Ryan Jacob Selected for the SSCP Outstanding Student Clinician Award

Ryan Jacoby, a Clinical Psychology Graduate Student, has been selected as a recipient of the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology’s Outstanding Clinician Award.

This award is intended to recognize outstanding graduate students who are providing exceptional contributions to the field of clinical psychology through their clinical work. Winners are selected based on interest, dedication, and exceptional performance in clinical work.

Stephanie Salcedo and Shawn Jones Awarded 2015 Ford Foundation Fellowships

Congratulations to Clinical Psychology graduate students Stephanie Salcedo and Shawn Jones! They were selected as recipients of the 2015-2016 Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowships.

The Ford Foundation Fellowship Program is a national competition that recognizes applicants from a broad range of disciplines who have demonstrated superior academic achievement, are committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level, show promise of future achievement as scholars and teachers, and are well-prepared to use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students.

Shawn was awarded the Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, which provides one year of support for individuals working to complete a dissertation leading to a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Doctor of Science (ScD) degree. Stephanie was awarded the Ford Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, which provides three years of support for individuals engaged in graduate study leading to a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Doctor of Science (ScD) degree.

Nicholas Wagner and Marie Camerota Receive Research Grant

Congratulations to Developmental Psychology graduate students Nicholas Wagner and Marie Camerota! Wagner and Camerota have received a Pilot Research Grant from the Center for Regulatory Research on Tobacco Control for their study on electronic cigarettes.

The study investigates the perceptions, prevalence, and patters of use of electronic cigarettes among pregnant women. With the collection of umbilical cord samples, the study compares levels of nicotine exposures between mothers who use tobacco cigarettes and those who use electronic cigarettes.

Apply for the Baughman Dissertation Research Award

With this announcement, the Department of Psychology invites applications for the Earl and Barbara Baughman Dissertation Research Award. The purpose of this grant is to promote and support innovative dissertation research in our Department. Two awards of $6000 each will be made to provide summer support for advanced graduate students whose dissertation projects are underway. The expectation is that award recipients will devote their summer to working toward completion of their dissertation project, as opposed to accepting other employment (e.g. summer teaching).

Interested graduate students should submit a proposal (double-spaced, size 12 font) that is 2 to 4 pages in length, not including references. It should outline the proposed project, including an explanation of the questions addressed, the planned methodology, and the intended unique contribution to the field. Proposals will be reviewed by faculty representing multiple areas within the Department, so write to a broad audience and avoid jargon and unnecessary technical terminology. Proposals will be judged on the basis of the scientific rigor, novelty, and importance of the research, the clarity of presentation, and the applicant’s overall record of academic achievement.

It is required that applicants have successfully defended the dissertation proposal by May 1, 2015. In a cover letter, give the date on which your proposal was successfully defended, or when you expect the defense to occur. The award will not be made if this deadline is not met.

The application consists of (1) the cover letter, (2) the research proposal, and (3) a current curriculum vitae. If you are planning to apply, please let Dr. Charles Wiss know via e-mail by March 16 (fcwiss@email.unc.edu). Submit digital copies of the application materials to fcwiss@email.unc.edu by 4:00 pm, March 23, 2015. Awards will be announced in mid-April.

Vanessa Volpe Receives APAGS Basic Psychological Science Research Grant

Congratulations to developmental graduate student, Vanessa Volpe, who has received a Basic Psychological Science Research Grant for diversity-focused research from the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APASGS)! The intent of this grant is to fund innovative psychological science research projects. Vanessa will be awarded $1000 towards her research that examines coping strategies and vagal regulation as potential mechanisms through which racial discrimination may translate into health outcomes for Black undergraduate students​.

Vanessa Volpe Named the Inaugural Stephen C. Rose Legacy Scholar

Congratulations to Developmental graduate student, Vanessa Volpe, who was recently named the inaugural Stephen C. Rose Legacy Scholar as a part of the 2015 Active Minds Emerging Scholars Fellowship. The Emerging Scholars Fellowship is a program dedicated to supporting behavioral health research by graduate and undergraduate scholars. The Fellowship provides an opportunity for students to complete funded, independent mental health projects and to be connected with a network of young scholars and national experts in the field of behavioral health.

Developmental Graduate Students Win Group Processes and Intergroup Relations Prize at APA SPSSI 2014

Congratulations to developmental graduate students Adam Hoffman, Liz Adams and Katie Perkins who won the Group Processes and Intergroup Relations Prize for the best poster presentation at the APA SPSSI (Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues) 2014 Conference. The prize is given by SPSSI in conjunction with Sage Publications. The poster was entitled, “The Stability and Bidirectional Influence of Race Centrality in Black Youth and Their Parents.”

