Newsletter Article

Grad accomplishments

Spring quarter 2012

Wenwen Ni, Oliver Siy (Social Psychology and Personality), and Sapna Cheryan authored an op-ed in Psychology Today on Jeremy Lin and the dark side of positive stereotypes. Basketball’s favorite underdog story came to a temporary halt when Jeremy Lin announced on March 31 that he would be out for the rest of the regular season due to knee surgery. Lin’s rise into the public consciousness over the previous few months had been shaped by two main storylines about race in American sports. The more negative storyline proclaimed that the racist insults that Lin had endured are proof that there is deep-seated racism against Asian Americans in this country. The second, and seemingly more positive storyline, celebrated Lin’s accomplishments through the lens of his cultural roots.

Joshua Tabak (Social Psychology and Personality) was the lead author for a “gaydar” article that appeared in the open-access online journal PLoS ONE. After seeing faces for less than a blink of an eye, college students have accuracy greater than mere chance in judging others’ sexual orientation. Their "gaydar" persisted even when they saw the photos upside-down, and gay versus straight judgments were more accurate for women’s faces than for men’s. The findings suggest that we unconsciously make gay and straight distinctions. "It may be similar to how we don't have to think about whether someone is a man or a woman or black or white," said Tabak. "This information confronts us in everyday life."  The article has received over 500 online/print stores and was featured on KIRO-FM, an NPR affiliate in Los Angeles, and a show in New Zealand.  The co-author is Vivian Zayas, who received her PhD from UW Psychology. “Gaydar automatic and more accurate for women's faces, psychologists find."  The New York Times also covered this research.

Tony Greenwald’s work on racial attitudes is looking at presidential elections. "The potency of race is not weakening," says Greenwald. "Nearly four years into Obama's presidency, people overlook that his race does still matter."  After the 2008 election of President Barack Obama, many proclaimed that the country had entered a post-racial era in which race was no longer an issue. However, a new large-scale study shows that racial attitudes have already played a substantial role in 2012, during the Republican primaries. They may have even played a larger role in this year's presidential election. Other collaborators on this survey project include Teri Kirby (Social Psychology and Personality) and Kaiyuan Xu, both at UW.

In spring quarter 2012, four students completed their general exams and advanced to candidacy: Ashley Maliken (Child Clinical with Lynn Fainsilber Katz), Kerry Spalding (Social Psychology and Personality with Cheryl Kaiser), Andy Paves (Adult Clinical with Mary Larimer), and Jeremy Luk (Child Clinical with Kevin King).

The department had two students complete a Master of Science: Hollie Granato (Adult Clinical with Bill George) and Alissa Jerud (Adult Clinical with Lori Zoellner).

We had two students complete a specialty program of study. Lori Malahy (Social Psychology and Personality with Yuichi Shoda) completed a Diversity Science Specialization, and Rick Cruz (Child Clinical with Kevin King) earned a Quantitative Minor. Please read about the latest in Diversity Science.

Two students completed their program of study with us and are off to bigger things:

Jennifer Wang (Social Psychology and Personality with Jan Leu) graduated with her PhD with a successful defense of her dissertation "Why and when do racial microaggressions hurt? The role of perceived diversity credentials." Jennifer is an Assistant Professor in Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

Joyce Bittinger (Adult Clinical with Mary Larimer) defended her dissertation "Retrieval-Induced Forgetting: A proposed mechanism for intrusive reexperiencing in PTSD" and is on an NIAAA Postdoctoral Fellowship (T32) with The Center for the Study of Health and Risk Behaviors (CSHRB) through the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington.  

At the end of Spring 2012 quarter, the Psychology Department held its annual Psychology PhD Hooding Ceremony for recent graduates. Fifteen graduates attended with dozens of family and friends to cheer and support them through this final step in their careers as students. Congratulations to our graduating class and best wishes in all that you do!

Summer quarter 2012

Two clinical students sucessfully completed their general exam and advanced to candidacy: Hong Nguyen (Adult Clinical with Bill George) and Danny O’Rourke (Adult Clinical with Ron Smith).

Sharon Hsu (Adult Clinical with Mary Larimer) completed both a Master's degree and the Diversity Science Specialization.

The Psychology Department graduated 12 PhDs in Summer quarter, one of our largest classes yet! Our recent grads can be found as post-doc fellows at UW, Duke, UCLA, UCSF, Seattle Children's Hospital, and Johns Hopkins, as well as in professional positions at Rand Corporation and Youtube.

Summer graduates are: Karen Burner (Child Clinical with Geri Dawson and Sara Jane Webb), Zach Ernst (Cognition and Perception with Geoff Boynton), Jen Gerdts (Child Clinical with Geri Dawson, Raphael Bernier, and Wendy Stone), Lauren Graham (Behavioral Neuroscience with Jeansok Kim), David Huh (Adult Clinical with Jane Simoni), Cara Kiff (Child Clinical with Lili Lengua), Andrada Neacsiu (Adult Clinical with Marsha Linehan), Emily Neuhaus (Child Clinical with Ted Beauchaine), Eric Pedersen (Adult Clinical with Mary Larimer), Sarah Racz (Child Clinical with Bob McMahon), Trevor Schraufnagel (Adult Clinical with Bill George), and Joshua Tabak (Social Psychology and Personality with Sapna Cheryan)

Autumn quarter 2012

Joyce Yang just received the National Research Service Award for her work on “Reducing Psychological Distress of HIV+ Parents and Their Families in China”. Check out her profile.

Erin Ward-Ciesielski was just awarded a 2012 APA Dissertation Research Award for her work in suicide intervention. She was previously profiled when she received NRSA funding last year.

Autumn quarter milestones will be covered in our Summer 2013 issue. Please stay tuned!