Newsletter Section


The Hunt Fellowship at Work

Earl "Buz" Hunt and familyWe first introduced the Hunt Fellowship in our 2006 Spring Newsletter. Professor Earl “Buz” Hunt and his wife Mary Lou Hunt created the Earl (Buz) and Mary Lou Hunt Endowed Fellowship for Graduate Students in Psychology to provide an option for graduate students who are conducting independent research outside their advisor’s grants. The inaugural Hunt Fellowship was awarded to two developmental psychology students, Berit Olsen Martin and Tami Rigterink. Each will receive a tuition waiver, health insurance, and a stipend for one quarter.

Berit Martin - Berit is a sixth year developmental student whose primary advisor is Betty Repacholi.  Berit's dissertation uses a NICHD data set of attachment measures collected on children studied from birth to nineth grade to understand the basis of discrepancies in long accepted measures of attachment in infants and toddlers (thought to all measure one construct) and determine whether any of these attachment measures (or their components) are accurate predictors of children's behavior later in life. While professor Repacholi studied attachment as a graduate student, her work (and her research funding) have moved well away from this topic.  Because her attachment research cannot be covered by current lab funding, Berit's work is a perfect fit for the Hunt Fellowship.  Berit hopes to complete all analyses and prepare a complete draft of her dissertation by the end of Summer 2010 and defend her dissertation in Fall 2010. 

Tami Rigterink - Tami is a fifth year developmental student.  Her primary advisor is Lynn Fainsilber Katz.  Tami's dissertation research examines the effects of exposure to intimate partner violence on the sympathetic nervous system and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal activity in children. This is an entirely new direction for intimate partner violence research for the Katz lab and is not covered by any current grants.  Tami's work is well underway. She will complete data collection in Summer 2010 and plans to defend in either Fall 2010 or Winter 2011. 

Congratulations to both students and many thanks to Buz and Mary Lou (pictured above with family), for their amazing generosity and commitment to independent, original research by our graduate students!

Couples Decision Making Study

In Winter 2010, developmental graduate student Renay Cleary Bradley was busy with the "Creating Healthy Relationships" project at the Relationship Research Institute (RRI). She continues to delve deeper into the dynamics of relationships with the Couples Decision Making Study.

RRI was asked by the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to conduct a study to evaluate how low income couples with children make important decisions together. Currently, social services in the US are primarily geared toward women and children. But groups offering such services would like to know if women turn to their partners and seek guidance from them when making decisions related to such things as getting a job, childcare, and finances. In order to help assess the situation, RRI is studying couples who are asked to make a variety of hypothetical decisions together such as "pretend your family won $5000 in a lottery and decide how you will spend the money." “This study is exciting," says Renay, "since we have the chance to help change public policy and the way services are currently offered to low income families in the US.”

Graduate Accomplishments


Autumn 2009


Hong V. Nguyen, a second year clinical graduate student, won the 2009 Outstanding Student Paper Award at the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality's annual meeting. Her paper was titled "Sexual risk and sexual inhibition: An analysis of ethnic differences between Asian Americans, African Americans, and Caucasian Americans." Her advisor is William George.

J. Oliver Siy was awarded a Diversity Fund Graduate Travel Award to attend the Personality and Social Psychology conference next year.  His advisor is Sapna Cheryan.

Eric Pedersen received an APASSC Early Graduate Research Award from the APA Science Student Council.  His advisor is Mary Larimer.

Diane Logan received the outstanding dissertation award at the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies conference (New York City, November 19-22) national conference.  Her advisor is G. Alan Marlatt.



Emily Neuhaus, fifth year child clinical student with Ted Beauchaine. 

Photo of Clara WilkinsClara Wilkins, fourth year social psychology and personality student with Cheryl Kaiser.



Photo of Lori Wu Malahy

Lori Wu Malahy, fourth year social psychology and personality student with Cheryl Kaiser.



Photo of Jennifer Wang

Jennifer Wang, fourth year social psychology and personality student with Janxin Leu.





Maureen Zalewski, fifth year child clinical student with Liliana Lengua

Tami Rigterink, fifth year developmental student with Lynn Fainsilber Katz.

 Eric Pedersen, third year adult clinical student with Mary Larimer.

 Tamara Spiewak Toub, fourth year developmental student with Betty Repacholi

 Lauren Jones Graham, third year behavioral neuroscience student with Jeansok Kim.

Karen Burner, Daniel Chen, Ricardo Contreras, Marissa Corona, Rick Cruz, Amanda Gilmore, Joel Grow, Jeff Lin, Eric Pedersen, and Kate Stamper all completed a Master’s degree in Autumn quarter. Congratulations!


Nicole McNichols, a social psychology and personality student with Yuichi Shoda, successfully defended her dissertation, "Thinking of one’s purpose vs. focusing on the process: How behavioral representations function as a coping strategy."

Michael Perry, a cognition and perception student with John Miyamoto, defended his dissertation, "Testing two computational models of preference: The person trade-off and cumulative prospect theory."

Photo of Sheila Crowell, PhD


Sheila Crowell, a child clinical student with Ted Beauchaine, defended her dissertation, "Self-injurious behaviors among adolescent females: A biosocial approach."  Sheila is now an Assistant Professor (Clinical area) at the University of Utah, Department of Psychology.


Erin Hunter, a child clinical student with Lynn Fainsilber Katz, completed her internship with the University of Rochester, which was her final program requirement for the Ph.D.!  She accepted a Visiting Assistant Professor position in the Psychology Department at Wells College and will be joining the University of Michigan to do a post-doc - split research (with Sandra Graham-Bermann) and clinical work in the summer. Her dissertation topic was "Parent socialization of adolescent emotion: Moderation by adolescent depressive status."

