Department of Psychology
Department of Psychology

Awards 2014

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Professors David Buss and James Pennebaker Listed Among Top 200 Psychologists of the Modern Era

Psychology Professors David Buss and James Pennebaker are listed among the top 200 psychologists of the modern era (since Post-World War II), according to a new study from the University of Virginia and published in the American Psychological Association’s Archives of Scientific Psychology journal.

The study, “An Incomplete List of Eminent Psychologists of the Modern Era,” analyzes and identifies eminent psychologists using three criteria—citation metrics, textbook page coverage, and major awards—to select the most highly recognized psychologists.

Dr. Buss is a leading scholar of evolutionary psychology who conducts research on strategies of human mating, sexual jealousy, sexual motivation, conflict between the sexes, sexual predators, stalking and motives for murder. 

Dr. Pennebaker's wide-ranging research on self-disclosure, language use, symptom perception, and health has had an extraordinary impact on the fields of personality and social psychology. (10/8/2014)

See the full study here.

Dr. Marie Monfils Awarded the DRK Research Fund for Alzheimer's Disease

The Darrell K Royal Research Fund for Alzheimer’s Disease today awarded $825,000 in grant funding for cutting edge Alzheimer’s research in Texas. Comprised of fundraising efforts from the DKR Fund’s Ben-Willie-Darrell “4th & Goal” Gala in 2013, the grant money will go directly to advance scientific research in Texas.

Dr. Marie Monfils was one of six recipients to receive this prestigious award. (9/10/2014)

Read the full press release.
Read how the fund was started.

Dr. James Pennebaker Recipient of The Methodological Innovation Award by SPSP

Dr. Pennebaker was awarded The Methodological Innovation Award by the Society of Personality and Social Psychology—the largest organization of social psychologists and personality psychologists.

The Methodological Innovation Award recognizes an individual who has made a significant or sustained contribution to innovative methods in social and personality psychology. The award recognizes contributions that are especially likely to generate the discovery of new hypotheses, new phenomena, or new ways of thinking about the discipline of social/personality psychology. (8/22/2014)

Read more about SPSP awards here.
Learn more about The Methodological Innovation Award here. 

Dr. Michael Domjan Presented the D. O. Hebb Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award

Dr. Domjan received the Donald O. Hebb Distinguished Scientific Contributions Award from Division 6 (Behavioral Neuroscience and Comparative Psychology) at the recent American Psychological Association convention. 

The award honors a psychologist who has made distinguished theoretical and/or empirical contributions to basic research in behavioral neuroscience and/or comparative psychology. Professor Domjan is noted for his long-lasting and impactful contributions to comparative psychology, neuroscience, and the field of learning for over 40 years. His early work on taste aversion and later work in sexual conditioning, were truly paradigm shifting and revolutionized how we think about general laws of learning and constraints on learning. (8/18/2014)

Prof. Geisler Awarded Psychological and Brain Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award from Indiana University

Dr. Wilson Geisler was chosen by the faculty in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Indiana University to receive the Psychological and Brain Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award. The award recognizes his "extraordinary contributions in the areas of vision science, including visual perception and the evolution of perceptual systems make you a most deserving recipient of this award."
The award letter states that Professor Geisler's receipt of this award "exemplifies the excellence for which we stand and for which our students aspire. We are truly honored to call you one of our own." (7/10/2014)

Dr. David Buss Named One of 30 Most Influential Psychologists Working Today

Best Masters in, which advises on advanced degrees in Psychology, listed Professor David Buss as seventh in a list of the 30 most influenial psychologists doing groundbreaking and far-reaching work today.

The article explains that, "American psychologist David M. Buss is a leading researcher and author in the field of evolutionary psychology and human sex differences in partner selection. The 2005 book The Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology, edited by Buss, is considered the definitive text on the subject." (5/5/2014)

See the full article here.

Dr. Jonathan Pillow Visits White House to Receive Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers

Dr. Jonathan Pillow traveled to Washington, DC, to visit the White House and receive the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE)—the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their research careers.

President Obama spoke to the group of 102 men and women who received the award, 20 of whom were nominated by The National Science Foundation (NSF), including Dr. Pillow.

Pillow received the award, "For foundational advances in probabilistic methods for understanding how populations of neurons encode and process information, and for leadership in education and broadening participation in computational neuroscience and related fields." (4/17/2014)

For more information, please see the full NSF website article here.

Theresa Jones for receiving the Harry Ransom Award for Teaching Excellence

Dr. Theresa Jones has been selected to receive a Harry Ransom Award for Teaching Excellence for the 2013-2014 academic year. The award recognizes the consistent level of excellence she achieved in teaching students within the Department of Psychology.  Her commitment and outstanding performance, as well as her high academic standards were noted as not only instructional, but inspiring. (4/16/2014)

Dr. Sam Gosling Selected as New Member of UT's Academy of Distinguished Teachers

Dr. Gosling was selected as one of six new members of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers—the most elite teaching award at The University of Texas.

