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«Department of Psychological Sciences Accomplishments, Awards, & Accolades April-July 2014 Dr. Andy Walters Named SBS Teacher of the Year & ...»

Department of Psychological Sciences

Accomplishments, Awards, & Accolades

April-July 2014

Dr. Andy Walters Named SBS Teacher of the Year &

President’s Distinguished Teaching Fellow

Dr. Andy Walters was appointed as NAU’s sole President’s

Distinguished Teaching Fellow and named the SBS Teacher of

the Year. For both awards, Dr. Walters was recognized for his

tremendous commitment to undergraduate students: his

outstanding teaching skills, both within the traditional classroom

experience as well as service learning supervision (PSY 408c-- Fieldwork), and his work as an exemplary mentor to students.

His students have achieved numerous awards and achievements under his supervision. Dr. Walters has been identified by NAU Golden Axe recipients as the faculty member who, “provided the most significant impact on academic success,” eight times in the nine years he has been teaching here at NAU. Dr. Walters is truly a gifted teacher and mentor. Congratulations!!!

Andy Walters was honored at the President’s Award Recognition Ceremony on April 23, 2014. He is pictured here (center) along with SBS Dean Stephen Wright (left) and Department Chair Heidi Wayment (right).

Outstanding Students Recognized for Achievement In April we celebrated the achievement of our outstanding Junior and Senior Psychology majors. Five students earned the “Outstanding Senior Award” : Kirsten Nicole Frey, Samuel Alexander Hickerson, Derek Michael Sirakis, George Brett Velez and Shannon Kimberly Potts. Four students earned our “Outstanding Junior Award”: Louis Herschel Irving, Lauren Nicole Johnson, Victoria Charlotte Mary-Rose Pocknell, and Kaylynne Gray.

The 2014 Edward C. and Mary E. Mills Award was awarded to Kierra Marshay Begay. Ms. Begay is a Psychology major and Navajo Language minor with a cumulative GPA of 3.6. She is the youngest of six children raised on the Navajo reservation, and the only one of the six to attend college. She hopes to become a clinical psychologist with a specialization in art therapy. The 2014 Virginia Blankenship Undergraduate Research Scholarship was awarded to Zachary Klinefelter. Mr. Klinefelter double-majored in Psychology and Spanish with a 3.5 cumulative GPA. He will be presenting three research projects at the 2014 meeting of the American Psychological Association in Washington, D.C. His primary interests are in the area of Industrial/ Organizational Psychology. Mr. Klinefelter has also demonstrated a commitment to service, acting as a missionary for two years in low-income communities in Oregon and California. During this time, he organized food drives and served as an employment counselor.  Virginia Blankenship (pictured above, third from right, front row) for whom the award was named, presented Zach with his award! The 2014 Vicki Green Psychology Thesis Award was presented to Joseph Barbour to support his thesis entitled “Predictors of Student Veteran Well-Being and Performance.” His work investigates the role that self-concept plays in the academic performance and well-being of veterans. The 2014 Vicki Green Graduate School Travel Award was presented to Aifrica Standing Bear. Ms. Standing Bear will be attending a Ph.D. program in Counseling Psychology at the Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas. She hopes, one day, to go into private practice in counseling, serving a diverse client set within a rural environment.

2014-2015 Hooper Undergraduate Research Award Winners The intent of the highly competitive Hooper Undergraduate Research Award (HURA) is to encourage greater participation of undergraduate students from all disciplines in research, scholarly, and creative activities supervised by a faculty mentor. In 2013, 28 awards were made: Geology (6), Forestry (5), Biological Sciences (3), Environmental Sciences (3), Psychology (2), Physics & Astronomy (2), Mechanical Engineering (2), Cultural & Comparative Studies (2) Ecological Restoration Institute (1), Communications (1), Physical Therapy & Athletic Training (1), and Mathematics & Statistics (1). In 2012, Psychology students received 3 of the 22 awards received.

For 2014 SIX psychology majors were awarded HURA awards. Congratulations to these outstanding students and their faculty mentors!

–  –  –

The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences had an impressive presence at the 2014 NAU Undergraduate Research Symposium, with the Department of Psychological Sciences playing a particularly important role in that success.

