Note from the Chair

Hello, Psychology Alumni!

It has been quite an eventful year for both Gettysburg College and the Psychology Department since our last Psych Alum was sent out.  As I’m sure you all know by now, Janet Riggs '77 was recently installed as the 14th President of Gettysburg College. It was very exciting to see one of our own (both from your perspective as an alum and from our perspective as a fellow faculty member) take the helm of the College. You can really sense the energy on campus as students, faculty, support staff, and administrators all look forward to working with Janet as she helps us navigate through these challenging economic times and rolls out her vision of the future for Gettysburg College.

As you can probably tell by who is writing this part of the Psych Alum, we’ve also had change within our department as well.  After 6 years of outstanding leadership Becca  Fincher-Kiefer gets a well deserved break from administrative duties.  Last time I checked, she was looking pretty happy about spending more time in the classroom and lab.  During Becca’s tenure as Chair, we experienced a tremendous amount of change as we hired five new faculty members.  With one more search taking place this year for a clinical psychologist, that will bring us to six new faculty members hired over the past six years.  The demographics of our department is definitely changing and becoming much younger.  As you can also see from how you’re reading this, we have decided to move towards an electronic delivery for the Psych Alum.  Not only does it save on postage but it’s also good for the environment. We have also launched a new department website, take a look. Please let us know what you think about the new site and the newsletter. Here’s hoping you all have a great year and, as always, please stay in touch and let us know what you’re up to. We love to hear from you.



New Faces

Richard Russell received his PhD from MIT and was most recently doing post-doctoral research at Harvard. Richard will be teaching courses in sensation and perception as well as human cognition. Richard’s area of expertise is in face perception; focusing on how it is we recognize other people and how we make judgments about their attractiveness.

Abby Scholer may be a familiar face to some of you since she graduated in the Class of 2000. Abby received her PhD from Columbia University this past May and will be teaching courses in social psychology, statistics, and history. Abby’s research program looks at what motivates people to change within a broad framework of understanding self-regulation.

Ann Litzelman has an M.A. in community psychology from Mansfield State University and is teaching Basic Dynamics of Personality this fall and next spring, as well as section of General Psychology this fall and Abnormal Psychology next spring. Ann is also an Instructor at the Harrisburg Area Community College and serves as a consultant for the Liberty Healthcare Corporation.

Homecoming Symposium

We are pleased to announce that Mandy Gingerich Hege, Ph.D. '98 will be our Homecoming guest speaker this year. Mandy earned her M.A. in Experimental Psychology from Towson University in 2001 and her Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Virginia in 2008. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Butler University in Indianapolis.

Mandy’s research focuses on how factors such as mood and emotion can impact our ability to accurately monitor the contextual details of our memories. She is interested in ways to reduce false memories and what reductions in memory errors can tell us about how the memory system works. During her talk entitled, “When Being Sad Improves Memory Accuracy: The Role of Affective State in Inadvertent Plagiarism,” Mandy will discuss her research and the practical legal implications of her findings.

You are cordially invited to attend this event beginning at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, October 16th in Bowen Auditorium, McCreary Hall. Dinner following the talk will be held at Mamie’s beginning at 6:00 p.m. Please contact Carolyn Tuckey ctuckey@gettysburg.edu. or (717) 337-6171 if you are interested in attending.

Samuel A. Mudd Psychology Award

Congratulations to James Taylor '09 who was the May 2009 recipient of the Samuel A. Mudd Psychology Award. James graduated cum laude this past May, with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Neuroscience. He is a member of Psi Chi and received Departmental Honors for his work as a psychology major. While at Gettysburg, James spent time working with organizations such as the Center for Public Service, specifically programs such as the Campus Kitchens Project and DC Outfitters. He also spent time working with Habitat for Humanity on both local and national builds.

