Department of Psychology
Department of Psychology

Awards 2012


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James Pennebaker Receives Awards from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology

Dr. James Pennebaker was the recipient of two awards from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology—the 2012 Distinguished Scholar Award, and the 2012 Book Prize for the Promotion of Social and Personality Science, for his book The Secret Life of Pronouns: What our Words Say About Us.

Hamilton Book Awards Winners at UT Austin Announced

Psychology Department Chair James Pennebaker has been named the Grand Prize winner of the University Co-op Robert W. Hamilton Book Awards for his work, The Secret Life of Pronouns: What Our Words Say About Us. more >

Francisco Gonzalez-Lima Appointed Founding Chair of Texas Academy of Science, Neuroscience Section

Behavioral Neuroscience Professor Francisco Gonzalez-Lima has been appointed as the Founding Chair of the new Neuroscience section approved by the Board of Directors of the Texas Academy of Science. The Texas Academy of Science was first organized on 1892 at the University of Texas and celebrated its 115th annual meeting last year. The 2013 annual meeting will be at Schreiner University in Kerrville, Texas, February 28th (Thursday night activities), March 1st (talks and banquet) & March 2nd (field trips). The Texas Academy of Science website (http://www.texasacademyofscience.orgis now ready for Texas neuroscientists to register as new members of this Neuroscience section.

Sam Gosling Awarded Dads' Association Centennial Teaching Fellowship

Sam Gosling, professor of psychology, is one of four University of Texas at Austin faculty members to be awarded a Dads' Association Centennial Teaching Fellowship during the 2012-13 fall semester. The award honors the recipients' teaching excellence and acknowledges the many contributions they have made to the undergraduate experience at the university. more >

Juan Dominguez Appointed Member of BRLE Study Section at NIH

Assistant Professor Juan Dominguez has been appointed as a permanent member of the Biobehavioral Regulation, Learning and Ethology (BRLE) Study Section at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The appointment term is for six years, beginning in 2012 and ending in 2018. NIH Study sections are comprised of scientists focused on a particular research field who are charged with reviewing grant applications for the NIH. "Members are selected on the basis of their demonstrated competence and achievement in their scientific discipline as evidenced by the quality of research accomplishments, publications in scientific journals, and other significant scientific activities, achievements and honors." (quote from NIH letter announcing appointment)

Cindy Meston Receives Distinguished Visiting Professor Award

Clinical psychology professor Cindy Meston is a recipient of a Distinguished Visiting Professor Award by the Canadian Research Foundation. She is being sponsored by the University of Ottawa to study female sex offenders with Dr. Paul Federoff, Head of the Forensic Division in the Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Meston is a professor of clinical pathology and co-author, with David Buss, of Why Women Have Sex.

Burnham Family Attends Event Celebrating Launching of Endowment

The family of Clarke Burnham, along with friends, faculty, staff, students and donors to the endowment effort, attended a celebration marking the launching of the Clarke A. Burnham Memorial Excellence Endowment on June 21, 2010.

Jonathan Pillow Receives McKnight Scholar Award

The McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience has named six researchers, including Dr. Jonathan Pillow, to receive the 2012 McKnight Scholar Award. These awards, in the amount of $75,000 per year for three years, are granted to young scientists who are in the early stages of establishing their own independent laboratories and research careers and who have demonstrated a commitment to neuroscience. The Endowment Fund seeks to support innovative research designed to bring science closer to the day when diseases of the brain can be accurately diagnosed, prevented, and treated.

Dr. Pillow is an assistant professor of psychology in the area of perceptual systems who studies mathematical models of information processing in the nervous system. He is affiliated with the Center for Perceptual Systems and the Institute for Neuroscience. Project Title: Deciphering Cortical Representations at the Level of Spikes, Currents, and Conductances
. Pillow Lab Web Page | McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience (05/15/12)

Psychology Faculty Receive Teaching Awards

Drs. Theresa Jones and Caryn Carlson are among six faculty members at the University selected to receive the 2012 President's Teaching AwardThe President's Associates Teaching Excellence Award was established in 1980 to recognize excellence in undergraduate teaching at The University of Texas at Austin. University Executive Vice-Provost Steven Leslie presented the awards at a ceremony on March 7. The UT Tower glowed orange that evening in honor of the President's teaching and other major university award recipients. more >

Caryn Carlson is a professor of clinical psychology and associate chair of the Department, and has taught seminars in Positive Psychology at both the graduate and undergraduate levels for the past several years. 

Theresa Jones, professor of behavioral neuroscience, teaches courses in biopsychology and honors research, among others. In her research she investigates ways to speed recovery of brain function in stroke victims. (04/30/12)

David Yeager Receives APA's Division 7 (Developmental Psychology) Dissertation Award

David Yeager, assistant professor of developmental psychology, is the recipient of the American Psychological Association's Division 7 (Developmental Psychology) Dissertation Award. The award committee noted that the dissertation "involved a terrific set of studies concerning implicit theories of personality and adolescent aggression that truly make an outstanding contribution to the developmental psychology literature." The award will be given at the annual APA Convention in Honolulu, Hawaii in August 2013.
Dissertation Title:Implicit Theories of Personality and Adolescent Aggression: A process model and an intervention strategy 

Psychology Professors Receive Raymond Dickson Centennial Endowed Teaching Fellowships

Drs. Jacqueline Woolley and Kirsten Bradbury are recipients of the Raymond Dickson Centennial Endowed Teaching Fellowship for the 2012-2013 academic year. The award recognizes exemplary performance and commitment to teaching. Recipients of the award recieve a $3,000 salary supplement. Dr. Woolley, a professor in developmental psychology, teaches Psy 333F (Fantasy and Reality), and Psy 394S (Fundamentals of Developmental Psychology). Dr. Bradbury is a lecturer in psychology, currently teaching Psy 364 (Introduction to Clinical Psychology). This is Dr. Bradbury's second teaching award this year, having received a Texas Exes Teaching Award in February 2012. 