Our Department had 102 posters (57% of the SBS total). The College considered 24 posters for special awards and all three prizes were awarded to Psychological Science students. Each display was judged on the ability of the student to explain their project to the judges, including whether the topic and its significance was communicated appropriately and did the study provide adequate background knowledge to make the presentation understandable and outstanding. Projects were rated on "content", "appearance" and “comprehension of presentation.” First place ($500) went to Sara Tackett (Attention Divided: Texting in Different Situations, Dr. Ann Huffman, faculty mentor); Second place ($300) went to Morgan Wachowski (Effects of Substance User Type, Dr. John Houser, faculty mentor); Third place ($200) went to Alexandra Viachos (Beauty vs. Brawn, Dr. Nicole Bies-Hernandez, faculty mentor). ·       Research Methods (PSY 302w) Research Project Award Winners Congratulations to the students completing PSY 302w (Research Methods in Psychological Science) who worked diligently on their group research projects and presented them at the NAU Undergraduate Symposium. Thanks to faculty (Michael Alban, Steven Barger, Julia Berry, Dana Donohue, Ann Huffman, Haley Orthel, Chad Woodruff) and graduate student judges (Dave Avram, Joe Barbour & Stevie Hodge).





Best Overall Project: Evoking Emotions: Does Framing a Crime Scenario Affect the Views of

the Participants? by Michelle Chavez, Alexandra Clitso, Kaitlin Fitzgerald & Jill Griffin (Middle:

Dr. John Houser)

–  –  –

--Continued on next page-Barger Sabbatical Research Presented, Published, and Honored In April, 2014, Professor Steven Barger presented a paper on social relationships and depression at the 72nd annual meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society in San Francisco, CA. This research was a collaboration with faculty at the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM) at the University of Bern in Switzerland. Their research, Social correlates of major depressive disorder and depressive symptoms in Switzerland: Nationally representative cross sectional study now appears in ABMC Public Health, a BioMed

Central Journal. The paper is available here:

http://www.biomedcentral.com/ 1471-2458/14/273 and has received the distinction of “highly accessed” a very distinguished honor for the paper.

Background: Dr. Barger spent part of his sabbatical in Bern where he was introduced to the Swiss National Health Survey. This survey provides information regarding health behavior, health needs and health services use for the Swiss population. Dr. Barger studies social and economic determinants of health using US samples and several features of the Swiss data paralleled his interests. For example, the Swiss Health Survey included a variety of social relationship assessments as well as interview and questionnaire measures of major depression and depressive symptoms, respectively. These data provided a novel opportunity to examine how one’s relationship quality and quantity were related to both clinical depressive disorder (i.e., having a major depressive episode within the last 12 months) and subclinical depressive symptomatology (over the last two weeks) in a large representative sample ( 12,000 participants).

Dr. Barger, and his colleagues Jürgen Barth and Nadine Messerli-Bürgy, found that participants who reported being sometimes or very often lonely had a much higher incidence of a recent major depressive episode. In addition, participants perceiving that their support needs were not being met and those who were not living with a romantic partner were also at higher risk. Other social relationship resources, such as having a confidant, seeing friends or family regularly and/or someone to help with daily activities (tangible support) were unrelated to major depression.

In contrast, all of the social relationship characteristics examined, with the exception of living with a romantic partner, were associated with depressive symptoms. That is, people who lacked a confidant, perceived their social support needs were unmet, lacked tangible support and regular contact with friends and family were more likely to have depressive symptoms. Thus, a broader range of social relationship elements were related to depressive symptoms as compared to major depression.

Overall loneliness was the strongest predictor of major depression and depressive symptoms in Switzerland, replicating associations found in nationally representative studies from the US and Australia. In addition, a broad set of markers for relationship quality and quantity were associated with subclinical depression. Thus,

when characterizing the types of social relationships that are associated with mental health, it is important to:

1) evaluate a number of social relationship domains; and 2) distinguish between clinical versus subclinical depression.

Student Highlights

–  –  –

Pictured in front row, left to right: Tyler Lamy, Caitlin Stephen, Katelyn Albright, Jillian Saffin, Daniel Enriquez. Back Row, left to right:  Ami Lindemann, Cassie Padilla, Ariel Porter, Lindy Ledbetter, Josephine Ribelin, Hailey Adkins, Jamie Dean, Molly Ewbank, Jeannette Hernandez, and Marilu Montoya.

–  –  –

NAU Department of Psychological Sciences Instructors Julia Berry (left) and Haley Orthel (right) serving as judges at the Undergraduate Symposium. Primate Center).  Both are graduates of our masters’ program in General Psychology. Prior to coming to NAU as a full-time instructor, Julia Berry was a tenure-track faculty member at Big Bend Community College. Missing Arizona, she returned to a part-time instructor position at Chandler-Gilbert Community College prior to becoming a full-time instructor at NAU. Julia participated in our exchange program with University of Groningen, Netherlands while a student and While a graduate student, Haley Orthel worked with Dr. Meliksah Demir worked with Dr. Huffman.

on friendship research and has continued that work while serving as an instructor in our department. She’ll be leaving NAU and Flagstaff for a new tenure-track position at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada. We wish her the very best!



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