Letter from the Chair
Psychology’s spring commencement was a fantastic celebration of the achievements of our 502 graduating seniors. This has been an incredible year for Psychology undergraduates, as our majors are the recipients of UW’s highest honors, including the Sophomore Medal, the Aker’s Scholarship, the Bonderman Fellowship, the Husky 100 Award, and Grace Woodard, one of our graduating seniors, was honored at the university-wide commencement ceremony as the President’s Medalist. We are so proud of the Class of 2018, and look forward to their accomplishments in the next stage of their lives.
Spring also brings our beloved hooding ceremony, where we honored Psychology’s newly minted PhD’s. Our graduate students will move onto prestigious postdoctoral fellowships and faculty positions, will transform industry and government, and will bring evidence-based practices into therapeutic contexts. Our graduate students are central to our department’s teaching and research mission, and their scholarship and discoveries are at the cutting edge of psychological science. This spring, Mary Lou Hunt, widow of Earl “Buz” Hunt, who was a distinguished faculty member and chair of our department, met with several of our graduate students, and saw how her families’ endowment provides opportunities for our students to follow their intellectual passion. You can learn more about our graduate students in this newsletter.
This year we connected our scholarship with the broader community in many ways, including lab tours and our exceptionally well-attended annual Allen Edwards Public Lecture Series. Our faculty continue to bring great honor to our university with their research, and they are the recipients of prestigious awards and grant funding. This year was particularly special as Associate Professor Kristina Olson received the Waterman Award, the nation’s highest honor for scientists under 40. She is the first UW recipient of this award in it’s over 40 year history. You can learn more about our talented faculty elsewhere in this newsletter.
This academic year was also a time of change for Psychology. We saw Drs. Jaime Diaz and John Miyamoto, two of our long-serving faculty, retire. We wish them the best. We also watched the Gates-funded Population Health Facility break new ground on what was formerly our beloved Guthrie Annexes that housed our graduate training clinic and many of our faculty labs. Our ultimate goal is to bring our department together in a single, state-of-the art facility that is designed to support integrated and collaborative research and training. Please reach out with your ideas for how to create opportunities for Psychology to ultimately realize our vision and reside in space that honors the world class contributions our students and faculty make to the UW, science, and society.
Thank you to our supporters for keeping Psychology thriving amidst challenging times in our federal and state budgets. Our student endowments, which delivered nearly $100,000 this year, represent a vital investment in the future of Psychology. Few opportunities are more special than informing talented students that they are receiving support for their educational expenses, or conference travel to present their first research project.
As we enter the long and glorious days of Seattle summer, we wish you well and hope you will keep in touch.
All the best,
Cheryl R. Kaiser
Professor & Chair