Department of Psychology
Department of Psychology

Awards 2019


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Prof. Marie Monfils Receives 2020 Pavlovian Research Award

Dr. Marie H Monfils was awarded the Pavlovian Society's 2020 Pavlovian Research Award for "examining neural, adaptive and clinical aspects of fear memory." The Award honors members (particularly younger members) of the Society for significant research accomplishments. (10/14/2019)

Dr. Elliot Tucker-Drob Elected Recipient of 2019 Max Planck-Humboldt Medal

Professor Elliot Tucker-Drob was chosen as the 2019 recipient of the prestigious Max Planck-Humboldt Medal for his contributions to the fields of developmental psychology, aging, and behavioral genetics. The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Max Planck Society conferred the award to him, specifically citing his research on "how social and biological processes combine to shape human psychological development across the entirety of the lifespan." (9/25/2019)

Prof. Chris Beevers Awarded Silver Spurs Centennial Teaching Fellowship

Dr. Christopher Beevers has been awarded UT's Silver Spurs Centennial Teaching Fellowship for Spring 2019. Award winners are nominated by members of the University’s Silver Spurs student organization who practice “consistent promotion of educational excellence in teaching students within the College of Liberal Arts." (5/24/2019)

Dr. Katharine Tillman Receives UT Experiential Learning Initiative Course Developer Award

Assistant Professor Katharine Tillman was awarded UT's Experiential Learning Initiative Course Developer Award for her new take on Psychology's 333N Cognitive Development class. The class will now include team-based learning, interdisciplinary creative projects, and collaborating with the UT Lab School (the Priscilla Pond Flawn Child and Family Laboratory) to have undergrads observe and report on children's behavior in the real world. (4/22/2019)

Dr. Katharine Tillman Awarded Prestigious Glushko Dissertation Prize

Asst. Professor Katharine Tillman received the Glushko Dissertation Prize from the Cognitive Science Society and the Glushko-Samuelson Foundation for her 2017 dissertation, "Constructing the Concept of Time: Roles of Language, Perception, and Culture." The award "recognizes and honors young researchers conducting ground-breaking research in cognitive science." (4/15/2019)

Dr. Kim Fromme Receives APA 2019 Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions

Professor Kim Fromme was awarded the American Psychological Association's Division 50–Society of Addiction Psychology Distinguished Scientific Contributions Award in recognition of her "research over the past 30 years of research (that) has provided critical insights into the etiology and consequences of alcohol abuse and risk-taking behaviors among adolescents and young adults." Read more here. (3/11/2019)

Prof. Michael Domjan Receives 2019 Clifford T. Morgan Award for Distinguished Service to Division 6 of the APA

Dr. Michael P Domjan has been awarded the prestigious Clifford T. Morgan Award for Distinguished Service to Division 6 of the American Psychological Association (APA) for 2019. The award presents recognition from his peers in the Division 6 Society for Behavioral Neuroscience and Comparative Psychology for his "sustained and exceptional scientific and service contributions" to the division, including serving as past president, Division 6 representative to the APA Council of Representatives, and various other positions. Read more here. (1/30/2019)



Grace Jin Metz Receives Rapoport-King Thesis Scholarship and Undergraduate Research Fellowship for 2019-2020

Psychology undergraduate student Grace Jin Metz has been awarded both the prestigious Rapoport-King Thesis Scholarship by the UT College of Liberal Arts (COLA), as well as UT's Undergraduate Research Fellowship (URF) for her thesis titled, "Not-So-Free Speech: Perceived group consensus and identity fusion foment violent protests." Her thesis supervisor is Professor William B. Swann.  

The Rapoport-King Thesis Scholarship allows COLA to provide scholarships and research support to smart and deserving students writing a thesis in one of the Departmental Honors Programs the year they apply. (Read more about this scholarship on the COLA website.) The URF is sponsored by UT's Office of the Vice President for Research and has long been a valuable tool for undergraduate students in all disciplines across campus for developing original research ideas and projects. (10/22/2019)

Graduate Student Sanaz Talaifar Receives Heritage Dissertation Award from SPSP

Graduate student Sanaz Talaifar received the Society for Personality and Social Psychology's prestigious 2019 Heritage Dissertation Award for her dissertation research proposal, titled, "Interactive Effects of Personality and Digital Media Use on Authoritarian Attitudes." The award honors those studying personality psychology and is aimed at ensuring the field’s future by assisting its next generation of scholars. (8/28/2019)

Grad Student Courtney Crosby Wins Best Student Presentation Award at FOSSIL 2019 Conference

Courtney Crosby, a graduate student in Dr. David Buss' Evolutionary Psychology Lab, won the Best Student Presentation Award at the first annual Flyover State Scientists Integrating Evolution (FOSSIL) Conference, for her talk, "Six Dimensions of Sexual Disgust." FOSSIL was held August 2–3, 2019, at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, OK. (8/3/2019) 

Megan Abrameit Awarded the 2019 Randy Diehl Prize in Liberal Arts

Megan Abrameit, a psychology and humanities double major from Tyler, Texas, received the 2019 Randy Diehl Prize in Liberal Arts. The award, now in its fourth year, was established by donors to support a graduating liberal arts senior who has committing the year following graduation to "service for the greater good, be that through work for a nonprofit organization, a for-profit organization that benefits others or the creation of a new nonprofit."