David Yeager Receives AERA Awards

David Yeager, assistant professor of developmental psychology, is the recipient of three awards from the American Education Research Association (AERA). He won the Division E (Human Development) Outstanding Dissertation Award for an article based on his dissertation titled, "An Implicit Theories of Personality Intervention Reduces Adolescent Aggression in Response to Victimization and Exclusion." This article, scheduled to appear in Child Development, detailed the development and testing of a novel social-cognitive intervention designed to change adolescents' implicit theories of personality--that is, their beliefs about whether people have the potential for change.  This intervention, lasting six class sessions, reduced aggressive behavior and conduct problems up to three months post-intervention, while also reducing depression.

Dr. Yeager also won the Division E Distinguished Research Award and the AERA Review of Research Award for a paper co-authored with Gregory M. Walton of Stanford University titled "Social-Psychological Interventions in Education: They're Not Magic", which was published in the Review of Educational Research in 2011. The paper examines the long-lasting benefits of social-psychological interventions on academic achievement and explores ways in which these interventions can be delivered on a larger scale.
Read AERA Awardees to Be Honored at Annual Meeting

Dr. Yeager, who began teaching at the University of Texas at Austin this semester after receiving his doctorate from Stanford University, will travel to Vancouver in April to receive his awards.

Kirsten Bradbury Receives Texas Exes Teaching Award

Dr. Kirsten Bradbury is one of 30 professors and teaching assistants who have been chosen by UT students to receive the Texas Exes Teaching Award. She will be presented with the award and a check for $1,000 at a ceremony later this month. Recipients of the award are recognized because of their "warmth of spirit, concern for society and the individual, the ability to impart knowledge while challenging students to independent inquiry and creative thought, and respect for an understanding of the permanent value of our culture." Dr. Bradbury is a Lecturer who teaches Introduction to Clinical Psychology. more >

Dr. Judith Langlois to Serve as Graduate School Interim Dean

Judith Langlois, Charles and Sarah Seay Regents' Professor of Psychology and director of the Langlois Social Development Lab, will be taking over as interim dean of the Graduate School, effective January 31. Dr. Langlois has served twice as interim dean for the College of Liberal Arts and is currently Vice Provost. 



Carey Pulverman Receives Prize Essay Award

Clinical psychology graduate student Carey Pulverman has received the Prize Essay Award from the International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH) for her paper, Linguistic Changes Predict Increased Sexual Satisfaction.

Working in the Female Sexual Psychophysiology Lab, Carey examined an expressive writing treatment for female survivors of childhood sexual abuse experiencing adult sexual dysfunction. Experiencing sexual abuse in childhood is a major risk factor for sexual dysfunction in adulthood. The treatment was shown to reduce depressive symptoms and improve sexual satisfaction. Additionally, changes in certain categories of word use in the women's essays from pre to post-treatment predicted concurrent changes in depression and sexual satisfaction.

Carey will present these findings at the upcoming ISSWSH conference in February in New Orleans.

The Sexual Psychophysiology Laboratory

Annie Steele Wins Finalist Award for Facebook Fellowship

Clinical graduate student Annie Steele has won a $500 Finalist award for a Facebook Fellowship. The Facebook Fellowship supports 12 Ph.D. students doing groundbreaking research. The finalist award was granted to Annie based on her current research on social functioning and emotional responses to social media. Annie works with Dr. Michael Telch on The Facebook Project, a study looking at social anxiety and response to negative feedback in online social networking contexts and in face-to-face contexts. 
Facebook Fellowship Program

Psychology Undergraduate Students Win Rapoport-King Scholarships

Two Psychology undergraduate students were awarded a Rapoport-King Thesis Scholarships in October 2012. They will be receiving $2,500 for their senior year and their faculty mentors will receive a $1,000 research stipend to work closely with the student. More information about this scholarship can be found at this link:

Award Winners:

Alana Harrison

  • Faculty Mentor:  David Gilden
  • Thesis title: "Fostering and Suppressing Creativity:  An Environmental Comparison"

Tammy (Thanh) Tran

  • Faculty Mentor: Alison Preston
  • Thesis title: "The Effect of Prior Knowledge on Memory Encoding:  Memory Strength as the Moderating Factor"



Undergraduate Advisor Jay Brown Receives 2012 James Vick Award

Undergraduate advisor Jay Brown is the recipient of the 2012 James Vick Award.This award is presented each spring to academic advisors who have had an effective, positive influence on the educational experience of university students. Students nominate academic advisors from across campus and a student selection committee determines the recipients. New honorees join former recipients at a luncheon to celebrate academic advising and to receive a certificate and a monetary award. Congratulations, Jay!


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