Letter from the Chair
During this past fall quarter, there was an exciting buzz in the air as students returned to the classroom, research labs returned to full capacity, and public events filled our auditoriums. It has been so good to see so many of you again! Since I returned to the Chair’s office this past July, I have truly enjoyed working again with our many students, faculty, staff and community friends on initiatives that move us closer to our department goals. These include offering innovative and transformative educational experiences for our students, building communities of research excellence that seed new discoveries amongst our faculty, providing our staff with support that strengthens their careers, and working with our community partners to further enhance student learning, faculty and student research, and the impact that our education and research has on society.
The Psychology Department has for some time sought ways to better connect students with a broad range of real-world opportunities, as well as ways to use the outcomes of our scholarly and research pursuits to create new solutions to society’s most pressing problems. Here I am so excited to note just some of our recent successes! Our relatively new undergraduate mentor-mentee program (The Psychology Undergraduate Mentorship Program (PUMP), directed by Dr. Tabitha Kirkland) has done a phenomenal job linking undergraduate students with on- and off-campus mentors that can provide individualized guidance toward careers of interest to a student. Many faculty in our nationally-ranked Clinical Program operate clinics geared toward providing behavioral and mental health care, increasing the behavioral health workforce, and testing innovative evidence-based strategies for increasing equitable access to behavioral health care professionals (https://psych.uw.edu/research/areas/clinical). Faculty from our Social Psychology and Personality Area continue to be active when it comes to advising educational and organizational policies surrounding issues of equity and inclusion. Our Certificate in Applied Animal Behavior (https://www.pce.uw.edu/certificates/applied-animal-behavior) shares research-based information with the public so that we can better understand the needs of the animals around us.
As impressive as our connections with societal organizations have been, we have only begun to scratch the surface of what we might accomplish by creatively considering additional direct conduits through which all of our research programs can directly and positively impact solutions to societal issues. Thus, as we turn the calendar to a new year, we will continue to be focused on finding ways to generate new links to the public to inform policy, to help those in need, and to capture the imagination of the next generation of scientists. I invite all of you, our friends, to help in this endeavor. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have outreach ideas that you would like to discuss.
These past couple of years have be incredibly challenging on so many different levels. Please continue to take care of yourself and the ones you love. I sincerely hope that this holiday season is filled with joy, and that great happiness and good health lies around the corner in 2023.
Professor Sheri J. Y. Mizumori
Chair, Department of Psychology