Jazmin Brown-Annuzzi Receives Christopher R. Agnew Research Innovation Award

Jazmin Brown-Annuzzi, a graduate student in the Social Psychology Program, was recently recognized as the 2014 recipient of the Christopher R. Agnew Research Innovation Award.  The Social Psychology faculty unanimously voted to recognize her for her highly innovative research on subjective social status, as exemplified in her article entitled “Objective and subjective socioeconomic status and health symptoms in patients following hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation,” which will soon appear in the Psycho-Oncology.

Erin Cooley Receives Chester A. Insko Best Publication Award

Erin Cooley, a graduate student in the Social Psychology Program, recently received the Chester A. Insko Best Publication Award.  The Social Psychology faculty unanimously voted to recognize her for her article entitled “Implicit bias and the illusion of conscious ill will,” which appeared in Social Psychological and Personality Science in 2014.

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.

UNC students awarded prestigious NSF fellowships

Donte LeShon Bernard (clinical), Teague Henry (quantitative) and Adam J. Hoffman (developmental) are three of 23 students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill recently received a prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, which recognizes outstanding graduate students in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. An additional 25 Carolina applicants were accorded honorable mention in the competition.

NSF fellows receive three years of support from the agency, including a $32,000 annual stipend, a $12,000 cost-of-education allowance to the institution, international research and professional development opportunities and access to a supercomputer. Currently, 71 Carolina graduate students are being supported with NSF GRFP fellowships.

“Carolina’s talented graduate students who work alongside our esteemed faculty make significant contributions in teaching and research at our great University,” said Chancellor Carol L. Folt. “We thank the National Science Foundation for supporting these promising scientists and engineers who are developing important, new ideas for North Carolina and the world.”

NSF received more than 14,000 applications for the 2014 competition and made 2,000 fellowship award offers. Fellowship recipients may choose to continue their research at their current institution or transfer to another U.S. university.

Kent Mung-Hao Lee (social) and Katherine Aidan Perkins (developmental) received honorable mentions.

The full list of external fellowship awardees can be found here.

Psychology Students to be Honored at Annual Graduate Student Recognition Celebration

The Graduate School will host its annual Graduate Student Recognition Celebration on April 24th at the George Watts Hill Alumni Center.  Research poster presentations will take place at 3:00 pm., followed by the awards ceremony at 4:00 pm.

Below is a list of psychology students who will be honored for their achievements.  A big congratulations to all!

Internal Award Winner:
Melissa Jenkins, Dean’s Distinguished Dissertation Award

External Award Winners:

  • Carrie Adair, Mind & Life Institute 1440 Award
  • Sierra Bainter, NRSA Fellowship (F31) NIH – National Institute on Drug Abuse
  • John Casachahua, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Research Supplement to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research
  • Domenic Cerri, NRSA Fellowship (F31) NIH – National Institute on Drug Abuse
  • Cara Damiano, Autism Speaks Dennis Weatherstone Predoctoral Fellowship and International Meeting for Autism Research Travel Grant
  • Adam Hoffman, Psi Chi Mamie Phipps Clark Research Grant
  • Suzanne Isgett, NSF Graduate Fellowship Program
  • Keenan Jenkins, NSF Graduate Fellowship Program
  • Shawn Jones, Ford Foundation Diversity Predoctoral Fellowship
  • Jason Kahn, NSF Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant
  • Jennifer MacCormack, APAGS/Psi Chi International Junior Scientist Fellowship
  • James McGinley, NRSA Fellowship (F31) NIH – National Institute on Drug Abuse
  • Jacqueline Nesi, NSF Graduate Fellowship Program
  • Erol Ozmeral, NRSA Fellowship (F31) NIH – National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
  • Elise Rice, NSF Graduate Fellowship Program
  • Chelsea Schein, NSF Graduate Fellowship Program
  • Jessica Solis, NRSA Fellowships for Minority Students (F31) NIH – National Institute on Drug Abuse
  • Audrey Wells, NRSA Fellowship (F31) NIH – National Institute on Drug Abuse
  • Bharathi Zvara, NRSA Fellowship (F31) NIH – National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

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


Lane Receives SUTASA Award for Undergraduate Teaching

Congratulations to quantitative doctoral student, Stephanie Lane! At the Chancellor’s Awards Ceremony on April 18, 2013 Stephanie was awarded the Student Ulanendergraduate Teaching and Staff Award (SUTASA) for her outstanding undergraduate teaching of quantitative methods. This award, designed and administered by the Executive Branch of UNC’s Student Government, recognizes professors who have “demonstrated and consistent teaching excellence, success in positively affecting a broad spectrum of students, and creation of a dynamic learning environment.” 

