The leafless trees, cooler temperatures, and shorter days mark the opportunity to reflect on the past and envision the future. The last year marked the Department of Psychology’s 100th birthday, and the occasion to celebrate our growth from a faculty of two to a thriving department that has graduated over 25,000 undergraduate majors and 600 PhD students, and has generated over $2 billion in grant funding for our ground-breaking research. For me personally, I have the privilege of stepping into the Department Chair role, succeeding Professor Sheri Mizumori, who served as our leader for the last nine years. It is a great privilege to represent our talented students, faculty, and staff as we enter our second century.
Recently we had a chance to sit down and interview our newest faculty member, Noah Snyder-Mackler, who is an Assistant Professor in the area of animal behavior. He joined the psychology department in the autumn of 2017.
Aric Chandler had a passion for life and a deep desire to help young people overcome their struggles to reach their full potential. Aric had a dream to begin his journey toward that goal as a psychology major at the University of Washington. On August 4, 2016, that dream was cut short. Just days after being admitted to UW as a transfer student from Bellevue College, Aric died unexpectedly from SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy), which takes the lives of 2,000-3,000 people each year in the United States. What did not die that sad day was Aric's passion and commitment to working with adolescents.
PhD student Dominic Sivitilli recounts his summer at the UW Friday Harbor labs studying Gaia, a giant Pacific octopus - the largest known species of octopus: "Vertebrates make up but a small minority of the diversity that evolution has made of the ancestral nervous system. If we truly mean to understand cognition, we need to broaden our perspective across the diversity of these forms—we need to look beyond the vertebrate model to other worlds of thought entirely. For this reason, I have chosen the octopus as my model organism."
Calling all Psychology alum: now you can help a student with Huskies@Work, UW Alumni Association’s job shadowing program! Psychology is one of the most dynamic majors on campus: with a degree under their belt, students can pursue careers in research, clinical therapy, business, community service, and virtually any other field. As an alum, you can play a part in their path to choosing a career by showing them what can be possible after graduation.