Newsletter Article

Letter from the Chair

Cheryl Kaiser

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. 

When I think about our future, I envision a department whose scholarship will continue to provide critical insights into the mind, brain, and behavior, and will address the most important issues facing our region and the world. We will also arm our undergraduate students with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in a wide variety of careers so they can go on to leave their mark on the world. Our graduate students will go on to be thought leaders in science, and their work will shape the future of academia, industry, clinical practice, and society more broadly.

The coming year brings exciting opportunities for our department. We welcomed our newest faculty member, Assistant Professor Noah Snyder-Mackler, who is featured in this newsletter. We are also hiring two new assistant professors this year, and our future will be in good hands with our growing cohort of the world’s most sought after junior faculty. With support from our friends, we have made investments in our students so they have opportunities to further grow intellectually in their time with us. This past year produced nearly $100,000 in endowment distributions and gifts that directly support our graduate and undergraduate students. Our two newest student endowments, The Aric Chandler Memorial Scholarship and the Fujita Family Fund will support their first recipients this year. You can learn more about our student support in this newsletter. 

As state and federal funding is often precarious, we aim to build even stronger partnerships with our friends and alumni to advance our mission to promote healthy minds and society. Now more than ever, our community has the opportunity to promote ground-breaking research and help students realize their potential through philanthropic support.

All my best,

Cheryl Kaiser

Professor & Chair