No Mystery is so Profound as the Mystery of the Human Mind
We live in an age of space travel and artificial hearts, virtual reality and cloned sheep. Yet for all our technical advancement, our world is still a troubled one. We have school shootings and gang violence, broken families and teenage parents, racial conflict and cultural unrest, drug addiction and alcohol abuse, low school achievement and high dropout rates. We have greater material wealth than any society in the history of humanity, yet depression is common.
These problems will not be solved by a new drug, a new computer chip, or any other new technology. They will only be solved through an understanding of human thought, feeling, and action. This is the domain of the psychological sciences
Psychological Science is Important
Alan Kraut, Executive Director of the Association for Psychological Science: http://vimeo.com/47959618
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Dr. Nancy Karlin, Professor of Psychological Sciences, won “Best Professor” in the College of Educational and Behavioral Sciences for The Mirror’s 2013 Best of UNC poll. Dr. Karlin has won this award two years in a row.
Dr. Kristina Phillips, Associate Professor of Psychological Sciences, is Co-Investigator on a research team that won funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The grant, which runs from 2013 to 2018 and totals $2,319,525, funds research that will examine whether a brief skin and needle hygiene intervention is more effective than an assessment-only condition at reducing bacterial infections, high-risk injection practices, and health service utilization among injection drug users. Participants will include 350 drug injectors recruited during an acute medical hospitalization at Boston Medical Center.
Undergraduate Psychology Major Stephanie Dormand spent part of the summer semester 2013 working on research related to Fetal Alcohol Effects in Dr. Gilliam’s laboratory. In this photo she is preparing to give a pregnant mouse a solution containing alcohol.
Trip to India inspires grad to continue community service work
In addition to graduating cum laude with bachelor's degrees in Psychology and Anthropology, Caitlin Miller leaves UNC with awards for outstanding community service and research, and a legacy for helping those less fortunate, both in Greeley and India.
In the summer between her junior and senior year, Miller spent six weeks in India working with three different community service organizations, including one that sought to empower women and another striving to educate children that were once beggars in the country's poorest areas.
She fully immersed herself in the culture, wearing Indian clothes, eating Indian food and even wading in the country's holiest - and by American standards, its dirtiest - rivers.
When she returned to Greeley, Miller, pictured at right with Congolese refugee Jackline, began an internship at the Global Refugee Center, working to raise awareness about the refugee populations in Greeley, helping connect the refugees with the rest of the community and organizing awareness events such as "Walk in Their Shoes."
She also organized concerts, Swahili drum lessons and cultural shows, and taught English to refugees. As a research assistant in UNC's neurophysiology lab, Miller studied traumatic brain injuries' effects on the brain's ability to process information and then combined her anthropological and psychological work for her honors thesis, in which she studied Somali refugees' interpretations of trauma-related mental illnesses.
Her work with refugees, other volunteer work and her thesis earned her the Center for Honors, Scholarship and Leadership's Civic Engagement Award and second place in UNC's annual Research Excellence Award competition.
Miller plans to take a break from school by returning to India to continue her work with women's empowerment and rural development organizations before pursuing an advanced degree in psychological anthropology.
Professor Doug Woody, School of Psychological Sciences, was named the 2012-2013 Outstanding Teacher in the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences
Two psychology majors from the School of Psychological Sciences were recognized for their research presentations during UNC’s Research Day:
Undergraduate Research Excellence Oral Presentations
- Second Place:
Somali Refugee Interpretations of trauma-related Mental Illness: Similarities and Differences between the Somali concepts of ‘Murugo Joogto’ and ‘Qulub’ and PTSD
Faculty Sponsor: Theodore Bashore
Experiences of Fire Survivors and Disaster Mental Health
Faculty Sponsor: Nancy Karlin
The School of Psychological Sciences Faculty selected 8 students to be recognized as School Scholars for the 2012-2013 year. These students were chosen based on their scholarship, classwork, leadership, and potential for success in the field:
- Kathryn Bruder
- Lauren Juhl
- Caitlin Miller
- Austin Seeley
- Lindsey Smith
- Brittany Wagner
- Abel Diaz, PhD Program in Educational Psychology
- Kristy Dykema, PhD Program in Educational Psychology
The Board of Directors for Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology, designated UNC’s chapter to be a 2012 “Psi Chi Model Chapter.” This designation reflects the activities of UNC’s chapter as well as its financial responsibility and its regular recruitment and induction of new members.
Josh Stewart, doctoral candidate in Educational Psychology, earned the Graduate Dean's Citation for Excellence, Fall Semester 2012, recognizing superior academic achievement of students who are candidates for a graduate degree at the University of Northern Colorado. In addition, Josh received the Graduate Dean’s Citation for Outstanding Dissertation: “Teaching of Evolution in Public Schools: A Cross-Cultural Examination.” Josh was mentored by Dr. Doug Woody and Dr. Steven Pulos.
Dr. Nancy Karlin, Professor of Psychological Sciences, was voted by the students as Best Professor in the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences.
In collaboration with geosciences researchers at UNC and Texas A&M University, Kevin Pugh and Michael Phillips received a $431,555 grant from the National Science Foundation to study the recruitment and retention of women in the geosciences. The three-year project will investigate why some universities are more effective at recruiting women into geosciences degree programs and moving them on to careers in the geosciences. The investigation will focus on the roles of motivation and identity in interaction with classroom instruction and department climate.
Elia Martin was awarded second prize in the McNair student competition this year.
She is a psychology undergraduate, and her investigation is entitled, “Using self-determination theory to examine the difference in motivation of African American college students and students with other ethnic backgrounds.” She was mentored on this project by Dr. Teresa McDevitt.
Dr. Michael Phillips received a UNC Provost Award for Travel to attend a five-day workshop in summer2012 presented by the Quantitative Training Program of the Center for Research Methods and Analysis at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. The workshop focused on the fundamentals of multilevel modeling (MLM) covering the theory and practice of methods for analyzing hierarchically organized data. The emphasis of the workshop was on how to design multilevel studies, estimate and interpret random effects, model longitudinal data, center predictors, conduct multiparameter tests, and analyze cross-classified and multiple-membership data.
Dr. Gilliam attended the Short Course on Medical and Experimental Mammalian Genetics at The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine (July 15-27, 2012; (http://courses.jax.org/2012/53rd-short-course.html). The course emphasized current knowledge on genetics in experimental animals and humans. New techniques were learned in studying disease heritability and how molecular genetics is used in the diagnosis and treatment of inherited disorders. Dr. Gilliam incorporates information about genetic underpinnings of neurobehavioral disorders, disease heritability methodology, and treatment options into the courses he teaches (PSY482 - Behavioral Genetics and PSY380 & PSY481 – Introduction to Physiological Psychology & Advanced Physiological Psychology). In addition, the course significantly informed his research on implementing the latest genetic research strategies to uncover Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) liability.
Students from Drs. Kristina and Michael Phillips' Motivation and Addiction Research Group recently presented at the American Psychological Association conference in Orlando, FL. Students presented two posters titled: 1) Marijuana Craving and Academic Motivation with College Students: Ecological Momentary Assessment and 2) Ecological Momentary Assessment with College-Age Marijuana Users: Feasibility of SMS Texting. Pictured here from left to right are: Noah Simon (undergrad), Moshe Machlev (grad), Josh Nowak (undergrad), Erin Morgan (undergrad), Kristy Dykema (grad), and Kayla Tormohlen (undergrad).
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