Letter from the Chair

Image of Don Rojas department ChairI hope this newsletter finds you healthy and thriving despite the challenges faced in the past year. Colorado State University is finishing up our year of pandemic-induced disruption to our teaching and research missions. With the national progress made on vaccine distribution, there is hope that starting in Fall 2021, CSU can transition back to in-person learning (and research), putting the pandemic behind us.

This spring, we managed to conduct a fully remote search for a new assistant professor position in the department (no in-person interviews or campus visits), and we expect to have a new faculty member joining us in the fall. (More on that in the Fall 2021 newsletter.)

This spring, we will also see the retirements of two faculty members – Dr. Jeanette Cleveland, a cornerstone of the department’s I/O Psychology program for many years, and Dr. Vicki Volbrecht, a member of the Cognitive Neuroscience program (formerly known as Perceptual and Brain Sciences, and earlier part of Experimental Psychology).

Our thanks to them for their long service to the department, their research contributions, and their high level of instruction to our students. Many of you will remember taking classes from one or both of them. As a CSU alumnus myself, I recall taking classes from both while I was a student – Measurement and Testing from Dr. Cleveland, and Research Methods from Dr. Volbrecht. If you recall them from your days here at CSU, consider sending us a note to share with them as they begin their retirements. I wish you all the best in the coming summer months.

Don Rojas | Chair, Department of Psychology

Featured Story

Wielding a gun makes a shooter perceive others as wielding a gun too

Hand holding a gunPsychology researchers have published a new set of experiments underscoring what they call the ‘gun embodiment effect.’

Department Highlights

New study finds little misuse of parental alienation arguments in child custody cases

Image of parent and childPsychology researcher finds a popular claim that parental alienation is frequently used to ignore abuse and gain child custody is unfounded.

Podcast: Critical Suicide Theory and Research – From the Gender Paradox to Cultural Scripts

Image of CanettoProfessor Silvia Sara Canetto is most well-known for her research on the gender paradox of suicide; listen to this podcast where she discusses her research.

Psychology graduate students receive 2020 Graduate Student Teaching and Mentoring Award

Image of Julie Prosser and Ashlie JohnsonJulie Prosser and Ashlie Johnson, graduate students studying applied social psychology at Colorado State University, are the recipients of the 2020 College of Natural Sciences Graduate Student Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring Award.

Uplifting voices: Psychology student Brandon Paez initiates change

Image of BrandonBrandon Paez is an undergraduate and third-year clinical and counseling psychology student at Colorado State University, the student chair of the President’s Multicultural Student Advisory Committee, and, at his core, a change-maker.

Graduate student Andrew Huebert awarded highly competitive Psychonomic Society Graduate Conference Award

Image of Andrew

Graduate student Sarah Myers selected for the 2021-2022 cohort of the Vice President for Research Graduate Fellowship Program at Colorado State University

Image of Sarah Meyers

Faculty News

Image of Zinta ByrneProfessor Zinta Byrne was recently named a Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

Image of Don RojasProfessor Don Rojas was recently reappointed as chair of the Department of Psychology.

Image of Jen HarmanAssociate Professor Jennifer Harman was recently presented with the 14’er Award of the Provost’s Awards for Faculty Excellence.

Image of Dan GrahamAssociate Professor Dan Graham wrote How Can I Wait When There’s a Treat on My Plate, a picture book published in May 2021 by Magination Press – the children’s book imprint of the American Psychological Association. “How Can I Wait” teaches children strategies to delay gratification, based on research including the Marshmallow Test. A Reader’s Note at the end of the book provides additional resources for adults to help children learn and implement these strategies.

Image of Silvia CanettoProfessor Silvia Sara Canetto was recently elected as a Fellow of the Society for Men and Masculinities of the American Psychological Association.

Image of HollisAssistant Professor Hollis Karoly recently received the Early Career Investigator Showcase Award at the NIDA-NIAAA Joint Conference.

Development Story

Training the next generation of scientists during a pandemic: “Now more important than ever” (The Struggle is Real: Science-based strategies improve learning outcomes)

In Memory

Passing of Dr. Phillip Berghausen (1946-2021)

Phillip Berghausen, Ph.D., died in January 2021. Dr. Berghausen was an alumnus of our Department of Psychology, having received his doctoral degree in 1975. His dissertation was titled “Anxiety management training: need for arousal-cued relaxation.” Dr. Berghausen’s adviser, Dr. Richard Suinn, recalls that their relationship in later years was one of former adviser and very successful graduate. Dr. Suinn also recalled that Dr. Berghausen enjoyed sharing “his most amazing achievement: his hobby of driving race cars replete with full head and body safety gear!” Dr. Berghausen created a very successful private consulting business after his time in our department. More recently, he had also given generous donations back to CSU. He is survived by his children Alexander and Elizabeth, as well as his grandchildren Charles, Ellen, Jane, Jonah, Justus, and Jesse.


Your support of the Department of Psychology is incredibly valuable. Please consider making a difference to today’s students – at whatever level is right for you. Thank you!

For more information on giving, contact:

Ginny Fanning

Executive Director of Development

College of Natural Sciences

1801 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1801

D: (970) 491-3403

E: virginia.fanning@colostate.edu