by on May 1, 2017

We are excited to announce that Michelle Francis, a second year graduate student in the WFU Psychology Department, is the recipient of the 2017 Melson Outstanding Masters Student Award for 2017.

CONGRATULATIONS to Michelle and to her thesis advisor, Dr. Lara Kammrath.

Michelle will receive this award during the May Hooding & Awards ceremony on Saturday, May 13th at 3:00.  This competitive award is based on students’ academic records, departmental citizenship, and research productivity and quality.

We are thrilled that Michelle is the 4th student (3 students in a row!) from our department to receive this award — the 2016 winner was Timothy Valshtein (advisor Dr. Catherine Seta) and the 2105 winner was Taylor Bolt (advisor Dr. Dale Dagenbach). Erica Carlson (advisor: Dr. Michael Furr) received the award several years ago.

Michelle came to our department from the University of Pittsburgh where she received a degree in psychology with minors in both applied statistics and Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies. Her thesis research with Dr. Kammrath focuses on how people choose others for social support and the emotional outcomes of these choices.

Shortly after commencement, Michelle will enter a position as an Intermediate Research Specialist at UVA’s Curry School of Education in a lab in the Center for the Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL).

We will miss Michelle and wish her the best! We have no doubt that she will continue to enjoy success!

Florence Robinson Neuroscience Award Winner Announced: Hope Peterson

by on April 20, 2017


We are happy to announce that the winner of the 2017 Florence Robinson Neuroscience Award, given each year to an outstanding Wake Forest student graduating with a minor in Neuroscience, is HOPE PETERSON.

Congratulations Hope!!

Hope is a Psychology Major working with Professor Blumenthal on a 5 year MA degree in Neuroscience.

Hope will receive recognition at the Awards Ceremony held on Commencement weekend, a plaque from the Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Minor, and $300.

Selection was based on her performance in NEU courses, engagement in research, and the communication of research results.

Ms. Peterson has worked in the laboratories of Drs. Christian Waugh and Terry Blumenthal as well as a lab in the Regenerative Medicine department at the Clinical Center of the NIH. There her project involved tracking the long-term progression of symptoms in patients with traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and examining the validity study of a neuropsychological measure known as the Rey Tangled Line Test, to determine if it can be used as a concussion screening tool. Hope is currently working in Dr. Blumenthal’s lab with the goal of creating a clinically relevant diagnostic measure of tinnitus, or chronic ear ringing. Hope is in the 5-Year Neuroscience Master’s program.

This award is funded by Professor Susan Fahrbach to recognize outstanding achievement by a student in the Neuroscience Minor and to encourage students to consider careers related to neuroscience. It is named the Florence Robinson Neuroscience Award in honor of Professor Fahrbach’s mother-in-law, an economist with a love for education who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 2003 and passed away in 2009.


by on April 19, 2017

The WFU Psychology Department is pleased to announce the winner of the 2017 Robert C. Beck Excellence in Psychology Award.The winner is chosen on the basis of outstanding academic work, research experience, and community service. The winner will be honored at the May graduation Awards ceremony, will have her name put on a plaque in the Psychology Office, and will receive a check for $250. This year’s winner is:

Jessica Jordan

          In addition, we have a number of seniors who will receive Honorable Mention for their performance as a Psychology major based on these same criteria. These students will also be listed in the Awards ceremony program.

Dakota Becker

Nicole Gertenbach

Megan Kessler

Haley McCalpin

Alyssa Medenblik

Lucy Rawson

Anne Scherer

Kimmie Walton

We hope you will join us in congratulating these seniors!

David Funder, Ph. D. presents “Accuracy in Personality Judgment: A (Very) Long View”

by on April 3, 2017

WFU Psychology Colloquium series announces a presentation by David Funder, Ph.D., to be held in Greene 162 on Wednesday, April 12th. Professor Funder, a Distinguished Professor at University of California at Riverside, will discuss his influential research on the accuracy of personality judgments.  He is well known for this research and for his work in personality development and the psychological assessment of situations. Students also know Dr. Funder as the author of the widely-used textbook – The Personality Puzzle

Read more about Professor Funder at: http://www.psych.ucr.edu/faculty/funder/

Selected Publications

Funder, D.C. (2016). Taking situations seriously: The situation construal model and the Riverside Situational Q-sort. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 25(3), 203-208.

Funder, D.C. (2012). Accurate personality judgment. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 21, 177-182.

Sherman, R.A., Nave, C.S., & Funder, D.C. (2010). Situational similarity and personality predict behavioral consistency. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99, 330-343.


Society for Research In Child Development announces support for March of Science

by on March 28, 2017

Society for Research in Child Development


PRESS RELEASE FROM SRCD:  As one of the largest international organizations focused on the science of child development, the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge about child development and to evidence-based policy. For these reasons, the Executive Committee of the Governing Council of SRCD fully endorses the March for Science to be held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on April 22, 2017.

According to its mission statement, “The March for Science champions robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity. We unite as a diverse, nonpartisan group to call for science that upholds the common good and for political leaders and policy makers to enact evidence-based policies in the public interest.” SRCD member participation in the march will support the goals of science which are integral to the mission of the SRCD.

The Society for Research in Child Development while explicitly nonpartisan is dedicated to research on child development, promoting equity and justice in developmental science, and to fostering an inclusive and international scientific community promoting research on infant, child, and adolescent development in diverse contexts and across a life-long trajectory. SRCD will work with march organizers and other scientific organizations to further the principles of scientific freedom, integrity, and dissemination.

Web link for the March for Science:

View additional March for Science partners here.


Join the Conversation #SRCDmarchforscience #ScienceServes









2017 Psychology Student Poster Session to be held in Chapel Hill

by on March 1, 2017


Saturday, April 29th – The Friday Center – Chapel Hill


 To Submit An Abstract For Review & Acceptance – Deadline Wednesday, March 22nd  

Please let Graduate & Undergraduate Students Know

The annual psychology student poster session will be Saturday, April 29th – The Friday Center – Chapel Hill

Abstracts must be submitted by Wednesday, March 22nd  to Carol Kulwicki (carol@ncpsychology.org) for approval to present poster on April 29th

  • Poster Reviewers Needed for the poster session on Saturday, April 29th (9:30 am – 12:00 pm).  If interested please email Carol Lulwicki (see link above)   Graduate Students can also be poster session reviewers.  We need at least 6 more reviewers……….

Inside WFU | Proposals funded (Reprint from Inside WFU)

by on February 20, 2017

Proposals funded: Katula, Jayawickreme, RejeskiFebruary 20th, 2017 |

Faculty News

Congratulations to Jeffrey Katula, associate professor of health and exercise science, who proposal entitled “HELP DI II” has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and by ((subaward/subcontract from) Wake Forest University Health Sciences.

Congratulations to Eranda Jayawickreme, assistant professor of psychology, whose proposal entitled “Strengthening Character Through Success and Failure [Cayuse 16-0106]” has been funded by the Templeton Foundation and by (subaward/subcontract from) Arizona State University (WFU funding agency)

.Congratulations to Jack Rejeski, professor of health and exercise science, whose proposal entitled “Molecular transducers of physical activity consortium coordinating center (CCC) [Cayuse 16-0072]” has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and by (subaward/subcontract from) University of Florida (WFU funding agency).

Source: Inside WFU | Wake Forest University

Sharing Opinions: What our professional organizations say about current political policies

by on February 8, 2017

Kofi Atta Annan (born 8 April 1938) is a Ghanaian diplomat and Nobel Peace Prize winner who served as Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 1997 to December 2006.

As professors, educators, and social scientists, we DO believe that knowledge is power; that information is liberating; and that education is the premise of progress. In that spirit, as a faculty we decided to share the opinions and positions of the professional organizations to which members of our department belong and that guide our profession as a whole. We hope that sharing this information will be helpful for managing the rapid changes in our political and social environment. The WFU Psychology Faculty.


American Psychological Association links    http://www.apa.org/topics/immigration       http://psyciq.apa.org/apas-responses-executive-actions/

Social Science Space

NetSci 2017

Association for Psychological Science

SPSSI Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues

American Association for the Advancement of Science

American Association of University Professors




Studying the Morally Exceptional: The Beacon Project Announces Young Scholar Awards

by on February 7, 2017


The Beacon Project at Wake Forest University, with the help of a generous grant from The Templeton Religion Trust, welcomed proposals for three funding initiatives in the fields of Psychology, Philosophy and Theology. The project aims to support young scholars working on the study of moral exceptionality, who often have new and interesting ideas but who have not yet benefited from traditional funding sources. The leaders of the Beacon Project believe the field is in a state of readiness for a study of the morally exceptional, but what is needed is a significant infusion of resourced scholars, networked in a carefully managed way, to transform readiness into reality. ​

After receiving over 160 high quality letters of intent, an extensive review process took place. Notifications with comments were sent to those who were invited to submit a full proposal. After receiving full proposals, another extensive review process took place including 15 external reviewers and the internal teams at WFU. Final award notifications for the full proposals were sent out and research commenced in August/September 2016 after all researchers attended a 3 day conference in Winston-Salem designed to provide interdisciplinary feedback to each winner.

A list of all winners with descriptions of research can be found at the following link: http://www.moralbeacons.org/funding-competition/

Funding Competition Winners


“If Children Won Lotteries….” Professor Lisa Kiang ‘s latest research on materialism and gratitude

by on February 6, 2017

How does materialism and gratitude affect children’s spending preferences?   Professor Kiang discussed her research on this topic in her recent blog posted on Consumerism  #Real World Research Emerald Publishing      See:  “If children won lotteries….”

One child’s response to what they would do if they won a million dollars was: “Buy a HUGE mansion…so that the homeless can live there.” 

Dr. Kiang is part of a cross-national project focusing on the development of gratitude in 7- to 14-year-olds. Their primary research questions is to find out about the relationship between materialism and gratitude in the context of children’s spending preferences.

The researchers point out that gratitude is a key aspect of character formation and that adolescents and adults who are grateful report high psychological well-being, tend to be more connected to community, and tend to be less materialistic. This project is the first to examine the development of gratitude, materialism, and the relations between them. Their stated goal is: to provide empirical evidence and materials that can be used by parents and teachers to promote children’s and adolescents’ gratitude and, in the process, develop a more psychologically healthy and environmentally sustainable view about the acquisition of material goods.

Find the article at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/YC-07-2016-00614

Read more about Dr. Kiang’s research program at: