The Tulane University Neuroscience Program encompasses 43 faculty researchers in the School of Science and Engineering, the School of Medicine and the National Primate Research Center. As part of a Brain Initiative at Tulane, they collaborate as they never have before to unravel the brain’s mysteries, of which there are many.
Developmental psychology graduate student Nick Fears and his team were chosen as one of thirteen winning teams in the Neuro Startup Challenge, and open innovation competition with the goal of bringing promising medical interventions to the public. Nick and his team were selected based on their proposal, which focuses on a pharmacological treatment for ADHD. Congratulations, Nick!
Scholars from across the country gathered at Tulane at the end of the school year for a summit on promoting positive youth development in New Orleans. Co-organized by Drs. Barbarin and Cunningham, from Psychology, and Dr. Figley, from Social Work, the panel also included distinguished scholars Drs. Connie Flanagan, Frank Fustenberg, Gary Melton, and Tom Tyler.
Dr. Oscar Barbarin received a prestigious Distinguished Contribution Award at the 2015 Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development. Specifically, Dr. Barbarin received the Distinguished Contributions to Understanding International, Cultural & Contextual Diversity in Child Development Award. Congratulations, Dr. Barbarin!
Dr. Bonnie Nastasi, a psychology professor at Tulane University, has traveled the world to promote the psychological well-being of children, teens and families. She has spent time in Sri Lanka and India, often drawing from her work in New Orleans to help local stakeholders develop school and community-based programs.
Caroline Tipler, a Tulane Psychology Science graduate student in social psychology, has been awarded a Graduate Fellowship from the Center for Ethics and Public Affairs at the Murphy Institute. Caroline’s interests focus on stereotyping and social cognition. The Fellowship will support Caroline’s dissertation research under the mentorship of her advisor, Dr. Janet Ruscher. Congratulations, Caroline!
Ayesha Sujan (BS 2012) has been awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship for her work with Dr. Brian D'Onofrio in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Indiana University. Ayesha is using genetically-infomed methods to explore associations between prenatal and early life risk factors and developmental outcomes. During her time at Tulane, Ayesha conducted her honors thesis research with Dr. Carrie Wyland, and was recipieint of the Anne M. McPherson Memorial Student Award.
The Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists’ most recent quarterly newsletter highlighted the newest licensed and provisionally licensed psychologists in Louisiana. In each month covered by the newsletter, one Tulane graduate or faculty member obtained a new license or provisional license to practice, including Dr. Sarah Gray in October, Dr. Christiane Creveling in November, Dr. Laura Niditch in December, and Dr. Courtney Baker in January. Congratulations!
Dr. Jeffrey Lockman, Professor of Psychology, is 2015 Program Co-Chair, along with Dr. Catherine Tamis-LeMonda, for the Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Meeting. The Program Committee is responsible for choosing the invited presenters and guiding the submission process for the large research meeting, held every other year in the spring. This year’s meeting, which will be held in Philadelphia in March, expects to host a crowd of 6,500 national and international experts in child development.
School Psychology graduate students Katie Jones and Jeffrey Brown successfully matched with nationally competitive, APA-Accredited internship sites in this year’s APPIC Internship Match. The internship is considered the capstone experience to doctoral training in applied fields of psychology. Katie Jones matched at the Illinois School Psychology Internship Consortium (ISPIC), the goal of which is to provide experiences to interns in schools, hospitals, residential treatment programs and clinics in rural, suburban and urban settings. Jeffrey Brown matched to the Louisiana School Psychology Internship Consortium (LAS*PIC), the goal of which is to provide an authentic, school-based training experience for interns. Congratulations on this achievement, Katie and Jeffrey!
Johanna Kester, a senior at Tulane University, received the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award in January. Students from Tulane, Dillard, Loyola, and Xavier are nominated for embodying the ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King, with only one student selected from each university annually for this prestigious award. Johanna is majoring in Psychology and minoring in Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship. She is a Community Service Scholar, a founding member and current president of Tulane United for Autism (TUA), and dance director for the Prism Project of Greater New Orleans, an inclusive performing arts program for children 6-14 with and without special needs. Congratulations, Johanna!
Congratulations to Dr. Michael Cunningham, who was elected by the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) membership to the Governing Council. In addition to his role as Associate Provost for Graduate Studies and Research, Dr. Cunningham is a Professor in the Department of Psychology with a joint appointment in the Program for African and African Diaspora Studies at Tulane (ADST). As a developmental psychologist, Dr. Cunningham’s research examines resilience and vulnerability in African American children and adolescents.
Professors Oscar Barbarin and Michael Cunningham spearhead the “Boys of Color Collaborative,” a national scholarly effort to identify early influences of risk and resilience in boys of color. Drs. Barbarin and Cunningham, in collaboration with other researchers across the US, are seeking the answer to why black youth, especially boys, become disproportionally expelled, suspended, and involved in the criminal justice system. The working group has plans to use these findings to not only foster more research in this critical area of inquiry, but also to influence policy and on-the-ground practices to better support black youth
Tulane’s Department of Psychology has established an innovative new master’s degree program focused on behavioral health. Behavioral health, often referred to as pediatric psychology when applied to children and youth, is a growing, interdisciplinary field focused on preventing and treating mental health, addiction, and physical health problems by changing behavior. Current Tulane undergraduates majoring in Psychology or closely related fields can apply to earn a master’s of science degree the year following their four-year undergraduate course of study. The Behavioral Health 4+1 Master’s Program provides graduate level training in psychopathology, assessment, and intervention. Students may also take elective courses within diverse areas of psychology and engage in mentored, independent research. Students who graduate from the program will be equipped to work in master’s level positions or enroll in doctoral training in clinical, school, or other applied areas of psychology. Eight students cohort of seven students enrolled this Fall. Seated (front row, left to right): Josh Dillon, Brittney Jurgen, Caroline Quaid, and Becca Ames; standing (back row, left to right): Kate Homan, Jill deRosas, Margot Paul, and Catherine Rochefort.
