Welcome from the chair

Image of Don Rojas Psychology Department ChairThis summer, the Department of Psychology’s Counseling Psychology program was reaccredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) for 10 more years. This was a tremendous accomplishment, made slightly bittersweet by the departure of the previous Director of Training, Dr. Evelinn Borrayo, for another university. We owe a debt of gratitude to her efforts to get the program in shape for this past round of review. Now, we are looking forward to next year, 2020, to celebrate 50 years of continuous APA accreditation by our department, making Colorado State University one of the longest accredited Counseling Psychology programs in the nation. Alumni and retired faculty members can look forward to an invitation early next year to help us celebrate.

In related news, to help kick the 50th year of accreditation off, Dr. Bonnie Titley generously made a donation to establish a new graduate scholarship for counseling students through the Fort Collins Rotary Club. The scholarship is named in honor of her late husband, Dr. Robert Wesley Titley, who served on the faculty in Counseling Psychology for many years and who was a key figure in undergraduate advising and teaching graduate students college pedagogical skills. The first recipient of the Wesley Award is Morgan Boyle, who gave a moving speech at the award ceremony at the Rotary Club meeting.

This fall we welcomed three new faculty members whose short profiles can be read in this newsletter. Drs. Emily Merz, Josh Prasad, and Kate Hebert are the latest assistant professor hires in the psychology department. We are currently running two national searches for tenure track hires for next year, one in the area of health disparities and the other in the area of addictions. A third search is being conducted this year that we hope will bring another staff member to our professional advising team, which currently has three full-time staff members. Dr. Titley would likely have been gratified to see the additional staffing for advising during his own time here!

Have a wonderful fall and winter!

Don Rojas

Professor and Chair

Featured News

Study: Improved worker safety linked to a good night’s sleep

Images of Workers

Employers seeking to improve workplace safety by reducing accidents and injuries might do well to help their employees get a good night’s sleep.

That’s according to Colorado State University researchers, who examined the relationship between employee sleep patterns and workplace safety.

Outstanding grad: Kaitlyn Ewan

Image of EwanWhile Kaitlyn Ewan was studying psychology at CSU she found out that she needed brain surgery due to a tumor. Despite having surgery and experiencing continuing complications, Ewan took no time off and continued to excel in school while also working for Foothills Gateway and in her field-placement with child protective services. In May, just two days after graduating, Ewan started her Advanced Standing Masters in Social Work program.

Faculty News

Meet new faculty member Josh Prasad, Ph.D.

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The Department of Psychology welcomed Assistant Professor Josh Prasad this semester as the newest industrial organizational psychology faculty member. Prasad’s research includes the assessment of vocational interests. He began his first semester at CSU teaching the graduate level Industrial Psychology course.

Meet new faculty member Emily Merz, Ph.D.

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The Department of Psychology welcomed Assistant Professor Emily Merz this semester as the newest cognitive neuroscience faculty member. Her research program focuses on the effects of socioeconomic status and stress physiology on children’s brain development, and she began her first semester at CSU teaching the Adolescent Psychology course.

Meet new faculty member Kate Hebert, Ph.D.

Image of Kate HebertThe Department of Psychology welcomed Assistant Professor Kate Hebert this semester as a new faculty member. Hebert specializes in cognitive and cognitive neuroscience research areas with a focus on visual perception and language. Her first semester included teaching the Biological Psychology and Sensation and Perception courses. She also took the reigns as coordinator of the neuroscience laboratory courses.

Professor Silvia Sara Canetto receives award from the American Psychological Association

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Professor Silvia Sara Canetto was awarded the prestigious Heritage Award from the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Society for the Psychology of Women. The APA Heritage Award recognizes distinguished, long-standing contributions to research and teaching on women and gender.

Department News

Pilot grants available for new MRI scanning center

Image of MRI machineA new magnetic resonance imaging scanning center is open at the C. Wayne McIlwraith Translational Medicine Institute on CSU’s south campus, near the Veterinary Teaching Hospital. The center is a unique multi-use facility that will support a variety of clinical and research programs, including human neuroscience research as well as equine sports medicine. The Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Neurosciences program was recently awarded funds to support pilot grants for human neuroscience research. These grants are intended to enhance external grant applications from principal investigators by funding fMRI scans and will be available through Fall Semester 2020.

Psychological Services Center and psychology research groups find new homes

Exciting changes took place this semester for two major components of the psychology department. The Tri-Ethnic Center and Colorado-Wyoming Alliance for Minority Participation researchers moved from Sage Hall to the Behavioral Sciences Building, and the Psychological Services Center relocated from the Clark Building to Sage Hall. Both groups are now enjoying significant benefits from their new locations.

A legacy of service: CSU graduate student helping youth affected by addiction

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Sarah Hervey has dedicated her life to helping others. As a master’s student in psychology, Hervey spends six days a week working with youth affected with addiction at North Range Behavioral Health in Greeley and the Fort Collins Crisis Center. On top of this, she has been awarded a prestigious fellowship program for minority students through the National Board for Certified Counselors Foundation.

With NSF support, CSU team tackles post-hurricane grid resiliency

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In light of the human toll of hurricanes, a cross-disciplinary CSU team is working to minimize those losses. With $194,000 in National Science Foundation support through the agency’s Rapid Response Program (RAPID), they are designing a self-reliant, local, resilient electric system that can better withstand the next Category 5 hurricane. Joining the research team is Department of Psychology Associate Professor Pat Aloise-Young, whose expertise is in the design of programs that promote lasting behavioral change, particularly in the realm of energy conservation.

Professor Anne Cleary hosts BrainFest and cognitive conference

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On June 30th, Professor Carol Seger and Professor Anne Cleary hosted BrainFest—a science fair on brain and cognitive science that was free and open to the public. The event had many contributing sponsors, including the Department of Psychology, the College of Natural Sciences, The Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Neurosciences program, and the Little Shop of Physics. Professor Cleary also hosted a cognitive conference entitled “Perceptual and Cognitive Illusions: Quirks of our Everyday Experience.” Cognitive psychologists traveled from all over the world to attend and present at this conference, and some members of the local public also attended.

CSU doctoral student receives MLK Scholarship for service

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Vanessa Vosteen, a doctoral student in counseling psychology, has been selected as the recipient of the 2019 Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship for her commitment to underrepresented student education. Vosteen received the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship for her contributions to the enhancement of individuals from ethnically diverse populations, dedication as a role model, and for scholarly excellence.

Psychology graduate students win Psychonomic Society Graduate Travel Award

Image of student Sarah Myers and Kat McNeely-White

Sarah Myers and Kat McNeely-White, graduate students studying cognitive psychology, will be presenting research posters at the annual meeting of the Psychonomic Society in Montréal later this year as recipients of the society’s Graduate Travel Award, a competitive award presented to only 18 recipients this year. They received a stipend of $1,000 for traveling to the meeting, a ribbon on their research posters, and a featured notation in the program booklet indicating the award.