Psychology News, F Legacy

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Content: Psychology News Fall 2007
Flipse Legacy With the passing of Helen Flipse last year, the family name lives on in an endowment that will benefit the Department of Psychology and the Counseling Center for years to come. Read more on page 19. APA Accreditation After a full year of self-study and strategic planning our Clinical Training Program received approval for another 7 years of accreditation. Read more on page 23. Alumnus of the Year Nominations came in and the votes were counted. Read about our Outstanding Ph.D. Alum on page 2. Grants Awarded Over $14 million in grant expenditures were made in Psychology during the past year. See a sampling on page 22. Website Upgrade If you haven't visited our website lately, go to and take a look! 1
A Note from the Chair With another academic year well underway, we're again sending out our issue of the Psychology News to highlight the accomplishments of the Department's faculty, students, and alums. Since this tradition began back in 1991 with a four-page photocopied letter from the Chair, the size and content of the News has grown in proportion to the size and diversity of our faculty, staff, student body, and outreach activities. As you look through the pages of this year's News, you may notice that we've changed our format a little to highlight a dozen different programmatic areas of research being conducted by our faculty and their research teams. We've retained the traditional reporting of Alumni News and Notes as a way of keeping you in touch with fellow alums. We also continue to report on the accomplishments of our current students and faculty as well as the comings and goings of Department members as they transition from one role to another. Of course, we have kept a special "thank you" page for our donors who continue to support all of these activities. As always, we invite your comments and participation in all of our various outreach and fund-raising activities.
Professor and Chair Department of Psychology College of Arts and Sciences
Fall 2007
A Fond Farewell This past summer two prominent faculty members in the Psychology Department retired after 33 years of teaching, mentorship, service, and scientific contributions. Drs. Keith and Marcia Scott joined the faculty in 1974 both coming from the University of Illinois. Dr. Marcia Scott continued her research on young children's cognitive abilities, including memory and learning. Her recent work involved the development of a screening tool which could be used to identify children with mild learning problems and those with gifted abilities in minority populations. She also taught a very popular undergraduate course in the Psychology Department on Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities. Dr. Keith Scott was the Project Director of the Miami Site of the Infant Health and Development Program which was a large-scale multi-site evaluation of early intervention for low birthweight infants. He was also responsible for developing the Linda Ray Intervention Center which provides early intervention services to children who are prenatally exposed to cocaine in the inner-city of Miami. To date, the Linda Ray Center has served over 1000 children and families in the Miami-Dade community. Both Drs. Scott were instrumental in the development of the Applied Developmental graduate program at the University of Miami. Between them, the Scotts have received millions of dollars in external funding, published hundreds of journal articles, and mentored countless graduate and undergraduate students who have gone on to productive scientific careers. The Scotts have retired to Dacula, GA to live near their son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren. Both Keith and Marcia will be missed by faculty, students, and staff alike!
Department Gives 2007 Award for Outstanding Alum This year's award for outstanding alumnus goes to one of our most prolific and productive colleagues, Dr. Wendy Stone who earned her Ph.D. from the Department in 1981. Following graduation, Dr. Stone was Director of Clinical Psychology at the Mailman Center for Child Development at the UM's School of Medicine; she was also the Clinical Director of Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resources, i.e., FDLRS. Dr. Stone joined Vanderbilt University in 1988 and was made full Professor of Pediatrics in 2001, and Psychology and Human Development in 2002. She is currently Director, Marino Autism Research Institute (MARI) at Vanderbilt, and Director, Vanderbilt Treatment and Research Insititute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (TRIAD). Her research interests are primarily in the area of early identification and intervention for children with autism spectrum disorders. She is currently the Principal Investigator on grants from NICHD studying Early Social Orienting in Siblings of Children with ASD. She is also Co-PI on a grant from Autism Speaks. This is a multi-site clinical randomized trial of Hanen's "More than Words" intervention. Dr. Stone is author on about fifty publications & twenty-four book chapters. Keeping busy with other responsibilities, as well, Dr. Stone is also editor of the Clinical Child Psychology Newsletter, and a member of two editorial boards (Infants & Young Children and the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders). Dr. Stone will visit the Department in the Spring. Would you like an invitation to attend the awards ceremony and hear her presentation? Let us know. All are welcome!
Fall 2007
Donor Honor Roll 2006-2007
Pledge cards for donations are enclosed with this mailing. If you have already donated this fall -- we thank you! If not, we look forward to hearing from you! Honor roll information has been carefully reviewed. Nevertheless, errors or omissions may occur. If your name does not appear or is listed incorrectly, please accept our apologies and let us know! Corporate and Foundation support, including matching gifts, are acknowledged at the perimeter. Thank You!
Fall 2007
Our Wide World of Research
Once again, the Psychology Department led all other departments in the College of Arts and Sciences in the acquision of research grants. Our faculty, collaborating within and between Divisions in the Department itself, or with other researchers, both within and outside of the University, are among the most active in the Unversity, with approximately 100 articles and book chapters published last year. Brief sketches of some of the cutting edge research being conducted follows. For more detailed information, see the website
Hispanic Health Study Bipolar Disorder Research
With the rapid expansion of the Hispanic population in the United States, understanding risk factors and health behaviors that contribute to disease in that population is becoming a major focus of researchers and epidemiologists interested in public health. Principal Investigator, Professor Neil Schneiderman, will lead the Miami Field Center for the NIH (NHLBI) funded Hispanic Health study. As one of four locations participating in the national study, the Miami Center will provide physical examinations and interviews to 4000 Miami Hispanic/Latinos between 18 and 74 years of age. Whereas the Miami site is expected to examine a preponderance of Cuban Americans as well as a fair number of South and Central Americans, the other sites in San Diego, New York, and Chicago will focus primarily on Mexican, Puerto Rican, or South and Central Americans. This $61 million 6.5 year project involves four sites and will be the largest long-term epidemiological study of health and disease in Latin Americans living in the United States. With a budget of $10 million at the Miami site, the study is broad-based, addressing a wide variety of conditions including heart disease, stroke, asthma, pulmonary disease, Sleep Disorders, dental disease, hearing impairment, kidney and liver disease, and cognitive impairment. The Miami site will investigate distinctive factors hypothesized to influence risk of cardiovascular disease including social, behavioral, occupational and lifestyle characteristics (e.g., nutrition, and physical activity) as well as acculturation, psychosocial factors, and barriers to healthcare. Health psychology faculty members also participating on the project include Professor Maria Llabre and Associate Professor Frank Penedo. Marc Gellman, Research Associate Professor will serve as the project manager. Investigators from UM's Miller School of Medicine's Departments of Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics, Epidemiology and Public Health, Family Medicine, and Psychiatry and Behavioral Science will also be part of the study. Graduate student William Arguelles, a former UM undergrad is currently working on the team.
For the past 12 years, Professor Sheri Johnson has been involved in a series of studies about mania. Following other researchers who have suggested that people with bipolar disorder might be overly sensitive to rewards, Johnson and her team, this year consisting of graduate students Stephanie McMurrich, Lori Eisner, Dan Fulford, Jen Nam, and Chris Miller, are continuing investigations in this area. Her research suggests that people with bipolar disorder do become more excited in the context of opportunities to earn reward, and that the risk of manic relapse is higher after life events that involve major successes. Working on an NIH funded grant, the team is now examining thinking patterns of people with bipolar disorder as they tackle goals and pursue rewards. For one part of this study, the team is collaborating with researchers at Stanford, using fMRI to examine brain activity while people are playing a game that gives them chances to earn money. In another study, Johnson and her colleagues ask people to monitor daily successes and losses, and then examine how people with and without bipolar disorder respond to these daily events. They hope to gain a better understanding about the biological bases of bipolar disorder, and how those are expressed behaviorally. Johnson and her team are developing a psychological treatment designed to prevent mania. The GOALS program is offered as a supplement to medication treatment. In this treatment, individuals with bipolar disorder learn about the ways people with their disorder respond differently to rewards and successes. Facilitators then teach patients skills to regulate their goal pursuit. Early results suggest that people who took part in the program found it helpful and saw decreases in their manic symptoms. Johnson is seeking funding for a randomized controlled trial. More than a dozen undergraduates help with these studies. Undergraduate Nicole Marquinez has also become an important part of the research team; during her summer fellowship, she has been involved in data collection and data analysis.
Fall 2007
Obesity,Metabolic Syndrome, Ethnicity Determinants
and Meal-Related Glycemia of Quality of Life in
Repetitive occurrences of elevated levels of sugars and cholesterol-related substances during the course of a day following food consumption have been posited to be an important source of coronary heart disease (CHD) risk. It is unclear whether CHD risk is facilitated by daily meal-induced factors exacerbated by excessive consumption of certain foods or food groups. Clearly, frequent food consumption together with an abundance of food can lead to a prolonged absorptive state which produces excessive blood sugar and increased free fatty acids; other factors such as inflammation and sympathetic activation may persist, as well. The pathway by which a high carbohydrate meal or a high fat meal impairs blood vessel function is not yet fully understood but may include a mechanism by which post-consumption levels of blood sugar, insulin, and triglyceride-rich cholesterol drive the production of factors that could induce blood vessel damage. Professor Barry Hurwitz has received a grant for a four-year NIH, NHLBI-funded study, which began this summer. He and his team will systematically manipulate the carbohydrate content of fast-food-style meals over the course of a two-day visit, and then examine indices of meal-related regulation of blood sugar and its impact on vascular functioning, in the context of other metabolic mediators. The study will enroll 281 (of 400 screened) healthy persons, comparing those persons who have central obesity and exhibit other CHD risk factors with those persons of less CHD risk. Measures of dietary habits, sleep function, and psychological distress (anxiety, depression, and perceived stress) will be related to study outcomes. In sum, the study postulates that high-risk overweight and obese persons with metabolic syndrome relative to low risk controls will exhibit greater meal-related blood sugar dysregulation that worsens over the day with each meal consumed and worsens with increasing carbohydrate load per meal. More corresponding meal-related blood vessel dysfunction will be predicted in those with greater CHD risk. This research is a step toward understanding in so-called "healthy" persons with central obesity, the role of dietary carbohydrate content in accelerated CHD development. Working with Dr. Hurwitz on this project are cardiologist Martin Bilsker, and endocrinologist Jennifer Marks. Arthur LaPerriere from the Behavioral Medicine Research Center and William Wohlgemuth (our alum) from the Department of Neurology are also part of the team. Collaborators from the Department of Psychology include Maria Llabre, Neil Schneiderman, as well as graduate students LaMista Shultz and Virginia Coryell.
