Note from the Chair

Hello, Psychology Alumni!

As always, we hope this newsletter finds you well. Last year was a pretty good one for the Psychology Department. As mentioned in last year's newsletter we welcomed two new faculty members into the Department, Abby Scholer and Richard Russell, and both had an outstanding first year. Several other members of the department had good reason to cheer as Kevin Wilson underwent a successful tenure review and was promoted to Associate Professor, Julie Chen had a successful pre-tenure review and will be taking a pre-tenure leave this spring, and Brian Meier was a co-principal investigator on a successful grant application with colleagues from the University of Kent in the UK! This year also marks the return of Kathy Cain from a 3 year stint in the Provost's Office and a year-long sabbatical in Egypt as well as the return of Dan McCall and Nathalie Goubet who spent last year in France.

Our students also had a pretty good year as well. Of the 300 students who participated in Celebration 2010 last spring, where the College showcases student accomplishments across disciplines, just over 50 were psychology majors. This was quite an impressive showing and way more than any other major. Of the 63 majors that graduated last May, over 50% graduated cum laude or higher and 17% were elected to Phi Beta Kappa! We had students go on to graduate school, medical school, law school, and all sorts of other interesting things in between. So if you're a recent alum and haven't yet told us what you're up to, please drop us a line. And, as always, please stop by and visit when you’re in the 'Burg. We love to hear what you're up to.

Thank you

During a time of such economic uncertainty and turmoil it simply amazes and humbles us to see how generous our alums are. Over the past year the College has received a very generous number of donations from alumni in the name of the Psychology Department. Over the years we have been able to use some of these funds for purchasing a poster printer and a very nice display case for showcasing memorabilia associated with Prof. Sam Mudd. We will also be using these funds to help supplement the Smoke Colloquium Fund which is used to bring outside speakers to campus. If you find yourself in a position to donate to the College and you would like that gift to be directed to the Psychology Department just specify that it go to the Department of Psychology Special Gift Fund and we will insure that those funds are directed in a way that helps enrich the educational experience of our majors. Thanks again!

Homecoming Colloquium

We are pleased to welcome back Kevin J. Grimm, Ph.D. as our annual Homecoming Colloquium speaker.  Kevin graduated from Gettysburg in 2000 with a double major in Psychology and Mathematics and a concentration in Education.  He received his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Virginia in 2006.  He is currently an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Davis.

Kevin’s research interests include multivariate methods for the analysis of change, multiple group and latent class models to understand divergent developmental processes, and cognitive/achievement development.  During his lecture entitled, “School Readiness Factors and Subsequent Changes in Reading and Mathematics,” Kevin will discuss a line of his research which studied changes in reading and mathematics skills from kindergarten through eighth grade.  Early school readiness factors (measured around kindergarten entry) were evaluated for their ability to predict various aspects of change.  Results indicate that early measures of positive and negative behavior showed little prediction whereas measures of motor skills and attention showed consistent prediction to total amounts and timing of changes in both reading and mathematics.  This work highlights the need to evaluate interventions in these areas of school readiness.

You are cordially invited to attend this event beginning at 3:45 p.m. on Friday, October 1st in Bowen Auditorium, McCreary Hall room 115.  Dinner following the talk will be held at O’Rorke’s Eatery beginning at 6:00 p.m..  Please contact Carolyn Tuckey at ctuckey@gettysburg.edu or (717) 337-6171 if you are interested in attending.

Samuel A. Mudd Psychology Award

Congratulations to Andrew Furman '10 who was the May 2010 recipient of the Samuel A. Mudd Psychology Award. Andrew graduated summa cum laude this past May, with a BA in Psychology and Philosophy. He was elected into Phi Beta Kappa, is a member of Psi Chi, and received Departmental Honors for his work both in Psychology and Philosophy. Currently Andrew is pursuing a Ph.D. in psychological and brain sciences at the Johns Hopkins University. He recently reported that his work in the Spatial Cognition Lab has thus far been "enjoyable and stimulating" and he is "excited to think of what the future will bring with regards to both his personal and career growth."

Alum in the News

Kathryn A. Morris ‘92, Psychology Department Chair at Butler University, was recently awarded a $108,000 National Science Foundation Grant to research the influences that affect whether or not people will confront prejudice when they witness it. Find out more about her

Faculty News

Steve Siviy, along with student co-authors Courtney L. Steets ’09, and Lauren M. DeBrouse ’09, published “Effects of chlordiazepoxide on predator odor-induced reductions of playfulness in juvenile rats” in Behavioural Brain Research  and also published “Play and adversity: How the playful mammalian brain withstands threats and anxieties” in the American Journal of Play. The latter paper was part of a special issue of that journal that was devoted to the neuroscience of play behavior. Along with colleagues at the University of Southern California, Steve co-authored a poster entitled “The Fischer 344 rat as a genetic model for environmental risk in autism” that was presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.  Steve was also one of four co-principal investigators on a Major Research Instrumentation Grant to the National Science Foundation. The grant provided $159,756 for the purchase of a new fluorescence and bright-field microscope with advanced digital imaging and analysis capabilities. The microscope will facilitate new study-faculty research initiatives in Biology, Chemistry, Health Sciences, and Psychology. 

Brian Meier conducted research at the University of Kent in England over the summer.  Brian, Maggie Carter (‘09) and co-authors had a paper published in the Journal of Research in Personality titled “Are Sociable People More Beautiful? A Zero-Acquaintance Analysis of Agreeableness, Extraversion, and Attractiveness.”  Brian and co-authors also published papers in Psychological Bulletin (A Metaphor-Enriched Social Cognition) and the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Bring it on: Angry Facial Expressions Potentiate Approach-Motivated Motor Behavior).  Finally, check out what Brian was doing this summer with Abby and one of our current senior psychology majors.

