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:

Spring Information:


Dr. Crystal Baker (Ph.D. Educational Psychology from the University of Northern Colorado) collaborated with current School of Psychological Sciences’ faculty Marilyn Welsh, Eric Peterson, and James Kole on a research presentation that will receive The Laird S. Cermak Award at the 2015 conference of the International Neuropsychological Society. The prize is awarded at the Society's Annual and Mid-Year Meetings for the best research presented in the area of memory or memory disorders.

Baker, C. A., Welsh, M., Peterson, E., & Kole, J. (February, 2015). Musical working memory in musicians and non-musicians within Baddeley’s multicomponent working memory model.

The UNC Faculty Research and Publications Board selected Professor Doug Woody from the School of Psychological Sciences as the A.M. and Jo Winchester Distinguished Scholar for 2015.

Thom Dunn

When Healthy Eating Calls For Treatment: Associate Professor Thom Dunn explores orthorexia nervosa

Professor Carl Granrud made the following presentations at the European Conference on Visual Perception in Belgrade, Serbia:

  • Granrud, C. E., & Kavšek, M. (2014, August). Testing Two Theories of Size Constancy Development in Childhood.
  • Kavšek, M., & Granrud, C. E. (2014, August). Does stereoscopic depth information affect a
    colored version of the Munker-White illusion?

Michael Phillips and Kevin PughTransformative Education through
‘Calvin and Hobbes’

UNC Students in Educational Psychology Classes Develop Intervention Strategies to Reach Difficult Pupils.
Read the full story (pg. 7)

Dr. Doug Woody recieves the Sears Helgoth Distinguished Teaching AwardDr. Doug Woody is the inaugural recipient of the Sears Helgoth Distinguished Teaching Award. Professor Woody, center, with Kathleen Sears and Jim Helgoth, donors of the distinguished teaching award. Read the full story

Dr. Paul Klaczynski has been chosen as one of the first recipients of the Center for International Education’s Faculty Award for Internationalism. The award will be presented at the CIE’s International Banquet.

Dr. Kevin PughDr. Kevin Pugh will be presenting two papers at the International Conference on Motivation in Helsinki Finland, June 12-14, 2014:

  • Pugh, K. J. Passion, action, and transformation: A theory of transformative experience.
  • Pugh, K. J., & Bergstrom, C. M. Why some students undergo transformative experiences and others do not: Current research and future directions.

Dr. Nancy Karlin

Dr. Nancy Karlin, Professor of Psychological Sciences,

Was recognized by the College of Educational and Behavioral Sciences as the 2013-2014 Outstanding Teacher.

2014 Psi Chi Conference Grant Award Winners:

Dr. Nancy Karlin
  • Austin Seeley (Faculty mentor: Nancy Karlin)
    • Rocky Mountain Psychological Association presentation
    • Presentation Title: Self-efficacy and depression as predictors of resiliency in fire survivors
    • Austin was awarded the Bell/Loomis Environmental Symposium 2014 Award at RMPA.
  • Scott Schmaltz (Faculty mentors: Kristina Phillips, Michael Phillips)
    • Rocky Mountain Psychological Association presentation (Winner of a Rocky Mountain Psi Chi Award)
    • Presentation Title: The relationship between marijuana use, personality traits and academic performance in college students
  • Amanda Hayes (Faculty mentors: Kristina Phillips, Michael Phillips)
    • Rocky Mountain Psychological Association presentation (Winner of a Rocky Mountain Psi Chi Award)
    • Presentation Title: The relationship between marijuana use, personality traits and academic performance in college students

School Scholars for the 2013-2014 year

The School of Psychological Sciences Faculty selected 9 students to be recognized as School Scholars for the 2013-2014 year. Only a very small percentage of psychology students receive this distinction each year based upon their academic achievement, research involvement, leadership, and potential for success in the discipline.

Undergraduate Psychology Majors

  • Chelsea Cordero
  • Corey Doty
  • Amanda Hayes
  • John Mortenson
  • Austin Seeley
  • Michaelann Williams

Graduate Students

  • Kristy Dykema, PhD Program in Educational Psychology
  • Wejdan Felmban, PhD Program in Educational Psychology
  • Mackenzie Peake, PhD Program in Educational Psychology

Austin Seeley

Associate Professor Kristina Phillips

Associate Professor Kristina Phillips attended the International Harm Reduction Conference in June, 2013, in Vilnius, Lithuania.
She presented final outcome data on her NIH R21 grant. Overall, Dr. Phillips and her colleagues found that the brief intervention that they developed improved injection drug users' skin and needle cleaning skills, reduced high-risk injection practices, and led to a lower incidence of bacterial infections at a 6 month follow-up compared with an assessment-only condition

Austin Seeley

Austin Seeley, senior psychology major

had his research "Experiences of Fire Survivors: What Factors Predict Resilience" accepted to the prestigious National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR). He will travel to Louisville, Kentucky in March to present at the national conference. Austin’s research mentor is Dr. Nancy Karlin.

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.

Caitlin Miller

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:
    Caitlin Miller
    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
  • Finalist:
    Austin Seeley
    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

Graduate Students

  • 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.
Read Story

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.

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).

More News from the School of Psychological Sciences

Get the Flash Player to see this player.