Prostate Cancer Associate Professor Frank Penedo continues to work on several studies funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) aimed at understanding how biobehavioral mechanisms and psychosocial factors are related to disease adjustment and quality of life in various cancers. Last year, he and Professor Mike Antoni (Co-PI) were awarded an NCI-funded RO1 that is designed to understand how sociocultural factors may impact adjustment and quality of life outcomes among men diagnosed with prostate cancer. The interdisciplinary team will work together to try to understand why ethnic minorities are disproportionately diagnosed with prostate cancer. Drs. Mark Soloway and Bruce Kava, Chiefs of Urology at the Miller School of Medicine and the Miami VA, respectively, are providing expertise in prostate cancer. Dr. Jose Szapocznik (also an alum, now in Psychiatry) is providing expertise in ethnic minority research. Rounding out the team are graduate students Lara Traeger, Mikal Rasheed, Eric Zhou, and Catherine Benedict. African Americans have twice the incidence of prostate cancer and there are some genetic predispositions that may explain this disparity. However, even after controlling for SES, access to health care and other contextual factors, both African Americans and Hispanics report poorer quality of life and are more likely to experience advanced disease. Psychological and sociocultural factors may also explain these differences. Penedo and his team will recruit 600 (200 African American, 200 Hispanic, and 200 non-Hispanic White) men immediately following a prostate cancer diagnosis and prior to beginning any treatment. All men will be followed for a two year period and will be assessed at multiple time-points where they will complete a comprehensive set of measures that tap into psychological (e.g., stress, coping), cultural (e.g., acculturation, cultural values), SES, medical and biobehavioral (e.g., salivary cortisol, cytokines) factors. This approach will allow the team to gain a better understanding of interrelations among sociocultural, psychological, and health outcomes in this population, and develop culturally sensitive intervention approaches that aim at improving quality of life and health status in men with prostate cancer.
Fall 2007
Aversive Events, Health and Psychopathology
Children with Chronic Illness or Disability
This four-year project, sponsored by the National Institute of mental health, is being conducted by Professor Michael McCullough and his colleagues in the Psychology Department's Laboratory for Social and Clinical Psychology. Investigators in the study are examining factors that accelerate and retard the forgiveness process in the immediate aftermath of an interpersonal transgression. Forgiveness is being operationalized as a temporal change process whereby people's feelings toward someone who recently offended them become less negative (i.e., they experience less desire to avoid and/or to seek revenge against the offender) and more positive (i.e., they experience the return of good will toward the offender) during the three weeks after the transgression occurs. The team will also be examining the links of forgiveness to distal outcome variables that are commonly considered to be sequelae of forgiveness, including reduced likelihood of major mental disorders (e.g., depression, anxiety disorders, and alcohol abuse), reductions in sympathetically driven cardiovascular reactivity when imagining an interaction with the transgressor, facial expressions of emotion, and performance-based measures of the availability of cognitive resources for problem-solving. Researchers will also be conducting a variety of ancillary studies in the course of this project. For example, Benjamin Tabak, who is one of the grad students working on the project, is investigating the links of forgiveness to oxytocin release during a transgressionfocused recall task. Another grad student, Marcia Kimeldorf, is using this project as a setting for testing evolutionary hypotheses regarding sex differences in emotional and interpersonal responses to sexual infidelity. A third grad student, Adam Cohen, is using ideas from the primatological research on conflict resolution to test whether personality differences between transgressors and their victims influence transgression recipients' receptivity to conciliatory gestures. With ancillary funding from the Fetzer Institute, other studies will be conducted with this data set to examine the role that spiritual factors might play in impeding or accelerating the forgiveness process.
Although adherence to medical regimens is critical for symptom stabilization and/or cure, it is not always easy to follow recommended protocols, especially if they are complicated or prolonged. Add the vicissitudes of childhood to the situation and the problem can be exacerbated. Pediatric populations are the specialty of Professor Alexandra Quittner and her research team have made pediatric populations their specialty focus. Quittner is particularly interested in improving adherence to medical regimens for children with pulmonary conditions, such as cystic fibrosis (CF) and asthma. She has completed two NIH funded intervention trials, an efficacy and an effectiveness study. Her work on adherence was recently featured in a series of national webinars for CF teams across the U.S. The results suggested that education, skills training, and problem-solving were effective in improving adherence. Over the past eight years, first at Indiana University and now at UM, Quittner and her team have also explored the quality of life for children, adolescents, and adults with cystic fibrosis. They have developed the Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Questionnaire-Revised (CFQ-R). This measure was recently used in a Phase III clinical trial for a new, inhaled antibiotic for patients with CF. The FDA is in the process of approving and registering this drug -- with a patient-reported outcome as the primary endpoint. This marks an enormous shift in health-care delivery, particularly for those patients with chronic conditions. The FDA is championing the use of patient-reported outcomes in this context. The CFQ-R has now been translated into 22 languages and is being used in international trials all over the world. In yet another area of research, Quittner is involved in a large, multi-site trial of Childhood Development after Cochlear Implantation examining the effectiveness of implants for infant-toddler cognitive, social, emotional, and language development. The first five year NIH grant period just finished and the study has been renewed for another five years to assess how cochlear implants affect the children's transition to formal schooling, with measurements of speech and language production, peer interactions, and cognitive development. Although she is still collecting and analyzing data, preliminary results indicate that maternal sensitivity is one of the strongest predictors of Language Learning. Working with Dr. Quittner are students Dave Barker, Ivette Cruz, Carolyn Snell, Marta Tobenas, Heidi Guevara, Jackie Donlevie, and Lynn McDonald.
Fall 2007
Family-Focused, Culturally Infant Learning and
Informed, Therapy
for Schizophrenia
Recent estimates indicate that one in 150 children is now
diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In this
Associate Professor Amy Weisman de Mamani is conducting this pilot study that is in its third and final year of funding by the NIH. Her Culturally Informed Therapy for Schizophrenia (CIT-S) incorporates elements found to be effective in prior family treatment studies of mental illness, while adding new cultural components hypothesized to enhance treatment efficacy. The intervention emphasizes fortifying a strong sense of family unity; educating relatives about the illness; helping participants tap into cultural, spiritual, and/or existential beliefs that may aid them in conceptualizing and coming to terms with the illness; and teaching effective communication and problem-solving skills to help create a stable and therapeutic home environment. Assessments to evaluate participants' emotional and mental health and specific beliefs, values, and attributions targeted by
important and high-profile area of study, Associate Professor Daniel Messinger and his team are conducting multiple research projects for young children who are at-risk or who have been diagnosed with an ASD. Dr. Messinger receives funding from various sources including Autism Speaks, UMNSU CARD, the Marino Autism Research Institute (MARI), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the National Institute of Health and Child Development (NICHD) to better understand typical development and the development and treatment of autism. UM SIB SMILE (Sibling Studies Measuring Infant Learning and Emotion) identifies early social and emotional deficits characteristic of the broad ASD phenotype. The study compares infants who do and do not have a sibling diagnosed with ASD. Researchers assess the infant's emotional, communicative, and cognitive development, as well as their electrophysiological functioning, in the first 36 months of life. By examining the infant siblings of children with an ASD, UM SIB SMILE aims to identify babies who may develop autism and to intervene while the child is still in infancy.
the intervention are conducted prior to treatment, after the
final session (termination), and at six-month and twelve-month
post-treatment entry points. In this pilot study, several
hypotheses are being tested, but the central one is that participants
treated with CIT-S will fair better, on a variety of mental health
metrics, as compared to those treated with a psycho-education
only approach.
To date, the team has enrolled over 40 families in the
treatment study and have completed baseline assessments on
approximately 100 participants. While outcome data are not
yet available, Weisman and her team, consisting of graduate
students Radha Dunham, Eugenio Durte, Stephanie
Wasserman, Vamsi Koneru and several undergraduate
research assistants, have already examined several interesting
Dr. Messinger's group also has teamed up with researchers
cross-sectional aspects of the data. They have presented at the University of Massachusetts-Boston and Vanderbilt
preliminary findings at several national (Association for the University to explore effective interventions in this population.
Advancement of Behavior Therapy in New Orleans, Society Their multi-site project, Building Social Communication Skills in
for Research in Psychopathology in San Diego, American Family Young Children, attempts to provide evidence of whether children
Therapy Academy-Miami Lakes) and international conferences in families who receive a parent-training intervention designed
(Interamericano de Psicologнa in Buenos Aires; Ibero-American for parents of young children at risk for ASD show greater
Congreso of Clinical and Health Psychology in San Jose). Preliminary findings from this project have also been published in two peer-reviewed journals.
gains in social communication and language than children in families who do not participate in this program. The primary outcomes of interest of this study are parenting communication strategies, child social communication, parenting stress, and
children's problem behaviors.
