in tobin hall

The annual Undergraduate Research Symposium was held on April 25 in Tobin Hall. This event gives undergraduates the opportunity to share their excellent research with faculty, graduate students, and peers. It’s a celebration of our students’ honors theses and research projects, their hard work, and the valuable outcomes of their studies. This event is also a great primer for the Massachusetts Statewide Undergraduate Research Conference held the following day. Hear what students had to say about their research experiences:

National Report Calls for More Focused Studies of Digital Apps and Games to Enhance Pre-teen Learning and Development

young girl uses ipad in classroom

UMass Amherst developmental psychologists contribute to major lit review

A team of developmental and cognitive psychologists and learning experts this month published a report on digital game play and app use among 6 to 12-year-olds–specifically, what is known and not known about impacts on cognitive development and learning. They recommend target research areas to maximize child educational outcomes, best practices in schools, and policies for developing effective educational games and apps for this group of under-studied youth.

PBS Leads Successful UMassGives Campaign

logo of old chapelUMass Amherst’s seventh annual 2-day on-line giving campaign, UMassGives, was a huge success! On April 29 and 30 the University came together to raise funds for many areas of campus including colleges, departments, and student organizations. The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences participated in a fundraising Power Hour, a chance to win bonus funds if an area can procure the most individual donations during that hour. We're glad to announce winning second place, receiving an extra $500 in bonus funds! We generated over $2,000 during our Power Hour alone! PBS raised $4,320 from 94 donors! That's almost double the funds we raised last year! We want to extend a heart-felt thank you to all of our donors for supporting our students' success!

2019 Senior Award Winners Share Reflections from UMass

group of award winners holding plaques

From left-right: Laurel Whitfield, Lucine Boloyan, Brenna Duffey, John Vargas, Caren Rotello, Lily Vesel, Sophia Davis, Julia Tager, and Katelyn Loring.

Outstanding seniors from Psychological and Brain Sciences were honored at the annual Senior Award Celebration held at the University Club. Department Chair Caren Rotello, award recipients, their faculty sponsors were in attendance. Seniors were honored for their academic excellence, contributions to research, and scholarship. Hear what our senior award winners had to say about their UMass experience: