Psychology Department Partners with a Pakistani Department

In January, the Psychology Department began a three-year partnership with the psychology department at Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University in Peshawar, Pakistan. Funded by the U.S. State Department for more than one million dollars, the grant provides funds for activities that include:  a) faculty development through exchange programs; b) new computer, distance learning, and research equipment; c) research collaborations; d) curriculum enhancement; e) creation of psychology center; and g) enhanced clinical services.

Dr. George Holden is the project director. Also on the team from the Psychology Department are Drs. Buck Hampson and Lorelei Simpson Rowe. Javed Azam is the program director.

Holden, Rowe, and Azam traveled to Islamabad in December to meet their new colleagues.

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8 Psychology Majors Inducted into Phi Beta Kappa

On Sunday, March 3, eight psychology majors were inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.

The inductees were: Justin Berman, Andrea Graham, Amanda Hix, Ankita Krishnan, Katie Legland, Andrea Maciejewski, Elizabeth Neil, and Steven Schiele.

Congratulations to all eight scholars for this high honor!

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Graduate student receives award

Ana Trueba, a graduate student in the psychology department, received the American Psychosomatic Society Scholar Award, enabling her to attend the annual meeting in Miami later this year. Ana is a member of Drs. Ritz & Meuret’s lab.

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Eight Psychology Majors Elected to Phi Beta Kappa

This spring seven seniors and one junior psychology major were elected to Phi Beta Kappa on the basis of their outstanding GPAs. These individuals are: Justin Berman, Andrea Graham, Amanda Hix, Ankita Krishnan, Katie Legband, Andrea Maciejewski, Elizabeth Neil, and Steven Schiele. Congratulations!

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Dr. McDonalds receives grant from Verizon Foundation

The Verizon Foundation has awarded a grant to support a project that will provide services to help children living in violent families. The project is a collaboration between Dr. Renee McDonald, a Dept. of Psychology faculty member, and Family Compass, a local social services agency that provides child abuse prevention and parenting services.

There are two goals to the project. One is to transfer the intervention from the university to the community, so that Dallas is better able to offer evidence-based services for family violence prevention and child mental health. The second is to conduct a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the program as delivered by a community agency. This grant will provide tangible help to families affected by domestic violence and child abuse.

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Talk on Bullying Effects

Dr. Lucia Williams, from Universidada Federal de Sao Carlos (Brazil), will give a talk entitled “Bullying victimization: Health effects and relationship to child maltreatment” on Friday, Feb. 1 from 12:00 to 1:30.

The talk will be in Expressway Tower, 13th Floor, Suite 1100.

All are invited.

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Graduate Students win Awards at a Conference

Two psychology graduate students won awards for their posters presented at the annual Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ACBT) conference held in November in New York City. Noelle Smith and Ana Trueba were the lead authors of the two posters.
The complete award, authorship, and titles are:

ABCT Suicide & Self-injury Special Interest Group Student Poster Award
Smith, N.B., Baldwin, A., Jeter, A.M., Trueba, A.F., & Meuret, A.E. (2012, November). Differences in Attitudes and Perceptions among Self-Injuring versus Non-Injuring College Students.

Anxiety Disorders Special Interest Group Student Poster Award
Trueba, A.F., Bhaskara, L., Rosenfield, D., Liberzon, I, Auchus, R, Abelson, J., Ritz, T., & Meuret, A.E. (2012, November). Endogenous Cortisol Moderates Panic Symptom Reduction in Exposure Therapy


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Dr. Pinkham gets a grant to study schizophrenia

Dr. Amy Pinkham and two colleagues received a four year grant to study schizophrenia (a complex brain disorder that includes significant impairments in an individual’s social cognitive functioning). The goal of the project is to identify and improve the best existing measures of social cognition so that they can be suitably applied in large-scale treatment studies. The project involves collaborators at the University of Miami and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Investigators at SMU will collect data from 185 individuals with schizophrenia and 100 healthy individuals.

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The Department Welcomes Two New Faculty Members

Michael Chmielewski (Ph.D. from University of Iowa) investigates the structure and measurement of personality and psychopathology.

Andrea Meltzer, who received her Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee, is a social psychologist who studies health and family issues.

We are delighted to have them join us!

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Psi Chi Undergraduate Research Fair

Will be held at U.T.-Dallas on Friday, April 20 from 12:30 to 4:00 in the Student Union.  SMU will be represented with a research poster by Distinction student Olivia Adolphson. In addition Dr. Holden will serve on a panel addressing questions about research and graduate school.  The event is free and open to all interested students.

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