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Newsletter Fall 2017

Book of Knowledge

Patricia Gurin, Nancy Cantor Distinguished University Professor Emerita of Psychology and Women’s Studies, signs the Book of Knowledge at the 2017 Paul M. Fitts Faculty, Staff, and Graduate Student Awards Banquet and Lecture.

Did you receive a University of Michigan, Department of Psychology, PhD? If so, we would love to have you sign our Book of Knowledge. Robert Sellers, Charles D. Moody Collegiate Professor of Psychology and Vice Provost for Equity & Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer, was the inspiration behind this book during his time as Chair of the Department of Psychology. Sellers stated, “The idea for a Book of Knowledge really came out of a sense of how special a place the Department of Psychology at the University of Michigan is and has been for a very long time. I believe that our department has made more contributions than any other department to the field of psychology. I wanted to come up with a way to catalogue and preserve that history as well as find a way to link our current and future Ph.D. graduates to that legacy. Thus, the idea for the Book of Knowledge was formed.” The book, which contains the names and dissertation titles of all UM Psychology PhD graduates, is located in the Chair’s Office suite in 1004 East Hall. Stop by, add your signature, and let us know what you have been up to since graduation. The Book of Knowledge will also be available to sign during our Homecoming Picnic on Friday, October 27, 2017.

In this issue you will find...

  1. A Letter from our Department Chair, Patricia Reuter-Lorenz
  2. Donor Impact
    • Stanley and Helen DuffendackSetting a High Bar for Generosity
    • Martin Jaffe, MDThe Jaffe Symposium on Security and Scarcity
  3. Tribute to Eleanor Maccoby, Psychology PhD, 1950
  4. Alumni Spotlight
    • Rob KailPhD, 1975
    • Stephanie RowleyB.A., 1992
    • Brian SchiffB.A., 1990
  5. Alumni: Share your Career Experience
  6. Graduate/Undergraduate Student Research Highlights
    • Nkemka AnyiwoPsychology and Social Work PhD Student
    • Chanelle DavisPsychology and Afro-American & African Studies Undergraduate, Junior
    • Julia HarrisBCN Undergraduate with a Gender & Health minor, Senior
    • Amy WestmorelandPsychology PhD Student, Personality & Social Contexts
  7. New Psychology Faculty
  8. Faculty/Graduate Student Research Highlight: Ariana OrvellSocial Psychology Graduate Student; Ethan KrossProfessor of PsychologySusan Gelman, Heinz Werner University Professor of Psychology and Linguistics
  9. Psychology Faculty and Alumni in the News
    • Wade BoykinPsychology AlumWilliam (Nick) CollinsDirector of the Center for Educational Outreach; Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychology, Frank YatesArthur F. Thurnau Professor of Psychology
    • Fiona LeeAssociate Dean of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Professional Development; Arthur Thurnau Professor of Psychology
  10. Psychology Faculty Honors & Awards
  11. Exploring the Mind Community Talks by UM Psychology Faculty
  12. Ways to Support Psychology

A Letter from our Department Chair: Patricia Reuter-Lorenz

Dear Friends of Psychology,

Our Department is buzzing with excitement as we welcome the 2017-18 academic year. August 26 marked the University of Michigan bicentennial and Psychology, with its tremendous standing in the field, continues to be one of the flagship departments of the University. We attract undergraduate majors in record numbers and our masters and doctoral students complete their degrees doing cutting edge research. Our graduates are finding exciting job placements in academia, industry, health fields, education, and many other sectors of the global economy. And with your support, this year can be even better than the last.
            We are seeking new ways to involve our alumni in the training and skill development of our undergraduate and graduate students, alike. In particular, we hope you will contact us about opportunities for internships and community engagement for our undergraduates, as well as workshops and other training prospects for graduate students. Please take a moment to complete an alumni profile so that we can follow up with you. The current generation can benefit greatly from the knowledge and experience you’ve gained in the world supported by your Michigan degree, and we welcome your continued involvement in our Psychology community.  
            We open this year by welcoming five new faculty and 36 new graduate students, all of whom will be teaching our undergraduates and working with them to explore psychology and discover new facts about the human mind and behavior.  We celebrate the many achievements of our outstanding faculty and continue to treasure the wisdom and sound foundation established by our emeritus faculty and our many excellent past department chairs.
            We are proud to be Michigan psychology and we cherish our community. We welcome you to be engaged and be part of it! Come visit us soon and please stay in touch.
With my very best wishes,

Donor Impact

Stanley and Helen Duffendack: Setting a High Bar for Generosity  

Stan Duffendack describes his late parents Stanley and Helen Duffendack as “blue through and through”—so much so, that when Stanley passed away in 2006 and Helen in 2015, their obituaries both ended with “Go Blue!” It was this love of Michigan that was at the heart of their generosity to the university.

