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Newsletter Winter 2018

Clockwise from top left: Brian Malley, Josh Rabinowitz, Eric Fretz, Jillian Hardee, Sarah Jonovich, Jennifer Cummings, E. Margaret Evans, Kathleen Jodl, Elizabeth Buvinger, Shelly Schreier, and Elizabeth Wierba.

Psychology Department Lecturers: Touching Lives of Psychology Students

“We are fortunate to have such a dedicated and enthusiastic team of lecturers!” says Patti Reuter-Lorenz, Psychology Chair. Did you know that the department’s twenty-one lecturers are responsible for teaching over fifty courses in an average year, reaching approximately 6,000 students per year? You can read more about the impact our hard-working lecturers have at U-M here.

In this issue you will find...

  1. A Letter from our Department Chair, Patricia Reuter-Lorenz
  2. Donor Impact
    • Arnold SameroffSameroff Lecturer Series
  3. Alumni Spotlight
    • Megan WalshBA 2007
  4. Celebrating our Alumni at the Fall 2017 Homecoming Picnic
  5. Alumni in the News
    • Walter G. BergmanAM 1924
    • Sheri FinkBS 1990
  6. Alumni: Share your Career Experience
  7. Student Internships
  8. Undergraduate/Graduate Student Research Highlights
    • STAR Scholars Program
    • Jared GoldbergSenior BCN Honors major
    • Margarett McBrideSenior BCN Honors major
  9. Faculty Research Highlights
    • Robin Edelstein, Associate Professor of Psychology
    • Ramaswami MahalingamProfessor of Psychology and Women's Studies
    • Alexandra Rosati, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Anthropology
  10. Exploring the Mind Community Talks by U-M Psychology Faculty
  11. In Memoriam
  12. Ways to Support Psychology

A Letter from our Department Chair: Patricia Reuter-Lorenz

This winter 2018 newsletter marks the midpoint of my five-year term as department chair, and it is with pride and honor that I continue to serve our psychology community in this role. As department chair, I have opportunities to interact with chairs of other departments at the University of Michigan, and at other psychology departments around the globe. I’m attentive to innovations and practices from elsewhere that can improve our community while also being continually impressed by the tremendous talent, collegiality, accomplishments, and resources in our department that support our educational and research missions. Although the news items in this letter capture just a subset of all the fabulous contributions, recognitions, and honors of our faculty, students and staff, I hope they give you insight into some of the important work and remarkable achievements that make us one of the best psychology departments in the world. Go Psychology, Go Blue, and all the best to you in 2018!


Donor Impact

Sameroff Lecture Series: Join us on April 2, 2018 for the second biennial Sameroff Lecture featuring Dr. Alison Gopnik, Professor of Psychology and Affiliate Professor of Philosophy at UC Berkeley.

Through a generous gift to the Department of Psychology, Dr. Arnold Sameroff, University of Michigan Professor Emeritus of Psychology, helps the psychology community stay abreast of the latest theoretical advances in developmental psychology, the field in which his impact has been tremendously significant. He established the Sameroff Lecture Series in 2015 with a gift of $15,000. The fund supports three biennial lectures on theoretical developmental psychology to promote a greater understanding of theory underlying current research in the field and, in Sameroff’s words, “to expose students to the frontiers of developmental thinking.”

Learn more about Dr. Sameroff and the Sameroff Lecture Series.

Alumni Spotlight

Megan Kay Walsh, Associate Manager, TV Panel Behavioral Methods team, Nielsen
University of Michigan, Psychology BA (2007)

Megan Walsh has gone onto a rewarding career at Nielsen, developing innovative, statistically sound, and cost-effective research methodologies in support of strategic business initiatives. When asked what inspired her, she replied, “The stories and people who inspire me all have one thing in common—encountering some challenge and surviving. When I'm faced with a challenge, I'm simultaneously flooded with feelings of inadequacy and determination. ‘What if I fail?’...‘But what if I succeed?’ I've learned that sometimes your greatest successes are the results of some of your (then perceived) greatest failures.”
Read more about Ms. Walsh’s career and her experience at the University of Michigan here.

Celebrating our Alumni at the Fall 2017 Homecoming Picnic

This past fall, over 200 Psychology faculty, students, staff, and alumni came together to deepen our community, to enjoy a good meal, and to participate in a raffle and games at our annual Psychology Homecoming Picnic. Please come join us for our next Homecoming Picnic on October 5, 2018!  

Psychology Chief Administrator, Jennifer Barnett (upper left) and Psychology Department Chair, Patricia Reuter-Lorenz (upper right) draw a raffle prizewinner.

LSA Bicentennial Alumni Lecture Series Guest Speaker, Dr. Robert Kail (U-M Psychology PhD, 1975), enjoying the Homecoming Picnic with his wife and children. From left to right: Dea K. DeWolff, Laura Kail, Ben Kail, Dr. Robert Kail, and Matt Kail.

Staff Jocelyn Anderson (left) and Tim Ahlgren (right) enjoy some friendly competition.

