Fall 2023 Newsletter | Awards and Updates

Doctoral Dissertation Defenses

Michael Broggi, The Fear-Avoidance Model and Persistent Post-Concussion Symptoms in University Students, Advisor: Rebecca Ready
Yelim Hong, The role of child and household regulation on bidirectional links between harsh parenting and child externalizing behaviors, Advisor: Kirby Deater-Deckard
Sandarsh Pandey, A framework to understand the relationship between the central tendency bias, oblique effect, and serial dependency in visual perception of orientation, Advisor: Kyle Cave
Adrian Rivera-Rodriguez, Collective autonomy restriction: A theoretical model and empirical investigations, Advisor: Nilanjana Dasgupta

Master's Thesis Defenses

Jenna Croteau, Not All Numbers Were Created Equal: Evidence the Number One is Unique, Advisor: Joonkoo Park
Heather Kumove, Allies, Traitors, or Obstacles?: How Attitudes Toward Political Moderates Shape Political Polarization in the United States, Advisor: Linda Isbell

Awards and Honors

Adam Grabell, Youngbin Kwak, and Mariana Pereira have received tenure
Ilia Karatsoreos — Full Professor
Jeff Starns — Full Professor
Holly Laws — Senior Lecturer
Laurie Dove — Assistant to the Director of Advising
Karen Genereux — Business Manager 
Mike McDermott — Facilities Operation Manager

Christina MetevierChristina Metevier has been appointed Associate Provost for Academic Programs at the UMass Mount Ida Campus. Metevier will provide leadership and oversight for the academic function at the Mount Ida Campus, including development and expansion of curricular offerings and experiential learning opportunities, supporting student success and professional development, and management of faculty resources and support. Read more

Averi GainesAveri Gaines, a fourth-year student in the Clinical Psychology Program working with Dr. Michael Constantino, was awarded the eighth annual Keith Rayner Memorial Graduate Student Research Award. Her project, titled Relative Valuing of Psychotherapist Characteristics and Performance Data Among People of Color, will help the field combat uniformity myths and responsively situate the prospective use of therapist effectiveness data within appropriate cultural contexts. Study findings will also provide organizations with precise guidelines for when and how to make therapist assignments in a manner that is responsive to the preferences of patients with marginalized racial/ethnic identities. Read more

Two PBS faculty members, Kirby Deater-Deckard and Luke Remage-Healey, have been selected to receive prestigious Fulbright U.S. Scholar Awards for the 2023-24 academic year.

Kirby Deater-DeckardKirby Deater-Deckard, will be a Fulbright Scholar in Finland at the University of Turku and a research director fellow at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. He will be collaborating with psychological and brain scientists at the Universities of Turku and Helsinki to investigate cross-cultural and individual differences in children’s and adolescents’ psychological and behavioral development through the FinnBrain Study, the Center for Learning Dynamics and Intervention Research, and the Parents and Adolescents Across Cultures Study. “I’m so excited to be able to collaborate with this group of outstanding psychological and brain scientists in Finland and eight other countries around the world, as we test competing models of child and adolescent development in distinct cultural and geopolitical contexts,” says Deater-Deckard.

Luke Remage-HealeyAs a Fulbright Scholar in Germany, Luke Remage-Healey will conduct research at the Ludwig Maximilian University Division of Neurobiology in Munich. He will collaborate with neuroscientists there on a project investigating the contribution of fast, direct ion flow between neurons in the auditory system of songbirds. “This fellowship is an opportunity to learn about whether these poorly understood ‘gap junctions’ between neurons contribute to the way animals process and store memories for sounds, like song and speech,” says Remage-Healey. “I’m looking forward to this focused time to work on this question with an international group in Munich.”

Christopher MartellChristopher Martell, Clinical Director of the Psychological Services Center (PSC), was recently honored by the Provost with the title of Professor of Practice. Martell has an exceptional record of practice-based outreach and service to the Department, University, local community, and profession of clinical psychology. Since arriving at UMass Amherst in 2016, Martell has brought honor and prestige to the University as a result of his unselfish and tireless dedication to the welfare of others.

Jen McDermottPBS is proud to announce the appointment of Jennifer M. McDermott as Interim Rudd Family Foundation Chair in Psychology, effective September 1, 2023. During her term as Interim Rudd Chair, Dr. McDermott will provide leadership for Rudd programming, including organizing the Rudd Visiting Professorship program and facilitating interdisciplinary working groups to tackle pressing adoption related issues, and collaborate with scholars and practioners to inform policy efforts to support adopted children and their families. Read more

Linda TroppThe multi-national and collaborative Zurich Intergroup Project including Linda Tropp has been awarded a Commendation from the Society for Improving Psychological Science. The Zurich Intergroup Project involves 43 core researchers and several associated researchers across the world. Members aim to better understand how people from various social groups are affected by social inequalities and promote more inclusive societies and social justice. Together, the group sampled approximately 13,000 participants from 69 countries and four populations (i.e., ethnic majorities/minorities, cis-heterosexual individuals/LGBTIQ+ people). Here you can learn how we can work together to make science more inclusive and stronger.

Jordan LegaspiJordan Legaspi, a 4th year PhD Student researching the development of cognitive bias with Dr. Tara Mandalaywala in the Cognition Across Development Lab, recently received a Fulbright Student Research Award. Jordan will be conducting research with Dr. Peipei Setoh at Nanyang Technological University exploring the development of social biases in Singapore. Jordan will be the sole Fulbright representative from the United States on an open research Fulbright award for the 2023 - 2024 cycle.

Dominic DenningDominic Denning received the Clinical Science Student Training Award from the Academy of Psychological and Clinical Sciences to receive additional training in ambulatory assessment methods and intensive longitudinal data analysis through the Pitt Methods Summer Series.

Tasneem Mohammad and Heather Kumove at conference with poster
L-R: Tasneem Mohammad and Heather Kumove

Tasneem Mohammad, a recent graduate of UMass and former honors student with the late Dr. Bernhard Leidner, received the Outstanding Poster Presentation award from Division 38: The Society for Health Psychology (SfHP) at the 2023 APA Conference in Washington, D.C., for her honors thesis entitled "Analysis of the Effect of Racialization on the Political Polarization of Universal Healthcare Policy Attitudes in the United States". Her work was carried out under the supervision of Heather A. Kumove, a graduate student in the Peace and Violence Program in social psychology, Dr. Kevin L. Young, in Economics at the University of Massachusetts, and the late Dr. Bernhard Leidner. Her work focused on partisan differences in racialized attitudes and support for health policy. It specifically focused on determining what role factors such as the race of those benefiting from a specific policy and the participant’s own political beliefs play in formulating opinions about those health policies and about those who are affected by them, hopefully leading to a better understanding of how policy and measures should be formulated in the future. Tasneem attended the conference after receiving the undergrad diversity travel grant to present her work at the APA conference this summer. She has recently started at Law School at the University of Pennsylvania.