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Newsletter Winter 2022

Running Toward the Fire: An Interview with Howard Bragman

Howard Bragman, (BA: Journalism and Psychology, 1978)

PR Crisis Manager; Founder and CEO, Labrea Media; ABC News Consultant

Howard Bragman has led a groundbreaking and distinguished career in the Public Relations (PR) industry, including founding what became the world’s largest entertainment firm in the 1990s. Now a “Fixer” or Crisis Manager helping celebrities and other high-profile figures manage public setbacks, Bragman is also an ABC contributor for shows such as Good Morning America and Nightline. Throughout his career, Bragman has championed LGBTQ+ rights, and he is renowned for helping dozens of celebrities come out of the closet. He recently made a $1 million bequest to U-M Spectrum Center, the largest gift the center has ever received. Read more.

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.

Donor Impact

Dr. C. Brooks Brenneis, (PhD: Psychology, 1967; BA: Mathematics, 1962)

Gift Establishing the George Rosenwald Graduate Student Research Award

Clinical Psychologist Dr. C. Brooks Brenneis believes the values expoused by the University of Michigan Psychological Clinic were crucial to his development as a therapist and as a person. At the core of those values was a belief in the scientific and therapeutic value of analyzing life narratives: the stories people tell about themselves to explain their thoughts, emotions, and actions. For Brenneis, those values are exemplified by Professor Emeritus Dr. George Rosenwald. To honor Rosenwald and the Clinic and to support future life narrative research, Brenneis established the George Rosenwald Graduate Student Research Award. Read more.

To contribute to the George Rosenwald Graduate Student Research Award Fund, please visit the giving page here.

Dr. Warren Holmes, Professor Emeritus of Psychology

Gift Establishing the Evolution and Human Adaptations Program (EHAP) Support Fund

When Dr. Warren Holmes first joined the Department in 1979, researchers were increasingly applying Darwinian evolutionary theory toward understanding human behavior. As the field grew rapidly in the early 1980s, Holmes co-founded the Evolution and Human Adaptations Program (EHAP), which connects and supports researchers across the many disciplines involved. Since then, EHAP has provided researchers with crucial avenues for communication and support and helped U-M become a leader in the field. In 2022, Holmes established the EHAP Support Fund, which will ensure continued support for researchers. Read more.

To contribute to the EHAP Support Fund, please visit the giving page here.

Congratulations to Our Inaugural Psychology Teaching Awards Winners

The Department would like to congratulate the inaugural winners of our new Psychology Faculty Teaching Awards. Originally announced in 2021 and named after the late Emeritus Professors Wilbert (Bill) McKeachie and J. Frank Yates, the awards honor exceptional contributions to classroom teaching in the Department.

Dr. Adriene Beltz received the Wilbert McKeachie Award for Excellence in Lecture-Based Teaching for her extraordinary contributions to teaching graduate students. The selection committee was particularly impressed by Beltz’s teaching in the highly demanding advanced statistics sequence, even when those classes had to be held remotely during the pandemic.

Dr. Nansook Park received the J. Frank Yates Award for Excellence in Seminar-Based Teaching for her extraordinary contributions to teaching undergraduate students. The selection committee was amazed and moved by the many testimonials supporting Park’s nomination, particularly those that highlighted her one-on-one interactions and personal support for her students. 

Dr. Patricia Reuter-Lorenz, Psychology Chair, Receives Distinguished Honor

Patricia Reuter-LorenzPsychology Chair; Michael I. Posner Collegiate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience

Congratulations to Patricia Reuter-Lorenz for being elected as a 2021 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

According to The University Record, "AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the Science family of journals. Selection as an AAAS Fellow is among the most distinct honors within the scientific community. . . . Dr. Reuter-Lorenz was selected for her distinguished contributions to the field of cognitive neuroscience, particularly for outstanding research on mechanisms of attention, memory and aging, and for dedicated service to the field." Read more.