Fall 2007
Early Childhood Education
Heart Smart
There are a variety of projects in education research being conducted by Professor Daryl Greenfield. The Head Start, School Readiness and School Transition Project is focused on understanding children's development during the preschool years and how such development facilitates the critical transition from preschool to elementary school. Children with poor school readiness skills have difficulty transitioning and are at risk for poor educational outcomes. School readiness is a multi-dimensional concept that includes home, school, community, and child components. It encompasses many domains including emergent literacy, social competence, approaches to learning, early math, and science. The research team is conducting research in partnership with Head Start and the public schools. One area of focus has been the school readiness domain, approaches to learning. Unlike the other school readiness domains where much of the learning is domain specific (e.g., learning to rhyme, cutting and pasting, making friends), approaches to learning skills are domain-general and apply to all school readiness learning. Initiative, curiosity, persistence, and problem solving flexibility are important regardless of what preschool skills are being learned. Enhancing these skills has the potential for benefiting learning in all school readiness domains. Greenfield also has funding from the Institute of Education Sciences to develop a classroom-based preschool science program in collaboration with Miami-Dade County Head Start Program and the Miami Museum of Science. The recent federal requirement to include science as part of mandatory statewide achievement testing, along with the National Research Council's report on the need to rethink how science is taught, has focused greater attention on the early years. Recent research has also indicated that very young children have more complex cognitive ability than previously recognized, including being able to use scientific thinking as models to guide learning in other domains. The team's current work includes developing reliable and valid measures to assess preschool children's emerging science knowledge and process skills. For the past two years, twelve of the Child Division's doctoral students have been funded by UM's Interdisciplinary Training Grant in Education Research and Advanced Statistical Methods. The program is one of 10 such programs funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). The program theme is an in-depth study of educational issues arising in diverse, urban settings. Students are trained in the design, management, and analysis of complex quantitative data sets. These include randomized field trials, quasi-experimental studies, survey and observational data as well as large-scale population databases. These advanced statistical skills are used in the analysis of project data on a diverse set of topics that include early intervention, school readiness, emergent literacy, autism, children with chronic health conditions, and the development of reading, math, and science skills in the primary grades. Emphasis is on the study of low-income and bilingual populations in urban settings who are at risk for poor educational outcomes. Current students on Greenfield's team include David Barker, Ximena Dominguez, Dolores Farhat, Ann-Marie Faria, Janna Fuccillo, Ariela Greenberg, Camilla Hileman, Christine Hughes, Shira Kolnick, Michelle Maier, Olga Moas, Pelin Munis, and Virginia Vitiello and a host of undergradute students.
The overall goal of Heart Smart is to raise awareness among students and the general public about the process and the importance of healthrelated research, improving their ability to make better personal health decisions. Collaborating with the Miami Museum of Science and Planetarium, Principal Investigator Associate Professor Patrice Saab and her colleagues have designed a hands-on interactive traveling museum exhibit enhanced by classroom resources as well as a "Heart Smart Decisions Game." The exhibit addresses information about risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease and strategies for reducing these risks and improving personal health. A unique feature of the Heart Smart exhibit is that museum visitors have the opportunity to participate in scientific research by anonymously contributing their self-report data and measurements related to cardiovascular health (e.g., weight, waist size, blood pressure, health habits). In addition, a randomized controlled trial will be conducted to determine whether a museum-based health exhibit, with related materials, is effective in changing cardiovascular health knowledge and behavior among students in Miami-Dade County Public High Schools. Heart Smart is funded by a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) from the NIH's National Center for Research Resources. It is a five-year, $1.3 million project that was first awarded during the fall of 2006. The data collected from the study will allow researchers to further study the manifestations and risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease. Dr. Saab will be working with her Co-PI Judith McCalla (our alumna), as well as Judy Brown and Sean Duran from the Museum of Science. Graduate students Stephanie Fitzpatrick, Amanda Countryman, and Katie Chipungu are also actively involved with the project.
Fall 2007
depression and anxiety Under the direction of Assistant Professor Jutta Joormann, one team of researchers is working to gain a better understanding of how basic cognitive processes and individual differences in emotion and mood regulation increase the risk for the onset of depression and anxiety disorders, and hinder recovery from these disorders. Joormann's team includes Dr. K. Lira Yoon who is heading up a project to investigate autobiographical memory in depressed and/or socially anxious individuals. Another project involves interoceptive cues and Social Anxiety disorder, where the team is investigating the role of attention to interoceptive cues in social anxiety and performance. Graduate student Joelle LeMoult heads an investigation on attention, memory, and interpretation biases in comorbid depression and social anxiety. She seeks to understand the impact that different emotion regulation styles (e.g., rumination, distraction, and reappraisal) have on individuals' cortisol stress response and recovery. Tanya Tran, another grad student is studying the effects of inducted interpretation bias of ambiguous events on emotional vulnerability in depression. By applying knowledge of the cognitive factors involved in the maintenance of depression to training techniques, this study aims to bridge the gap between the basic research and treatments for depression and may provide new insight into the factors that increase vulnerability to depression and impair recovery. In yet another study conducted in Joormann's lab, this one under the direction of graduate student Ulrike Zetsche, the team is investigating deficits in inhibiting negative information and its relation to depressive rumination. They are examining two different inhibitory processes in order to determine which specific inhibitory processes are linked to rumination. These are (a) inhibition of external information before entering working memory (WM), and (b) inhibition of no longer relevant information that has already been in WM. We expect that the inhibition tasks used in this study measure two different inhibitory processes, i.e., preventing irrelevant information from entering WM and inhibiting no longer relevant information in WM. We further expect that there is a moderate positive correlation between these two processes. Finally, we predict that difficulty inhibiting negative information will be related to level of rumination.
Social and Emotional development The overarching goals of the work being conducted in the laboratory of Assistant Professor Heather Henderson are (1) to examine within-person characteristics (i.e., selfmonitoring, social cognition, social information processing) that relate to variations in typically and atypically developing children's social and emotional reaction tendencies, and (2) to examine the contributions of temper-ament to individual differences and developmental change in social engage-ment with peers and classroom behaviors. Henderson and her team are involved in several research projects related to these goals. In one study they are examining individual differences in self-monitoring, or the degree to which children tend to notice and react to their own mistakes. Specifically, they are assessing developmental differences in behavioral and physiological (EEG/ERP) indices of self-monitoring, and the association between personality characteristics including shyness and sociability, and self-monitoring tendencies. Similar questions are being addressed in a study of higher functioning children with autism (HFA) being conducted in collaboration with Professor Peter Mundy. In this study, they use physiological, behavioral, and self-report measures to assess motivational and personality factors that contribute to variability in symptom expression and social behavior in HFA children. Doctoral candidate Caley Schwartz is particularly interested in how these factors relate to HFA children's abilities to interact with peers. Together these studies allow us to understand the neural bases of individual differences in social behavior. Henderson and graduate students Laura Levin, Olga Moas, and Elizabeth Mejia are also working on two longitudinal studies being conducted in collaboration with Dr. Nathan Fox and other colleagues at the University of Maryland. In one study they are examining adolescents' social cognitive biases and how these relate to social anxiety. This sample of adolescents have been followed since the time they were 4months of age. By collecting longitudinal data, they are able to identify different patterns of continuity and change in social behavior over time and to examine factors both within the child (i.e., temperament) and in the child's environment (i.e., family relationships) that affect the developmental patterns. In a second longitudinal study, another group of infants originally selected at 4 months of age are being followed yearly through early and middle childhood. Behaviors are coded as children interact with an unfamiliar peer in the lab in order to examine how early temperament affects the development of social competence.
Fall 2007
Facilitating Positive Adaptation to breast cancer The purpose of this five year study, funded by the NIH and NCI, is to test the effects of a 5-wk Cognitive Behavioral (CB) and a 5-wk Relaxation Training (RT) intervention compared to a 5-wk attention-control Health Education (HE) condition on psychosocial adaptation, stress (diurnal cortisol regulation), immune function, and physical adaptation in women being treated for Stage I-III breast cancer. Co-PIs Michael Antoni and Charles Carver are working closely with Co-Investigators Suzanne Lechner (psychiatry), and Bonnie Bloomberg (microbiology and immunology). The side effects of treatments for breast cancer (e.g.., surgical intervention followed by adjuvant therapies such as chemotherapy and/or radiation) can require extensive psychosocial and physical adaptation. Previous work conducted by Antoni and Carver indicates that many patients may benefit from stress managementbased interventions during this period. In the past, they have demonstrated the efficacy of a 10 week multi-modal group intervention blending relaxation training with other cognitive behavioral techniques in a supportive group environment. This study is an attempt to elucidate which of many elements may be the active ingredients of these forms of intervention so that briefer, more focused versions can be used. This is a "dismantling study" designed to compare the effects of relaxation vs. cognitive behavioral intervention vs. simple attention on indicators of adaptation that may be relevant for quality of life and health outcomes in women who are moving through treatment for breast cancer. Researchers, including graduate students Holly Kristin Phillips and Sara Vargas, will recruit 240 women with breast cancer at a point 4 ­ 8 weeks after surgery (but before they begin adjuvant chemotherapy or radiation). They will collect psychosocial and physical adaptation measures, daily saliva samples (4 times a day over a 48 hour period) before they are assigned to one of the three 5-week conditions. Follow-up interviews will be conducted at 6 and 12 months. The team hypothesizes that participants assigned to the Cognitive Behavioral or Relaxation Training conditions will show improved psychosocial adaptation (better quality of life), decreased stress and increased immune function, and better physical adaptation (i.e., will show fewer symptoms) compared to those assigned to the Health Education condition over the months following the period of adjuvant therapy.
Psychology and Health The relationship between psychological factors and stress in human diseases has been the focal point of study in the field of psychoneuroimmunology (PNI). This has provided researchers a framework for studying the role that psychological states such as depression, anxiety, and optimism - to name a few - impact the immune system. There is no question that stress and distress influence one's health, but the role that psychological states play in the health of someone who is immune compromised, or dealing with a life threatening illness such as cancer, is much more significant as these states may have a larger impact on the individual's health outcome and may lead to faster disease progression. Gail Ironson, M.D., Ph.D., a leading mind-body medicine researcher, and the Director of Positive Survivors Research Center is the principal investigator for two multimillion dollar NIH funded studies investigating some of these mind-body questions. The first study is called Psycho-biological processes in HIV/ AIDS and is directed by research assistant Elizabeth Balbin, Ironson and her group are searching for psychosocial and immunological factors that protect the health of people living with HIV. The team has been able to quantify some relatively unexplored variables such as doctor-patient relationship and spirituality and has been able to make a connection between psychological markers and viral load, natural killer cell number and cytotoxicity, and cortisol. Participants come in for an interview every six months about their coping, spirituality, etc. in a longitudinal study now in its 10th year. Ironson and her team seek to determine what predicts slower disease progression over time and the pathways by which that happens. Other members of the group are Annie George and ErinnToth, who perform the clinical interviews and research assistants Nathaniel Kieval and Grisell Hernandez. The WRITE Study is an intervention study funded by the National Institute of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Now in its forth year of funding, this intervention study is designed to investigate the efficacy of an emotional disclosure in an HIV positive population. The study is currently directed by Joanne Fordiani, a postdoctoral fellow. Other members of the WRITE team include study clinician Rachel Kuhn, (3rd year clinical health doctoral student) and research assistant Carine Brini. The goal of this study is to examine the effect that writing about life experiences has on emotional well-being, health, and immunity of people living with HIV. Dr. Ironson also has a particular interest in spirituality and its protective effects on both health and well-being. She recently completed a project on the effects of spiritual transformation, which was funded by the Metanexus/ Templeton foundation. Her studies on the nature of the view of God and spiritual transformation in patients with HIV showed a strong association between spirituality and the progression of HIV.
Fall 2007
Children and Disasters Professor Annette LaGreca continues to investigate issues pertinent to child and adolescent mental health including the effects of trauma (especially natural disasters) on children and youth, and the role of peer relations in child and adolescent adjustment and psychopathology (including the effects of romantic partners). In the child health area, her work continues to focus on youth with chronic disease (e.g., diabetes) and on the various ways that peers (and now, romantic partners) influence youngsters' health behaviors. This year, the Australian Rotary Research Foundation selected LaGreca as their 2007 Visiting Scholar of the Year. As a result, she will be traveling to Melbourne this fall to present keynote talks on her research on children's reactions to disasters and evidence-based interventions for such youth ­ both to the Rotary Foundation and to the World Congress of Psychiatry. Since the time of Hurricane Andrew (August 1992), LaGreca has been actively involved in research pertaining to children's reactions to disaster, and factors that predict children's lingering distress and poor recovery. At the present time, she is actively involved in three on-going disaster-related studies. First, she and her team are following a cohort of nearly 400 children in SW Florida who were affected by Hurricane Charley in 2004 (a Category 4 Hurricane), to evaluate long-term recovery patterns for these youth. This line of research will help to identify children at risk for persistent post-traumatic stress reactions. Second, she is collaborating with the director of child mental health services for the state of South Australia on a project that is evaluating children's PTS reactions in the aftermath of a severe brushfire that occurred on the Eyre Peninsula in February 2005. Finally, she is also involved in a NIDA-funded project examining family interventions for substance-using adolescents in the New Orleans area who were directly affected by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Given the very positive reception for the book, After the Storm: A guide to help children cope with the aftermath of hurricanes, LaGreca and her team, are now in the process of developing a Before the Storm preventive intervention that could be used to build resilience in children who reside in hurricane-prone coastal areas. LaGreca is working with a team of graduate students including Rebecca Siegel, Betty Lai, Olivia Hsin, Cortney Moine, and Ryan Landoll.
Emotion Regulation and Resilience Resilience refers to the ability to bounce back from negative emotional experiences and adapt to life changes. It can be conceptualized as a stable personality trait which promotes healthy psychological functioning. Resilience is more than the absence of psychopathology; it involves a proactive approach to maintaining psychological equilibrium. For example, resilience is associated with the use of psychological resources such as optimism and tranquility in response to crisis situations. The cognitive mechanisms underlying resilience have not been explored in depth. Studies have shown that individuals high in trait resilience experience more positive emotions (e.g., gratitude, love) than individuals low in trait resilience in response to a stressful event. These positive emotions serve an adaptive function beyond the pleasant subjective experience associated with them. Positive emotions have been shown to enhance one's ability to see alternative cognitive perspectives; individuals in a positive mood state produce patterns of thought that are flexible, creative, and open. Thus, one possible mechanism underlying resilience may be individual differences in cognitive flexibility. Studies have also shown that positive affect adaptively influences coping processes. For example, an increase in positive affect is associated with an emotion regulation strategy known as cognitive reappraisal. Thus, another mechanism underlying resilience may be individual differences in the use of cognitive reappraisal. Cognitive reappraisal is a type of emotion regulation strategy which involves changing the way one thinks about a potentially emotioneliciting situation in order to modify its emotional impact. Assistant Professor Matthais Siemer and his graduate student, Jessica Jacobson, are investigating the cognitive mechanisms underlying resilience in hopes of providing new insight into the cognitive factors which promote healthy psychological functioning. In particular, this study will begin to tease apart the roles that cognitive flexibility, positive affect and reappraisal play in promoting resilience. Furthermore, a study of resilience offers another perspective through which we can better understand the factors which contribute to the development of psychopathology. Eventually, a deeper understanding of resilience may help to inform therapeutic interventions for individuals vulnerable to the development of a psychological disorder.
Fall 2007
Alumni News and Notes
Doctoral Degrees 1966 William F. Vitulli I am delighted to announce that my daughter, Paige V. Baggett, received her Ph.D. in Instructional Design in the School of Education at the University of South Alabama. I published an article about attitudes toward empathy in domestic dogs and cats. 1973 David Miller This past year I received two awards. The first is the University of Connecticut Outstanding Student Advisement and Advocacy Award. The other is Campus Technology (a national publication) Innovator Award in Podcasting. I published an article titled "Nature's Call and Experiential Nonlinearities." 1977 William Samek I am doing group psychotherapy for people who are conjointly in individual psychotherapy with other psychotherpists, transitional and aftercare group psychotherapy for people who are finishing individual psychotherapy, group therapy for abuse victims, and individual and group psychotherapy for professionals. I am President of the American Justice Foundation, a non-profit advocacy group focusing on sexual abuse. I am also the Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Advocate Programs, a non-profit that provides probation supervision and clinical education for misdemeanants. I also provide free professional consultation for Florida Psychological Association members, Florida Bar members, and other professionals. Barbara Goldman It was fun to be interviewed for an article on successful psychotherapy for Oprah Magazine for the October 2007 issue. The article was aimed at demystifying the therapy process and included interviews with a few satisfied, successful clients and their psychotherapists. I hope it helps to encourage people to seek therapy. 1978 Sharon Langsam Kuebbing Our older son started at New York University this fall. Our younger son is a junior in high school.
1979 Eva Stubits Our daughter Katalin Stubits-Gallagher recently passed the credit by exam test and skipped the 1st grade. She was also accepted into the G/T program. Philip Boswell I am continuing my practice with Dr. Barbara Goldman, also an alum of the University of Miami. Our practice is enjoyably diverse. I do therapy with both adults and children, psychoeducational and some adult evaluations. I also do forensic work in family court and civil sexual abuse cases, notably several against the Department of Children and Families for malfeasance in foster care. I am active in The Rotary Club of Coral Gables, especially in the youth services area. 1987 Eileen Newman I joined a new private practice group - the Behavioral Medicine Center of Annapolis - and started as Adjunct Faculty this fall at Anne Arundel Community College, which is rated in the top five in the country. 1988 MC Ergerner I continue to be in private practice in Chatham, N.J. Dennis is Managing Director at Merril Lynch in New York and our daughter Sibel is going to Carnegie Mellon to study fine art! 1992 Daniel Segal I was recently promoted to full Professor in the Psychology Department at the University of Colorado where I have been working since 1995. 1994 Donna Phillips I have been keeping very busy with my work at the Rosomoff Pain Center (we were featured recently in Time Magazine and the PBS Nightly Business Report!) and with my Board of Director duties at our condominium (another one of those things I vowed never to do). 1996 Charlotte Freeman I opened a consulting firm for counseling and training workshops.
1997 Toni Leo My private practice continues to thrive. I am also teaching Behavioral Sciences in a medical residency program affiliated with Midwestern University's College of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona. My husband and I also opened a Bed & Breakfast and are enjoying being "innkeepers." Shari Wasserstein Elice I am keeping busy with my private practice and my family. Dora just started kindergarten and Jack is almost three years old! 1999 Melanie Harris I am Assistant Dean and Assistant Professor of Psychology at London College for Women (a division of Touro College in Manhattan). I hope to return to conducting psychotherapy when I can find more hours in the week. I have several publications regarding breast cancer and coping. Carol Kleinginna Slonimski I am currently working in a multidisciplinary chronic pain program in Fairbanks, Alaska. We moved to Fairbanks almost 2 years ago, when my husband Marc and I were recruited for the same company. Our daughter Rebecca is almost four and our son Jack is two and a half. 2000 Heather Katzen I am currently an Assistant Research Professor in Neurology at the University of Miami. I have a K Award looking at cognitive recovery in normal pressure hydrocephalus and am involved in Parkinson's research, as well. My husband and I have a three year old daughter and are expecting our second child in December. I published an article about cognition and Parkinson's disease. Sangeeta Mallik I continue to research children in early intervention and early childhood Special Education and public policy at SRI and have been involved in numerous publications this past year.
Fall 2007
Alumni News and Notes
2001 Jessica Lehman I am now a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Louisville's James Graham Brown Cancer Center. 2001 Jennifer Strauss I was married on July 26, 2006 to Craig Derian, M.D. I am still happily/busily working at the Durham VA and Duke, where I had a career development award funded. My publications include topics such as HIV transmission, cognitive therapy for avoidant and obsessivecomplusive personality disorders, PTSD and suicidality in male veterans with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. 2003 Alissa Glickman I became licensed in the state of New Jersey and had two publications on sex-abused children and their families. 2004 Amy VaughnVan Hecke I have accepted a tenure-track Assistant Professor position at Marquette Universitery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. My husband Jeremiah's family lives there and once he takes the bar exam, we will be able to settle in. 2006 Jeff Greeson I am currently appointed to the full-time Clinical Faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at Duke University School of Medicine. I am completing the 2nd year of a postdoctoral research fellowship with Duke Integrative medicine, where we are exploring the relationship between mindfulness and optimal health. I have an book chapter in press with colleague J. Brawtley titled "Mindfulness and Anxiety Disorders: Developing a Wise Relationship to the Experience of Fear." Kate Weaver See the picture of our daughter Ella on page 23! Mother and daughter doing well! Masters 1955 Alan Greenwald I have served as Director of Psychological Services at St. Mary's Seminary-University for 45 years. I am also retired from NSA where I served as Chief of Psychological Services.
Bachelors 1955 Sydelle White My graddaughter Jennifer LeMay is now a freshman Psychology major on the PreMed track at the University of Miami. 1967 Stuart Ellins I retired from California State University in 2004 where I was a Psychology Professor for 32 years and a Psychology Department Chair for 5 years. I conducted research and published many scientific papers in the area of food aversion conditioning. I also published two books on the topic 1974 Carole Slaven Anderson My husband and I just celebrated our 34th wedding anniversary. We met as Resident Assistants at Pearson and Mahoney and were married in 1973. I teach theater and perform. 1976 Harvey Bodansky I am an advocate for Bringing Third World Disabled Students to the University of Miami and other U.S. institutions for post-secondary education for Rock of Home Country Facilities and educational opportunities ("reverse" study abroad) I published an article titled "A Peave of the Disabled in Academia" for publication logs association on Higher Education and Disability. 1998 Ligia Houben I am a certified grief counselor and thanatologist in Coral Gables. I just published "Transforma Tu Perdida" a book about coping with grief and loss. 1999 Krista Reynolds Varkey I am a school-based occupational therapist. My husband Steve (also a UM alum) earned his Master's and is now a microbiologist for DuPont. We are living in a Newark, DE with our new family member Gemma. See her on page 23. 2002 Jason Salas After a brief stint at law school, I found my true calling and passion in teaching. I did a lot of substituting, interning, and student teaching which eventually led to a Masters in Education from the University of New Haven. I am certified to teach secondary Math and elementary education. I plan on teaching on all different levels and hope to help bridge the gap between elementary and Middle School.
2004 Frank Bandiera I am doing a Master's of Public Health. Psychosomatic Medicine accepted my manuscript; this will be my second first-author publication since graduating. My abstract won Honorable Mention, as well. 2005 Alexandra Zigann I am currently studying to get my Master's degree in Occupational Therapy at Nova Southeastern University. Jason Esteves After graduation, I did Teach for America for two years in a Texas school district whose 8th grade students had been underachieving in the state's history exam. Although only 70% of the students had passed the test the previous year, the administrators challenged us to achieve an 80% pass rate. Using a rather unconventional incentive for my class, I was able to achieve a 92% pass rate. I am now at Emory Law school with an eye possibly on politics. (Want to know Jason's incentive? Write to [email protected] 2006 Bevin Merles I recently had the opportunity to present a research proposal at the 2007 APA Conference in San Francisco. I am investigating funding my research and looking forward to it. It is called "From Prisonization to Acculturation: An Acculturation Curve for New Inmates." Nathalie Siru I am engaged and will be getting married this coming December. Also, I am pursuing a Juris Doctor degree at the University at Buffalo School of Law. 2007 Adam Greenberg Before pursuing a graduate degree in counseling, I will be embarking on a year of national service with AmeriCorps starting from Sacramento, CA and backpacking across the country. I will be building houses and tutoring children. Joshua Mirmelli I am currently a first year Psy.D. student at Nova Southeastern University. Sarah Paciulli I will be teaching English in Torremolinos (Malaga), Spain for the 2007-2008 school year.
Fall 2007
Graduate Student Posters and Publications
Cassel, T., Messinger, D., Ibanez, L., Haltigan, J. D., Buchman, A., & Acosta, S. (2007). Early social and emotional communication in the infant siblings of children with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 37, 122-132. Dunham, R., Weisman de Mamani, A., & Llerera, K. (2007). Predictors of therapist competence & adherence to a culturally informed therapy for schizophrenia. Poster: University of Miami Research and Creativity Forum, Miami, FL. Farrell, K., Shen, B. J., Penedo, F., Schneiderman, N., & Orth-Gomer, K. (March, 2007). Aspects of anger are associated with C-Reactive protein in healthy women: The Stockholm Female Coronary Risk Study. Presented at the Society for Behavioral Medicine. Gonzalez, V., & Kaiser, M. (March, 2007). Examining parent endorsements on the SCQ. Poster: Biennial Meeting of the SRCD, Boston, MA. Gonzalez, V., & Kaiser, M. (submitted). A comparison of common methods used in identifying children with autism. Gonzalez, V., Kaiser, M., Durocher, J., & Alessandri, M. (May, 2007). Symptom presentation on the social communication questionnaire (SCQ) of autistic children with and without mental retardation. Poster: 6th International Meeting for Autism Research, Seattle, WA. Haltigan, J. D., Messinger, D. S., Chow, S., & Jaccard, J. (2007). Exploring interactive infant-mother communication using continuous rating software (CRS). Poster: the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) 2007 Biennial meeting, Boston, MA. Haltigan, J. D., Messinger, D. S., Chow, S., Jaccard, J., & Wang, T. (2007). Continuous emotion ratings of infants at risk for autism and their parents. Poster: the Association for Psychological Science (APS) 2007 annual meeting, Washington, D.C. Haltigan, J. D., Messinger, D. S., Chow, S., Jaccard, J., & Wang, T. (2007). Continuous measurement of infant and parent emotional valence in the face-to-face still-face paradigm: Infants at risk for autism. Poster: the International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR) 2007 meeting, Seattle, WA. Haltigan, J. D., Messinger, D., Chow, S., Linick, J., Wang, T., & Jaccard, J. (2006). Emotion ratings from continuous rating software: Reliability, validity, & applicability. Poster: the Association for Psychological Science, New York, NY. Haltigan, J. D., Messinger, D., Chow, S., Linick, J., Wang, T., & Jaccard, J. (2006). Time-based measurement of interaction emotion using non-expert observers. Poster: the International Society for Research on Emotions (ISRE), Atlanta, GA. Hileman, C., Jamie, M., Schwartz, C., Zahka, N., Inge, A., et al. (March, 2007). Motivation and self-monitoring as predictors of symptom severity in autism. Poster: Society for Research in Child Development 2007 Biennial Meeting, Boston, MA. Hileman, C., Jaime, M., Schwartz, C., Zahka, N., Inge, A., Kojkowski, N., Coman, D., Henderson, H., & Mundy, P. (May, 2007). Motivation and self-monitoring as predictors of symptom severity in autism. Poster: 6th International Meeting for Autism Research, Seattle, WA. Ibanez, L., Lambert, B., Newell, L., Sheskin, M., & Messinger, D. (2007). Gaze shifting in the infant siblings of children with an autism spectrum disorder. Poster: the International Meeting for Autism Research, Seattle, Washington. Ibanez, L., Messinger, D., Lambert, B., Newell, L., & Sheskin, M. (2007). Gaze shifting in the infant siblings of children with an autism spectrum disorder. Poster: the Association for Psychological Science, Washington, D.C. Inge, A., Kojkowski, N., Zahka, N., Schwartz, C., Hileman, C., Coman, D., Brunette, C., et al. (March, 2007). Anterior EEG asymmetry and social symptoms in HFA children. Poster: Society for Research in Child Development 2007 Biennial Meeting, Boston, MA. Inge, A., Mundy, P., Henderson, H., Kojkowski, N., Schwartz, C., Zahka, N., Hileman, C., Coman, D., Danier-Best, J. (May, 2007). Anterior EEG asymmetry and social symptoms in HFA children. Poster: 6th International Meeting for Autism Research, Seattle, WA. Kolnik, S., Faria, A., & Yale-Kaiser, M. (March, 2007). Gender and delay of gratification in high risk children. Poster: Gatlinburg Conference on Research and Theory in Intellectual and Development Disabilities, Annapolis, MD. Koneru, V. K., & Weisman de Mamani, A. G. (in press). Acculturation and expressed emotion in white, Latino, and black relatives of patients with schizophrenia. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. Koneru, V. K., & Weisman de Mamani, A. G. (November, 2007). Acculturation, enculturation, coping, and emotional distress in relatives of patients with schizophrenia. Poster: the Annual Meeting of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy, Philadelphia, PA. Lai, B., & Ellison, W. (in press). Finding the right mentor: Gaining admission to and succeeding in graduate school. Eye on Psi Chi. Nation, D. A., Scanlon, B. K., Katzen, H. L., Rodriguez, R. A., Ledon, J. A., Capano, A., et al. (2007). Defining features of subsyndromal depression in Parkinson's disease. Poster: American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting. Phillips, K. M., Lechner, S. C., Carver, C. S., Bloomberg, B., & Antoni, M. H. (March, 2007). Perceived ability to relax mediates intervention-related change in cortisol among breast cancer patients. Presented at the 28th Annual Meeting of Society of Behavioral Medicine, Washington, D.C. Scanlon, B. K., Katzen, H. L., Nation, D. A., Rodriguez, R. A., Papapetropoulos, S., Singer, C., et al. (2007). Neuropsychological predictors of all-cause mortality in Parkinson's disease. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 13, 96-97. Scanlon, B. K., Katzen, H. L., Nation, D. A., Rodriguez, R. A., Papaetropoulos, S., Singer, C., et al. (2007). Side and symptom of disease onset are related to lifespan in Parkinson's disease. Poster: 11th International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders. Schwartz, C., Inge, A., Kojkowski, N., Zahka, N., Hileman, C., Coman, D., Danier-Best, J., et al. (March, 2007). Temperament and self- monitoring in high-functioning children with autism. Poster: Society for Research in Child Development 2007 Biennial Meeting, Boston, MA. Schwartz, C., Inge, A., Kojkowski, N., Zahka, N., Hileman, C., Coman, D., Mundy, P., & Henderson, H. (May, 2007). Temperament and self- monitoring in high-functioning children with autism. Poster: 6th International Meeting for Autsim Research, Seattle, WA. Tabak, B. A., McCullough, M. E., & Bono, G. (May, 2007). Conciliatory and appeasement behavior increases forgiveness following an interpersonal transgression. Poster: 19th Annual Convention for the Association for Psychological Science, Washington, D.C. Zahka, N., Coman, D., Inge, A., Kojkowski, N., Hileman, C., Schwartz, C., et al. (2007). Parental attitudes and the role of attribution in the social- emotional development of higher functioning children with autism. Poster: Society for Research in Child Development Meeting, Boston, MA. Zahka, N., Coman, D., Inge, A., Kojkowski, N., Hileman, C., et al. (May, 2007). Parental attitudes, family factors, and the role of attribution in the emotional and social development of higher functioning children with autism. Poster: 6th International Meeting for Autism Research, Seattle, WA. Zhou, E. S., Penedo, F. J., Traeger, L., Rasheed, M., Blomberg, B., (March, 2007). Depressed affect, anxiety, and natural killer cell cytotoxicity in men treated for localized prostate cancer. Poster: the Society of Behavioral Medicine Annual Conference.