Click here to learn more about the Duffendack’s generous gift to the Psychology Discretionary Fund and their experiences at the University of Michigan.

Martin Jaffe, MD: Join us on October 5-6 for the Jaffe Symposium on Security and Scarcity

Funded by a generous gift from Dr. Martin D. Jaffe, and with support from the Evolution and Human Adaptation Program at the University of Michigan, the Jaffe Symposium on Security and Scarcity is designed to create an interdisciplinary dialogue on the psychological and biological consequences of security versus scarcity. Learn more about Dr. Jaffe and the Jaffe Symposium on our website.

Tribute to Eleanor Maccoby, Psychology PhD, 1950

Psychological Science legend and UM alumna, Eleanor Emmons Maccoby, turns 100 years old

University of Michigan, Psychology PhD Alum (1950) and renowned Developmental Psychologist, Eleanor Maccoby celebrated her 100th birthday on May 15, 2017. At Stanford, Dr. Maccoby was a mentor to our very own John Hagen, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, and Susan Gelman, Heinz Werner University Professor of Psychology and Linguistics, when they were PhD students. A leading scholar in the field of developmental psychology, she has been a pioneer in studying the importance of parenting, the development of attention in children, and the role of gender in childhood and adulthood. Click here to learn more about Dr. Maccoby’s career and family life.

Alumni Spotlight


Life after Graduation: Putting Psychology to Work with Rob Kail
Robert V. Kail, Distinguished Professor of Psychological Sciences, Purdue University, 
University of Michigan, Psychology PhD, 1975
Dr. Kail will be presenting our LSA Bicentennial Theme Semester Alumni Lecture, “Tales from West Quad, the Perry Building, and ISR: An Unbuttoned History of Psychology at Michigan” on October 27, 2017 from 10:30am-12:00pm in the McKeachie Auditorium, 1324 East Hall.
Read more about what inspires Dr. Kail and his experience at the University of Michigan here.            


Life after Graduation: 25 Years Later with Stephanie Rowley
Stephanie Rowley, Associate Vice President for Research, Social Sciences and Humanities, Professor of Psychology, Professor of Education, and Chair of the Combined Program of Education and Psychology (CPEP), University of Michigan
University of Michigan, B.A., 1992
Our very own Dr. Rowley, received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan 25 years ago and then returned as an Assistant Professor of Psychology in 2000 and has remained at UM ever since.
Read more about the impact of her University of Michigan Psychology degree and the advice she would give to aspiring Psychology students here.


Life after Graduation: Putting Psychology to Work with Brian Schiff
Brian Schiff, Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychology at the American University of Paris (AUP).
University of Michigan, B.A., 1990         
Dr. Schiff’s first single-authored book, A NewNarrative for Psychology, released in the US in July, offers researchers and scholars a new way to study and think about people and the goals of psychological understanding today.

Read more about Dr. Schiff’s career and his experience at the University of Michigan here.  

Alumni: Share your Career Experience

We would love to hear from alumni who have pursued non-traditional psychology careers! Project Outreach, a service learning course offered through the UM Psychology department, started taking on interns this year. These interns are completing the Alumni Spotlight Project with the goal of creating videos that show our undergraduates the wide range of careers that can be achieved with a degree in psychology. We are very excited to share these videos through future newsletters and our website. 

If you would like to share your post-graduate career experience, contact us at

Graduate/Undergraduate Student Research Highlights

Nkemka Anyiwo, Psychology and Social Work PhD Student
“If we know how media impacts Black youth, we can determine how we utilize that in community based programming.” Read more about what brought Nkemka to the University of Michigan and her research on how media usage connects to adolescents’ beliefs on race and gender here.

