News and Events Archives
The Department of Psychology takes the SRHD (Society for Research on Human Development) 18th Biennial conference on March 22-24 in New Orleans by storm. Of special note, Dr. Bobby Laird provided a keynote lecture, “It’s about development: Modeling longitudinal data to answer developmental questions.” Graduate student Genevieve Lapre won the Outstanding Graduate Student Research Poster Award for “The role of race in the association between corporal punishment and externalizing problems in youth: Does punishment severity matter?”
Samantha Baye won the annual Psi Chi raffle for a free Kaplan GRE course. The prize is worth $1200. Funds for the raffle benefit the UNO chapter of Psi Chi to support events like career night and to provide scholarships to UNO psychology students.
The Andrew S. Wensel Distinguished Graduate Student Award goes to Katherine Lau for her department service, academic work, and excellence in research. Katherine works with Dr. Monica Marsee in the Youth Social and Emotional Development Lab, where she studies personality correlates to aggressive and antisocial behavior. Her research has resulted in several publications in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at national conferences.
Dr. Martie Skinner is a Research Scientist at the University of Washington Social Development Research Group, a nationally recognized interdisciplinary team of researchers dedicated to understanding and promoting healthy behaviors and positive social development among children, adolescents, and young adults. Dr. Skinner presented in the psychology department on “Stress and the transition to young adulthood” on Thursday, March 22nd.
On Monday, March 12th, Psi Chi hosted their annual Career Night. Psi Chi's goal is to educate psychology majors of the many possibilities when choosing a career in a psychology-related field. Several professionals in related fields discussed their professions, including requirements for their jobs and their day-to-day work.
The SPIT lab has just received funding from the Louisiana Board of Regents, through the pilot funding awards, to examine how oxytocin provides insight into social support in couples during stress. The project is headed by Elizabeth Shirtcliff, PhD, and will be carried out by graduate student, Amber Allison, as a part of her dissertation.
The College of Science recently granted seven awards to psychology graduate students and faculty members. Robert Laird was funded a faculty research grant on “parenting early and late novice teen drivers”. Monica Marsee was funded a travel grant. Graduate students Melissa Kunimatsu, Amber Allison and Andrew Dismukes received travel grants as well. Amber Allison received a College of Science Graduate Student Research Grant on “sex and social context as mediators of physiological activity”. Lucy McGoron received a Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs on “Examination of direct, indirect and interactive associations linking cumulative risk to child abuse potential”. Awards will help students and faculty disseminate their research findings at international conferences and to continue ongoing research efforts of pilot projects or dissertation projects.
Dr. Cecile Ladouceur is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in the Developmental Affective Science Collective. She is a renowned expert on bipolar disorder. The title of her talk is “Toward the Identification of Neural Markers of Vulnerability in Youth at Familial Risk for Bipolar Disorder.” The talk will be held on Thursday, February 23rd at 12:30 in GP 2041.
Monique Bush Keller, a psychology 2300 student was nominated by the 2300 professors as the best 2300 project of Fall 2011. Monique examined whether there was an association between “perceptions of God and life satisfaction”. She found that females who do not believe in God were more satisfied with their lives than females who believe in a living, personal God. The findings have important bearing on whether religious people are indeed happier. Click here for more information on psyc 2300.
|Early Research Professor Birdie Shirtcliff presented on Nov 22 at the University of Washington School of Social Work Lecture Series, sponsored by the Bartley Dobb Professorship for the Study and Prevention of Violence, the Social Development Research Group and the School of Social Work. Her talk was entitled “Riding the Physiological Roller-Coaster: Low Life Stress Alters Stress Responsive Physiological Systems and What it Means for Adolescent Health”.|
Frick lab wins the psychology department's Halloween costume contest at this year’s celebration, with (from the left) Laura Thornton as the cheshire cat; Farrah Golmaryami as the white rabbit; Katie Gottlieb as Alice; Paul Frick as the caterpillar and James Ray as the mad hatter.
Our 2010-2011 annual report indicates the UNO psychology faculty published 6.3 publications per year: over 2.6 times the National Average Publication rate in Psychology of 2.4 papers published per year. Our most recent annual report also reports impressive productivity for grant funding. Over 77% of faculty had at least 1 grant in force and many had received multiple state and federal grants and contracts. In 2010-2011, psychology faculty members brought in nearly $14 million dollars (over $1.5 million each on average).
