Newsletter Article

Letter from the Chair

An MRI scan of my brain. Dr. Geoff Boynton presented me with a 3D-printed model of my brain at this year's Edwards Lecture.
A picture of Cheryl Kaiser holding a 3D printed model of her brain

Dear friends, 

Hundreds of friends, family, and Psychology faculty and staff came together (in person again!) to celebrate the graduation of the Class of 2022 as well as the graduates from the prior two years who missed out on this in-person celebration. As our popular undergraduate major continues to grow, we’ve moved this celebration to the Alaska Arena where we can now accommodate large numbers of friends and family. The atmosphere was celebratory, and the faculty and audience kicked off the event with a full arena wave honoring our students for their resilience and accomplishments. Several of our graduating seniors gave moving speeches about their experience at UW, and we watched with pride as our graduates marched across the stage. We look forward to hearing from our graduates as they embark on the next stage of their lives.

June also marks our time-honored hooding ceremony, where we celebrate Psychology’s newest PhD recipients. Our new PhDs will move to outstanding postdoctoral fellowships and faculty positions, will transform industry and government, and will bring evidence-based practices into therapeutic contexts all over the world. Generous support from our community of donors has provided increasing opportunities for our graduates to enjoy fellowship supporting during their time with us. Thank you to our community for their investment in our graduate students.

After an unusually rainy and cold Seattle spring, we now have our eyes optimistically focused on the summer. As the past two years have been heartbreaking and difficult for so many, I hope we can all make time for rest and recovery and kindness to ourselves and our communities.

And, finally, I'd like to thank our entire community for their unwavering support and collaboration during my five-year term as department chair. On July 1, I'll be returning fully to my role as a faculty member, and we will have a transition in the chair's office. As I reflect on the past five years, I am incredibly proud of the work we've accomplished together, and during such a difficult time. We renovated and moved into Kincaid Hall, we opened the Center for Human Neuroscience, we hired 15 amazing new faculty members, we taught more students than any unit in Arts and Sciences, we collaborated on major gifts supporting our students, faculty, and clinical training, and developed a strong culture of can-do collegiality that centered diversity and equity throughout our department's policies and practices. Psychology's future is bright, and our strong culture, policies, and people will carry forward our shared vision in the years to come. I wish you well and hope you will keep in touch, and we welcome your support to the Friends of Psychology Fund.

All the best,

Cheryl R. Kaiser

Professor & Chair