Message from the Chair


It has been another exciting year at Carolina! Within our website, you can find some of the new happenings in Psychology and Neuroscience and several spotlights on the innovative research of our faculty and graduate students. I am glad to share some of our recent successes with you.

This year in particular has been a reflective one for us as we have worked on completing an internal assessment of our faculty, graduate training, and undergraduate education. This program review is completed once a decade and I have been amazed by our Department – we have grown tremendously in the last few years! Looking back, we have accomplished so much in such a small amount of time.

Our undergraduates are thriving and connecting with the intellectual life of Carolina in ways they never have before – our majors are able to enroll in engaging, research-intensive courses, such as Desiree Griffin’s clinical research class that pairs undergraduates with a community partner to conduct clinical psychology research. Another excellent example is Marsha Penner’s “Makerspace” class where students design their own hands-on neuroscience activities, created with UNC Makerspace tools, such as laser cutting and 3D printing. Other opportunities include our Karen M. Gil Internship Program in Psychology and Neuroscience, new integrated first-year experiences that expose them to interdisciplinary collaborations, and the launch of our Neuroscience major.

Our doctoral programs are strong – we consistently receive a large number of applications and are highly selective in whom we admit. We are proud to report that our graduate students continue to receive excellent training in research and teaching. Our students consistently receive numerous fellowships and competitive awards; our National Science Foundation fellowship numbers are particularly impressive, and two of our students who recently received NSF fellowships are featured in this year’s newsletter.

Finally, in reviewing the accomplishments of our faculty these last few years, I am astounded by the commitment our faculty have to their research, teaching, mentoring, and service. Through our collective work, faculty aspire to enhance quality of life, improve society, and help solve the world’s greatest problems by carrying out cutting-edge research. Our dedication to teaching remains unparalleled and I am excited to share that this year, two new teaching faculty joined us to meet the overwhelming demand for psychology and neuroscience courses and we added a new tenure-track position to provide our graduate students more essential quantitative psychology training.

As you know, our Department cannot succeed and grow without your vital support. Looking back over this past decade, it is because of your commitment to our academic mission that we have been able to enhance and offer so many new experiences for our undergraduate and graduate students. So much of what we do depends on the generous gifts from our alumni and friends. We are appreciative of any gift, large or small. If you have already made a gift to us this year, we thank you for your continued support.

I hope you enjoy hearing news from the Department. When you visit Carolina, I invite you to visit us in Davie and Howell Hall.

Warm regards,

Donald Lysle, Ph.D, Department Chair
Kenan Distinguished Professor
December 2018