Fall 2007
Graduate Students in the News
This year the faculty selected Amanda Countryman and Joelle LeMoult as the Outstanding Teaching Assistants. Dean Halleran presented each of them with a $300 Fellowship award and a plaque at the luncheon on May 3rd, at 4:00 pm, at the Wesley Gallery.
The Kirk R. Danhour Memorial Award is conferred each Spring on one fourth year graduate student from each of the Department's three program divisions. Students are selected by the faculty based on their outstanding academic performance, progress and quality of research, development of clinical skills (if applicable) and leadership, social integration and involvement in department activities. A prize of $150 was received by students in each track. The students' names were added to a plaque on display on the 5th floor of the Flipse Building. The Award this year went to Vamsi Koneru of the Adult Program; Lisa Bailey of the Child Program; Lara Traeger of the Health Program.
The Carol Alson Fineman Award was given to third year student Nathan Doty in support of his research dealing with abused or emotionally disturbed children. Doty received $300 and a plaque. Nathan also served this year as the GSA representative. The Graduate Student Appreciation Bertha Weber Award was presented to Lindsey Root who received a certificate of appreciation and $300. Stephanie Fitzpatrick was elected Chair for the Society of Behavioral Medicine Student Special Interest Group. Internship 2006-2007
Graduate Teacher of the Year The Child Division's Heather Henderson was voted Teacher of the Year for 2007 by the Graduate Student Association. The `favorite' teacher was recognized for her tireless efforts in both teaching and mentoring. GSA President and Vice President, N. Doty and X. Dominguez announced the award at the New Student Reception held in September.
Bailey, Lisa D. Harvard Medical Center/ Children's Hospital Boston Boston, MA - Psychology Internship Advisor: Annette LaGreca Cassel, Tricia D. Franciscan Hospital For Children Boston, MA Medical Advisor: Daniel Messinger D'anjou, Tamara Univ Of North Carolina - Charlotte Charlotte, NC Psychology Internship Advisor: Adele Hayes
Kimeldorf, Marcia B. North Bronx Healthcare Network Bronx, NY Jacobi Medical Center - General Advisor: Michael McCullough McMurrich, Stephanie L. Boston Consrt In Clin Psychology Boston, MA Boston Outpat Clinic-Causeway St Advisor: Sheri Johnson Willoughby, Brian L.B. Harvard Med/Mass General Hosp Boston, MA Child Track Advisor: Neena Malik
Fall 2007
Undergraduate News
Again in 2006-2007, the Undergraduate Program continued to shine. By the end of the academic year, there were about 750 psychology majors with another 150 minors. Faculty taught over 19,000 course hours, making our course offerings the most numerous in the College (after English and Mathematics, both of which are required of all students). The quality of our majors also continued to rise, with almost half of the population making one of the Honor Rolls. Psychology faculty mentored an unprecedented sixteen Senior Honors Theses. Undergraduate Academic Services Three time alumna Victoria Noriega continued to serve as the Director of Undergradaute Studies, assisted by Associate Director of Advising, Anna Fredericks, advisors Rachel Acosta and Sean Kilpatrick and a cadre of 16 Peer Advisors. Taking an empowerment approach to advising, Noriega and her staff attempt to establish an advising alliance with each student. Working together the staff helps all students gather information, learn more about opportunities and themselves, and thus make the most of their undergraduate education. FACT and FORUM help students learn the advising process and become active and empowered participants in the process. Staff participation in summer team building sessions helped us solidify the culture of excellence of advisors and empowerement of students. The staff continues to enjoy the support of Kent Schomber Teaching In addition to faculty doing research and teaching, a host of them, including lecturers, adjuncts, clinical and research professors also helped teach the ever bourgeoning number of students demanding our classes. Thanks to Michael Alessandri, Lourdes Casares, Marie Cheour, Christine Delgado, Pamela Deroian, Lynn Durel, Michael DiTomasso, Jennifer Durocher, Erin Fekete, Franklin Foote, Roderick Gillis, Brainard Hines, Hillary Hoffman, Malcolm Kahn, Marygrace Yale Kaiser, Jill Kaplan, Heide-Marie Kremer, Neena Malik, Judith McCalla, Kristin Lindahl, Peter Mitchell, Margo Mustelier, Marilyn Rodriguez, Amy Schaffer, Biing Shen, Rick Stuetzle, Ray Winters, and Barry Zwibelman. Twelve graduate students also taught courses.
Freshman Class Enrollment in the Freshman Advising Contact Term (FACT) and Faculty Over view of Research and Undergraduate Mentoring (FORUM), i.e., our one-of-akind orientation, advising, and mentoring program for both Psychology and Neuroscience majors, was the highest ever with 145 new freshman gathered together in eight groups. Although enrollment in the College in general was decreased by 10%, we took in 13% more students than we did the previous year. Rising average SAT scores, as well as participation in our Freshman program, has yielded excellent overall performance of the Freshman class. First-year retention for students enrolled in FACT was 98%. Only one student, i.e., less than one percent, scored under a 2.0 during the Fall, a figure considerably lower than that for the College as a whole. Undergraduate Research Twenty-three undergradute students worked with eleven different Psychology faculty during the ninth season of PRIME, our Summer Research program. Originally designed to encourage movement of miniority students through the biomedical pipeline through a program sponsored by the APA with funds from the NIGMS, our program was again able to include students regardless of ethnicity or research interest thanks to the generous matching funds provided by our Provost, William Le Blanc. Graduate students Stephanie Fitzpatrick and Ximena Dominguez worked closely with the PRIME students each week during the summer to discuss graduate school, ethics, research, and to help everyone produce a research poster. The program was expanded to join with other summer research programs on campus like the Leadership Alliance, the Dean's Women's and Minority Scholarship, and the NSF program to include some group meetings followed by films, discussion, and of course, pizza! Everyone got the chance to participate in extracurricular social activities which included two trips to the Chihuily Exhibit at Fairchild, the theater, snorkeling, and picnicking on Key Biscayne, as well!
Fall 2007
The Pride of PRIME A participant in UM's very first PRIME 1998 cohort, Monica S. Webb is now Assistant Professor of Psychology at Syracuse University and a Senior Scientist in the Center for Health and Behavior. Dr. Webb earned her B.S. degree at the University of Miami in 1999 with a major in psychology and minors in biology and education. It was at UM that she developed strong interests in clinical research. Dr. Webb reports that "The PRIME program was an amazing opportunity that was really the catalyst for the career trajectory that followed. That summer, I was exposed to the conduct of research, including recruitment of special populations, project development, data collection and analysis, and presentations. I worked with Dr. Ron Duran and assisted with aspects of the SMART Women/Men's study, which examined the impact of stress management on the health of AfricanAmerican women and homosexual males with HIV/AIDS." Immediately following her undergradute years, Dr. Webb began graduate school at the University of South Florida, which she chose due to its emphasis on health psychology. Her mentor was Dr. Thomas Brandon, whose research focuses on tobacco addiction and intervention. Her research experience included studies of health behavior change, basic social-cognitive processes in smoking motivation and behavior, targeted selfhelp interventions for smoking relapse prevention, and mechanisms underlying tailored smoking cessation interventions. She completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 2005 and then completed a medical/health psychology clinical internship at the University of Florida Health Sciences Center. She was awarded a three-year National Research Service Award from the National Cancer Institute to fund her research on Dr. Brandon's large-scale grant testing the efficacy of targeted smoking relapse-prevention materials in recent ex-smokers. As a graduate student, she gained experience in the implementation of large-scale population-based studies, developing psychoeducational materials for ex-smokers, and recruiting AfricanAmericans for research participation. Her thesis and dissertation focused on individual differences and tailoring in public health approaches for motivating smoking cessation. Her thesis is published in Health Psychologyё a top journal in the field, and her dissertation has been accepted for publication in the same journal. In 2005, Dr. Webb brought her passion for applied research and the integration of research and practice to the psychology department and the Center for Health and Behavior at Syracuse University. She established the Syracuse University Tobacco Research Program and is also actively engaged in the teaching of clinical psychology courses and clinical supervision.
