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SPRING 2020 NEWSLETTER
 
 
A letter from the Department Head, Wendy Heller
 
 

Dear friends and colleagues,

Never have I been so proud to be a member of the University of Illinois community. Our faculty, staff, students, and alumni have stepped up to respond to the COVID-19 crisis with expertise, compassion, flexibility, service, positive thinking, innovation and a commitment to patience, perseverance and strength. The campus leadership and Graduate College have adopted policies to support our faculty, staff and students and have provided a solid foundation for confidence and trust in our institution.

The Psychology Department moved early and proactively to adopt policies to ensure the safety of our faculty, staff and students. The department Advisory Committee met on Tuesday March 10, 2020 to establish guidelines and recommendations for the upcoming months. Our discussion was informed by research and scientific articles that we read as well as by information from faculty connections with the global community. We read about “flattening the curve” and heard from friends and family in Italy, China and other countries.

Within hours, I sent an email to the entire department asking them to start working at home if they were prepared to do so, and if not to begin planning for it immediately. That day, we suspended human subject participation in laboratory experiments, essentially halting the progress of many research projects. Our business office, graduate and undergraduate studies offices, and our human resources staff made sure they had the computer equipment and access they needed to work from home. Thanks to these efforts, by the end of Spring Break we transitioned successfully to an online learning environment that allowed us to continue to provide a high-quality educational experience. The undergraduate studies office worked with faculty to solve technology problems and with students who had difficulties with access to ensure that no-one was left behind. 

Our graduate studies office was committed to providing support to graduate students through virtual office hours for coaching and guidance, and programming for social connection and creative activities. We partnered with the Dance Department to offer a wonderful series of online sessions, along with providing art and poetry workshops. Several of our graduate students have now successfully defended their dissertations online with the full participation of their committee members. Students have offered highly professional presentations online in brown-bag seminars, classes, and interviews for postdoctoral positions or jobs.

The Psychology Department also contributed to the local community and beyond. Within days, several of our graduate students had prepared a comprehensive guide to self-care and mental health resources, which was widely shared on campus and nationally. Students in our department participated in volunteer opportunities in the community (e.g., phone calls to senior citizens) at the same time as they and the faculty made heroic efforts to transition their courses to an online format.

The Psychology Department also responded early on to concerns about racist and xenophobic behaviors with a town hall meeting, and our Diversity Committee provided a statement denouncing discrimination or expressions of hate or violence toward any group, and especially toward Asian or Asian American students, staff, and faculty as a result of COVID-19.

Our Department Alumni Advisory Board continued to support and partner with the department in myriad ways, and held its biannual meeting this Spring on the date as planned, online. The members of the board along with the alumni at large mentor students via the Ask an Alum program, share their wisdom and guidance with the department administration and provide educational and advancement opportunities.  We are especially grateful at this time to everyone who has donated to the “Shape the Future Today” fund as it pertains to the timely and most pressing needs of the department, and to the generous donors who have helped the department maintain its excellence.

I am so impressed and proud of the remarkable resilience, commitment, and perseverance shown by all the members, past and present, of this department. Please join us for our online Commencement Celebration to honor the accomplishments of the class of 2020.

My warmest wishes to you and your families,

 
 
 
STEPPING UP
 
 
 
 

 

 

A group of students from the Clinical/Community program released a comprehensive document covering a variety of important topics at the forefront of COVID-19. We caught up with them to discuss the creation process and their thoughts on the future. 

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COMMUNITY
 
 
 
 

 

 

Amy Cohen, Director of the PSC, describes the center’s successful transition from in-person services to telehealth, as well as the creative ways in which the PSC staff, students, and faculty continue to fulfill the PSC’s mission of community service and education.

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Illinois NeuroBehavioral Assessment Laboratory (INBAL) offers free digital screenings during the stay at home order.

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MASTER OF SCIENCE IN PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE
 
 
 
 

 

 

Caroline Tancredy, Director of the MSPS program, shared the successes of the second graduating class. 

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DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
 
 
 
 

 

 

Earlier this Spring, the Diversity and Inclusion Committee hosted a logo contest representing our values.

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ALUMNI
 
 
 
 

 

 

Many students are taking advantage of this opportunity to connect directly with our alumni.

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If you are an alumnus interested in providing advice, we welcome a wide variety of candidates to make the best possible match. APPLY HERE

 
 
 

 

 

Join our Alumni Advisory Board! You can be a part of shaping the future of our current students, and play an active role in many of the department's activities.

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AWARDS
 
 
FACULTY
 
 
 
 

 

 

Diane Beck was named a Fellow of the Society of Experimental Psychologists.

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Joseph R. Cohen was selected as a Rising Star by the Association of Psychological Science.

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Monica Fabiani and Gabriele Gratton were honored for their Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Psychophysiology by the Society for Psychophysiological Research.

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Brent Roberts was awarded the Jack Block Award by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology for outstanding contributions to personality psychology.

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Sepideh Sadaghiani was selected as a Lincoln Excellence for Assistant Professors (LEAP) Scholar.

LEARN MORE

 
 
 

 

 

Chadly Stern received the 2019 Early Career Award from the International Social Cognition Network.  He was also named a Center for Advanced Study (CAS) Fellow.

LEARN MORE

 
STUDENTS
 
 
 
 

 

 

Anna Madison shares her experience receiving the Alumni Advisory Board Travel Award.

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Tina Schweize expresses gratitude for her Alumni Advisory Board Travel Award.

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STAFF
 
 
 
 

 

 

June Clark Eubanks is an extremely hard worker with a keen eye for detail, but more importantly, she is a shining spirit, always ready to greet you with a smile, and a bright outlook for your day. She took home the LAS Staff Award this past spring.

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Gary Wszalek was named by students as a top influencer for a positive campus experience.

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NEW FACULTY
 
 
QUANTITATIVE PSYCHOLOGY
 
 
 
 

 

In his research, Jared Hotaling uses empirical studies and cognitive models to investigate the inner processes that give rise to behavior. He draws inspiration from several traditional research domains and use a variety of techniques to develop and test theories of judgment and decision making.

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Susu Zhang joins us from Columbia University. Dr. Zhang's primary research pertains to the use of latent variable modeling, machine learning, and other quantitative methods to solve practical problems in educational and psychological testing.

LEARN MORE

 
THE MEMORIES LIVE ON
 
 
 
 

 

 

Check out our official Psychology gear. It is a great gift idea for the graduating Senior. Plus, a portion of each sale goes to support the department. 

SHOP HERE

 
FOLLOW US ON OUR NEW SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

Psychology updates with a lighthearted twist.

INSTAGRAM

 
 
 

 

 

 

Up to the minute news coverage from the department and beyond.

TWITTER

 

 

 

You can find our Facebook and LinkedIn Alumni Group accounts by clicking the logos at the bottom of the page.

 
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE CLASS OF 2020!
 
 
 
 
 
 

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