Alumni in the News

Dr. Walter G. Bergman
University of Michigan, Psychology AM (1924) 
U-M alumnus Walter Bergman, one of the original thirteen Freedom Riders in 1961, was a steadfast activist who was not afraid to take unpopular positions.
“The Freedom Riders were essential for broadening the appeal of the civil rights effort,” says Christian Davenport, political science professor and co-director of the International Institute’s Conflict and Peace Initiative. “They clearly made a statement that this was not just a cause for African Americans, but for all Americans.”
Read the full LSA article, “Finding Freedom on the Open Road” here.


Dr. Sheri Fink
University of Michigan, Psychology BS (1990)
An author, medical doctor, and winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Sheri Fink is also a correspondent at the New York Times. Read more about Dr. Fink’s book, Five Days at Memorial, as well as her coverage of medical response during several recent natural disasters 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 U-M Psychology department, started taking on interns this year. These interns have undertaken the Alumni Spotlight Project with the goal of creating videos to 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.

Did you land your dream job? Continue your education? Receive an award? If you would like to share your post-graduate career experience, please contact us via our website hereThe first ten people to respond via the website will receive a Psychology t-shirt!

If you would like to stay connected with our department, we invite you to register in our database of graduates.

Student Internships

Would you like to hire a University of Michigan Psychology student? Please send any job or internship postings/opportunities to We will advertise directly to all of our majors through our weekly newsletter!

Undergraduate/Graduate Student Research Highlights

2018 STAR Scholars cohort

STAR Scholars Program

We continue to help our undergraduates connect the knowledge and skills learned in their classes and laboratory work to their experiences in everyday life.  Our new Psychology STAR (Students Tackling Advanced Research) Scholars program encourages students who are under-represented in the sciences to become involved in research and its application in the real world. These students engage with research in a meaningful way, connect with current U-M Psychology PhD students, and prepare for careers in and out of academia. The department welcomed twenty-eight students to the first cohort this winter 2018 semester, although many more applied.

Current STAR PhD Student Mentors

Crystal Carr
Sara Chadwick
Amira Halawah
Kai Ip
Amy Westmoreland
Seanna Leath
Caitlin Posillico

To learn more about this exciting new program, click here.

Jared Goldberg, Senior

Jared is a senior BCN (Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience) Honors major, and has been doing research in Dr. Morrison's Pathways to Literacy lab for over two years, studying elementary school children’s academic success. He is working on his thesis, analyzing lab-based behavioral measures in tandem with teacher surveys to explore instructor understanding of student cognitive functioning and academic achievement. Jared’s ultimate goal is to discover how teachers can foster the growth of skills necessary for improved academic outcomes. His favorite part about completing this project is learning new statistical methods and mastering ways to present his research narrative using the lab’s data. He had a chance to test these skills at the 2017 Cognitive Development Society Conference in Portland, Oregon. After graduation, he hopes to continue grooming his analytical abilities in an applied setting, and may pursue a master’s degree in statistics or data science.

Margarett McBride, Senior

Margarett is a senior BCN Honors major and has been working in Dr. Ceballo's Resilience in Context lab for over a year. This past summer, she worked in three developmental psychology labs studying minorities and adolescents, while also working at the Trotter Multicultural Center. She has found that her research and employment experiences helped consolidate her interests of working with Black and Latinx teens and young adults, and is planning to attend graduate school next year to pursue these interests further. Margarett is currently focusing on several research questions related to these interests in her honors thesis, including how exposure to community violence, fear of crime, and participation in community-based activities influences Latinx adolescents’ sense of neighborhood belonging.

Faculty Research Highlights

Dr. Robin Edelstein, Associate Professor of Psychology­­

Dr. Edelstein’s research focuses on how people differ in their approaches to and experiences in close relationships. When faced with a stressful or emotional situation, how might avoiding the situation or people involved affect your long-term health? How do hormones change when a person transitions to parenthood? Find out what Dr. Edelstein has to say about these questions and more here.


Dr. Ramaswami MahalingamProfessor of Psychology and Women’s Studies
Dr. Mahalingam thinks cellphones are so enmeshed in our lives that they have altered our sense of identity, making us our celves instead of ourselves. So, do cellphones actually cause more harm than good? Read what Dr. Mahalingam has to say in the LSA article here.

Dr. Alexandra Rosati, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Anthropology
Dr. Rosati’s research takes her team to places like Puerto Rico and Uganda to study the evolutionary roots of the human mind. Read more about Dr. Rosati’s findings here

Exploring the Mind Community Talks by U-M Psychology Faculty

U-M Psychology’s “Exploring the Mind” monthly series of community talks offers the public an inside look at fascinating 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.


Downtown branch of the Ann Arbor Public Library at 7:00 pm
Monday, March 26, 2018
Dr. Priti Shah, Professor of Psychology
Nurturing the Learning Brain: The Impact of Sleep, Exercise, Nutrition, and Play

Monday, April 23, 2018
Dr. Ben Dantzer, Professor of Psychology and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Can Stress be Beneficial? Perspectives from Wild Animals

In Memoriam

Dr. Howard ShevrinProfessor Emeritus of Psychology

Ways to Support Psychology

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