Psychology's Senior Honors Theses Charlene Bobb (Mentor Alexandra Quittner) Does Deafness Affect Symbolic Play in Young Children? Dawn Brown (Mentor Edward Green) Evaluating the Sensitivity of a Sensorimotor Task for Assessing RecA Rachel Carlsen (Mentor Alexandra Quittner) Novel Noun Learning in Hearing Impaired Children with Cochlear Implants Natalie Escobio (Mentor Biing-Jiun Shen) The Relationship between Negative Emotions and Lipid Components of Cardiovascular Risk Factors Cristina Fernandez (Mentor Daniel Messinger) Temperamental Differences between Siblings of Autism Spectrum Disorder and Typically Developing Siblings Nathaniel Helwig (Mentor Heather Henderson) EEG Asymmetries as Predictors of Motivational and Affective Biases in Adolescents with High-Functioning Autism Alexandra Henchy (Mentor Daryl Greenfield) The Role of Attachment and Initiative on Head Start Children's School Readiness Christina Kelsey (Mentor Marygrace Yale Kaiser) Associations between Caregiver Psychopathology, Stress, and Interactive Behaviors in a High Risk Sample Britnay Lambert (Mentor Daniel Messinger) Gaze Patterns of Infant Siblings of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Ana Pires de sa e Silva (Mentor Amy Weisman de Mamani) Clients' Religious and Spiritual Beliefs and Therapists' Competence and Adherence to a Family, Focused, Culturally, Informed, Therapy for Schizophrenia Carolina Quijano (Mentor Peter Mitchell) Differences in Leadership Characteristics: Effects of Autonomy and Self-Sacrificial Attributes of Employee Motivation and Efficiency Erin Rowntree (Mentor Peter Mitchell) Usability Testing of a speech recognition Program to Create Electronic Health Records: Examining Problems When the Program is used by Non-Native English Speakers Cleo Samuel (Mentor Heather Henderson) Temperamental Predictors of Social Adaptation Mark Sheskin (Mentor Daniel Messinger) Is Eye Constriction Associated with Ratings of More Intense Positive and Negative Emotion? Trishul Siddharthan (Mentor Keith Scott) Birth Weight Perturbations in Florida: An Examination of Variance among Low Birth Weight Infants Pooja Soni (Mentor Heather Henderson) Assessment of Self-Monitoring in High Functioning Autism Barbara Sorondo (Mentor Marie Cheour) Maturing Thalamocortical Connections Impede Learning in Sleeping Infants Amanda Thompson (Mentor Daryl Greenfield) Evaluation of Head Start Children's Museum Experience
Fall 2007
Neuroscience As one of the most elite majors at the University, the Neuroscience major now has over 185 outstanding students in the program with another 60 on the waiting list. The interdisciplinary major is a collaboration between the Psychology and Biology Departments. Specialty courses are taught by members of the Medical School staff include Neural Mechanisms of Disease, and Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience, and Developmental Neuroscience. The program is administered in Psychology with Phil McCabe as Director and Victoria Noriega as advisor. McCabe has been able to find research positions for undergrads in many of the 78 neuroscience laboratories at the University. Both he and Ed Green also teach classes and mentor students in their labs. These experiences have led to Senior Honors Theses. Biology faculty offer the basic biology courses in the major with key faculty members including Chair Kathryn Tosney, David Wilson, Jon Lu, Akira Chiba, and Julia Dallman. Many of the Neuroscience majors have worked in labs at the Medical School. For example, at the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, Mary Bunge is examining strategies to reestablish neural connections following spinal cord injury. Vance Lemmon and John Bixby study how axons grow and make connections with other cells during development. In Psychiatry, Yossef Itzhak does research on addictive drugs such as cocaine, amphetamines, and MDMA. In Physiology and Bio-physics, Stephen Roper and Nirupa Chaudhari study the neurobiology of taste receptors, and in Opthalmology, Jeff Goldberg examines the development of neural connections in the retina. Senior Honors Theses Ansel Amaral (Mentor Antoni Barrientos) Chaperone Balance Modulates Polyglutamine Induced Toxicities in a Yeast Model of Huntington's Disease Wayne Martin Bauknight (Mentor Phillip McCabe) The Effect of cAMP on Schwann Cell Differentiation Sanaa Bhatty (Mentor Vance Lemmon) Axon Formation Requires JNK but Does Not Appear to Require PI3-Kinase or GSK-3beta Stephanie Glass (Mentor M. Livia Bajenaru) TGF-в Signaling Pathway and Extracellular Matrix Modification Following Acute Retinal Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury Yelena Guller (Mentor Caitlin Hill) In Vitro Models for Enhancing Adult Schwann Cell Survival: Induction of Necrosis and Apoptosis and Testing Cell Death-Inhibiting Drugs Harry Madhanagopal (Mentor Gail Ironson) Relationship between Natural Killer Cells and Psychosocial Variables Dayron Rodriguez (Mentor Maria Torroella-Kouri) Modulation of the Innate Immune Responses by Tumors: Mechanisms of Alteration of the Macrophage Compartment
Just Desserts
Our celebration for those who make the Honor Rolls was held again in February. Over 175 undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and parents were on hand as recipients got their "Just Desserts." Everyone was treated to an array of desserts treats, and participated in various games. Undergraduates competed for the grand prize, a color printer. "Pin the Building on the Campus," one of the event favorites, is pictured above.
MUSE Award Each year, thanks to a generous donation from an anonymous group of donors devoted to undergraduate education, the Department recognizes Contributions to the Undergraduate Program with the MUSE Award. All recipients of the award, in place since 2000, have shown exceptional commitement to helping undergraduates make the most of their educational experience. Assistant Professor Heather Henderson is a relatively new faculty member but her addition to the faculty has been felt in all domains of the undergraduate program. Henderson has been a prolific research mentor, opening her laboratory to dozens of students, mentoring several JUMP START and PRIME students and helping them to turn their research experience into Honors Theses. In the three short years she has been with us, she has mentored nine Honors Theses, four of which were conducted this year. Henderson has also been the instructor for what is, perhaps, our most demanding undergraduate teaching assignment, PSY 316 i.e., Experimental Psychology. Congratulations and many many thanks to Henderson and our other devoted faculty.
Fall 2007
Flipse Family Legacy
In a generous show of support for the University of Miami, the family of Fred C. and Helen Donn Flipse has, once again, helped change the complexion of the Psychology Department. Long-time supporters of the University, the Flipses made their first gift in 1965 and continued with active support totaling nearly three million dollars over the next 40 years. Their current gift will benefit generations of psychology students. Our move to the Fred C. and Helen Donn Flipse Building as our core facility in September 2002 ushered in a new era in the Department. This significant step toward centralizing the activities of our faculty gave us state-of-the-art office, laboratory, and classroom space. Faculty and graduate students have been able to collaborate across divisions in state-of-the-art laboratories. Most faculty are able to teach in the Building, saving countless hours commuting to the Memorial and Learning Center classrooms where other social science departments continue to hold their classes. The fifth floor Student Lobby has been a pleasure for everyone, giving us the ability to host events for both undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty and staff. Strong supporters of the counseling process, the Flipse fortunes helped to establish and continue a Predoctoral Internship Program at the University's Counseling Center in 1993. Providing a final year of practical training for selected graduate students, the internship also helps fund mental health services for all UM students. The Flipses named the internship after Dr. Jess Spirer, a former faculty member who was with the Guidance Center (now the Counseling Center) during the 50's and 60's. Fred Flipse served in World War II, and after the war, after several years of marriage, went to work for Helen's father at Exotic Gardens. Although he started out arranging the flowers, he gradually became an important part of the administration of the company. Working together, Fred and Helen helped expand the family business to three times its original size within the next 15 years. Another Flipse venture was the purchase and refurbishing of 250 acre Gulf Stream Park Racetrack in Hallendale. Fred C. Flipse died on June 1, 1997 at the age of 85 and Helen Donn Flipse passed away on October 2, 2006 at the age of 89. They are survived by their son Don Flipse and daughter Carol Flipse Hall. "The Flipse gift has helped us continue a tradition of excellence in preparing the next generation of scientists and practitioners in adult, child and health psychology. We are proud that the Flipses believed in the University and were grateful for what we do here for students and the community," said Chairman Rod Wellens.
Following the Tracks
Adult Professors Charles Carver and Sheri Johnson continute to co-administer the Adult track, a diverse and active group whose work integrates clinical science with basic science in personality and social psychology, making the program quite different from other national clinical programs. Working together with twenty graduate students, the faculty focus their research based on the underlying belief that an understanding of processes of normal behavior fosters a better understanding of problem behavior. Professor Carver was one of five UM faculty members named as Distinguished Professor this past year.
Child Taking the reins this year as Director of the Child track is Professor Alexandra Quittner who came to us just over 4 years ago. Stepping down as Director is Peter Mundy who has accepted a position at UC Davis as Capps Chair in Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Education. UM was Mundy's home as both graduate student and faculty member for a combined 21 years...first as Director of Psych Services and then of CARD. Professor Annette LaGreca was named a Cooper Fellow. Associate Professor Heather Henderson received the College of Arts and Sciences Scholarly and Creative Activities Award.
