Michael Constantino Leads Study to Match Patients with Mental Health Providers

A research team led by University of Massachusetts Amherst clinical psychology professor Michael Constantino will launch a study this month to enhance mental health care by scientifically matching patient needs to clinical providers’ strengths. The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), a federal agency, recently approved just over $1.7 million in funding for the plan.

Constantino will collaborate with researchers and clinicians at the University at Albany, SUNY, Outcome Referrals, Inc., and Atrius Health. They will compare the effectiveness of a new, scientifically based patient-provider match system for mental health treatment to the more traditional method known as “pragmatic case assignment,” which is based on provider availability, convenience or self-reported specialty.

Michael Constantino voted President-elect of Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy

Michael Constantino, professor of clinical psychology and director of the department of psychological and brain sciences’ graduate program, has been voted president-elect of the Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy, a division of the American Psychological Association. His term as president-elect will begin in 2017 and as president in 2018. This will be Constantino’s second time serving as president of a professional organization; he was president of the North American Society for Psychotherapy Research from 2013-2015.

Nilanjana Dasgupta Gives NSF Distinguished Lecture on Women’s Success in STEM Fields

​Nilanjana “Buju” Dasgupta, psychological and brain sciences and director of the College of Natural Sciences’ faculty equity and inclusion initiative, recently gave a distinguished lecture at the National Science Foundation in Arlington, Va., as a guest of the agency’s directorate of social, behavioral, and economic sciences.

Dasgupta’s research has focused in part on understanding the subtle ways in which stereotypes influence young peoples’ choices of academic majors and careers and identifying how to change them. In particular, she focuses on girls and women who have full potential to succeed in careers in science, technology, and engineering, and why they may choose not to pursue such careers.

New Addition to the PBS Family

Amanda Hamel-Sundberg and Arron are pleased to announce the birth of Emilia Joyce. She was born Saturday, June 25th, weighing 7 lbs, 14.5 oz and was 19.5 inches long.  

Congratulation and best wishes go out to the new family!

2016 Keith Rayner Memorial Graduate Student Research Award Winner-Fiona Ge

Congratulations to Fiona Ge, a fourth-year student in the Social Psychology Program working with Dr. Paula Pietromonaco, on being awarded the first annual Keith Rayner Memorial Graduate Student Research Award.

Fiona's project, Cultural Differences in Communication and Consequences for Romantic Relationship Quality, rose to the top of many high-quality submissions reviewed by the Graduate Studies Committee. Fiona's study has implications for identifying culture-specific communication strategies that promote better relationship functioning, thereby informing interventions that can be tailored to couples from different cultural backgrounds.

Undergraduate Research Symposium

The 2nd annual Undergraduate Research Symposium was held on April 21 in Tobin Hall. Seventeen of our undergraduates had the opportunity to share their PBS research with faculty, graduate students, and peers. The symposium provides a celebration of the vast undergraduate research opportunities in the department.

UMass Gets an MRI

Picture of mri

The Institute for Applied Life Sciences (IALS) took delivery of a $3.2 million, 7.3-ton, 3-Tesla magnet and related equipment on Nov. 17 for use in its Human Magnetic Resonance (MR) Center in the Life Science Laboratories Building. The research suite was purchased with funds from the $95 million, Massachusetts Life Sciences Institute grant to the campus in 2013.