Fall 2022 Newsletter

Message from the Chair

Dear PBS Community,

Maureen Perry-JenkinsI am delighted to be writing to all of you in my new role as Chair of Psychological and Brain Sciences. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Maureen Perry-Jenkins and I have been a professor in PBS since 1997. I am also a proud alumna of UMass and the Psychology Department since 1981! What a long way I, and the department, have come since then.

We currently serve approximately 2,100 undergraduates and 70 graduate students. We have 52 faculty and 15 staff and we are the size of a small college. We have an amazing faculty who study a broad range of critical issues such as: the development of psychopathology in children, decision-making processes, substance use, discrimination, parenting, and dementia, to name just a few. We are a department deeply committed to issues of diversity, equity and inclusion and strive to infuse these values into our research and teaching missions and in building an inclusive community in PBS. Our faculty, graduate students and post docs have garnered over 7 million dollars in grant funding for their research. We also have some of the best teachers in the university, developing innovative and exciting classroom techniques that engage and inspire our students. Our staff keep the whole system running with amazing efficiency.

For the alumni of PBS, I extend an invitation to come and visit any time. On October 29th we are opening our doors for an open house event during UMass homecoming. We hope you are able to join us to learn about the exciting work we are doing. Tobin hall looks remarkably the same, but we have some exciting renovations happening. The campus has undergone an amazing transformation over the past decade and you should come and take a walk down memory lane.

I feel incredibly honored to be leading this outstanding department and look forward to working with our current faculty, staff and students and reconnecting with our thousands of proud alumni. Please follow us on Facebook or Instagram to see all the exciting things we are up to!




Adam Grabell has been awarded an NIH grant to develop at-home tracking of young kids’ outbursts using custom-built mobile health devices.
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Improving childhood learning using interactive media

Heather Kirkorian, Laura M. Secord Chair in Early Childhood Development and Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at UW–Madison, studies how children play and learn in the digital age.
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Summer students who are part of specialized mentorship programs perform research and receive professional training to jump start their careers.
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Members of the Computational Memory and Perception Lab hosted scholars from the Girls Inc. Eureka! Program for a workshop on how our taste, vision, and memory can be deceived.
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Research Highlights

Award Highlights

Upcoming Events

Friday, October 28 | 4:30 – 6:30 PM

Put on your thinking caps and come over to the Tobin Hall Labs to meet faculty and students and learn about research programs that hold the promise of making revolutionary advancements!

Participate in demonstrations showcasing innovative technology while exploring the wide range of research performed in psychological and brain sciences. No cost to attend. All are welcome. 
Learn more and Register Today

View the full schedule of Homecoming activities at UMassAlumni.com/Homecoming

In the Media