Newsletter Section


2013 Cohort Impresses

2013 Cohort

The 2013 cohort to the UW Psychology Graduate Program joined our Lead TA, Nicole Stettler (Child Clinical with Lynn Fainsilber Katz) for a weeklong Orientation before Autumn quarter began. Students from this cohort came from universities close to home (University of Washington, University of Puget Sound, and Seattle University), from the eastern US (Skidmore College and Temple University) and from across the Pacific Ocean (University of Korea).

Orientation covers many aspects of the graduate school experience including teaching and research responsibilities, campus and departmental resources/policies, and laboratory and field safety protocols, to name a few. It is an intense week. The week ended with a Welcome Party hosted by the Psychology Department. The party fell on one of the last sunny days of Fall which enabled us to celebrate in the back patio area of Guthrie Hall.  Many thanks to Nicole for guiding our new students through the orientation process. 

Our 2013 cohort is quite the accomplished group:

  • Three students were awarded Top Scholar Summer Research Assistantships which will provide them with support during their first summer in our program.
  • One student has scuba certification.
  • One student is co-author of a PsycCritiques book review.
  • Two students have already presented posters at national conferences.
  • Three students were the recipients of the College of Arts & Sciences, Natural Sciences Fellowship in recognition of their outstanding credentials as they entered our graduate program.  
  • Two students received fellowship and assistantship support from the UW Graduate School, the Graduate Opportunities and Minority Achievement Program (GO-MAP). These awards provide tuition waivers, stipends, and cover health insurance.
  • Two have NSF applications in progress.


Supplemental Reading:

McNair Scholar Awarded for Language Research

Jose Ceballos

“This is it… Seattle is the city for me.” From his first night in the city, Jose Ceballos knew he had made the right decision to pursue his PhD at the University of Washington. The McNair Fellowship will now help him carry out his first year project to see if multilingual people control impulsive behavior differently than those who only speak one language. Read More

Perspectives from a Ford Fellow

Arianne Eason

Knowledge, community, and action, that is what drives Ford Fellow and 2nd year graduate student Arianne Eason. She shares how her fellowship has shaped her education and allowed her to ask questions at the intersection of developmental and social psychology while preparing her to help promote positive interracial interactions, especially in childhood.  Read More

Keeping Busy with Diversity Steering

Photo: Teri Kirby
Photo: Teri Kirby
Photo: Joyce Yang
Photo: Joyce Yang

The beginning of the 2013-2014 academic year saw a change in leadership for the Diversity Steering Committee (DSC).  Our previous fearless and capable chair, J. Oliver Siy, graduated with his Ph.D. in Social Psychology & Personality and moved on to greener (or maybe just meaner) pastures as a post-doc at Columbia University in New York City.  Fourth year graduate students, Teri Kirby from the Social Psychology & Personality area and Joyce Yang from the General Clinical area, are the newly minted co-chairs of DSC.  

Our Autumn Quarter kicked off with a running start, heralding in fresh new graduate students.  The DSC recruited new members by presenting at New Student Orientation, actively seeking to diversify the psychology areas represented by our members (in recent years, our members have predominantly been from the Social Psychology & Personality area).  New members this year include: first year General Clinical student, Lizzie Neilson; continuing clinical students, Charlotte BrillSarah Edmunds,  Bryan KutnerKaren PangFrank Schwebel, and Helen Valenstein-Mah; social/personality students, Vasundhara SridharanSianna Ziegler, and Arianne Eason; developmental faculty, Kristina Olson, and lab manager, Gary Xia.

Photo: Karen Chang
Photo: Karen Chang

DSC members had a strong presence at the annual GO-MAP (Graduate Opportunities and Minority Affairs Program) Getting Connected Orientation and Reception on October 17, 2013, an event gathering minority graduate students from all disciplines across campus.  At the event, panels of faculty and students of color oriented new and returning students to the new academic year, sharing tips on how to make it through graduate school as a minority.

Karen Chang, a second year DSC member and Social Psychology & Personality student, attended the orientation and pointed out: 

"It was especially helpful for them to normalize the challenges we might face, and see that there was a way to get through it. A lot of times we see really accomplished faculty members and think they must not be subject to the same fears and experiences as us, so it was really nice seeing that we could be them one day too.

"I [got] to hear two student speakers that were quite inspiring…the first one was urging us to take advantage of what GOMAP has to offer: that they create a space where fostering lifelong friendships was possible, and that they often found support from each other when the going got tough. I think it's a great program that allows you to meet other people of color in different disciplines who might face similar challenges as you.  The other speaker, the president of the Black Student Union, the message I got from him was to go out and make a difference: inspire another student, be involved with the program, be a part of making GO-MAP as great as it is."