Chanelle Davis, Psychology and Afro-American & African Studies Undergraduate, Junior
This summer, Chanelle returned home to Detroit to intern a 2nd time with Racquet Up Detroit, a non-profit, youth development program that incorporates the sport squash with mentorship, academics, and service in an after school program that serves roughly 100 Detroit youth in grades 5-11. Chanelle's team assists high school students with ACT/SAT preparation, college readiness, and strengthening skills for academic success. Chanelle says, "Being in this setting has shown me what kinds of interactions help encourage self-confidence and personal development among youth-- one of my many passions in relation to psychology. I plan to work with youth in whichever career field I land, ideally in an urban context. One of my personal goals is being part of a larger support system that assists youth in becoming confident in themselves, loving themselves, and being the best 'them' that they can be. As a psychology and Afro-American and African studies major, my in-class knowledge has afforded me the ability to understand how history, relationships, and experiences shape people's lives, and such experiential learning opportunities have allowed me to explore what my place in these settings mean."

Julia HarrisBCN Undergraduate with a Gender & Health minor, Senior
Earlier this summer, Julia traveled to a small village in northern India for a month and a half to serve as an English teacher for ANKURI, an organization that advocates for female empowerment and provides opportunities for women and their children to learn, participate in the community, and find a safe space. Julia describes her experiences as "extremely diverse and rich in Indian culture... ANKURI and the people behind the magic has inspired me to continue to advocate for women and their opportunities as well as continue to motivate children to learn through my future research as a psychologist." Now back in the US, Julia is continuing her job as a behavior technician for ABA Pathways, doing home sessions and clinics for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other learning disabilities, as well as parent facilitation. Julia says this job has allowed her to find her passion for clinical psychology and further research among children with ASD.

Amy Westmoreland, Psychology PhD Student, Personality & Social Contexts
“Asian Americans have a unique history of race. I wanted to explore why you don’t see many Asians in leadership positions in Fortune 500 companies, technology firms or higher education.” Read more about Amy’s current research here.

New Faculty

We are delighted to welcome five new faculty members to the Psychology Department this year.

Ada Eban-Rothschild                   
Assistant Professor Biopsychology

Myles Durkee
Assistant Professor P&SC

 Alexandra Rosati
Assistant Professor Biopsychology

Gideon Rothschild
Assistant Professor Biopsychology

Felix Warneken
Associate Professor Developmental

Faculty/Graduate Student Research Spotlight

Ariana Orvell (left), Social Psychology Graduate Student; Ethan Kross(center), Professor of PsychologySusan Gelman (right), Heinz Werner University Professor of Psychology and Linguistics
When asked to write about a past negative experience, people are more likely to distance themselves and derive meaning from the experience if tasked with using the generic “you” rather than the first-person pronoun “I.” Read more about how using “you” when thinking about a painful experience from your past could provide comfort in Ms. Orvell, Dr. Kross, and Dr. Gelman’s newly published article, How “you” makes meaning, in Science magazine and on our website. Their research has also been recognized by Smithsonian Magazine.

Faculty and Alumni in the News


Wade Boykin (left), Psychology AlumWilliam (Nick) Collins (center), Director of the Center for Educational Outreach; Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychology, Frank Yates(right), Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Psychology 
More than 40 years ago, a group of students demanded U-M make black student enrollment and academic success a higher priority. After the administration stepped up its efforts, the students created a program to help them succeed once they got here. Read more about their efforts and the outcome on our website. ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

Fiona LeeAssociate Dean of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Professional Development; Arthur Thurnau Professor of Psychology

Dr. Lee has been selected as LSA’s first Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Professional Development. As associate dean, Lee will work to ensure that LSA’s DEI programs are developed in a timely manner, administered conscientiously, and evaluated regularly. You can read more about this new role and Dr. Lee’s passion for creating a climate of diversity, equity, and inclusion here.

You can visit the Faculty News page on our website at any time to keep up-to-date with exciting Psychology faculty research that has been recognized in the News.

Faculty Honors and Awards

We are thrilled to share news about the numerous prestigious honors and awards bestowed on our faculty this past year. Please visit the Awards page on our website to learn more about all the important accomplishments and wonderful recognition the University of Michigan Psychology faculty have received.

Exploring the Mind Community Talks by UM Psychology Faculty

UM Psychology’s monthly “Exploring the Mind” series of community talks presented at the downtown branch of the Ann Arbor Public Library, offers the public an inside look at emerging topics in the field of psychology. You can view past presentations, see a schedule of future talks, and subscribe to our community talk Email list here.


Thank you for supporting the University of Michigan, Department of Psychology. Every gift matters.