The University of New Orleans department of psychology has received a 2-year $275,000 grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to investigate neurobiological underpinnings of antisocial behavior in incarcerated adolescent girls. Researchers will examine sex and stress hormones which may provide insight into why girls are at increasing risk for antisocial behavior. The working model is that early life adversity may change sex and stress hormones and, in doing so, increases the likelihood for antisocial
behavior. Researchers will try to illustrate that reducing early adversity will have a sustained impact on decreasing antisocial behavior in adolescents. Fellow psychology professors Monica Marsee, Paul Frick and Carl Weems are co-investigators. Listen to Birdie Shirtcliff talk about the grant here!
UNO psychology Alumni Matt Heinly has just received Tenure and Promotion at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. Matt graduated in 2007 from UNO with a PhD in psychology (applied biopsychology) after completing his dissertation on Language Functions in Traumatic Brain Injury. Congratulations Matt!
Noting their excellence in research and academic endeavors, Franssy Zablah received the Distinguished Undergraduate Student Award. Jessica Lovell received the S. Thomas Elder Most Promising Undergraduate Researcher Award. Gem Scott received Honorable Mention for this award as well as the Mary Freeman Wisdom award from the honor’s program. Julie Langosh received the Richard D. Olson Award in Experimental Design and Methodology. Finally, the Andrew S. Wensel Distinguished Graduate Student Award goes to Brandon Scott for his department service, academic work and excellence in research.
Three psychology faculty members recently were recognized for their research and commitment to the UNO. Dr. Paul Frick, department chair, is one of five professors to receive a distinguished professor position at the University. He was recognized for his excellence in research, teaching, service and international reputation. Dr Frick has been published over 150 times including 6 books and is a member of the DSM-V work group for ADHD and Disruptive Behavior Disorders. Dr. Frick is the father of 3 teenage boys whose names all start with J. Dr. Carl Weems, Undergrad Coordinator, was promoted to Full Professor in 2011. Dr. Weems received his PhD in 1999 and joined the UNO faculty in 2001. His promotion from Associate to Full Professor in just 5 short years is a testament to his high quality research and teaching: he has published over 100 articles, is an Editor or on the editorial board of several international journals. In the tradition of J names, he became the proud father of Jackson in late 2008. Dr. Birdie Shirtcliff received an Early Research Professor appointment after joining the UNO faculty in 2008. She was recognized for excellence in research: she has published over 40 scientific articles and has received several grants including a career development award from the National Institute of Mental Health. Dr. Shirtcliff is the proud mom of 2 boys whose names do not start with J.
|The psychology department at the University of New Orleans is greatly saddened by the news of Dr. Mary Williams-Brewer’s death. Our condolences go out to her husband James and the rest of her family. The department greatly appreciates Mary’s 29 years of service prior to her retirement in March ’11 after her battle with cancer. Mary served as associate chair of the department of psychology from 1990-1993 and as chair from 1993-1995. She was a mainstay of the Department, helping to shape its development across the years before most current members of the department arrived.|
Dr. Bobby Laird receives funding for a new Families and Teens Laboratory study. The study focuses on understanding how a new driver in the family changes the dynamics of parent-adolescent interaction.Read more about the experiment here!
|Dr. Tiffany Pitts, graduate of UNO psychology in 2010, is named as Executive Director of the Children’s Cabinet, a policy office in the Office of the Governor. Tiffany will be responsible for the coordination of policy, planning, budgeting, and delivery of services across five departments that provide services for young people, including the Departments of Children and Family Services, Education, Health and Hospitals, the Louisiana Workforce Commission, and the Office of Juvenile Justice. Tiffany will make recommendations to the Governor on funding priorities for new and expanded programs for children and youth, and will serve as the Governor’s representative on several boards and commissions. Congratulations Tiffany!|
Dr. Paul Frick, psychology department chair, will deliver an address to the Child Mental Health Forum at the Judge baker Children's center in Boston, MA on April 6th. The talk is entitled "Callous-Unemotional Traits: Implications for Understanding and Treating Delinquent, Aggressive, and Antisocial Behavior in Youths”. The program is co-sponsored by the Psychology Division at Children’s Hospital Boston, Judge Baker Children’s Center, and Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Mary Williams-Brewer, PhD retired as a professor of psychology due to health problems. Dr. Williams-Brewer contributed substantially to the department during her 28 years at the UNO. She served as department chair from 1993-1995, conducted innovative research on dyslexia and ADHD symptomology in college students, and was more recently an active representative on the faculty senate. She taught many courses over the years, but will best be remembered as a well-liked and well-respected psychological statistics professor.
