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Newsletter Editions

Published: 08/05/2016
Winter 2017

Graduate Program

Graduate Student Accomplishments

Spring 2016

Psychology Research festival

Our 45th Annual Psychology Research Festival was held at the Waterfront Activities Center near Husky Stadium on Wednesday, June 1, 2016.  We had 17 speakers present their first- and second-year research projects. Following the presentations we enjoyed lunch on the sunny patio followed by an awards ceremony recognizing individuals in our Department for their contributions and excellence.

The 2016 Distinguished Teaching Award for Graduate Students was awarded to Brianna Yamasaki (Cognition and Perception Area with Chantel Prat).  Brianna has TA'd for a number of undergraduate psychology courses, such as Introductory Psychology, Statistics, Child Development, Abnormal Psychology, and the Psychobiology of Women.  Last summer, Brianna independently developed and taught a course in Cognitive Neuroscience. Around that same time, Brianna received word that she had been awarded a GO-MAP Dissertation Stroum Fellowship which will support her final year of studies. While we will miss having her in our TA pool, this fellowship will enable her to concentrate her efforts on her dissertation and complete the Ph.D. program during the 2016-17 academic year.

Joyce Yang (Adult Clinical with Jane Simoni) was our 2016 Department Service Award recipient for all her long-term involvement with the Diversity Steering Committee, her commitment to mentoring junior students, and her active participation in Department directed activities in the greater Seattle community.   

Each year, graduate students recognize a fellow student for his/her contributions to the program with the Graduate Student Service Award. For 2016, three students were selected for this honor--Joyce Yang (Adult Clinical Area with Jane Simoni), Arianne Eason (Social Psychology and Personality and Developmental Areas with Cheryl Kaiser and Jessica Sommerville), and Sarah Edmunds (Child Clinical Area with Wendy Stone).

The awards concluded with the presentation of the Davida Teller Distinguished Faculty Award in Psychology.  The recipient of this award is a faculty member in the Psychology Department who graduate students recognize as an outstanding mentor and advisor.  The 2016 Davida Teller Award went to Brian Flaherty (Quantitative).

Charlotte Heleniak and Hilary Lambert (both from the Child Clinical Area with Katie McLaughlin) won poster awards at the 2016 Association for Psychological Science meeting in Chicago.

In Spring 2016, many students completed major milestones in the graduate program!

Three students completed Master's degrees (and now continue to the Ph.D.): Elizabeth Ake (Developmental Area with Kristina Olson/Jessica Sommerville), Matthew Enkema (Adult Clinical Area with Mary Larimer), and Ashley Ruba (Developmental Area with Betty Repacholi).

Several students passed their general exams and advanced to candidacy for the Ph.D.: Jose Ceballos (Cognition and Perception Area with Chantel Prat), Arianne Eason (Social Psychology and Personality and Developmental Area with Cheryl Kaiser and Jessica Sommerville), Charlotte Heleniak (Child Clinical Area with Katie McLaughlin), Mi-Seon Kong (Behavioral Neuroscience Area with Jeansok Kim), Lindsey Nietmann (Animal Behavior Area with Renee Ha), Joris Vincent (Cognition and Perception Area with Steve Buck), and Chelsey Wilks (Adult Clinical Area with Marsha Linehan). 

We saw three students defend their dissertations and graduate with a Ph.D.: Ashwin Bhandiwad (Animal Behavior Area with Joseph Sisneros), Blake Pellman (Behavioral Neuroscience Area with Jeansok Kim), and Kayla Upshaw (Developmental Area with Jessica Sommerville). These recent graduates can be found working at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Washington, DC, or in a technology company near Seattle.

Graduates from our program over the past year are eligible to participate in our Department Hooding Ceremony which is an intimate event that enables family, friends, and other guests to recognize each individual Ph.D. graduate before they go off into the real world. This year we had ten graduates walk in our ceremony and be hooded by their advisors.

Hooding Ceremony Hooding Ceremony Hooding Ceremony


Summer 2016

While summer quarter is the quietest time of year, our students remained busy and have these accomplishments to note.

Karen Chang (Social Psychology and Personality Area with Yuichi Shoda) and Colleen Harker (Child Clinical Area with Wendy Stone), both completed their general exams and have advanced to candidacy for the Ph.D.

Three students completed an optional MS degree: Trevor Coyle (Adult Clinical Area with Marsha Linehan), Lizzy Karp (Child Clinical Area with Wendy Stone), and Adam Kuczynski (Adult Clinical Area with Robert Kohlenberg).

Nine students graduated with summer Ph.D.s. Laura Brady (Social Psychology and Personality Area with Yuichi Shoda), Jessica Chen (Adult Clinical Area with Ronald Smith), Hollie Granato (Adult Clinical Area with William George), Alissa Jerud (Adult Clinical Area with Lori Zoellner), Joy Kawamura (Child Clinical Area with Lynn Fainsilber Katz), Lyndsey Moran (Child Clinical Area with Liliana Lengua), Karen Pang (Child Clinical Area with Elizabeth McCauley of Seattle Children's Hospital and Lynn Fainsilber Katz), Andy Paves (Adult Clinical Area with Mary Larimer), and Stephanie Thompson (Child Clinical Area with Liliana Lengua). Our graduates can be found in post-doctoral fellowship positions across the United States and locally, along with a few in the technology industry.

Autumn 2016

Vasundhara Sridharan (Social Psychology and Personality Area with Yuicha Shoda) was one of the recipients of the inaugural Hutch United fellowships. This fellowship supports her research on tobacco addiction.

James Rae (Social Psychology and Personality Area with Kristina Olson) received the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) Student Publication Award for his paper Exposure to Racial Out-Groups and Implicit Race Bias in the United States. Co-authors are Anna Newheiser (former UW postdoc) and Kristina Olson. The paper was published in Social and Personality Psychological Science.

The start of the school year continued to yield great news as three graduate students were selected to receive research fellowships.  Sarah Edmunds (Child Clinical Area with Wendy Stone), Matthew Enkema (Adult Clinical Area with Mary Larimer), and Frank Schwebel (Adult Clinical Area with Mary Larimer). Check out Frank's research spotlight in our Graduate section.

Alicia Yiqin Shen (Social Psychology and Personality Area with Yuichi Shoda), participated in the eScience Institute Data Science for Social Good summer program. The project she worked on with her fellow colleagues (analysing data from Orca bus passes for the City of Seattle), was featured in the Seattle Times and GeekWire.

Check back with us in the summer for more accomplishments from our graduate students. Have a wonderful new year!