Dr. Jill Daniel was recognized at the 5th Annual Tulane Faculty Research Synergy Event for receiving an R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health. Her project, funded for five years, is entitled “Short-term Estradiol Use in Middle-Age: Implications for Female Cognitive Aging.” The broad goal of Dr. Daniel’s research is to understand the mechanisms by which estrogens and androgens impact areas of the brain important for cognition.
Stefanie Simon, a graduate student in social psychology who works under the mentorship of Dr. Laurie O’Brien, was recently awarded an APA Dissertation Research Award to support her doctoral research. Her study is entitled “Leading Through Diversity: The Effect of Leader Gender on Racial Discrimination Claims.” Congratulations, Stefanie!
Congratulations to Dr. Conni Patterson and Patrick Bell for their well-deserved recognition by the Louisiana School Psychological Association (LSPA). LSPA is a state-level organization for school psychologists focused on building a professional community for Louisiana school psychologists, providing resources and continuing education, and engaging in advocacy. Dr. Patterson received the School Psychologist of the Year Award and Patrick Bell received the Will Bergeron Memorial Scholarship.
Dr. Janet Ruscher, Tulane University Professor of Psychology and School of Science and Engineering Associate Dean for Graduate Programs, shared her thoughts on academic writing in the Association for Psychological Science Observer. In her easy-to-read piece entitled “Storytelling from a Three-Legged Stool,” Dr. Ruscher recommends making our scientific work meaningful, coherent, and memorable to best communicate with non-scientists. Dr. Ruscher’s research focuses on stereotyping and prejudice in communication and language.
Dr. Lisa Molix was featured in the Tulane University New Wave for her role as a Professor-in-Residence. For two years, Dr. Molix will reside with her family in the Barbara Greenbaum House, where she interacts with and supports Tulane undergraduate students on a daily basis. The Professor-in-Residence position has been popular with Psychology faculty; Dr. Carrie Wyland also currently has this position, while Dr. Paul Colombo just finished his two-year term.
Congratulations to Dr. Stacy Overstreet, who was selected to be President-Elect of the Society for the Study of School Psychology (SSSP). SSSP is a national organization charged with expanding the evidence base of school psychological services. SSSP’s major initiatives, including its annual funding competitions, are in line with its mission of recognizing and promoting research in school psychology.
Dr. Oscar Barbarin, Professor and Lila L. and Douglas J. Hertz Endowed Chair in Psychology, was featured this month in the American Psychological Association's publication Monitor on Psychology. The article identifies the daily stress of negative stereotyping, racial profiling, and discrimination as a primary reason for racial disparities in mental health and achievement. Schools, parents, and communities are highlighted as solutions to this complex problem. Barbarin's co-leadership of a multi-university initiative, the Boys of Color Collaborative, is featured in the article. The Collaborative gathers and analyzes data on these boys' development, with the goal of determining early influences on the educational and health outcomes of young boys of color.
Dr. Laurie O'Brien, Associate Professor of Psychology, published a study in the American Psychology Association's journal Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology which suggests that Black women are less likely than white women to associate STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics with males and masculinity. The study also shows that Black women are more likely to show interest in studying these fields in college, though they are less likely to earn degrees in them. O'Brien and colleagues' findings have implications for university leaders, who need to consider the intersection of gender and ethnicity when recruiting and retaining students in STEM fields.
Julie Alvarez (Ph.D. 2005 Clinical Psychology, Emory University; Neuropsychology Post-doctoral Fellowship, Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center; Tulane Professor of Practice 2006-2013) rejoins the faculty as a Senior Professor of Practice in Psychology after a year-long hiatus as a staff psychologist at the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System in New Orleans. When offered the opportunity to return "home" to Tulane, she enthusiastically accepted. Dr. Alvarez currently teaches three undergraduate courses (Introductory Psychology, Psychological Testing and Measurement, and Clinical Neuropsychology Honors) and two graduate courses (Health Psychology I and Health Psychology II).
Sarah Gray (Ph.D. 2013 Clinical Psychology, University of Massachusetts Boston; Post-doctoral Fellowship, Yale Child Study Center) joins the faculty as Assistant Professor in Psychology. Dr. Gray's research focuses on early childhood mental health, trauma, and psychosocial and school readiness outcomes. Recent work appears in Developmental Psychology and the Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology. In the 2013-2014 academic year, Dr. Gray is teaching Educational Psychology. She is also recruiting students into her lab.
Promotions: Dr. Jill M. Daniel received promotion to the rank of Professor.
Appointments: Dr. Michael Cunningham has been appointed as the Associate Provost for Graduate Studies and Research within the Office of Academic Affairs.
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