Dr. Laura Scaramella hosted the graduate student recruitment gathering. The day’s event had a Mardi Gras theme. The morning started off with New Orleans’s best King Cake, and the evening ended with Crabby Jack’s po-boys, jambalaya, and purple-green-and-gold cupcakes. UNO beads and t-shirts were a little lagniappe.
U.S. News and World report has ranked UNO 17th on a list of America's most popular universities. Topping the list was Bringham Young Univeristy, followed by Harvard Univiersity and Stanford University. Read more here.
Congratulations Stephanie Nelson on being name a Key Instrumental Employee for the Month of January. Stephanie is an administrative coordinator in the Department of Psychology and has worked for UNO since 2002. She received several nominations from her coworkers for being an exemplary employee. Stephanie’s pleasant and positive attitude never changes and she is always ready and willing to go beyond what is expected of her to assist the students, faculty and staff. She is dependable, honest and enthusiastic and carries out her responsibilities in a delightful manner. Stephanie shows a commitment to her department and to this university. Great job Stephanie! Congratulations!
UNO psychology chair Dr. Paul Frick was awarded a three year 3.5 million dollar grant to study juvenile justice. Read more here!
Dr. Shirtcliff's SPIT lab was featured on WWL-TV. Together with students from Abramson high school, Dr. Shirtcliff highlights that teen’s have an intense response to stress which can get under the skin and influence their physiology. You can see the interview here!
Dr. Laura Scaramella, PhD, was promoted to Full Professor, effective August 16, 2010. Dr. Scaramella’s advancement to full professor was initiated within the same year that she welcomed the birth of twin girls, Megan and Mia. Dr. Scaramella will continue to serve as the psychology department’s Graduate Coordinator, conduct research on children's temperamental characteristics and parents' childrearing style, and enjoy dressing the girls in black and gold tutus for Saints games.
Dr. Paul Frick, UNO psychology chair, was a keynote speaker at the Annual Conference for the German Psychological Society (Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft fur Psychologie) on Sept 26-30. See the podcast here!
In conjunction with Drs. Rand Conger (University of California, Davis), Brent Donnellan (Michigan State University), and Mike Stallings (University of Colorado, Boulder), Dr. Laura Scaramella has just received a grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD). The grant is entitled, “A genetic study of personal traits that promote or inhibit individual well-being”. The 4.4 million dollar grant will allow the team to analyze DNA from over 2400 participants in a 25 year 3 generational study of families. Offspring from the first waves of data collection are now often parents themselves, so the investigation will be able to do a multi-generational investigation into the grandparents, parents, and offspring of this large cohort. Activities on the grant will allow Dr. Scaramella and her laboratory in the UNO psychology department to conduct family wide analyses of genetic influences on personality traits and social adjustment.
The UNO psychology department is recognized as a Program of Distinction in the College of Science by Dean Johnson. This academic honor is bestowed on departments which achieve national and international recognition. To learn more, click here.
Associate Professor Robert Laird edited a special issue of Journal of Adolescence, on Management of Personal Information in Relationships with Parents. The April 2010 issue was co-edited with Loes Keisjers from Utrecht University. The journal of adolescence is an international, broad based, cross-disciplinary journal that addresses issues of professional and academic importance concerning development between puberty and the attainment of adult status within society.
UNO Psychology Department Graduates Impressive Number of Doctoral Students. Click here to read more about the largest graduating class since Hurricane Katrina...
Department of psychology honors distinguished members at the 2010 honor's convocation, including a 10 year service award for Dr. Paul Frick. Jonathan Ord and Leslie Taylor received the Andrew S. Wensel Distinguished Graduate Student Award. Lauren McShan received the Distinguished Undergraduate Student Award. Danielle Wust received the S. Thomas Elder Most Promising Undergraduate Research Award. Amanda Creppel received the Richard D. Olson Award in Experimental Design and Methodology. Four of the College of Sciences Undergraduate research Scholars from the psychology department were also honored at the awards ceremony: Miklos Halmos, Chelsea Hayes, Danielle Jason, and Amanda Piglia.
Dr. Luna Muñoz is the recipient of the 2010 Neville Butler Memorial Prize for her paper titled 'Parenting and Youth Conduct Problems and Delinquency: Reciprocal Effects and Moderation by Callous-Unemotional Traits.' Dr. Muñoz's award is for early career researchers involved in longitudinal research in the UK. Read more about Dr. Muñoz here.
