SMU professor, former student reunite at Mount Everest base camp

It’s a small Everest, after all

July 13, 2016

Ama Dablam Mountain
In front of Ama Dablam mountain

DALLAS (SMU)Psychology Professor Susan Hornstein has taught more than 7,000 students over the course of her 14 years at SMU, so she’s used to running into former pupils around town.

What she isn’t used to is running into them at base camp on Mount Everest, but that’s exactly what happened May 21 when Hornstein was spotted by former student Aliza Greenberg during a Himalayan trek with two friends

“It was cold. I had my hat and my glasses on – I don’t know how she recognized me,” Hornstein says. “My two friends were talking with her father and when I walked up, Aliza turned to me and said ‘Hornstein?’ I was so amazed she recognized me.”

Standing in the middle of a small village of colored tents in the shadow of the world’s most famous mountain, the student and her former professor caught up.

“I asked how she was doing, what she’d done since graduation – she’d just earned a masters in holocaust studies and she said she was going to the Northeast for her Ph.D.,” Hornstein says. “I met her father, who she was traveling with, and then we took a picture together.”

It was the first time they’d crossed paths since Greenberg took Hornstein’s Introduction to Psychology class in 2011. Hornstein has developed a bit of a reputation for the class, as she frequently uses pictures from her travels to drive home particular points about each week’s lecture.

“Oh, this picture will absolutely make the presentation this fall,” Hornstein says. “It was a surreal experience and it goes to show how small the world really is.”

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Juliet Kroll Awarded a Grant

Juliet, under the direction of Dr. Ritz, was awarded a National Institute of Aging grant for a pilot project titled: Stress Activation of Neurocircuits, Hippocampal Metabolites, and Cognitive Function: A Combined fMRI, MRS, and HPA-Axis Function Study. Congratulations Juliet!

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Director of Psychology Clinic is Hired

The Psychology Department is pleased to announce that Dr. Naomi Tabak will become the Director of the Psychology Clinic on August 1.  Dr. Tabak received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Miami University.  Most recently, she worked as Acting Associate Director of the Cognitive Behavior Therapy for the psychosis clinic at the West LA VA in Los Angeles. Welcome, Naomi!

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Psychology Department Welcomes Two New Faculty Members

Dr. Ben Tabak and Dr. Priscilla Lui will be joining the department as assistant professors beginning in July. Dr. Tabak, after receiving his doctoral degree from the University of Miami, has been a postdoctoral fellow at UCLA.  There he studied such topics as the neuro-endocrinological bases of psychopathology, as well as gene-environment interactions. Dr. Lui, a graduate of Purdue University, recently completed her internship at Northwestern University’s McGaw Medical Center. Her research interests include psychopathology, mental health problems of Asian Americans, and, more generally, diversity and well-being. The department is delighted to welcome them!

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President Bush visits a Psychology Class

Dedman Psychology Faculty Hampson George W. Bush Visit

President George W. Bush dropped in on Dr. Hampson’s Psychology of the Family class this past spring. President Bush talked about, among other topics, his own family and his experience raising two daughters.

 

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Congratulations to Margaret Sala

Margaret Sala received the 2016 Willis Tate Award for Outstanding Graduate Student. Great work, Margaret!

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Courtney Underwood ’05 receives Exemplary Alumnus Award

Courtney Underwood received the Psychology Department’s Exemplary Alumnus Award at the Psychology Department’s 2016 Graduation Ceremony. She majored in Psychology and graduated from SMU in 2005.  After working in commercial real estate for several years, she became a leader in North Texas in promoting programs to assist survivors of rape. She co-founded the Dallas Rape Crisis Center and, since 2013 has been the Executive Director of the SANE Initiative in Dallas. Based on her exemplary work to improve the community on behalf of survivors of sexual violence, the Department was proud to award her this honor.

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Upcoming talk

“Promoting the well-being of women and children in Pakistan: A psychological perspective”
Dr. Iftikhar N. Hassan

Wednesday, April 27 noon
Yarborough Conference Room (ET-13th floor)

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Psychology Talk on Friday, April 15 at 2 pm

Bridging the Word Gap: Applying New Findings to Community-based Early Intervention. Talk by Dr. Margaret Owen, U.T. – Dallas

The talk will be  in the Yarborough Room (1334) in Expressway Tower.

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Graduate Student Awarded NSF Graduate Fellowship

Margaret Sala has been awarded a 3-year NSF graduate fellowship.  These fellowships are very competitive. Congratulations Margaret!

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