Kristen Lindquist Selected for the Advancement of Neuroscience Award

Kristen Lindquist, Ph.D., a professor in the Social Psychology program, was selected for Carolina Neuroscience Club’s 1st Annual Advancement of Neuroscience Award.

Dr. Lindquist was chosen for this award based on her commitment to assisting the Carolina Neuroscience Club and the undergraduate neuroscience community grow through her teaching, research, and mentoring. She has mentored many Carolina Neuroscience Club mentors in her research laboratory, Carolina Affective Science Lab, and has educates undergraduate students on the topic of affective neuroscience through her first-year and upper-level seminar courses. This award was presented to Dr. Lindquist by Michael Parrish, Neuroscience Club President, at our 2015 Commencement Ceremony on May 10, 2015.

Viji Sathy Selected for Psi Chi’s Award for Outstanding Teaching

Viji Sathy, Ph.D. was selected for Psi Chi’s annual award for Outstanding Teaching by a Faculty Member.

Dr. Sathy received this award for being one of the most dedicate, passionate, and stylish professors at UNC. She takes classes that aren’t necessarily fun, such as Statistics and Research Methods, and makes them memorable – in the best way! This award was presented to Dr. Sathy by Psi Chi’s President-Elect Carissa Campbell at our 2015 Commencement Ceremony on May 10, 2015.

Mitch Prinstein Selected for Psychology Club’s Award for Outstanding Research Mentorship

Mitch Prinstein, Ph.D., a professor in our Clinical Psychology Program, was selected for Psychology Club’s annual award for Outstanding Research Mentorship by a Faculty Member.

Dr. Prinstein received this award via a student nomination indicating an infectious enthusiasm for his research in the Peer Relations Lab and his dedication to working personally with each of his students to make sure each individual has the most impactful research experience possible. This award was presented to Dr. Prinstein by Psychology Club’s President-Elect Olivia LaSpina-Williams at our 2015 Commencement Ceremony on May 10, 2015.

Steve Reznick Tapped into the Order of the Golden Fleece

Steve Reznick was tapped into the Order of the Golden Fleece at a public tapping ceremony on Friday, March 20. The Order of the Golden Fleece, now in its 111th year, is the oldest honorary society on campus. Approximately 25-30 undergraduates, graduate students, and distinguished faculty and staff are selected annually and are recognized for making extraordinary contributions to the quality of life at the university.

Dr. Reznick was tapped for his role in developing a cutting-edge autism screening tool and his breadth of involvement at UNC Chapel Hill. Dr. Reznick contributed his expertise in test development to the Program on Early Autism Research, Leadership, and Service (PEARLS) to help screen infants for autism as early as 12 months of age. Outside of his teaching and research, Dr. Reznick is an outstanding mentor and contributed to dozens of university committees.

Jen Youngstrom Selected for the David Galinsky Award

Jen Youngstrom, Ph.D, a Professor in Clinical Psychology, was selected for the 2015 David Galinsky Award.

The David Galinsky Award is named in honor of Dr. David Galinsky, a former clinical supervisor and pillar of the UNC Clinical Psychology program. This honor is awarded annually to a faculty member who offers outstanding supervision. Dr. Youngstrom was chosen as this year’s Galinsky Award winner by the 2015 Senior Internship class.

Dr. Youngstrom will be honored on Friday, April 24, 2015 at the Clinical Psychology Awards Ceremony.

Call for Nominations: Diversity Enhancement in Psychology Awards

Please nominate someone for a Diversity Enhancement in Psychology Award! Faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduate students can make nominations. Self-nominations are also accepted. Four awards will be given, two in each of the two categories listed below:

Psychological Research with Diverse/Underrepresented Populations (e.g., by virtue of race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc.)

  • A psychology undergraduate student will be recognized who has conducted excellent psychological research contributing to knowledge about diverse populations. This individual might or might not be a member of an underrepresented group.
  • A psychology graduate student will be recognized who has conducted excellent psychological research contributing to knowledge about diverse populations. This individual might or might not be a member of an underrepresented group.

Psychology Researchers from Underrepresented Groups

  • A psychology undergraduate student will be recognized who has conducted excellent psychological research and who is a member of one or more groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in psychology by virtue of race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status, etc. This student’s research might or might not address issues of diversity.
  • A psychology graduate student will be recognized who has conducted excellent psychological research and who is a member of one or more groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in psychology by virtue of race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status, etc. This student’s research might or might not address issues of diversity.

Please nominate by May 5 one or more individuals through this Qualtrics survey link. You may complete the survey multiple times if you wish to nominate more than one person or a person for more than one award.

