Newsletter Article

Welcoming A New Graduate Student Cohort

This fall, a cohort of eleven scholars joined UW Psychology. In this article, some of our newest students take a moment to introduce themselves.


Hometown: I was born in Brisbane, Australia, when my mum flew back to Australia from being overseas doing field work just to give birth to me. So even though I mostly grew up in Queensland, Australia, I lived overseas when I was very little and then again in my 20s, and then when I went back to Australia in my early 30s, I lived in a tiny remote wild town in North East Arnhem Land, so Brisbane doesn't feel like a homebase in the way most people would mean by hometown. 

Prior educational institution(s)/degrees: My undergraduate BA was a "Bachelor of Political, Economic, and Social Sciences" with a double major in Political Economy, from University of Sydney, Australia.  

Area focus & advisor: Dr. Lori Zoellner, Clinical Psychology - Adult track. 

Research interests: Memory processes and trauma, and interdisciplinary and transdiagnostic trauma-related phenotypes.  

What motivated you to embark on your Ph.D. studies? Science not having precise enough answers to important and urgent questions related to traumatic exposure!  

What excites you about UW/Seattle? It's exciting to be at an academic institution where I have access to learn from world-leading researchers and where a high standard of excellence is considered baseline. I'm also grateful to be somewhere where those brilliant researchers and teachers are accessible and collaborative, and there are some resources of support, all in a city that has opportunities to engage across disciplines and methodologies, across public and private sectors. And I love being in nature and in wild places, so access to the outdoors is important for me and was an awesome bonus about being offered a place at UW! 

What are your hobbies/activities outside of academics? Over the last couple of years, freediving and spearfishing with my husband where we lived off remote islands in Australia has been a happy place. The Pacific Northwest doesn't have quite the same reef system, so we'll probably get back into bouldering and outdoor trad [traditional] climbing. I'm excited to get introduced to the back country of Washington, and to do some multi-day climbing and hiking trips! The common denominator across most of my favourite weekend activities is anything in more remote places, whether land or sea, that switches off your brain and gets your heart going, is a yes for me.

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SIYUE (BRENDA) QIU (she/her)

Hometown: Shanghai, China 

Prior educational institution(s)/degrees: B.A. in Psychology at New York University 

Area focus & advisor: Cognition & Perception with Dr. Scott Murray 

Research interests: I’m broadly interested in the neural mechanisms behind human visual perception. 

What motivated you to embark on your Ph.D. studies? I decided to embark on my Ph.D. studies primarily due to my undergraduate research experience. I was fascinated by the scientific research process and also found myself eager to delve deeper into the theories and methodologies that I had encountered but hadn't had the opportunity to explore further, all of which seemed to be indicators to start my graduate studies. 

What excites you about UW/Seattle? The nature! I love how the campus and the city are full of green spaces. 

What are your hobbies/activities outside of academics? I enjoy journaling and reading. I have also started to enjoy cooking recently. I’m also a city person and enjoy exploring the city in general (particularly good coffee shops and museums).

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TRISTAN MARTIN (he/him/his)

Hometown: Woodinville, WA 

Prior educational institution(s)/degrees: Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Whitman College. 

Area Focus & Advisor: Social Psychology & Personality Psychology, Tyler Jimenez 

Research interests: Broadly speaking, my research interests center on understanding how widely experienced top-down sources of influence (like legislation, climate change, or perceived existential threats) impact individuals' attitudes, well-being, and health. A good example is my current research studying how recent state-level anti-abortion legislation impacts attitudes toward abortion. 

What motivated you to embark on your Ph.D. studies? This is a tough question, and my answer is very cliché. I was motivated to pursue my Ph.D. because I love asking (and hopefully answering) difficult questions. Academia is one of the few spheres that, for the most part, allows a researcher to truly explore and investigate concepts they are interested in, especially when that involves looking at difficult issues or hard truths. For me, embarking on my Ph.D. studies is about being a part of a community that is willing to support me in answering those difficult questions. 

What excites you about UW/Seattle? I lived near Seattle until I was eight years old, and it is wonderful to return and make new connections to the people and region. As a child, UW was a place shrouded in infamy; there was something thrilling about living near an institution that conducts such interesting research. Now, being a grad student at UW, eight-year-old me would be overwhelmed with excitement (which I still am today). In more straightforward terms, I am most excited about being a part of the UW research community and, oddly enough, the weather, I have dearly missed the cozy drizzle and cloud-covered skies and it is a treat to live under them once again. 

What are your hobbies/activities outside of academics? I love to spend time outside; skiing and hiking are two of my favorite ways to do so. I am an avid road tripper and will choose that over flying whenever possible. I was a designer before coming back to academia, and I still love creating spaces.

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Hometown: Benicia, California (in the San Francisco Bay Area) 

Prior educational institution(s)/degrees: BA in Integrative Biology from UC Berkeley

Area Focus & Advisor: Developmental Psychology, working with Professor Lucía Magis-Weinberg

Research interests: I'm interested in how digital technology use affects development in adolescents and whether it can be used to track changes in mental health over time.

What motivated you to embark on your Ph.D. studies? In pursuit of my dream of becoming a researcher, I wanted to gain more quantitative skills and experience with conducting novel investigations.

What excites you about UW/Seattle? I love all the trees and nature areas nearby, as well as the very welcoming community at UW.

What are your hobbies/activities outside of academics? I enjoy biking, painting, reading, snowshoeing, hiking, and watching psychological thrillers/horror movies.

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KATE SCHEUER (they/them)

Hometown: Waunakee, WI 

Prior educational institution(s)/degrees: Ph.D. in physiology, BS in psychology and Spanish language

Area Focus & Advisor: Adult Clinical, Dr. Jen Forsyth

Research interests: Chronic trauma exposure in adolescents

What excites you about UW/Seattle? Access to excellent research resources and clinical training

What are your hobbies/activities outside of academics? Aerial dance

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Hometown: Cottage Grove, OR

Prior educational institution(s)/degrees: BA in psychology from the University of San Francisco, Postbac lab manager at Princeton University

Area Focus & Advisor: Social Psychology and Personality, Cheryl Kaiser

Research interests: Self, identity, and policy

What motivated you to embark on your Ph.D. studies? I will be the first in my immediate family to obtain a degree, and this is alone is a major accomplishment for me. Additionally, I am excited by the prospect of getting to do science everyday, and answering questions that can improve people's quality of life.

What excites you about UW/Seattle? I am from the Pacific Northwest originally, so it's nice to return to a familiar area. Additionally, the culture of the department and the support of my cohort has me incredibly excited to spend the next several years here.

What are your hobbies/activities outside of academics? I love to crochet, go on hikes, garden, and do pretty much anything creative!

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Hometown: Spokane Indian Reservation, Washington 

Prior educational institution(s)/degrees: Eastern Oregon University, B.S. in psychology with minors in Native American studies and anthropology/sociology

Area Focus & Advisor: Social and Personality Psychology, Dr. Tyler Jimenez

Research interests: Colonialism, Native American Representations and Prejudice

What motivated you to embark on your Ph.D. studies? Native Americans are largely underrepresented in many areas of research. I want to help fill the gap in psychology and do research that can help my community heal and thrive.  

What excites you about UW/Seattle? There's a lot to do and explore around Seattle, it's full of great concert venues, locally owned businesses and beautiful nature.

What are your hobbies/activities outside of academics? Photography, crafts, going to concerts and taking care of my houseplants.