Jones Receives Sage Student Research Award

jonesClinical student, Shawn Jones, was selected as the recipient of the Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi) 2013 Sage Student Research Award.  Each year, ABPsi and Sage Publications select one student to receive $1000 for the most outstanding research conducted by a student. Shawn was presented with the award at this year’s Annual Convention of the Association of Black Psychologists in New Orleans, LA in late July. He also presented his paper, entitled “Emotional Response Profiles to Racial Discrimination: Does Racial Identity Predict Affective Patterns?” (Jones, Lee, Gaskin, & Neblett, 2013) at a breakout session during the conference.

Quant Student Acknowledged with Enoch Gordis Research Recognition Award

Jim McGinley, quantitative student, recently won the Enoch Gordis Research Recognition Award.  This award is given by the Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA) in recognition of outstanding biomedical and psychosocial research among graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.  Jim won this award for his research on innovative modeling framework for ordinal adolescent alcohol use data.

UNC Hosts 19th Annual Black Graduate Conference in Psychology

IMG_9767 Drs. Enrique Neblett and Eleanor Seaton served as Chair and Co-Chair on the planning committee this year for the 19th Annual Black Graduate Conference in Psychology hosted by UNC-Chapel Hill. Over seventy graduate students and faculty scholars from all over the country attended the four-day conference. This event offers the opportunity for graduate students in all fields of psychology to come together to present their ongoing research, gain professional development experiences, and network with other graduate students and faculty in a welcoming environment. 

Grants Awarded

The following individuals in the department have recently been awarded new grants for their research:

  • Sierra Bainter, Quantitative Student (sponsored by Dr. Patrick Curran), predoctoral fellowship from NIDA, Novel Application of Bayesian Methods for Modeling Substance Use Trajectories
  • Dr. Kathleen Gates, Quantitative, R21 by NIBIB, Data-driven Approach for Identifying Subgroups Using fMRI Connectivity Maps
  • Dr. Kathleen Reissner, Behavioral Neuroscience, R00 by NIDA, Contribution of Glial Glutamate Transport and Transmission to Drug Abuse
  • Dr. Kurt Gray, Social, grant from University of California (sponsored by John Templeton Foundation), The Immortality of Morality
  • Dr. Charlotte Boettiger, Behavioral Neuroscience, grant from The Foundation for Alcohol Research, Neural Circuit Bases of Impulsive Choice in Emerging Adults and Heavy Drinking Adults
  • Drs. Beth Kurtz-Costes, Developmental, and Keith Payne, Social, R03 by NICHD, Children’s Implicit and Explicit Stereotypes About Academic Abilities

Several Graduate Students of Psychology Receive External Awards

The following students have been awarded either an external fellowship or grant for the 2012-2013 academic year to aid them in their research.  They will be recognized at the 2013 Graduate Student Recognition Celebration in April hosted by the Graduate School.  Congratulations to all!

Courtney Cameron, Behavioral Erol Ozmeral, Cognitive
Lahnna Catalino, Social Christine Paprocki, Clinical
Domenic Cerri, Behavioral Elise Rice, Social
Cara Damiano, Clinical Jessica Solis, Clinical
Ellen Fitzsimmons-Craft, Clinical Gretchen Sprow, Behavioral
Steven Holochwost, Developmental Jonathan Sugam, Behavioral
Shawn Jones, Clinical Audrey Wells, Behavioral
James McGinley, Quantitative Bharathi Zvara, Developmental

Graduate Students Awarded Grants

mckimTheresa McKim, a graduate student of our Behavioral Neuroscience Program, was recently awarded an NC TraCS $2,000 grant for her research, “Addiction History and COMT Genotype are Independently Associated with Impairments in Learning and Replacing Arbitrary Stimulus-Response Associations.”


kahnJason Kahn, a graduate student of our Cognitive Program, recently received an NSF Grant to support his doctoral dissertation research, “Processing Fluency and Word Duration in Multi-Word Utterance.”

UNC Collaborative Study Receives Global Recognition

A study, jointly published by Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, Distinguished Professor, and alumna, Dr. Bethany Kok, was recently the focus of an article in The Economist. “Think Yourself Well,” discusses how positive emotions are linked to physical health.  Fellow Tarheel contributors to the study include Professor Sara Algoe, Kimberly Coffey, Lahnna Catalino, and Tanya Vacharkulksemsuk.