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Newsletter Fall 2020

A Message from the Chair

Dear Friends of Psychology,
Ann Arbor has been graced with beautiful weather this October.  And although campus life is far from normal, a good portion of Psychology’s instruction is happening in person with safety measures in place, while our hybrid and on-line courses offer valuable sources of new learning for our students. After months of complete cessation, many research labs have partially re-engaged with our undergrads working alongside faculty and graduate students through socially-distanced protocols and Zoom meetings to continue our progress towards new, important discoveries. Since the Winter 2020 newsletter, the University has faced many challenges, including an historic strike of our graduate students’ employee union (GEO), considerable concerns about campus climate, and about University administration, all against the back-drop of the on-going pandemic and many disheartening national and global challenges. Nevertheless, I continue to be grateful for our committed faculty, students, and staff, along with their many valuable accomplishments even in the face of these challenges, some of which are shared in this newsletter. You can read about our graduate student’s triumphs in defending their doctoral dissertations remotely, life journeys of our alums and generous donors, together with important contributions of our faculty and the next generation of psychology scholars. We hope you enjoy these contents, and that you stay in touch by visiting our website, exploring our videos and, when the pandemic is over, coming to visit us soon!
Stay safe, be healthy, and Go Blue!

Donor Impact

Joe Anisko, LSA Psychology: BA (1969)

A life-changing encounter with an article about a U-M researcher leads to an epiphany, a U-M degree, and a 40+-year career in the global pharmaceutical industry. Now it’s time to give back. Read more.

Alumni Spotlight

Amy Bucher, Vice President of Behavior Design Change, Mad*Pow; author of Enagaged: Designing for Behavior Change    
UM, Psychology PhD (2006) 

A Department of Psychology PhD recipient leaves academia and blazes her own path to a satisfying, successful career in psychology-informed software development. Read more about her journey and the ways that her work puts psychological theories into practice.

Alumni: Share your Career Experience

We would love to hear from alumni who have pursued traditional or non-traditional psychology careers! If you would like to share your post-graduate career experience, please contact us.

Faculty Research Highlight

John Jonides, Edward E. Smith Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience; Co-Director, functional MRI Center; Senior Editor, Psychological Science

Inspired by a news report, a Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience professor ventures outside of his academic comfort zone to spearhead social research with important implications for the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more about the ways that basic scientific education may help people better understand the spread of infectious disease and how best to control it.

Lecturer Highlight

Liz Buvinger, Lecturer II

“[An] emphasis on lifetime learning is part of the driving force of this department, and I strive to inspire my students to do the same,” Buvinger says. Read more.

Faculty Retirements

(From Left to Right) Henry (Gus) Buchtel (retired 2/28); L. Rowell HuesmannDavid KierasFrank Yates (retired 5/31)

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI)

The Department of Psychology's Diversity Committee's This is DEI initiative showcases the range of work (research, teaching and mentorship) being conducted by Psychology faculty and students on diversity, equity and inclusion. Click on a slide to read the full interview!

Graduate Student Research Spotlight

Casta Guillauame, Combined Program in Education and Psychology (CPEP)

Christina Morton, Center for the Study of Higher and Post-Secondary Education

The pandemic forced their dissertation defenses online. They transformed that setback into unforgettable experiences. Read more.

Undergraduate Student Research Spotlight

Christina Garton, Psychology Honors and Environment Senior

Last summer, Catherine Garton ran a pilot study exploring the relationship between people’s intellectual humility and their belief that their political opinions are morally right. Read more.

Rachael Rich, Cognitive Science & Psychology Honors Senior

Rachael Rich’s research focuses on the relationship between harmful parenting styles and risky or delinquent adolescent behavior. Read more.            

In Memoriam

Raphael (Rafe) S. Ezekiel
Associate Professor Emeritus of Psychology

James Jackson
Daniel Katz Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Psychology; Research Professor Emeritus, RCGD

Stuart Karabenick
Research Professor Emeritus of Education at the Combined Program of Education and Psychology (CPEP); Adjunct Professor of Psychology

Upcoming Events

A monthly series of community talks by U-M Psychology Faculty. All 2020 talks will be recorded remotely and available to stream online. Kai Cortina's talk is available to stream now. More information and streams of past presentations can be found here.

Where in the World Have Our Psych T-Shirts Been?

Madeline Chen, BCN Class of 2020, On Campus

Sarah and Thad Polk, Psychology Class of 2019 (Sarah), Professor of Psychology (Thad), Mt. Rigi, Switzerland

Support the Department of Psychology

We strive to support our students and faculty on the front lines of learning and research and to steward our planet, our community, and our campus. To do this, the Department of Psychology needs your support. Click here to learn more, or use the button below to donate.