Jenna Lee, a social psychology and personality student with Yuichi Shoda defended her dissertation, "The situation and the person: A social-cognitive approach to modeling and predicting people's unique patterns of emotional and behavioral responses to complex social situations."  She is currently working at Microsoft.

Christeine Terry, an adult clinical student with Robert Kohlenberg, defended her dissertation, "Attitudes about mental illness and substance abuse in mental health care trainees: Do attitudes influence trainees’ treatment behaviors."  Christeine is now a Post Doctoral Fellow at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System.


Winter 2010


Karen Burner was awarded a doctoral training award from the Autism Science Foundation for her project “Observational and electrophysiological assessment of temperament in infants at risk for ASD”. Her mentor is Sara Jane Webb.

Dellanira Valencia-Garcia, MA, Ph.C. was awarded the 2010 Student Research Award from the Society for Behavioral Medicine, Women’s Health Special Interest Group, for her work on HIV-positive women in Peru.  She will receive the award at the SBM conference in April.  Her advisor is Jane Simoni.

Tamara Spiewak Toub is a member of the UW Women’s Choir and the newly-formed smaller women's ensemble “Vox Parnassus” that was featured in the February 25 University Week article, “The power of song: UW Women's Choir, St. Mark's Women's Choir team for concert to help homeless (women).” Tamara is a graduate student in the developmental area, with Betty Repacholi. 


Dan Byrd, fourth year social psychology and personality student with Christopher Parker (Political Science) and Yuichi Shoda.

Melana Yanos, fifth year behavioral neuroscience student with Matt Kaeberlein (Pathology) and Sheri Mizumori.

Aileen Echiverri, sixth year adult clinical student with Lori Zoellner. (Aileen also completed a Master’s degree in the same quarter.)

Susanne Martin Herz, child clinical student with Bob McMahon.


Min Jung Kim, a behavioral neuroscience student with Ilene Bernstein and Sheri Mizumori, defended her dissertation, "Neuronal adaptation during associative learning: In vivo unit-recording studies in amygdala and the midbrain dopamine system of rats." She is currently at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on a Post-Doc.

Rachel Severson, PhD

Rachel Severson, a developmental student with Peter Kahn, defended her dissertation. She was also awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to Norway where she will be a 2010-11 Visiting Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Mind in Nature, at the University of Oslo.  Rachel and her husband, Karl, are taking advantage of the opportunity to fulfill a long-time goal of blue water cruising and will be sailing their boat to Norway this spring and summer.


Danielle Beck, a developmental student withStephanie Carlson, defended her dissertation, "Executive function and its relation to childhood body mass index."  She continues her Assistant Professor position in the Psychology Department at Simpson University in Redding, California.


Spring 2010


Samantha Yard was a recipient of the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA). She is an adult clinical student with Jane Simoni. 

Joshua Tabak received an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship in Social Psychology. He is a first year social psychology and personality student with Sapna Cheryan. His grant is titled: "Closing minority achievement gaps: Knowledge of safe spaces promotes academic success." 

Cara Kiff, a fifth year child clinical student with Liliana Lengua, was awarded a $2,000 Koppitz scholarship from the American Psychology Foundation for her project “Bidirectional relations of emotionality and parenting to child psychopathology."   

Photo of Sarah FaegreSarah Faegre was awarded a 2010 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Her project is entitled "Dispersal behavior and habitat occupancy of island corvids."  The award consists of three years full tuition plus a stipend. She is an incoming animal behavior student with Jim Ha.



Rick Cruz (GPSS senator, GPAC representative third year child clinical student) and Andrew Bock (GPAC chair and fourth year behavioral neuroscience student) co-authored a UW Student Technology Fee (STF) proposal that was funded for $33,156 worth of departmental technology upgrades. The award includes funding for new desktop and laptop computers (PCs and Macs), printers, projectors, software, and other equipment. Additional computers were also obtained from the CRC computer lab, bringing the total award closer to $40,000. This process involved a collaboration between students, faculty, staff and administrators. The computers and other equipment will be purchased and set up in various locations (including Guthrie Annex 4, Media Lab, and the Clinic staff therapist room) during the next few months. 

[Students who complete their general exams or defend their dissertation in Spring 2010 will be included in the Fall 2010 enewsletter]

Outreach to McNair Scholars During Annual Conference

Dr. Kenney with grad student volunteers at McNair grad school fairThe Psychology Graduate Program recently participated in a graduate program fair during the 18th Annual Pacific Northwest McNair/EIP (Early Identification Program) Research Conference. The graduate fair was arranged by The Graduate Opportunities Minority Achievement Program (GO-MAP) of the Graduate School of the University of Washington as part of the conference organized by the University's Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity (OMAD), occurs between April 29-May 1, 2010.

During the annual conference, McNair scholars and their advisors from colleges and universities all over the US attend a variety of networking events, panels, and participate in a poster session or oral presentation showcasing student research. This year, GOMAP presented a unique opportunity to have representatives of some UW graduate programs meet in one location and be available to speak with these talented student researchers.

The Psychology Graduate Program had a fantastic presence, including Dr. Nancy Kenney and Jeanny Mai and 4 graduate students (Angela Garza, Marissa Corona, Clara Wilkins and Lori Malahy, pictured above). We were able to chat with students from the as far away as Cleveland, Ohio!

We are happy to participate in these graduate school fairs, which enable us to speak with potential future students to our program. Here's to a successful conference and best wishes to the new friends/contacts we have made.

The Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity (OMAD)

Graduate Opportunities & Minority Achievement Program (GOMAP)

University of Washington Ronald E. McNair Program