Kathy Cain has returned to the Psychology Department after a sabbatical in 2009-10 and four years in the Provost’s Office before that. Kathy spent her sabbatical year with her family in Cairo, Egypt, where she and her husband had Fulbright grants to teach and conduct research.  Kathy taught developmental psychology and gave workshops on children’s social development at the Institute for Postgraduate Childhood Studies at Ain Shams University, where she also supervised several masters and doctoral students.  In addition, she conducted research with an Egyptian team of pediatricians and psychiatrists.  The projects, which are ongoing, addressed a range of topics, including self-esteem and behavioral disturbance in diabetic children, autism and social development, and autistic features of phenylketonuria in early childhood.  Prior to the past year, Kathy had conducted mainly basic experimental research, so she found the chance to conduct applied research and to learn about clinical issues an invigorating preparation for her return to life as a Gettysburg College faculty member.  In the picture, Kathy is standing next to her two Egyptian colleagues in the back row and with some of the students from her institute.

Richard Russell is hosting Aurélie Porcheron, a researcher from the Centre de Recherches et d’Investigations Epidermiques et Sensorielles (Centre for Epidermal and Sensory Research and Investigation) in Paris, a research laboratory of Chanel.  While in the Psychology Department at Gettysburg, Aurelie is working with Richard and Lydia MacKenzie (’13) on a project investigating the appearance and perception of faces.  This past year Richard and co-authors published a paper in Perception and presented two posters at the annual meeting of the Vision Sciences Society in Naples, FL. 

Nathalie Goubet and Dan McCall have returned from their sabbatical year, which they spent in Dijon, France conducting research at the European Center for Taste and Smell.   Nathalie’s research there explored how newborn infants learn about odors that are associated with their mothers, and Dan studied the influence of odors on memory in school-aged children.

Abigail Scholer '00 and co-authors published papers in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (When Risk Seeking Becomes a Motivational Necessity) and Journal of Consumer Psychology (Engaging the Consumer: The Science and Art of the Value Creation Process). Abby and co-authors also contributed chapters to 2 books: Handbook of Personality and Self-Regulation and Self-Control in Society, Mind, and Brain. Also, check out what Abby was doing this summer with Brian and one of our current senior psychology majors.

Class of 2010 Awards

Students graduating in May 2010 with Departmental Honors were Douglas Berkowitz, Jennifer Christofferson, Linda Donatoni, Andrew Furman, Emily Harper, Samantha Stocksdale, and Jacquelyn Weber. 
Eleven majors were elected to Phi Beta Kappa:  Elizabeth Auriemma, Molly Beyer, Caroline Bassett, Lindsay Bosley, Nicole Ditillo, Andrew Furman, Emily Gaffney, Theresa Gillmor, Samantha Stocksdale, Jacquelyn Weber, and Samantha Yancik.

Psychology Department banner carrier was Samantha Stocksdale. 

Andrew Furman was the Samuel A. Mudd Psychology Award recipient.  Samantha Stocksdale received the Psi Chi Junior Award.

Psychology majors who were banner carriers for other departments included:  Lindsay Bosley, Italian Studies, and Aaron Deibler-Gorman, Peace and Justice Studies

Additional awards and prizes earned by psychology majors include Hannah Kane, Miguel Cervantes Award in Spanish. Andrew Furman, Chan L. Coulter Philosophy Award, and Nicole Ditillo, Gettysburg College Award in Athletics.

Elite 88 Award

Nicole Ditillo '10 was honored on May 21st at the NCAA III Women’s Lacrosse Championships hosted by Gettysburg College. Nicole was the first Division III women’s lacrosse recipient of the Elite 88 Award presented by the NCAA to the championship competitor with the highest grade point average (3.97).

Alums in Action

Jackie Wilson'04 completed her MSW degree at the University of Maine in May, 2010

Nuwan Jayawickreme '04 earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania in August, 2010. He’s in a 2-yr. post-doc position in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

Danielle DeNigris '09 is pursuing a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at CUNY beginning Fall 2010.

Class of 2010 - Where Are They Going?

Linda Donatoni - Teach for America (Mid-Atlantic Corps) inner-city Philadelphia

Robin DeMarco - Chatham University Masters of Counseling Psychology

Andrew Furman - Ph.D. program in Brain and Psychological Sciences, Johns Hopkins University

Rebecca Tarvin - PsyD program at La Salle University

Albert McCormack - Intern at New Regency Enterprises – Los Angeles, CA

Emily Harper - Law School - University of Pittsburgh

Molly Beyer - English TA in Steyr, Austria.  Grant provided by Fulbright Commission and Austrian/American Educ. Comm.

Dekonti Sayeh - Teach English in France under a Ministry of Education program

Samantha Yancik - MA Counseling Psychology, School Psychologist Certification, Immaculata University

Hannah Kane - MSW at George Mason University

Nicole Ditillo – Secondary school lacrosse coach in England for the ’10-’11 AY, through the English Lacrosse Association.  Return to pursue MSW and secondary school certification to teach English.

Anastasia Fanaselle - Masters in counseling psychology, Loyola University

Douglas Berkowitz - Counselor at Abraxas Leadership Development Program, South Mtn., PA

Jennifer Lech - Teaching English in Portugal for a year through a Fulbright grant.

Jacquelyn Weber - Medical School at New York Medical College

Marilyn McCullough - Account Coordinator at The Borden Agency, which is a Mobile Marketing Consultancy & Agency outside of Philadelphia, PA

Miles Riemer-Peltz - Research Assistant for the New York City Criminal Justice Agency

Kurt Hagemann - Teaching secondary English in the Ukraine for 27 months.



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Gettysburg, Pennsylvania