Dr. Eric Youngstrom Receives the 2015 Lawrence H. Cohen Outstanding Mentor Award

Dr. Eric Youngstrom, PhD, a professor in the Department of Psychology, has been selected for the 2015 Lawrence H. Cohen Outstanding Mentor Award.

This award is given to a member of the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology that has substantial experience mentoring clinical psychology graduate students, interns, and postdoctoral fellows in clinical psychological science. Dr. Youngstrom is an outstanding mentor who has provided exceptional guidance through leadership, role modeling, advising, supervision, instruction, advocacy, and promoted scientific growth, professional development, and networking.

The award will be given to Dr. Youngstrom at the SSCP Annual Meeting of Members in May.

Dr. Peter Gordon Receives the 2015 Cattell Award

Dr. Peter Gordon, PhD, a Professor in the Department of Psychology, has won the 2015 Cattell Award.

The Cattell Award will fund Dr. Gordon’s development of novel computational models and data-analytic methods that aim to increase understanding of individual differences in reading and to deepen understanding of the cognitive abilities that allow children to learn to read. The work will primarily be done in Dr. Shrikanth Narayanan’s Signal Analysis and Interpretation Lab in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Southern California, though it will also involve collaboration with Dr. Keith Holyoak in the Psychology Department at UCLA.

Dr. Carol Cheatham Recieves National TRIO Achiever’s Award

Carol L. Cheatham, Ph.D., an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology is one of 13 faculty members at the Nutrition Research Institute. Her research focuses on how nutrition can improve brain function. Specifically, her team studies the importance of nutrients for the development of memory and attention abilities. Dr. Cheatham got her start at the University of Wyoming where she was a McNair Scholar.

On September 9, at Council for Opportunity in Education’s 33rd Annual Conference Gala, Dr. Cheatham was bestowed the 2014 National TRIO Achiever’s Award. The National TRIO Achiever’s award was created as a tribute to the success and outstanding endeavors of TRIO students and the programs that supported them in their journey to accomplished careers. TRIO is a set of federally-funded college opportunity programs that motivate and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds in their pursuit of a college degree.

Read more here.

Dr. Viji Sathy Flips Her Large Lecture Course and More Students Learn Better

Dr. Viji Sathy was recently featured as a UNC Faculty Success Story.  UNC published the following article, which can be found here.

Dr. Viji Sathy, a faculty member in the Psychology Department, has been teaching Statistical Principles of Psychological Research each fall and spring semester for the past five years. She was concerned about the number of students in this class of 180 who struggled to keep up in lecture and quickly fell behind. So in 2013, working with the CFE, she redesigned the course to allow her to interact more with her students.

The biggest change was shifting most of the in-class lectures to a series of 5- to 8-minute recorded online segments for students to view before coming to class. This approach, popularly known as “flipping the classroom,” allowed Dr. Sathy to cut her in-class lecture time by about 75% and devote more class time to active learning methods.

In a typical in-class assignment, Dr. Sathy would assign students to work together on problems and post their answers through a class polling system (Poll Everywhere). She would then lead the class in discussion of the problem and the results. (See video here.) “I liked that the format I implemented gave me more opportunities to interact with students one-on-one,” said Sathy. “I could walk around the room when they were working on a problem; it felt like I was more accessible to them.”

The CFE worked closely with Dr. Sathy to evaluate the results of these changes, and they have been very encouraging. The percentage of students earning A’s and B’s on the final exam increased significantly in the redesigned course (39.0% vs. 25.7%). Meanwhile, students representing historically underperforming populations also saw higher scores on the final exam. Students reported that the video lecture format let them view materials at their own pace and to review challenging segments multiple times. Students were more likely to come to class prepared.

Despite the amount of work that went into planning and implementing the redesign, Dr. Sathy thinks it was worth the effort. “For me, it is tougher than lecturing,” she says, “but I’m excited by the potential this has to change what I can do in an introductory statistics class.” She plans to explore additional interventions for students who continue to struggle with the course content. For example, she is interested in the use of structured learning groups and new instruments that may help address stereotype threat and other metacognitive barriers to learning.

Dr. Sathy received a grant through the CFE’s 100+ program to help support her work on the project. She has been a very active member of one of the CFE’s first faculty learning communities on large course redesign. She is currently preparing an article on her findings that she plans to submit for publication.

Mitch Prinstein Quoted in Local News Article Regarding Depression and Suicide

UNC-CH clinical professor, Dr. Mitch Prinstein, was recently quoted in an article for regarding depression and suicide, particularly in terms of substance abuse.  The article, prompted by the recent suicide of actor Robin Williams, discusses warning signs and encourages the public to put aside perceived stigma about mental health.  Read the full text here.

