Department of Psychology
Department of Psychology

Recent Events

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Each spring, the clinical area holds PsychFest, a daylong event and banquet in honor of second-year students. This event features individual presentations by second-year students of their current research (typically, the second-year project) and course of future studies. The department invites a distinguished speaker to attend the event, meet with students, and give a lecture; organizers solicit student input when choosing each year’s speaker.

Past speakers have included:

  • Sheri Johnson, University of California, Berkeley (2019)
  • Michael Otto, Boston University (2018)
  • Jim Pfaus, Concordia University (2017)

  • Sonya Lyubomirsky, University of California, Riverside (2016)

  • Matthew Nock, Harvard University (2015)
  • Ian Gotlib, Stanford University (2014)
  • Matt McGue, University of Minnesota (2013) 
  • Richard McNally, Harvard University (2012)
  • Charles Carver, University of Miami (2011)
  • Elizabeth Loftus, University of California, Irvine (2010)
  • Julia Heiman, Director, The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction (2009)
  • James Coyne, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (2008)
  • Andrew Shatté, Managing Director, Adaptiv Learning Systems (2007)
  • Bill Miller, University of New Mexico (2006)
  • Margaret Kemeny, UCSF (2005)
  • Edna Foa, University of Pennsylvania (Spring 2004)
  • Jack Rachman, University of British Columbia (Fall 2002)
  • John Weisz, UCLA (2001)
  • Michael Bailey, Northwestern University (2000)

To the right of this page is a list of student presentations from this year's event.

The Polka Docs, a band comprised of several clinical faculty members (and quite possibly the only band featuring an accordion AND a didgeridoo), has provided entertainment at a number of the evening banquets.

Lee Willerman Award for Excellence in Research

A highlight of PsychFest is the presentation of the Lee Willerman Award for Excellence in Research, which is given for the outstanding student paper publication. Dr. Willerman, a distinguished researcher in the clinical area from 1971 until his untimely death in 1997, was well-loved by his students and colleagues. The area established the award in 2000 as a tribute to Dr. Willerman and his contributions to the department and the field. The winner receives a plaque and a cash award, and his or her name is added to the permanent plaque displayed in the Seay library.


Clinical Party

The area hosts a Fall dinner and party for clinical faculty, students, and their partners or spouses. A party highlight is the videotape made by second-year students to welcome the first-year students. 

First-Year Clinical Students
First-year students 2019 (l to r): Mackenzie Zisser, Caitlin Fisher, Mackenzie Sears, Estrella Thomas, Andrew Levihn-Coon, Maria Dekhtyar




Student Speakers


Mackenzie Zisser

Caitlin Fisher

Estrella Thomas

Maria Dekhtyar

Mackenzie Sears

Download PsychFest 2018 Poster (PDF) 











Past Winners of the Lee Willerman Award

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  • Department of Psychology

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    Austin, TX 78712-1043