New members of the Academy are selected through a rigorous evaluation process, nominated by Deans of colleges and schools annually, and a committee that includes members of the Academy, students, and other faculty review the nominations and recommend a slate of honorees to the provost, who makes the final selections. Honorees are awarded the title University Distinguished Teaching Professor and serve for the duration of their tenure at The University of Texas at Austin. (4/14/2014)

More information on The Academy of Distinguished Teachers here.

Dr. David Yeager Selected for Prestigious Scholars Program

David Yeager, PRC Faculty Research Associate and Assistant Professor of Psychology, has been named to the 2014 class of William T. Grant Scholars

The William T. Grant Scholars Program supports promising early-career researchers from diverse disciplines, who have demonstrated success in conducting high-quality research and are seeking to further develop and broaden their expertise. 

Dr. Yeager's proposal was entitled, "Toward a Sociological, Contextual Perspective on Psychological Interventions".  You can learn more about Yeager's research agenda in his paper, "How can we instill productive mindsets at scale?  A review of the evidence and an initial R&D agenda." (2/24/2014)



Psychology Undergrads Receive David Ivey Scholarship

Psychology students Carlos Castaneda and Lorena Rodriguez were awarded the David Ivey Scholarship for the 2014-2015 academic year.

The David Ivey Scholarship is a memorial endowed scholarship designed to reward Psychology undergraduate students who spend time doing community service while enrolled at UT. Every Fall, two Psychology undergraduate students are selected from an applicant pool to receive the award. The amount of the award varies depending on income generated by the endowment. This year's recipients were awarded $600 for the 2014-2015 academic year. (12/1/2014)

Psychology Student Paige S. Parker Receives Fall 2014 Undergraduate Research Fellowship

Psychology student Paige S. Parker received an Undergraduate Research Fellowship award for Fall 2014. The UT Undergraduate Research Fellowship program provides support (up to $1,000) for specific scholarly investigative projects conducted by University of Texas at Austin undergraduates. 

Paige's research project was called “Exercise and Cognition: The Mediating Role of Vitamin D,” and was supervised by Darla M. Castelli (Dept. of Kinesiology & Health Education). (11/17/2014)

Two Psychology Students Win Rapoport-King Thesis Scholarship

Psychology undergraduate students Emily Kemp and Subhan Tabba were awarded Rapoport-King Thesis Scholarships in October 2014.

The Rapoport-King Thesis Scholarships honor Audre and Bernard Rapoport and Robert D. King, former Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, and enable the College of Liberal Arts to provide scholarship and research support students writing a thesis in one of the Departmental Honors Programs the year they apply. 

Each student will receive $2,000 for their senior year, and their faculty mentors will receive a $1,000 research stipend to work closely with them. (10/23/2014)

Emily Kemp
Faculty Mentor:  Bob Josephs
Thesis title: “The Dysfunctional Stress Mechanism in Psychopathy”

Subhan Tabba
Faculty Mentor:  Yvon Delville
Thesis title:  “Gender Differences in Forms of Aggression of Bullying Victims”

For more information about this scholarship, please visit the COLA website HERE.

Grad Student Brooke Miller Wins Khan Academy Award to Develop MCAT Psychology Content

Psychology graduate student Brooke Miller won Khan Academy's video competition to make introduction-to-psychology content for their courses.

Because the 2015 MCAT will include new content in areas like psychology and sociology, the Khan Academy, which creates and provides online MCAT prep courses, launched two competitions to find talented individuals who could help out by making videos, creating questions, or writing articles for the 2015 Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). The competitions had 12 video competition winners and 20 question and article writing competition winners. (8/8/2014)

Doctoral Student Michelle Davis Awarded Beck Institute Student Scholarship

Michelle Davis, a doctoral student in Prof. Jasper Smits’ lab (Behavioral & Integrative Treatment Development Program), has been awarded a Beck Institute Student Scholarship. She was selected from more than 850 applicants to receive a full tuition scholarship to attend the Annual Student Workshop: CBT for Depression & Suicidality in August. (3/31/2014)

Cintia Hinojosa Named One of 12 Dean's Distinguished Graduates in the College of Liberal Arts for 2014

Cintia Hinojosa was named one of the 2014 Dean’s Distinguished Graduates. Ms. Hinojosa works with Dr. David Yeager in the Adolescent Development LabDr. Cristine Legare in The Cognition, Culture, & Development Lab, as well as with graduate student Jennifer Clegg

The Dean’s Distinguished Graduates program was established in 1980 to recognize graduating Liberal Arts students who have distinguished themselves in the areas of scholarship, leadership, and service to the college and university community. 

Her name will be inscribed on the Dean’s Distinguished Graduates wall of honor located in the advising suite of the Gebauer Building. (3/6/2014)



Psychology's Kimberly Terry Chosen as UT's Graduate Coordinator of the Semester

Kimberly Terry has been selected as UT's Graduate Coordinator of the Semester by the Graduate Coordinator Network (GCN). The GCN is a nonprofit, voluntary, professional association of roughly 93 graduate coordinators representing around 12,818 graduate students in approximately 103 departments and programs at The University of Texas at Austin.

Ms. Terry has been a graduate coordinator at UT for almost 9 years. Before the Psychology Department, she worked in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Teresa Lozano Long Institute for Latin American Studies. She has also served as Chair of the GCN. (11/19/2014)


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