Newsletter Editions

Published: 08/11/2015

Summer 2015

Faculty accomplishments in the news
David Barash

In January, David Barash's work on monogamy was mentioned in an article about the purpose of love.


David Barash's evolutionary biology research on jealousy between partners was cited in this January article on insecurity and envy in relationships.


In January, David Barash authored an Op-Ed published in the LA Times on nuclear weapons and the conflict between our biological and cultural natures.

Sapna Cheryan

Sapna Cheryan's work highlights other factors in classroom design and layout that influence how we learn, featured in a January article.

Anthony Greenwald

UW Professor of Psychology Anthony Greenwald exposes our hidden biases and questions the extent to which they shape our likes, dislikes, and judgments about people in a Seattle Channel video lecture in December.


This January article about implicit bias and employment law draws heavily on work done by Tony Greenwald.

Susan Joslyn

Susan Joslyn's study on false alarms in extreme weather scenarios was featured in this January article on noncompliance with weather warnings.

Liliana Lengua

In January, Lili Lengua's work with the UW Center for Child and Family Well-Being was highlighed in an article in which she discussed the changing definition of family, in order to combat neglect and build better families.

Kate McLaughlin

University of Washington Assistant Psychology Professor Kate McLaughlin's work is at the cutting edge of new research on how abuse and neglect shape the human brain, featured in a December four-part podcast series.

Kristina Olson

In February, Kristrina Olson began a landmark study to document the experience of transgender children, the first of its kind in the nation.

Chantel Prat

Chantel Prat was quoted in a January Huffington Post article, "5 Amazing Advances in Brain Research in 2014", discussing University of Washington research in direct brain-to-brain communication.

Ronald Smith

In January, Ron Smith's work on coaching styles was mentioned in an article discussing how coaching means different things to different people.

Jessica Sommerville

Jessica Sommerville found that humans are capable of altruism earlier than previously thought, discussed in this January Huffington Post article.

Andrea Stocco

Andrea Stocco's work in direct brain-to-brain communication research was discussed in a January Huffington Post article on 2014 advances in brain research.

Wendy Stone

In January, Wendy Stone and UW's Research in Early Austism Detection and Intervention (READi) Lab implemented a new five-year, 3.9 million initiative to expand their work and continue to lead in the field of identifying children with special needs.

Alex Kale: Intellectual Boundary Crosser
Photo: Alex Kale
Photo: Alex Kale

As the son of a European history professor at Washington State University, Alex Kale seems to have been born to the academic life. It's no wonder that upon arriving at the University of Washington to begins his own studies his intellectual interests were ignited and he began to take advantage of the wide range of opportunities at his disposal. READ MORE

Clinical Graduate Student Receives GO-MAP Diversity Dissertation Fellowship
Photo: Jessica Chen
Photo: Jessica Chen

Jessica Chen, a 7th year Adult Clinical student working with Ronald Smith, received a Diversity Fellowship which provided a stipend and tuition exemption for her final two quarters residency in our department! This funding provided support while Jessica finalized and defended her dissertation prior to leaving to complete her required clinical internship. READ MORE

New faculty spotlight - David Gire
Photo: David Gire
Photo: David Gire

What do art, philosophy, and neuroscience have in common? Plenty, according to new Assistant Professor David Gire, who has interests in all three. In his research, David seeks to combine multiple disciplines to understand how neural circuits in the brain process complex natural stimuli to guide flexible behaviors such as navigation and foraging. READ MORE.

Greetings from the Chair
Photo: Sheri Mizumori
Photo: Sheri Mizumori

Welcome to the 2015 Summer Edition of the Psychology Newsletter! It has been a most wonderful year for the department. Our thriving undergraduate majors continue to have strong and unique impact in the community, and experience the richest research opportunities at the UW. To push the boundaries of these opportunities, the department now provides for the first time competitive undergraduate research and travel awards. These awards are supported by the department in partnership with our new Ruth H. Hagenstein Endowed Scholarship fund. Students in our nationally ranked graduate program were highly successful in securing research funding. This was not an easy feat in this tough economic climate!  The innovative research of our faculty continued to expand with the acquisition of their new research grants, and with the unveiling of a new seed grant mechanism within the department—the Faculty Interdisciplinary Research Program Award, or FIRPA. FIRPAs are meant to jumpstart new and transformative discoveries in psychological science with unique collaborations that cross traditional disciplinary borders. Several new FIRPA projects are now underway.

Our annual Edwards Public Lecture Series was again a great success as our faculty showcased cutting edge research on the Psychological Science of Inequity and Inequality, a timely subject of concern in today’s society.  To further our effort to bring the latest psychology research directly to the public, we have expanded our public lecture program to include single, more specialized lectures throughout the year. The most recent such public lecture focused on our current understanding of the effects of exercise on cognitive and mental health. I hope you had a chance to attend these lectures, but if not, they are available on-line so you still have an opportunity to enjoy them!

We were fortunate to be able to add a number of stellar faculty and staff to our department team. Dr. David Gire is a new Assistant Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience. Using state-of-the-art neuroscience methods, Dr. Gire’s research explores how neurons of the brain allow us to make odor-based decisions.  Joanne Edwards joined us as the Assistant to the Chair, and Melissa Harrell came on board as our Payroll Coordinator. Very recently, Jeneil Lagasse has become our Associate Administrator, and Cy Delgado has joined our fabulous team of undergraduate advisors. I would like to extend a warm welcome to all!!

With the spring quarter, we saw many hundreds of our students graduate with B.A., B.S., or PhD. Degrees. What a fabulous accomplishment, congratulations! It was an honor to be a part of their journey as they prepared to go out to make their mark on society. I wish everyone the best, and I very much look forward to hearing updates from our newest alums.

To all of our department friends, thank you for continuing to support a bright future in Psychology.  Have the most wonderful summer!

Warm regards,


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