Newsletter Article

Faculty Accomplishments

Image of Ana Mari Cauce
Ana Mari Cauce,
College of
Arts and Sciences

One of our very own, Ana Mari Cauce, Earl R. Carlson Professor of Psychology, is now Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Cauce, part of child clinical psychology, specializes in understanding factors surrounding at-risk children, adolescents, and families. As Dean, she oversees the College of Arts and Sciences, of which Psychology is a member. The College provides a liberal arts education to more than 25,000 students and is comprised of more than 70 academic departments, centers and programs and 940 academic faculty. Of the approximately 7,500 bachelor’s degrees earned at the UW each year, more than 70 percent are from the College of Arts and Sciences.


Two of our faculty have recently received national attention with Early Investigator Awards from national/international organizations: Cheryl Kaiser, in our Social Personality area, and Geoff Boynton, in our Cognition and Perception area. Specifically, the Foundation for Social and Personality Psychology announced that Dr. Kaiser is the 2009 recipient of the SAGE Young Scholars Award. The award annually recognizes an outstanding young researcher who has demonstrated exceptional individual achievements in social and/or personality psychology, conducting research that places them at the forefront of their peers. Dr. Kaiser’s work examines prejudice and intergroup relationships, particularly from the perspective of groups that are targets of discrimination. Her work highlights reasons why individuals do not speak up about discrimination, even when they notice it and are bothered by it.

Geoff Boynton was elected to the Society of Experimental Psychologists and given the Early Investigator Award, recognizing his strong contributions to the field of experimental psychology. Dr. Boynton’s work focuses on neural correlates of human visual perception, using Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging or fMRI to better understand dynamic brain changes. His work uses fMRI to determine where and how the brain responds by making fMRI measurements in the visual cortex of human observers while they view various visual stimuli.

Eliot Brenowitz, of our Animal Behavior faculty, was recently elected as a Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). AAAS is the largest international general science society and publishes the journal Science. Fellows are recognized for meritorious efforts to advance science or its applications. Dr. Brenowitz was cited for his distinguished contributions to the fields of neuroethology and animal behavior, particularly for successfully integrating behavioral, endocrine, neural, and comparative approaches to the study of animal communication. Dr. Brenowitz was also elected as a fellow in the American Psychological Association

G. Alan Marlatt, a Clinical psychology faculty, recently received the Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Clinical Psychology Award from the Society of Clinical Psychology, a division of the American Psychological Association. Dr. Marlatt was honored for his exemplary contribution to the field of addictive behaviors, based on his pioneering work in harm reduction, brief interventions, and relapse prevention.

Jaime Olavarria, a Behavioral Neuroscience faculty member, received the 2008 Distinguished Teaching Award

Jeansok Kim, one of our Behavioral Neuroscience faculty, received the 2009 supplemental sabbatical award from the Jame McKeen Cattell Fund in alliance with the Association for Psychological Science (APS)


In the last year, we are proud to see a number of faculty receiving new grant awards from major granting institutes.

National Science Foundation: Peter Kahn, on the social and moral interaction patterns with a personified robot; Cheryl Kaiser, on group identity and experienced prejudice and their implications for diversity; Scott Murray, received a career award, on the neural mechanism of object size perception; Yuichi Shoda, on the effects of the 2008 U.S. presidential election on implicit race categorization

National Institutes of Health: Sheri J.Y. Mizumori, on dopamine regulation during context processing (National Institute of Mental Health); Jane Simoni, on addressing depression and medication adherence in HIV+ Latinos on the US-Mexico border (National Institute of Mental Health); Jeansok Kim, Effects of Stress, (National Institue of Mental Health); Marsha Linehan, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Curriculum, (National Institue of Mental Health); Jessica Sommerville, on early learning mechanisms underlying infants’ tool use action and understanding (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development)

Additional new grants

Patients Instrument (Talaria, Inc); Brian Flaherty, Measurement and Smoking Patterns in National Data (American Legacy Foundation and Alcohol Dependence and Prazosin); Scott Murray, The Influence of Three-Dimensional Context on Early Visual Cortical Processing (Whitehall Foundation); Andrew Meltzoff and Patricia Kuhl received an AM Life Science Discovery Fund grant to purchase a magnetoencephalography machine to study the developing mind at their Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences (ILABS)

In the news

Andrew Meltzoff and John Gottman participated in the panel discussions with the Dalai Lama during his visit to Seattle in April, 2008 which was televised on UWTV.

Ted Beauchaine, Sheila Crowell, and Adrianne Stevens’ research on negative mother-daughter relationships was featured in University Week. “Mother-daughter conflict, low serotonin level may be deadly combination”

Sean O’Donnell and graduate student Yamile Molina’s research was featured in University Week. “Social dominance or big brains? Wasps may answer question of which came first, research shows”.

Peter Kahn, Rachel Severson, Batya Friedman, Jennifer Hagman, Erika Feldman and Anna Stolyar co-authored a study that recieved media coverage in the U.S., Canada, Spain, England, the Netherlands, and Poland. “Scenes of nature trump technology in reducing low-level stress.”

Jaime Olavarria, recipient of a 2008 UW Distinguished Teaching Award, was featured in Arts & Sciences Perspectives.

I-LABS was featured in Arts and Sciences Perspectives for its research involving non-invasive technology for examining brain activity and in University Week with Andrew Meltzoff and Rechele Brooks quoted in the article. “Do you see what I see? Babies can tell”.

Eliot Brenowitz and Biology graduate student Christopher Thompson’s work with neurons in brains of one songbird species was featured in University Week. “Stayin’ alive: Researchers foil seasonal programmed brain cell death in living birds”.

Janxin Leu was lead author on a study that has received coverage in the largest Chinese newspaper in North America, along with NW Asian Weekly, Medical News Today, and Science Daily. “Asians who immigrated to U.S. before age 25 have poorer mental health than older immigrants”.

Sean O’Donnell’s work in Panama and Costa Rica was featured in University Week. “Parasitic fly influences nocturnal bee behavior”.

Ted Beauchaine, as reported in University Week, carried out the first study of conduct problems in children that included a significant number of aggressive girls. “Cause of conduct problems among girls appears to be different than in boys”.

Tony Greenwald was interviewed by a Seattle Times staff columnist. “Will Obama’s race matter?,” Also “Polls may underestimate Obama’s support by 3 to 4 percent”.

The Implicit Association Test (IAT) received front page coverage on the Seattle PI, and Tony Greenwald was interviewed for “Doctors in study prefer whites to blacks: UW researchers take a look at physician biases”

Jeansok Kim and graduate student Lauren Jones presented “Our stressed-out brains” at a press conference connected with the Society for Neuroscience’s annual meeting.

Eliot Brenowitz helped organize flu vaccination clinics at Laurelhurst Elementary School. “Teaching moment springs from school’s shared sadness,” as covered in the Seattle Times.

Marsha Linehan is a leading expert in the diagnosis and treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder. She was recognized as such in Time Magazine (Jan 8, 2009 issue) where she described the root causes and conditions that could lead to the disorder.

Sapna Cheryan’s work on gender and ethnic stereotyping was featured in a 15 min segment on National Public Radio (April 2008). The coverage concerned the consequences of gender bias and participation in the field of computer sciences.