Megan is spending this year working at the International Justice Mission’s office in Guatemala City as a field administration intern. Read more about the award and Megan's work here. (07/11/2019)

Two Psychology Graduates on 2019 Dean's Distinguished Graduates List

Megan Abrameit (Humanities/Psychology) was named a 2019 Dean's Distinguished Graduate by the College of Liberal Arts—the highest award the College offers. Megan is a member of Liberal Arts Honors and the Dedman Distinguished Scholars Program. She has interned with many non-profits, the Attorney General’s office, and the Texas Legislature. She is working the year after graduation with International Justice Mission fighting sexual violence in Guatemala before she attends law school.

Madeleine Brunk (Psychology major; Women’s and Gender Studies minor) received the College of Liberal Art's 2019 Dean's Distinguished Graduates Honorable Mention. At UT, Madeleine worked three years as a Writing Fellow for the Liberal Arts Honors program and completed her honors thesis on LGBTQ+ individuals’ experiences in therapy.

The College instituted this award 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. For a list of all recipients, click here. (4/14/2019)

Four Psychology Students Awarded Spring UT Undergraduate Research Fellowships

Undergraduate Research Fellowships (URF) are sponsored by UT's Office of the Vice President for Research and have long been a valuable tool for undergraduate students in all disciplines across campus for developing original research ideas and projects. The Fellowships provide support for scholarly investigative projects conducted by UT Austin undergraduates, and are intended to cover costs associated with academic research projects proposed and written by student applicants and undertaken with the supervision of a University faculty member or lecturer. (3/18/2019)

The awardees, their supervisors and topics are:  

Landry Bulls (F Gonzalez-Lima), "The Augmentation of Cognitive Control with Low-level Light Therapy"

Trisha Gupte (Jasper Smits), "Public Attitudes Towards Mental Healthcare"

Sandra Kumar (Theresa A Jones), "Developing a Model of Bimanual Reaching in Mice"

Mathilda Nicot-Cartsonis (Theresa A Jones), "Visualizing and quantifying axonal and myelin damage from subcortical infarcts to the posterior limb of the internal capsule and relating results to subsequent lasting upper extremity impairments observed in the chronic stages of affected rats"

Six Psychology Undergraduate Students Receive Unrestricted Endowed Presidential Residential Scholarships for 2019–20 

Six Psychology undergraduate students received scholarships through UT's Unrestricted Endowed Presidential Scholarship (UEPS) program for the 2019–20 academic year. The UEPS program was created in 1973 to make available substantial scholarships to outstanding students at The University of Texas at Austin.

Each spring, UEPS recipients are nominated by their academic department and must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.75, among other prerequisites. Nominated students that demonstrate continuous participation in extracurricular activities and exhibit leadership in addition to being enrolled full-time are given the strongest consideration. More information can be found here. (3/18/2019)

The following Psychology undergraduate students received this award for the 2019–20 academic year:

Lucas Bowen          Sara Cline

Katherine Hsieh     Madeline Harrington

Nicole Lahav           Alexis McDonald

Grad Students Ariel Handy and Jolene Jacquart Awarded Janet T. Spence Outstanding Teaching Assistant Awards

Jolene Jacquart (Anxiety & Health Behaviors Lab) and Ariel Handy (Sexual Psychophysiology Laboratory) have each been awarded the Psychology Department's Janet T. Spence Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award for 2019. Each year the Psychology Department calls for nominations for outstanding performance by a graduate student teaching assistant in honor of Dr. Janet T. Spence, a major figure in American psychology and Professor Emeritus of the UT Department of Psychology. (2/22/2019)

Graduate Student Nick Medrano Selected for 2019 Janet T. Spence Outstanding Assistant Instructor Award

Fortunato (Nick) Medrano (Adolescent Development Research Group), was awarded the Psychology Department's 2019 Janet T. Spence Outstanding Assistant Instructor Award. The award is given annually to a Psychology assistant instructor nominated by Psychology Department faculty and judged as exemplary. (2/22/2019)

Justin Dainer-Best Awarded Psychology's Outstanding Dissertation Award

PhD candidate Justin Dainer-Best (Beevers Lab) was awarded the Psychology Department's Outstanding Dissertation Award for his dissertation, "Identifying and Modifying Negative Self-Referent Cognition in Individuals with Depressive Symptoms." Mr.Dainer-Best's research interests focus on developing innovative treatments for people with depression. (2/22/2019)

Priyanka Deshmane and Yegene Lee Awarded David Ivey Scholarships

Undergraduate students Priyanka Deshmane and Yegene Lee received the UT David Howard Ivey Memorial Endowed Scholarship for 2018–2019. The David Ivey Scholarships are designed to rewards students who have displayed a commitment to community service while excelling in their academics at UT. Priyanka volunteered her time at the Dell Children’s Medical Hospital throughout 2018 and also worked as a Research Assistant in UT’s Sound Brain Lab. Yegene volunteered at the HOPE Medical Clinic throughout 2018, and also as a staff member at Camp Quality Texas, a summer camp for children with cancer. (1/29/2019)


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