Spring 2023 Newsletter | Awards and Updates

Doctoral Dissertation Defenses

Hannah Chimowitz, The Collateral Consequences of Criminal Stigma in Higher Education: Removing Barriers to Institutional Access and Examining Social Judgments about Students with Records, Advisor: Linda Isbell
Heather Muir, Professional and Personal Humility in Relation to Between-therapist Differences in Effectiveness , Advisor: Michael Constantino

Master's Thesis Defenses

Zachary Bivins, Early Childhood Emotion Regulation Strategy Articulation, its Neurophysiological Correlates, and Association with Psychopathology, Advisor: Adam Grabell
Jerome Hoover, Diagnostic feature detection and sequential eyewitness lineups, Advisor: Andrew Cohen
Ana Uribe, A Latent Profile Analysis of Four Characteristics of Intimate Partner Violence and Associations with Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms, Advisor: Maria Galano

Awards and Honors

DEI award winners holding awards
L-R: Tejas Savalia, Kirby Deater-Deckard, Yelim Hong, Hector Sosa, and Christina Rowley

The Departmental DEI Committee and the Graduate Student Diversity Committee have granted the following awards:
Wendy Helmer Graduate Student Award: Tejas Savalia
Departmental Graduate DEI Service Awards: Yelim Hong, Hector Sosa, Christina Rowley
Faculty/Staff Ally to Graduate Students Award: Kirby Deater-Deckard

Amanda Hamel has received the Lilly Fellowship for Teaching Excellence 2023-24.

Erik Cheries has been presented with the CNS Outstanding Advisor Award.

Averi Gaines has won the 2023 Keith Rayner Memorial Graduate Student Research Award.

Sarah Butler '24 won the Outstanding Undergraduate Community Engagement Award from the Civic Engagement and Service Learning Department. Sarah was nominated based on her outstanding contribution to multiple service learning courses, including the Boltwood Project, Equine Assisted Services for People with Disabilities, and the Campus to Community Respite Care Program.

Catherine Sales ’23 has been named to the 2023 ALL IN Student Voting Honor Roll. Sales, a psychology major who completed her coursework in December, is among 175 students nationwide recognized for outstanding work to advance nonpartisan voter registration, education and turnout efforts in advance of the 2022 midterm elections, through the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge.

Denning holding award and Dr. Donald BlackDominic Denning, a first-year graduate student in the clinical psychology program, was awarded the Gunderson Young Investigator Award at the annual conference for the North American Society for the Study of Personality Disorders (NASSPD). This award recognizes outstanding contributions by a graduate or post-doctoral trainee to the study of personality disorders. Here Denning (right) is pictured with Dr. Donald Black (left), a psychiatrist in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Iowa.

Kuan-Jung Huang, PhD student in the Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience Program,  received the Gibson/Federenko Prize for his talk "An infrequent, large cost underlies garden path effects: an RT distribution approach” at the Conference on Human Sentence Processing in Pittsburgh in March, 2023. This prize honors young scholars who present outstanding scientific work as a talk at the annual Conference on Human Sentence Processing.

Eleni Kapoulea was awarded the Center for Research on Families (CRF) Community Engagement Dissertation Award and successfully defended her dissertation proposal entitled, "Causes of Loneliness in Cambodian American Adults Through an Intergenerational Lens." Kapoulea's dissertation will be a community-based participatory project that seeks to examine loneliness, trauma, and intergenerational familial conflicts in a Cambodian American population from Amherst, MA, and Lowell, MA. Participants will be from two generational cohorts: (1) first-generation Cambodian Americans who immigrated to the U.S. following the Khmer Rouge genocide and (2) second-generation Cambodian Americans born in the U.S. whose families immigrated to the U.S. following the Khmer Rouge genocide. Participants will complete questionnaires, a focus group, and a semi-structured interview. Questionnaires and interview questions will ask about participants' loneliness, past experiences, and interpersonal relationships. The current study will provide invaluable knowledge on loneliness within an under-researched and underserved population. 

Grace Cho was awarded a CRF Dissertation Grant Award and successfully defended her dissertation proposal entitled, "Social Comparison as a Risk Factor for Suicidal Thoughts in Ethnoracially Minoritized College Students." Grace's dissertation will examine whether the socio-cognitive process of social comparison is a bigger risk factor for thoughts of suicide in students of color. She will also test if defeat and entrapment are mediators of the association between social comparison and thoughts of suicide and if these associations are stronger for students of color compared to White students.

Alumni Updates

Sungha Kang has received honorable mention for the Future of the Academy Award at the 2023 Faculty Women of Color in the Academy National Conference.

Abbie Goldberg, PBS alumna, has been conferred fellow status by The National Council on Family Relations (NCFR). Goldberg’s research has uplifted the voices of many and she continues to “innovate to the field by contributing new insights into the diversity of family life.” After receiving her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from UMass Amherst, she has served as a faculty member at Clark University since 2005.