Photo: Karen Pang
Photo: Karen Pang

DSC also oversees the psychology Diversity Science Specialization and recently awarded the certificate to Karen Pang, a fifth-year child clinical student working with Elizabeth McCauley.  To obtain the Diversity Science Specialization, Karen completed coursework in Minority Mental Health (PSYCH 580), Cross Cultural Competency (PSYCH 581), and Diversity Science Brownbag.  She also TA’d Psychology of Gender (PSYCH 257) and Psychobiology of Women (PSYCH 357).  We had an opportunity to ask Karen about how obtaining the Diversity Science Specialization has impacted her work in graduate school. 

Regarding her research, she comments:

"My dissertation examines how culture influences the way depression and positive affect are expressed among a clinical population of Asian and Caucasian adolescents. Because cultural issues are such a prominent feature of my research, the specialization was integral in helping me conceptualize my research questions. While experience informed me that a one size fits all approach may not work when dealing with diverse populations, the diversity specialization exposed me to research studies and allowed me to employ empirical grounding to back up my research aims." 

Karen also discussed how she engages with diversity in her clinical work:

"What I have learned from the specialization also influences my case conceptualizations of individuals I see within a clinical setting. Culture and racial/ethnic identity can greatly affect one's understanding of mental health, symptom expression, and choice of treatment. It would be remiss to ignore such an important component of an individual's life." 

The DSC looks forward to supporting graduate students in exploring diversity science in their coursework, research, teaching, and other domains of engagement within and outside the UW.  Please contact us at


Supplemental Reading:

Graduate Accomplishments

Photo: Tamara Spiewak Toub, Betty Repacholi, Berit Olsen Martin
Photo: Hooding 2013, Tamara Spiewak Toub, Betty Repacholi, Berit Olsen Martin
Photo: Serap Yigit-Elliott, Kate Sullivan, Rick Cruz, Joel Grow
Photo: Hooding 2013, Serap Yigit-Elliott, Kate Sullivan, Rick Cruz, Joel Grow

Summer 2013

Stephanie Thompson (Child Clinical with Liliana Lengua) completed a Quantitative Minor to supplement her training in our program. The Quant Minor is facilitated by Brian Flaherty and is available to psychology graduate students. 

Two clinical students completed Master's degrees in summer quarter. Jenn Staples(Adult Clinical with Bill George) and Joyce Yang (Adult Clinical with Jane Simoni). Joyce was previously featured for receiving an NRSA to study culture and mental health. The Master's is an optional track for students to add to their program of study. 

The Psychology Department graduated seven PhDs. Our recent grads can be found in post-doc positions in UW School of Medicine, Brown University, Columbia Business School, New York Presbyterian Hospital, and VA Health Care Systems in the Puget Sound and Salt Lake City Utah.

We congratulate Christina Derbidge (Adult Clinical with Ronald Smith), Andrew Fleming(Child Clinical with Robert McMahon), Joel Grow (Adult Clinical with Mary Larimer),Diane Logan (Adult Clinical with Mary Larimer), Tami Rigterink (Developmental with Lynn Fainsilber Katz), J. Oliver Siy (Social Psychology & Personality with Sapna Cheryan), and Kate Sullivan (Child Clinical with Geraldine Dawson and Wendy Stone)!

Autumn 2013

Two clinical students received a 2013 APF/COGDOP Graduate Research Scholarship .Karen C. Pang (Child Clinical with Elizabeth McCauley) received the Clarence J. Rosencrans Scholarship while Janie Jun (Adult Clinical with Lori Zoellner) received support under APF/COGDOP Graduate Research Scholarships in Psychology. Congratulations!

In addition, Janie Jun won the Putnam Trauma Research Award from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and will be attending their annual meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Congratulations to Bjorn Hubert-Wallander (Cognition and Perception with Geoff Boynton and Scott Murray), an NSF Fellow, for being selected to meet with the very prestigious National Science Board. This group was appointed by President Obama to oversee NSF and to provide input on science policy to the White House. Our Vice Provost for Research, Mary Lidstrom, stated that Bjorn "did a simply wonderful job and represented the UW extremely well" during their September 19 meeting. Bjorn was previously profiled for his NSF research.

Danny O'Rourke  (Adult Clinical with Ronald Smith) was interviewed for an article regarding the Dawg Dash on Blog Down to Washington, called “How to Avoid Hitting the Wall.”

The Psychology Department has two new NRSA recipients to its long roster, Anita Lungu (Adult Clinical with Marsha Linehan) who received a 1% ranking and maximum impact score 10 and Lyndsey Moran (Child Clinical with Liliana Lengua) NRSA.  Please check back for their research profiles in the summer 2014 issue.

Sam Yard (Adult Clinical with Jane Simoni) completed a Quantitative Minor.

More Autumn quarter milestones will be covered in our Summer 2014 issue. Please stay tuned!