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Newsletter Fall 2022

Celebrating the Career of Dr. Abby Stewart 

Abby Stewart, Sandra Schwartz Tangri Distinguished University Professor of Psychology and Women's & Gender Studies

On Behalf of Women: Celebrating the Research Narrative of Dr. Abby Stewart

Dr. Abby Stewart has been a passionate and influential researcher of women’s life narratives for nearly 50 years. Among other projects, Stewart is known for the Radcliffe Study, a trailblazing 43-year project that began with her PhD research and has continued until her planned retirement later this year. In 2002, Stewart also co-founded the Global Feminisms Project, an ever-growing database of interviews with politically engaged women from around the world. In addition to her research, Stewart spearheaded the U-M ADVANCE program, which works to improve faculty diversity in STEM and other fields. Fittingly, Stewart traces many of her interests and passions back to critical moments in her own life story. Click here to read more of Stewart’s story

The Psychology Homecoming Picnic is Back!

The Department of Psychology Homecoming Picnic is back for 2022, and you’re invited! Enjoy delicious (free!) food and catch up with the Department! The picnic will be held October 28 from 12-2 PM in the grassy area between East Hall and Weiser Hall. Please RSVP here by October 12, 2022 if you plan to attend. We look forward to seeing you!

Alumni Spotlight

Moshe Naveh-Benjamin, Professor of Psychology at the University of Missouri (PhD: Experimental Psychology, 1981)

Cultivating Connections: U-M's Impact on the Teaching, Mentoring, and Research of Dr. Moshe Naveh-Benjamin 

Dr. Moshe Naveh-Benjamin is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Missouri and a prominent researcher in the field of human memory. When he first moved from Israel to join the Department in 1976, a series of connections he formed with Bill McKeachie, John Jonides, and other U-M faculty were invaluable in helping him transition into his new life in the Experimental Psychology program and in the United States. Today, those experiences and connections continue to inform his own teaching, mentoring, and research. Read more about Naveh-Benjamin and his Michigan connections

Alumni: Share Your Career Experience

We would love to hear from alumni who have pursued careers in psychology or in other fields! If you would like to share your post-graduate career experience, please contact us.

Recognizing Psychology Faculty Serving in U-M & LSA Administrative Roles

The Department of Psychology would like to recognize the following Psychology faculty members for serving in major U-M and LSA leadership roles over the past several years: Rosie Ceballo, Tabbye Chavous, Elizabeth Cole, Susan Gelman, Lorraine Gutierrez, Fiona Lee, Robert Sellers, and Isis Settles. Many thanks for working so selflessly and tirelessly to make our amazing university an even better place! Read more about our amazing faculty and their leadership roles

New Book Published

Stephanie Preston, Professor of Psychology

The Altruistic Urge: Why We’re Driven to Help Others

Columbia University Press, 2022

Ordinary people can perform acts of astonishing selflessness, sometimes even putting their lives on the line. A pregnant woman saw a dorsal fin and blood in the water—and dove right in to pull her wounded husband to safety. Remarkably, some even leap into action to save complete strangers: one New York man jumped onto the subway tracks to rescue a boy who had fallen into the path of an oncoming train. Such behavior is not uniquely human. Researchers have found that mother rodents are highly motivated to bring newborn pups—not just their own—back to safety. What do these stories have in common, and what do they reveal about the instinct to protect others?

In The Altruistic Urge, Stephanie D. Preston explores how and why we developed a surprisingly powerful drive to help the vulnerable. She argues that the neural and psychological mechanisms that evolved to safeguard offspring also motivate people to save strangers in need of immediate aid." Read more at Columbia University Press

Faculty Research Spotlight

Myles Durkee, Assistant Professor of Psychology

The Burden of Code-Switching

“In the 1950s, linguist Einar Haugen coined the term “code-switch” to describe people’s ability to move between languages and dialects. Linguists explored when people code-switched, and sociologists examined why they did. Now Myles Durkee, Assistant Professor of Psychology, and members of his lab are hoping to understand the psychological costs and benefits that come with code-switching, especially for people from marginalized backgrounds.” – Susan Hutton Read the full article in LSA Magazine

Faculty Research Spotlight

Stephanie Fryberg, University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor of Psychology; Director of the Research for Indigenous Social Action and Equity Center (RISE)

Indigenous Futures

"A new Indigenous research center at LSA brings researchers, nonprofits, artists, and activists together to elevate Indigenous experiences and secure equity for Indigenous people." – Susan Hutton Read the full article in LSA Magazine

Lecturer Highlight

Ellen Quart, Lecturer II and Director of the MICHIGAN Mentorship Program

“American youngsters confront numerous challenges that place them at risk for substance abuse, alienation, crime, dropping out of school, and low self-esteem. The risks are greatest for children who do not have sufficient family support and academic preparation. Mentors can nurture positive accomplishments and buffer those at risk from negative developmental trajectories. College student mentors also benefit by learning about child development and crises that may differ from their own experiences, as well as from the opportunity to connect academic knowledge with personal interactions." Read the complete interview

Graduate Student Research Spotlight

Maira Areguin, PhD Student in the Joint Program in Women's & Gender Studies and Psychology

"It's a Heavy Job, and It Doesn't Pay Well": Latinx Farmworker Experiences in the U.S. Agricultural System

PhD student Maira Areguin grew up in a family of agricultural workers in California’s Central Valley. From an early age, she saw how farmworkers' jobs often render them invisible to society at large, as well as the many ways that invisibility opens them up to increased abuse and harassment. Today, Areguin’s research focuses on understanding and addressing that invisibility to ultimately provide farmworkers with better working conditions and a more equitable voice. Read more about Areguin’s research

Undergraduate Student Research Spotlight

Tyla Tolbert, Senior, Honors Psychology BS

"For my senior honors thesis I am examining how the perceptions of predominantly white institutions (PWIs) and historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) affect African American college attendees’ perceptions of their own self esteem, levels of stress, and academic engagement within each environment." Read more

STAR Scholars Program Updates!

Psychology’s STAR Scholars Program continues to have amazing success! STAR helps students from low-income, under-represented minority, and first-generation college student backgrounds learn about research and gives them the skills needed to successfully apply for research positions. All of our students in this year’s cohort found either a research or clinical-training position for the summer. Several of them will be doing an honors project this year! With the help of donations from alumni and friends, we were able to expand student training with two new summer programs. STAR has been so successful that the Cognitive Science Institute will pilot their own version in cooperation with Psychology this Fall. The program even won a Carol Hollenshead INSPIRE Award!

Learn more about recent updates and future plans for STAR!

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI)

The Psychology Diversity Committee presents This is DEI, an interview series showcasing the range of work (research, teaching and mentorship) conducted by Psychology faculty and students on diversity, equity and inclusion. Click here to read the full interview!

Faculty Retirements

Bill Gehring, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Psychology, retires 12/31/2022.

Ellen Quart, Lecturer II and Director of the MICHIGAN Mentorship Program, retires 12/31/2022.

Abigail Stewart, Sandra Schwartz Tangri Distinguished University Professor of Psychology and Women's and Gender Studies, retires 12/31/2022.

Exploring the Mind Talks

A monthly series of talks by U-M Psychology faculty. All Fall 2022 talks will return to an in-person format and will be held Ann Arbor District Library. Talks will be recorded and made available for later online viewing. Details about each talk will be sent separately, so stay tuned! Visit the Psychology Community Talks page for up-to-date info and to view past presentations.