James worked as a research assistant for Dr. Kevin Wilson in the Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory. Here, James was able to work closely on projects exploring topics related to selective visual attention, object recognition, and visual processing. James was also able to continue this work at Gettysburg College for two summers due to grants received from the SOMAS (Support of Mentors and their Students) program in the summer of 2007 as well as a Shand Fellowship in the summer of 2008. Through the SOMAS grant, James was able to work closely with Dr. Wilson on an fMRI study examining selective visual attention, the results of which were presented at the 2007 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting. James just learned that a paper he co-authored with Kevin has been accepted for publication in the prestigious journal, Perception.

Currently, James is working as a research assistant with the Center for Autism Research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The lab incorporates brain imaging techniques, specifically fMRI, to explore the neural correlates associated with various aspects of Autism Spectrum Disorders. He hopes to later pursue a graduate degree within the field of psychology.

Ohio's Top Professor

Andrew Mickley '70, Professor of Neuroscience at Baldwin-Wallace College, Berea OH, has been named the 2008 Ohio Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

Read more about the award.

Learn more about the program: http://www.usprofessorsoftheyear.org/

Interestingly enough, Joann Hess Grayson '70, also a psych alum, won this same award in the State of Virginia in 2006.

Marriage at 10 MPH

While many newlyweds opt for a honeymoon at some exotic beach location, recent alums Jillian Graham '06 and Kyle Schmidt '05 added a slight twist on this theme. They did head to a beach not long after they were married this past May, but they got there by riding a tandem bicycle from the New Jersey shore to the Oregon coast. As best we can tell from following their blog over the summer the trip took about 2 months and it seemed to be quite an adventure. Congratulations on pulling off such an audacious plan!

Faculty News

Brian Meier returned from a pre-tenure sabbatical in the spring of 2009.  Brian, Maggie Carter ('09) and co-authors had a paper published in Emotion.  Brian and Tina Toburen ('08) had a paper published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology.  Brian and Sarah Dionne ('07) had a paper published in Social Cognition.  Brian and co-authors also published in Emotion and in two edited books, The Handbook for Working with Difficult Groups and Effortless Attention: A New Perspective in the Cognitive Science of Attention and Action.

Kathy Cain received a Fulbright Lecturing/Research award to spend the 2009-10 academic year in Cairo, Egypt.  Kathy will be teaching developmental psychology to graduate students at the Institute of Postgraduate Childhood Studies at Ain Shams University and will conduct collaborative research on social cognitive processes in children with special needs, including street children.

Dan McCall and Nathalie Goubet presented "The effect of semantic cues on odor identification in children and adults" at the meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development in Denver, CO in the spring of 2009.  Megan Eberly '08 and Jennifer Ducz '11 were co-authors on the paper which explored the reasons children and adults have difficulty naming familiar odors.  Nathalie and Dan are on sabbatical this year, and are studying at the Centre Européen des Sciences du Goût (European Center for Taste and Smell) in Dijon, France.  The center is a world-renowned research institute for basic and applied research in the chemical senses, and brings together researchers studying all aspects of gestation and olfaction, in animals and humans.  Dan and Nathalie are conducting research on the interaction between vision and olfaction in infants and adults. 

Steve Siviy, presented a poster at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in Washington DC last fall.  Courtney  Steets '09 and Lauren DeBrouse '09 were co-authors on the poster which described a series of studies showing how the benzodiazepine chlordiazepoxide altered the defensive strategy used by juvenile rats when exposed to a predatory threat.  Steve also published a paper in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews that described how various types of social contact can have a buffering effect on the fear exhibited by juvenile rats to the smell of a cat. Steve had a chance to catch up with former faculty members Thane Pittman and Martha Arterberry when he gave a talk last February to the Psychology  Department at Colby College and also travelled to Stanford University last October to give an invited talk at the first Annual Meeting on the State of Play Science.

Richard Russell published “A sex difference in facial pigmentation and its exaggeration by cosmetics” in Perception. This paper revealed the existence of a gender difference in facial pigmentation, demonstrated that people use this difference to determine the gender of a face, and shows that cosmetics are applied in precisely the correct manner as to exaggerate the gender difference.

Class of 2009 Awards

Students graduating in May 2009 with departmental honors included Margaret Carter, Lauren DeBrouse, Lindsey Dever, Stephanie Foster, Mary Gidas, Laura Schoenfeld, James Taylor, Lindsey Visbaras, and Kristin Wyatt. 