Professor Tim Wilson Awarded Inaugural John Thibaut Award

University of Virginia Professor Tim Wilson was recently awarded the inaugural John Thibaut Award. The John Thibaut award is given by the social psychology graduate students for inspiring research in social psychology. The award is named after the influential social psychologist and former UNC Professor, John Thibaut.


Graduate student Elise Rice awards Professor Tim Wilson the inaugural John Thibaut Award.

Dr. Mitch Prinstein Named the “John Van Seters Distinguished Professor of Psychology” at UNC

Congratulations to Dr. Mitch Prinstein who has been named the “John Van Seters Distinguished Professor of Psychology” at UNC. A distinguished professorship (endowed chair) is a wonderful honor, and most people would agree that it is the highest recognition that a university bestows upon a faculty member to acknowledge that individual’s contributions to research. Mitch makes major contributions to our University and the field in the areas of research, teaching, and service, and he clearly merits this recognition. Mitch will continue in his role as Director of Clinical Psychology, now with an enhanced title.  UNC names many of its distinguished professorships after former faculty who have made noteworthy contributions to the university. Professor Van Seters is a former professor of religious studies at UNC.

UNC-CH Psychology Professors Awarded Grant from Lumosity

Drs. Joe Hopfinger and Katie Gates were recently awarded a $150,000 human cognition grant from Lumosity (Lumos Labs, Inc.).  The grant will support research that investigates changes in brain connectivity from cognitive training through group and individual fMRI analyses.

Dr. Hopfinger is a professor of cognitive psychology and Dr. Gates is a professor of quantitative psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences.  Lumosity is a cognitive training and neuroscience research company.

See press release here and a short article from the Herald Sun here.

Dr. Enrique Neblett Receives Inaugural IAAR Faculty Fellowship

The Institute of African American Research recently announced the two recipients of the first–ever IAAR Faculty Fellowship: Enrique Neblett and Alvaro Reyes. Both are UNC faculty members. They will be fellows with the IAAR for the academic year 2014-2015, during which time they will work on developing or completing their individual research projects.

Enrique Neblett, who holds a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, will be a tenured associate professor of psychology by Fall 2014. On faculty at UNC since 2008, his research includes attention to racism-related stress, well-being and health status among African American youth. While at the IAAR he will conduct a longitudinal pilot study investigating the psychological well-being during early adulthood in two cohorts of African American college freshmen. Neblett will also work on writing a research grant to support a study on racial identity and racial discrimination among emerging adults.

Both fellows will give a public talk about the projects that they are pursuing during their tenure at the IAAR. The dates for these talks will be announced in late summer 2014.

Enrique Neblett Selected as Diversity Education & Research Center Faculty Fellow

Enrique Neblett has been selected as a Diversity Education & Research Center (DERC) Faculty Fellow. DERC Faculty Fellows are tenured, tenure-track, fixed-term, or post-doctoral scholars who have demonstrated a commitment to teaching, research, and service and a commitment to diversity and inclusion at the University of North Carolina.  The purpose of the DERC Faculty Fellows program is to engage faculty who are interested in advancing diversity and creating an inclusive campus climate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill through 1) assisting with and advising Diversity and Multicultural Affairs (DMA) on existing and/or new programs and initiatives and 2) through the research or project of the faculty member. As a Fellow, Dr. Neblett will work with the other Faculty Fellows, DMA Staff, and the Center for Faculty Excellence to develop a Faculty Learning Community focused on Diversity in the Classroom that will be offered during the 2014-15 academic year. He will also assist the Director for Diversity Research, Assessment, and Analytics with the design of the 2014 UNC Campus Climate Survey.

For more information, click here.

2014 University Teaching Awards

The University announced the recipients of the 2014 University Teaching Awards, the highest campus-wide recognition for teaching excellence.  A special insert on the winners will appear in the April 16 issue of the University Gazette.  Award winners from the Psychology department were:

  •  Anna Bardone-Cone, William C. Friday Award for Excellence in Teaching
  • Enrique Neblett, Chapman Family Teaching Award
  • Viji Sathy, Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching
  • Daniel Harper, Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching by Graduate Teaching Assistants


UNC-CH Psychology Featured in Carolina Arts & Sciences Magazine

The Department of Psychology at UNC-CH was recently featured in the Spring 2014 edition of Carolina Arts & Sciences Magazine. Click below to read an article on the Karen M. Gil Internship Program in Psychology and a story about the science of addiction, featuring Drs. Don Lysle, Gina Carelli, Todd Thiele, Stacey Daughters, Patrick Curran, Dan Bauer and Andrea Hussong.  Additionally, Dr. David Penn’s schizophrenia research is highlighted.  Lastly, there is a quote from Dr. Kelly Giovanello about a proposed minor in neuroscience.