Faculty Research Spotlight

Dr. Deborah Rivas-DrakeProfessor of Psychology; Stephanie J. Rowley Professor of Education

Stepping Up Against Racism and Xenophobia (SPARX) Project

Throughout her career, Dr. Deborah Rivas-Drake’s research has examined how minoritized youths experience and navigate their racial identities. Rivas-Drake is now working on two expansive projects focused on how race and racism are addressed (or not addressed) in U.S. public schools. Ultimately, Rivas-Drake and her collaborators will apply that research toward developing a database of tools to help parents and educators discuss those difficult topics with children and adolescents. Read more.

Lecturer Highlight

Sarah Jonovich, Lecturer IV and Coordinator of Clinical Training

“One direction in psychology I am passionate about is teaching psychological skills from an early age. I am excited to see psychology concepts being delivered in schools through a social-emotional curriculum. Kids learn self-control, conflict resolution, emotional awareness, and social skills, which prepare them to face life's inevitable challenges." Read more.

Graduate Research Spotlight

Xin SunCombined Program in Education and Psychology (CPEP) PhD Student

Have you ever wondered whether the process of learning a language is different depending on whether you only speak a single language or you speak multiple languages? That question is at the core of Xin Sun’s dissertation research, which has uncovered intriguing neurocognitive differences between monolingual and bilingual English learners. Read more.

Undergraduate Research Spotlight

Aissa Cabrales, Senior, Psychology Honors and Spanish Double Major

"In my senior thesis I am investigating secondary traumatic stress among faith responders who worked with people affected by worksite immigration raids and how the experiences of faith responders (pastors, volunteers) may differ from other responders (e.g. legal responders, advocates, etc.)." Read more.

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!

Psychology Faculty Included in Stanford University’s Top Scientists for 2021

Wow! 55 Department of Psychology faculty (including emeritus and affiliated) are among Stanford University's list of the most-cited scientists for 2021. Click here for more information, including a complete list of featured Psychology faculty.

Faculty Retirements

Jerome (Jerry) Miller, Lecturer IV, retires 5/31/2022.

Henry Wellman, Harold W. Stevenson Collegiate Professor of Psychology, retires 5/31/2022

Celebrating Our Emeritus Faculty

The Department of Psychology would like to celebrate and thank our incredible emeriti faculty. Below is a list of all Department of Psychology Emeriti faculty, organized by decades since retirement.


Retired 30-40 years
Nathan Caplan
Ernest Harburg
Richard Mann
Arnold Tannenbaum

Retired 20-30 years
Oscar Barabarin III
Charles Butter
Roger Davis
Sylvan Kornblum
Melvin Manis
K. Gerald Marsden
George Rosenwald
Elliot Valenstein

Retired 10-20 years
Eric Bermann
Eugene Burnstein
David Lee Featherman
Daniel Green
Patricia Gurin
John Hagen
Lawrence Hirschfield
Warren Holmes
Theresa Lee
Robert Lindsay
Catherine Lord
David Moody
Gary Olson


Judith Spencer Olson
Arnold Sameroff
Marilyn Shatz

Retired fewer than 10 years
Kenneth Adams
J. Wayne Aldridge
Henry Buchtel
Albert Cain
Rosie Ceballo
Jane Dutton
Jacquelynne Eccles
Nick Ellis
Phoebe Ellsworth
Rowell Huesmann
Barry Kantowitz
Rachel Kaplan
David Kieras
Frederick Morrison
Randolph Nesse
Richard Nisbett
Robert Pachella
Marion Perlmutter
Richard Price
Barbara Boardman Smuts
Karl Weick
David Winter
Oscar Ybarra
Robert Zucker

Exploring the Mind Talks

A monthly series of talks by U-M Psychology faculty. All Winter 2022 talks will be virtual. Dates, times, and details for each talk will be sent separately, so stay tuned! Dr. Amie Gordon's talk is available to stream now. Visit the Psychology Community Talks page for up-to-date info and to view past presentations.

Giving Blueday: Save the Date - March 16, 2022

As we re-emerge from the pandemic, our greatest need in the Psychology Department is to support undergraduate and graduate student research, which is more vital now than ever before. Your gifts can help support rich, hands-on skill building opportunities for our students. For additional information on Giving Blueday, please visit our website.