Kelly E. Dunn (UNO M.Sc., 2004) recently received the APA Division 28 Outstanding Dissertation Award. Kelly received her doctorate last year (2009) from the University of Vermont's General/Experimental Psychology program and is now a NIDA-Postdoctoral Fellow at the Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit (BPRU) and the Center for Learning and Health (CLH) in the Psychiatry Department at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Congratulations Kelly!
Dr. Kevin Greve, Research Professor at UNO, was elected to the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology (AACN). Dr. Greve began his 5 year term with the AACN in early February, 2010.
Dr. Benjamin Lahey, from the Department of Health Studies at the University of Chicago, kicked off the UNO Psychology Department’s research colloquium colloquium series in September with a special guest lecture on “A Development Propensity Model of Child and Adolescent Conduct Disorder”.
Dr. Marco Del Giudice, from the Center for Cognitive Science at the University of Turin, brought international expertise to the UNO Psychology Department’s research colloquium series in November with a special guest lecture on “Developmental switch points in human development: the case of adrenarche”.
The Psychology Department is Wireless! The Undergraduate student lounge in GP 2026 now has wireless connectivity, so students can meet with friends, do homework and enjoy the amenities at UNO.
As a part of the Psychology Research Colloquium series, Dr. Patrick Tolan from the University of Virginia Department of Psychiatry & Neurobehavioral sciences gave a talk entitled "Developmental Ecological Understanding of Risk for Delinquency among Inner-City Males".
Paul Frick, Ph.D., honored with an invited lecture for the Edwards Distinguished Lecturer series at the University of Washington, department of psychology. Dr. Frick's lecture was entitled, "Developmental Pathways to Conduct Disorder: Implications for Understanding Severely Aggressive and Antisocial Youth".
Psychology Graduate Student Stuart F. White received the 2009 Andrew S. Wensel Distinguished Graduate Student Award for his research, teaching and service in Dr. Frick's laboratory. Melinda Cannon and Jonathan Ord also received Certificate of Commendations for Andrew S. Wensel Awards in 2009.
Kudos to Psychology undergraduate students! Monique N. Kristapovich received the Distinguished Undergraduate Student Award; Richelle P. Stansbury won the Gayle A. Olson Award in learning; Jennifer E. DiBartolo won the Richard D. Olson Award in experimental design and methodology. Emily S. Kuhn, who graduated Magna Cum Laude with Honors in Spring '09 from UNO received the S. Thomas Elder Most Promising Undergraduate Researcher Award. Ms. Kuhn joined Dr. Laird's laboratory as a first year graduate student in the Fall of 2009.
Congratulations to Ms. Ellen McCoy, a custodian in the Psychology and Geology Building. Ellen has been selected as the Key Instrumental Employee of the Month for June because of her dedication to the University of New Orleans. The following is a summary of the nominations she received. Full Story (Link)
Research Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychology, Dr. Paul J. Frick started his two year term (2009-2011) as President of the Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy, an international society dedicated to the promotion of research on psychopathic traits throughout the lifespan. http://www.psychopathysociety.org/index.php)
The University of New Orleans Psychology Department has received a $144,000 grant from the Louisiana Board of Regents to renovate its in-house Psychology Clinic under the leadership of Dr. Michelle Martel and Dr. Monica Marsee, assistant professors of psychology. Full Story (pdf)
UNO Psychologist Laird presented research in Washington, D.C. - Robert D. Laird, University of New Orleans associate professor of psychology, will represent the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) at the 15th annual Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF) Exhibition and Reception on Capitol Hill on March 24. Full Story (Link)
UNO made an impressive showing at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research on Child Development . Full Story (pdf)
May 8, 2009, Dr. Laura Scaramella has been selected by the University of Arizona, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) to receive the CALS Alumni Achievement Award. The award is given to alumnus who have attained success in his or her field of endeavor.
Paul J. Frick, University of New Orleans Research Professor of Psychology, has been named a Champion for Change in juvenile justice reform efforts by the Louisiana Models for Change initiative. Full Story (pdf)
A recent study by UNO Assistant Professor Elizabeth "Birdie" Shirtcliff discovered that the impact of stress exposure early in life persists for years after the stress is over. Full Story (pdf)
Dr. Carl Weems, Associate Professor of Psychology at The University of New Orleans, recently edited a special section in volume 37 (2008) issue 3 of the Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (with co-editor Stacy Overstreet of Tulane University) on research related to the mental health effects of Hurricane Katrina. Full Story (pdf)