Nine majors were elected to Phi Beta Kappa:  Lauren DeBrouse, Lindsey Dever, Stephanie Foster, Mary Gidas, Amber Haegele, Ambika Kirkland, Gretchen Michelson, Laura Schoenfeld, and Kristin Wyatt.

Psychology Department banner carrier was Ambika Kirkland.  James Taylor was banner carrier for Neuroscience.

James Taylor was the recipient of the Samuel A. Mudd Psychology Award.  Ambika Kirkland received the Psi Chi Junior Award.

Psychology majors who were banner carriers for other departments included:  Lauren Tedesco, Education, Lindsey Dever, Individual Major, Nicole D’Aleo, Italian Studies, and Gretchen Michelson, Music.

Alums in Action

Lori (Detwiler) Ferzandi '96 completed her Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Pennsylvania State University in Spring '08.  She is currently working as a consultant for a firm in Indianapolis

Kimberly Wojcik '02 is working for the FBI in Newark, NJ.

Erin Hughes '04 is pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Whitney Ashworth '06 has completed an M.S.Ed in Psychological Services and an M.Phil.Ed in Professional Counseling and Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.  She is a full-time psychotherapist in a community mental health agency in Allentown, PA.

Brendon McDonald '06 will begin a Ph.D. program in counseling psychology at Texas Tech University this fall.

Daniel Gorrin '06 entered the University of Delaware’s Doctorate of Physical Therapy program this summer.

Jeffrey DeWitt '08 is working full-time as a research assistant/lab manager at UPenn.

Class of 2009 - Where Are They Going?

Gretchen Michelson, a double major in psychology and music is pursuing a Masters in jazz history and research at Rutgers University.

Lindsey Visbaras is at James Madison University pursuing a MA/Ed.S. degree in school psychology.

Demery Close is student teaching 3rd grade at Biglerville Elementary School.

Brittany Serio is pursuing a MA in acupuncture at the Tai Sophia Institute in Baltimore, MD.

Mary Gidas is attending grad school for teaching (K-6) and pursue a MA in teaching at Chatham University, Pittsburgh, PA.

Lindsey Dever is at Bryn Mawr College pursuing a Ph.D. in clinical developmental psychology.

Laura Schoenfeld is spending one year in Sydney Australia with BUNAC program.

Emily Steiner is student teaching first grade at Eisenhower Elementary School.

Ambika Kirkland is at Fordham University studying for her masters in education while teaching English as a second language in NYC with Teach for America.

Allison Barber is student teaching social studies at Hanover High School.

Katie Lamasa is attending Johns Hopkins School of Nursing for a BSN degree.

Kristin Wyatt is pursuing a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Hofstra University

Lauren DeBrouse is a 2-yr. fellow at the Nat’l Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Lab of Behavioral Science and Genetics.

Nick McConnell is attending Millersville University for an MA in education.

Kelly Chubb is pursuing an MSW degree at the University of Pennsylvania.

Maggie Carter is teaching at the New England Center for Children in their residential program for 13-18 yr. old boys.  She has been offered a position with the Peace Corps to teach English in Thailand beginning in Jan. 2010.

Allison Bitterman is working as a Mental Health Therapist at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital in Alexandria, VA .

Anna Springer is volunteering with One Laptop Per Child in Grahamstown, South Africa.

Jennifer Amols is Teaching English in Amiens, France for one year.

Nicole D’Aleo is pursuing an MA in Italian Language and Literature at Boston College.

Marisa Schlieber is pursuing an MA/Ph.D. in Educational Psychology at the University of Georgia.

James Taylor is working as a Research Assistant at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Center for Autism Research.

Jessica Sauer is student teaching first grade at Fairfield Elementary School.

Jennifer Gerckens is working as a Counselor for juveniles at Abraxas Rehabilitation Center, South Mountain, PA.

Courtney Steets  will enter med school at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.



300 North Washington St.
Campus Box 407
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania