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:



Can we grow through adversity? Update on Pathways to Character Project

by on February 2, 2017
 The Pathways to Character Project anticipates funding $2 million in research during 2017. 
Their website is now  active…check it out!
The full text of the Funding announcement can be found on their website and on the Psychology News posting ( Jan 24th).
Project Leaders: Frank J. Infurna (Arizona State University) and Eranda Jayawickreme (Wake Forest University)
We wish  to identify the most promising research projects related to the examination of whether and how adversities, challenges or failures lead to growth in character strengths and virtues and demonstrates high quality and feasibility in being carried out. These include questions about conceptual development, appropriate research designs for assessing character growth following adversities, challenges or failures, moderating or mediating variables associated with this process, and intervention strategies. This funding competition aims to identify research projects that are in the position to begin to address the most foundational (and most “actionable”) research questions related to this topic.
We plan on focusing on the brightest young scholars who have amenable research programs to work on questions related to whether adversity, challenges or failures lead to character growth; targeting innovative groups of scholars (including interdisciplinary teams of scholars from psychology, philosophy, and theology) in the discussion of key conceptual questions on the strengthening of character through challenges and failures; and highlight and promote best research practices when studying character growth through adversity, challenge or failure. The RFP will support projects that span 2 years in duration, with the maximum allotted for total costs being $250,000 ($300,000 will be considered for multi-site projects). We anticipate supporting 10 research projects.



Senior Psychology Major Receives MLK Award , Cazandra Rebollar!

by on January 30, 2017

Cazandra Rebollar


 January 2017.  Senior psychology major, Cazandra Rebollar is one of two Wake Forest students recognized and awarded the Wake Forest 2017 MLK “Building the Dream” award at the annual banquet on January 17th celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. held at Winston-Salem State University. Cazandra is a first-generation college student with a strong commitment to social justice and advocates on behalf of those who are marginalized.  She holds a leadership role in Wake Forest’s Organization of Latin American and Latino Students where she has helped planned campus-wide events with both high profile speakers and local community members. This helps give voice to the struggle faced by immigrants and undocumented students across our school and nation. Through her connections to undocumented youth, Cazandra helps facilitate a safe space for this population to share their stories and struggles. Cazandra further distinguishes herself as a volunteer at El Buen Pastor and with the University Service Corps. Wake Forest’s psychology department is proud to recognize and congratulate Cazandra Rebollar on this well-deserved and prestigious award.

The MLK “Building the Dream” award is presented to a professor or administrator and a student from both Wake Forest and Winston-Salem State University who go above and beyond to demonstrate King’s qualities by promoting diversity within the community. This year, one faculty member and two students at Wake Forest were selected as winners. Nominations are accepted from the Faculty, staff and students at Wake Forest and Winston-Salem State University and winners are accepted from a committee of representatives from each school.

Student a Rose O’ Brien and assistant professor Dr. Derek Hicks were also recognized from Wake Forest. Additional winners include Winston-Salem State University student, Dishanda Brown, and two faculty members, Dawn N. Tafari and Fran Bates-Oates.

Thanks to Michelle Chan for her contribution to this post.

New Face in Psychology: Meet Professor Rauthmann

by on January 24, 2017

Professor John Rauthmann

We are pleased to welcome Professor John Rauthmann to our department!

Professor Rauthmann studied psychology at the Leopold-Franzens University of Innsbruck and then completed his PhD at the Humboldt-University of Berlin where he subsequently also served as the interim chair of personality psychology. As of January 2017, he is an assistant professor of psychology at Wake Forest University where he focuses on personality psychology and assessment. He is a personality psychologist who is fascinated by differences between different persons in how they act, feel, and think as well as differences in how the same person acts, thinks, and feels across different situations or time. More specifically, his interests lie in person-situation transactions (how do persons select and shape their daily situations, and how do those situations shape personality over time?), personality change (how and to what extent can people intentionally change their personality traits?), and multi-method assessments of personality and individual differences (how can different data sources be best used to measure different traits?).

Competition for Funding: Pathways to Character

by on

Professor Eranda Jayawickreme




Request for Proposals

The Pathways to Character Project

Fellowship Announcement 


Project Leaders: Frank J. Infurna (Arizona State University) and Eranda Jayawickreme (Wake Forest University)


We welcome proposals for the “Pathways to Character” funding initiative. This $2 million Request for Proposals (RFP), supported by the John Templeton Foundation, is aimed at empirical studies designed to focus on accurately conceptualizing and prospectively assessing growth in character strengths and virtues following adversity, challenge or failure. This initiative aims to support young scholars working on the study of whether and how character growth is possible following adversity, challenge or failure. However, more senior investigators can also be included on proposals as co-investigators or in other roles. We envision applicants from personality, social, clinical, and developmental psychology in particular (but possibly other subfields as well) who are specifically interested in the psychological nature of character growth following adversity, challenge or failure. Interdisciplinary teams of psychologists working with faculty in other disciplines, especially philosophy or theology, are encouraged (but such proposals are not required).  Proposals can request up to $250,000 (or $300,000 for multi-site projects) in total costs for projects not to exceed two years in duration. We expect to make 10 awards. The deadline for letters of intent (LOIs) from applicants is April 15th 2017


Note: The website www.pathwaystocharacter.org will provide additional information about the project when it goes live in mid-January 2017.


Eranda Jayawickreme, Ph.D
Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology
Wake Forest University
PO Box 7778
Winston-Salem, NC 27109

17th Annual Graduate Student and Postdoc Research Day

by on January 20, 2017

The Graduate School’s 17th Annual Graduate Student and Postdoc Research Day will be held on Friday, March 17, 2017 at The Wake Forest Biotech Place Conference Center, 575 N. Patterson Avenue.

Form of the Submission

Students and postdocs must be the primary producer of the work being presented. Posters that have already been presented at conferences are welcome. The Three Minute Thesis (3MT™) is a skills development activity which challenges Research Higher Degree students to explain their research project to a non-specialist audience in just three minutes.  (See the following website for additional details: http://threeminutethesis.org/).

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Students and postdocs should complete the submission form (Survey Monkey form) no later than Friday, January 27, 2017, at 5:00 pm.

Event Specifications

POSTER: The poster presentation must be in the form of a poster and no larger than 60 x 40 inches.  Easels, foam-board backing boards, and pins will be provided for setting up the posters. Both students and postdocs may participate but we only have space for 85 posters, so submit your abstract early. Please note that the posters will NOT be judged so we encourage you to take part in the raffle.

THREE MINUTE THESIS: For the 3-minute thesis presentations a single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. No slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any description are allowed. The slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration. (See the following website for additional rules: http://threeminutethesis.org/rules-judging-criteria)

Presentation Awards

One $400 award for first place, one $300 2nd place, one $200 3rd place, and one $200 People’s Choice award will be given for the 3MT presentations along with a raffle for an iPad Mini.

ONLY students will be able to take part in this competition for monetary awards. Due to time constraints, there will only be 10 presentations on Research Day. If we receive more than 15 submissions, we will have a preliminary round to determine the 10 finalists.

Schedule of Events

Poster set-up: 1:30 – 2:00 PM
Poster session: 2:00 – 3:00 PM (posters left up until 5:00 PM)
3MT set-up: 2:30 – 3:00 PM
3MT competition: 3:00 – 4:00 PM
Awards Announcement: 4:15 – 4:30 PM


There is ample, free parking available at the Biotech Place in Lot P8 in back of the building or in the public deck located on the corner of 4th and Church Street. The charges for public deck are currently $1 per hour per vehicle.


Please contact Tina Payne by email at tmpayne@wakehealth.edu.
For Three Minute Thesis Questions, please contact Sarah Lafferty at slaffert@wfu.edu.