Department of Psychology
Department of Psychology

Alumni Spotlights

A Sampling of Post-Degree Activities by our Alumni

As taken from our Alumni Survey (new survey coming soon!) and news posts. Let us know what you've been up to since graduation and alert us of any changes to your contact information!


Martin M. Katz

PhD, Psychology and Physiology, UT Austin (1955)

Career Highlights:
  • Awarded 2016 Paul Hoch Distinguished Service Award by the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
  • Devoted career to studying the action of antidepressants in clinical populations and contributing to the theoretical understanding of their mechanisms of action
  • Published many groundbreaking books on depression, from "The Psychology of Depression: Contemporary Theory and Research" (1973) to "Depression and Drugs: The Neurobehavioral Structure of a Psychological Storm" (2013)
  • Adjunct Research Professor, Department of Psychiatry, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, where researched the “Biological Aspects of Depression” and the neurobehavioral mechanisms of action of antidepressant drugs, 1996–2015
  • Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center, New York, 1994–2004
  • Professor and Chief, Division of Psychology, Department of Psychiatry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center, 1984–1994
  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, George Washington University Medical Center, Washington, DC, 1982–1990
  • Executive Secretary, Psychopharmacology Advisory Committee, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, MD, 1957–1959

Anita Belles Porterfield (Anita Willey)

BA, Psychology, UT Austin (Fall 1972)
First job after graduating from UT Psychology: Training Coordinator of the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services for the State of Louisiana
Currently: (Dec. 2015) Book Editor, Boerne Star and freelance writer

Career Highlights:
  • Director, Emergency Medical Services Council, Lake Charles, LA
  • Director, Bureau of Emergency Medical Services for the State of Louisiana
  • Research Coordinator for study, "The Impact of the Reinstatement of the Motorcycle Helmet Law in Louisiana (NHTSA)," Tulane University School of Medicine
  • Director of Family Planning, Brady-Green Clinic, San Antonio, TX
  • Management Engineer, University Hospital, San Antonio, TX
  • Cardiovascular Research Coordinator, Centers of Excellence, San Antonio Regional Hospital 

Comments: I have been a full-time writer for the past decade and the lead author of "Death on Base: The Fort Hood Massacre," University of North Texas Press, 2015. Currently I am the book editor for the Boerne Star and a member of the National Book Critics Circle and a member of the Author's Guild. 


John D Tyler 

PhD, Clinical Psychology, UT Austin (Summer 1970)
First job after graduating from UT Psychology: Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of North Dakota 
Currently: (Dec. 2015) Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychology, University of North Dakota

Michael Buhrmester

BA, Plan II Honors Program and Psychology (2007), UT Austin
PhD, Social & Personality Psychology (2013), UT Austin, under the supervision of Dr. William B. Swann, Jr

Career Highlights:
  • Post-doctoral researcher at University of Oxford, Institute of Cognitive & Evolutionary Anthropology (Jan. 2016)
  • Included on the APS 2015 Rising Stars list
  • Published broadly on the nature of self-motives and interplay of the personal and social self
  • Current work (in collaboration with an interdisciplinary group) focuses on the antecedents, nature, and consequences of group bonding, prosociality, and conflict. He is specifically interested in elaborating upon empirical work on the newly introduced "identity fusion" construct. He is also interested in online methods of data collection in psychology.

Gayle Masterson

BA, Psychology, UT Austin
PhD, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX

Career Highlights:
  • Certified by American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
  • 17 years of psychiatry and eating disorder experience
  • Appointed director of Sierra Tucson's residential Eating Recovery Program (Tucson, AZ), December 30, 2015
  • Prior work at Mirasol, Pima County Jail, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base Active Duty Mental Health Services Clinic and HOPE, Inc., and several contracted positions1

Alton Keith Barton

BA, Psychology, UT Austin (Spring 1969)
PhD, Experimental Psychology, UT Austin (Spring 1972)
First job after graduating from UT Psychology: Post-doctoral fellow, community mental health administration

Career Highlights:
  • Chief Psychologist, Midlands Center, South Carolina
  • Assistant Deputy Commissioner, TDMHMR
  • Founder and COO, Texas Community Living Ventures
  • Private Practice

Joe D. Gilliland

BA, Psychology, UT Austin (Summer 1949)
MA, English, UT Austin (Summer 1955)
PhD, English, Arizona State University (Spring 1979)

Career Highlights:
  • Instructor: English; Wakayama University, Wakayama, Japan, 1950–1953
  • Instructor: English (TA); University of Texas at Austin, 1949–1950
  • Instructor: English, Humanities; Lee College, Baytown, Texas, 1955–1964
  • Instructor and Division Chair: English, Humanities, Philosophy; Cochise College, Douglas, AZ, 1964–1988
  • Vice President for Instruction; Cochise College, Douglas, AZ, 1994–1996

Comments: The BA in psychology worked well for me as a preparation for graduate work in English, philosophy, and the humanities. It provided a background of appreciation and understanding of human development, I believe, and was elementary preparation for a critical understanding of the humanities. I often advised and recommended psychology as a liberal arts undergraduate major for students preparing for a wide range of occupational or professional specialties: law, medicine, the clergy, education, personnel (human resources), advertising.


Stephen Brake

BA, Plan II Honors Program, UT Austin (1971)
PhD, Biopsychology, UT Austin (1976)
First job after graduating from UT Psychology: Post-Doc at Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Career Highlights:
  • Assistant Research Professor, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
  • Assistant Research Professor, New York State Psychiatric Institute
  • Psychologist, Stephen Brake Associates

Kim Nixon

BA, Psychology, UT Austin (Spring 1992)
PhD, Behavioral Neuroscience (Spring 2000)
First job after graduating from UT Psychology: After my BA, I continued working as a sales and logistics manager for a local export company while volunteering in the Amsel lab on weekends and evenings. Post PhD, I was a postdoctoral fellow at UNC Chapel Hill.
Currently: (March 2015) Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Kentucky

Career Highlights:
  • Awarded the 2009 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) by President Barack Obama
  • Tenured in 2011

Comments: Despite working in a chemistry heavy department, I have taken a numnber of Psych degrees into the lab because they are typically such excellent scientists. I can teach bench techniques, I can't teach good science sense!


Keith Reeves

BA, Psychology/Pre-med, UT Austin (Summer 1965)
First job after graduating from UT Psychology: Intern, Baylor Affiliated Hospitals, Texas Medical Center, Houston 

Currently: (Dec. 2015) Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Weill Cornell Medical College

Career Highlights:
  • Emeritus Physician, Houston Methodist Hospital, Department of Ob/Gyn 
  • Founding Medical Director, Methodist Center for Restorative Pelvic Medicine

David Cregg

BS, Psychology, (minor in Philosophy and certificate in Religious Studies through Polymathic Scholars), UT Austin (Spring 2014) 

First (and current) job after graduating from UT Psychology: Research and Congregational Outreach Coordinator at The Institute for Spirituality and Health at the Texas Medical Center; entering the PhD program in Clinical Psychology at The Ohio State University this fall

Comments: The Institute for Spirituality and Health, where I'm currently serving as the research coordinator, is a very unique academic institution worth highlighting. It is now celebrating its 60th year as an official member of the Texas Medical Center in Houston, the largest medical complex in the world. The Institute's purpose is to increase awareness of the role that spirituality plays in health and healing, in coping with chronic illness and in maintaining optimal health. Founded in 1955 by its former name, The Institute of Religion, it has a long history of innovation in healthcare and medicine. Among its achievements are developing one of the nation's first hospital chaplaincy training programs, as well as being "the first major institution devoted to medical ethics in the United States," according to The Encyclopedia of Bioethics. It is a non-sectarian, interdisciplinary institution with faculty from UH, Rice, Baylor College of Medicine, MD Anderson, etc.   

While a psychology undergraduate at UT, I completed two theses on the psychology of religion. For the psychology honors program, I completed an experimental study on the interaction between religiosity and terror management under advisement of Raymond Hawkins. For the Polymathic Scholars program, I completed a paper on the contributions of Freud, Jung and William James to the psychology of religion under advisement of Wendy Domjan. Largely because of these 2 projects, and my research experience as a RA in Michael Telch's Anxiety Disorders Lab, I was given my current position as research and congregational coordinator at ISH. My job is to develop new research projects for the institute. Among other things, I've continued to expand my honors thesis work on terror management, which resulted in a poster presentation at The 4th Annual Conference on Medicine and Religion hosted by Harvard University. Additionally, I've been developing an fNIRS study on the neural correlates of meditation in conjunction with a Zen Monk and a professor of Human-Computer Interaction at Syracuse University. The other component of my job is to serve as a liason between The Institute and the various religious and spiritual communities of Houston whom we seek to understand and address their concerns regarding healthcare. I've visited churches, mosques, synagogues, Hindu and Buddhist temples, etc. to dialogue with their leaders about the Institute's work and increase the Texas Medical Center's cultural competence on the role of faith in patients' lives. 

My position draws upon all of my training in psychology, philosophy and religious studies. In the fall, I'll be leaving to pursue my PhD in clinical psychology at The Ohio State University. I could not have gotten here without my education at UT. I'd be happy to answer any questions about what this past year at The Institute has entailed! You can see more about it on our website: http://ish-tmc.org/


Melissa (McInnis) Brown

BA, Psychology, UT Austin (Spring 2010)
BA, Spanish Literature, UT Austin (Spring 2010)
PhD, Psychology, University of Alabama
First job after graduating from UT Psychology: Graduate Teaching Assistant, University of Alabama 

Currently: (May 2015) Assistant Professor at Texas Woman's University

Tammy Tran

BS, Psychology, UT Austin (Spring 2013)
First job after graduating from UT Psychology: Graduate Student 
Currently: (Nov. 2015) Graduate Student at Johns Hopkins University

Rachel Riskind

BA, Psychology, UT Austin (Spring 2006)
PhD, University of Virginia (2013)
First job after graduating from UT Psychology: lab manager in Eric Stice's lab at UT-Austin
Currently: (Nov. 2015) Assistant Professor of Psychology at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC
Previously: Doctoral candidate (and lecturer) at the University of Virginia

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    The University of Texas at Austin
    SEA 4.208
    108 E. Dean Keeton Stop A8000
    Austin, TX 78712-1043
    512-471-1157