News

Psychology Major and Minor Luncheon

Associate Professor and Chair Al Bardi welcomed everyone to the luncheon.  He briefly mentioned several changes that will occur next year.

  • Dr. Brandy Tiernan will become the Chair of the program in Neuroscience.
  • Two department members who had Visiting Assistant Professor positions this year will move to tenure-track – based on each being the successful applicant in an international search.  Dr. Kate Cammack will occupy the second-oldest slot in psychology (when created in 1966, it expanded the Department to two full-time members) as Assistant Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience.  The resignation of Dr. Jessica Siegel left this opening.  Dr. John Coffey will hold the third-oldest slot in psychology (when created in 1968, it expanded the Department to three full-time members, where it remained for two decades) as Assistant Professor of Psychology.  The retirement of Dr. Charles Peyser led to this opening.  In the fall the Department will be at full strength with eight tenure-track members and several part-time faculty.
  • Elizabeth Taylor, M.S., the Project Manager of The Life Paths Appalachian Research Center, will offer a course in Data Analysis.
  • Dr. Terri Fisher, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at The Ohio State University Mansfield, will offer a course in sexual behavior.  Following her B.A. work at Wake Forest, she completed a Ph.D. in experimental/developmental psychology at the University of Georgia.  She is co-editor of three recent reference works on Sexuality and is a Past-President of the Midcontinent Region of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality.

Psychology Club   and   Psi Chi

Assistant Professor Jordan Troisi, the faculty advisor, briefly recalled the Psychology Club events this year.  He then presented membership certificates & cards and pins to nineteen new members Psi Chi – the International Honor Society in Psychology.

Distinction on the Comprehensive Examination

Assistant Professor Brandy Tiernan noted that academic SucceSS is largely determined by “the three Ss” . . . sleep . . . school . . . social life.  She then recognized the eleven seniors whose ‌Comprehensive ‌Examination essay was evaluated, independently by two full-time faculty members, as meriting the grade of Distinction:‌

  • Thaddeus Barney
  • Kiera Coleman
  • Alex Evans
  • Emily Ferguson
  • Claire Huskey
  • Jamalyn Jacks
  • Carmen Liang [December]
  • Alysse Schultheis
  • Jemima Senoga
  • Allison Smith [December]
  • Yubisan Ventura

sharing research findings

Assistant Professor John Coffey stated that putting in the extra effort to share our research findings with others through publications and presentations is vital to advancing science and improving our world.  Furthermore, it prepares our students for public speaking, other careers, and graduate school.  This year

  • Jack Langford ’17 publisted a paper with Dr. Tiernan in the Journal of Sewanee Science.
  • Twenty-six psychology majors/minors had posters or oral presentations at Scholarship Sewanee 2016.  Mentors in the Department included Drs. Troisi, Tiernan, Noffsinger-Frazier, Mayes, Hamby, Bateman, and Bardi.

Published beyond Sewanee:

  • Elise Anderson ’16 won second place for the best undergraduate poster presented at the Tennessee Psychological Association Annual Conference, 2015.  Elise was the senior author and Matt Hagler ’13 a coauthor of a second poster presented at this meeting.
  • Matt Hagler ’13 and Lindsey (Thomas) Roberts ’11 coauthored a paper in the Psychology of Violence.
  • Thomas McClure ’15 was the senior author of a paper in IMPULSE – The Premier Undergraduate Neuroscience Journal.
  • Marci Weber ’13 coauthored papers with Dr. Hamby in the Journal of Community Psychology and in the Psychology of Violence.

summer at the Yale Child Study Center

Professor of Psychology Karen Yu observed that 2016 is the twentieth summer that Sewanee students have been summer Interns at the Yale Child Study Center.  What began as an offer by Linda Mayes ’73, Arnold Gesell Professor in the Child Study Center and now its Director, to one student has developed into a regular program.  The experiences of 15 Sewanee students in 2014 and in 2015.  We note with pride that Dr. Mayes regularly reports being approached by Yale faculty asking to be a part of the program “in order to have Sewanee students working in their laboratories.”

Fourteen Sewanee students received offers as summer interns for summer 2016;  at this point eleven have accepted:

  • Chandler Altenbern ’17, Psychology major, Education minor
  • Sophia Borne ’18, Psychology major, Education and Neuroscience minors
  • Anna Bradley ’18, Psychology major, Italian Studies minor
  • Helena Brooks ’18, French & French Studies major, Chemistry minor
  • Madison Bunderson ’18, Psychology major, Neuroscience minor, Creative Writing certificate
  • Margie Carrasco ’17, Psychology and Politics double major
  • Martha Dinwiddie ’17, Psychology and Women & Gender Studies double major
  • Elizabeth Eidson ’17, Psychology major, Neuroscience minor
  • Anna Grishaw ’16, Psychology major, Neuroscience minor, Creative Writing certificate
  • Bradford Lepik ’16, Biochemistry major
  • Cayla O’Hair ’18, Psychology major, Politics minor
  • Heather Pittman ’18, Biology major
  • Reeda Shakir ’17, Biology major
  • Melissa Zankman ’18, Psychology major, Art minor

Two other Sewanee students will be in New Haven this summer as part of the Sewanee-At-Yale Directed Research Program, which consists of a summer plus an adjacent semester.

Sewanee and Yale have developed a variety of collaborations.  These have led to the establishment of the Collaborative for Southern Appalachian and Place-Based Studies.

summer and post-graduation plans

Assistant Professor of Psychology Katie Nelson gave an overview of the summer plans of various psychology majors.  These range from an internship with the Tennessee Disability Pathfinder of Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities –to– participating in the Sewanee Island Ecology Program on St. Catherine’s Island GA, from working at a hospital in Portugal (and teaching English) –to– research intern in Sewanee for one of several Department faculty members.

The post-graduation plans of our seniors include a variety of graduate work (clinical psychology, social work, human resource management, nursing), working for a wilderness therapy company, internship in Real-Estate Management, and research assistant at the Yale Child Study Center.

Woods Leadership Award

Dr. Bardi noted that psychology major Brandon Iracks-Edelin ’18 earned The Granville Cecil and James Albert Woods’ Leadership Award for 2016 by his significant contributions to the life of the University. 

Departmental Honors

Unlike the College-wide honors of cum Laude, Magna cum Laude, and Summa cum Laude – which are based solely on an individual’s cumulative eight-semester grade-point-average, departmental honors are based on distinguished performance on all work in psychology during one’s time as an undergraduate:  g.p.a. in psychology;  engagement in research in the area of psychology;  community-engagement activities related to psychology;  service to the University and to the Department.  That the degree is awarded with honors in psychology appears on the diploma (encrypted in Latin), on the Commencement program, and on the transcript.  As Chair, Dr. Bardi had the privilege of announcing the six members of the class of 2016 who will receive their degrees with honors in Psychology:

  • Elise Anderson
  • Thaddeus Barney
  • Alex Evans
  • Emily Ferguson
  • Alysse Schultheis
  • Allison Smith

He then asked each of the senior majors to stand in turn as he read the forty names.