Health Continuing at the helm of the Health Division is Professor Neil Schneiderman who was able to gain renewal for a Program Project grant from NHLBI looking at biobehavioral risk factors for the development of coronary heart disease. The renewal of the grant for the next five years means that by 2012 this research will have been continuously funded for 25 years! Other Health Division faculty involved in the Program Project are Phil McCabe, Maria Llabre, Pat Saab, Barry Hurwitz, Marc Gellman, and Judy McCalla. We bid adieu to Assistant Professor Biing Shen who has taken a position at USC, closer to his family.
Fall 2007
Under the Direction of Dr. Michael Alessandri, UM-NSU CARD expanded dramatically this past year thanks to a much needed increase in state funding. We have added staff at all sites from a variety of disciplines, including behavior analysis, school psychology, mental health counseling, and special education. With these new staff have come exciting new programs and services, including a multitude of social/play groups for children and adolescents. Two special projects on the Coral Gables Campus were made possible by funding from some very generous sponsors. CANES P.L.U.S. is a weekly activity group that pairs undergraduate students in psychology or a related discipline with youngsters with autism. This group, funded in part by the Citizens Board Select Projects Fund, aims to Promote Learning and Understanding through Socialization. UM-NSU CARD also sponsored its first ever summer camp for 5-10 year olds with high functioning autism during the summer of 2007. Ten campers participated in a range of activities on and off campus, including a daily pragmatics/literacy group. We are very proud to have hosted this first ever camp option for special needs children on the UM campus, and we hope to expand in the future so that more children with autism, who are too often excluded from camp experiences, are included in meaningful summer activities. This past April, we hosted our 5th Annual Tropical Nights fund-raiser at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. This event, honoring long-time advocate and CARD supporter Wendy Bellack and world renowned artist Romero Britto was attended by 715 CARD supporters and raised nearly $300,000 to support our services and programs. It was by far our biggest, most lively, and most successful event to date. Tropical Nights 2008 is tentatively scheduled for May 3rd at the Biltmore Hotel. Hope to see you there! For more information about UM-NSU CARD, please visit our websites at or or call us at 1-800-9-AUTISM. Children's Registry and Information System The Children's Registry and Information System (CHRIS) project develops and maintains a statewide registry of children who have or may be at risk for developing disabilities that may affect their future school performance. The CHRIS database is used at all Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resources System (FDLRS) centers to register children for whom special services may be needed. The primary target population is children referred for services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (birth to 3 years of age and 3 to 5 years of age). CHRIS is used to create reports for state agencies, to provide information to service providers, and help inform policymakers of important issues regarding children with disabilities. CHRIS records are integrated with Florida birth certificate records and/or public school records to create the datasets needed to address specific research questions. Current research projects focus on the following two general areas: (1) Identification of early risk factors for preschool-aged children with disabilities and (2) Tracking outcomes of preschool-aged children with disabilities. Additional information on the CHRIS project can be obtained from our website at CHRIS has been continuously funded since 1990 by the FL Department of Education. Dr. Christine Delgado is the Principal Investigator.
Psychological Services Center Dr. Kim Fuller continues as Director of our very busy Psych Services. The past year has been an eventful one, marked most notably by the resignation at the end of May of Dr. Ketty Patino Gonzalez, our Assessment Coordinator for the last nine years. Dr. Gonzalez has provided a great service to the Clinic, the Psychology Department, and the community in her role as the primary supervisor for assessments for all the clinical psychology graduate students in the program. We all wish her well in her private practice. Dr. Saneya Tawfik has been recruited to serve as our new Assessment Coordinator. Dr. Tawfik has extensive experience as a clinician, teacher and supervisor, including previous experience as an adjunct faculty member supervising UM graduate students. After receiving her Ph.D. in Child-Clinical Psychology from the University of Denver, Dr. Tawfik completed her internship and postdoctoral training at the Judge Baker Center at Harvard Medical School. We welcome her to our faculty! During the past year, the Clinic served almost 500 clients and provided training for 43 graduate students, three post-doctoral trainees, and one summer extern from the UM Student Counseling Center. We conducted individual, group, couples and family therapy, offered a group for the treatment of Social Phobia, and provided a wide range of assessment services. Four advanced students (Tricia Cassel, Kristin Phillips, Lindsey Root, and Brian Willoughby) provided mentorship for the pre-practicum and beginning practicum students and also served as part of the in-take screening team.
Fall 2007
The Linda Ray Center is a multi-faceted early intervention site where high risk babies and toddlers participate in a variety of research-driven programs. Ongoing developmental assessments and programmatic monitoring information are gathered to determine program effectiveness on child outcomes at age three. The foundational program is the Linda Ray Intervention Project examining the effectiveness of early intervention for babies and toddlers born prenatally cocaine exposed. Specific areas of research include: curriculum development and monitoring fidelity to the program model, targeted interventions aimed at language development and the acquisition of social skills, joint attention research, the effects of teacher training on children's language and behavioral skills, and comparisons of outcomes based on the dosage and duration of the intervention models. The LRP project is funded by Miami-Dade County Public Schools PreK Programs for Children with Disabilities. The Director is Dr. Lynne Katz who was awarded the Distinguished Community Partner Award from the Department of Children and Families. She was also the recipient of the DCF Community Based Care Service Award. Her work has been lauded by state and local officials, including Judge Judith Leiberman. Many children are maltreated as a result of parental substance abuse. This brings the children into the child welfare system and may result in removal from the family of origin, periods of instability of placements and custody issues. Within the Center, therefore, are additional programs to assist the parents and their children facing these hurdles and risks. The Infant and Young Child Mental Health Pilot Program, funded by the Department of Children and Families, provides clinical parent-child psychotherapy utilizing and evidence-based treatment model. The Early Head Start Child Welfare Initiative is a collaboration with Early Head Start in Miami and provides EHS early intervention services. The Linda Ray Center clinical staff provides parent-child psychotherapy to this group of court-referred families and collects data associated with positive outcomes. Project Hand `N Hand is a parenting program funded by the Children's Trust of Miami-Dade County and parents of children ages 0-3 years old enroll for a program focusing on the developmental needs of the children and helping parents strengthen their relationships with their children. The Safe Start Promising Approaches Initiative is a national project funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and the Linda Ray Center is one of multiple sites. The national cross-site evaluation is directed by the RAND Corporation.
Autism & Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network The CDC has provided funding to identify and monitor the hundreds of children with autism and other developmental disabilities identified within a four year period in Miami Dade County. The goal of the project is to provide reliable prevalence estimates of ASD to inform federal, state, and local agencies and therefore help improve services. This study will help establish an accurate count of the number of children in south Florida with autism. Investigators are members of the University of Miami Department of Psychology, in association with the University of Miami, Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (UM-CARD). UM-ADDM is a collaborative undertaking of the CDC and the University of Miami. Dr. Marygrace Y. Kaiser is the Principal Investigator of the ADDM project. Graduate student Vanessa Gonzalez and undergraduate Sylvanna Vargas are part of the team. Drs. Michael Alessandri and Jennifer S. Durocher also provide and invaluable contribution to the UM-ADDM project via UM-CARD.
Counseling Center Dr. Malcolm Kahn, Director of the Counseling Center for the past 16 years, moved on to teaching in the Department in May; he will retire from the University in May 2008 after 39 years of dedicated service. His passion and inspiration will be greatly missed! Dr. Pamela Deroian, long-time counselor in the Center and a favorite teacher here in the Department, has taken the reins. We wish both Malcolm and Pamela the best in their new challenges! The Counseling Center, which falls under the perview of Dr. Pat Whitely, Vice President of Student Affairs, continues to have a wonderful training program at the bequest of the Flipse endowment. Department alum, Jose Sandoval, Ph.D., licensed this summer, has joined their team as a staff psychologist. The Virginia Tech shootings sparked evaluations in our student, fiscal, and academic affairs. The University's Emergency response system has been updated to speed communication to students and staff in case of emergency; a Critical Incident Task force recently reviewed all response patterns and the Counseling Center was deemed to be in good shape. We have several programs set in place in order to facilitate communication within the University community if a disturbed student is identified.
Fall 2007
New Grants Daryl Greenfield DED, IES/Museum of Science Early Childhood Hands-On Science Barry Hurwitz NHLBI Obesity, Metabolic Syndrome, and Meal-Related Glycemia Daniel Messinger Autism Speaks Automated Measurement of Facial Expression in Autism NICHD Naпve Observers' Ratings of Behavior: A Multi-Construct Validation Study Autism Speaks/ University of Massachusetts A Multi-Site Clinical Randomized Trial of Hanen's More Than Words Program Frank Penedo NCI Ethnicity and Determinants of Quality of Life Following Prostate Cancer Treatment Neil Schneiderman NHLBI Biobehavioral Bases of CHC Risk and Management Moving right along ... When he retired from the Department as Professor Emeritus in 2001, Don Routh intended to continue to teach part-time in a college located near his new home in Estero, Florida. When he discovered that his favorite topic, History and Systems in Psychology was not offered, he decided to pursue his Bachelor's degree in hisory while teaching composition courses. Having earned his Bachelor's degree in 2006, Routh has now entered the Master's program, again in History!
Kudos Gillis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching In tribute to our long-time alum and faculty member who specializes in undergraduate teaching, the Department of Psychology established a yearly award that recognizes excellence in teaching by graduate students who teach undergraduate courses. It is estimated that Dr. Rod Gillis has taught over 14,000 students since his first Introductory Psychology course was offered in 1977; he has taught over 214 sections of 14 different courses during that time period. In addition to Introductory Psychology, Dr. Gillis continues to teach Social Psychology, Introduction to Biobehavioral Statistics, Intermediate Statistics, Tests and Measurements, and Experimental PersonalitySocial Psychology at the undergraduate level. Because of his expertise in teaching, he offers yearly workshops for graduate students who are preparing to teach an undergraduate class as part of their graduate training. He has also provided individualized supervision of in-class teaching for many graduate students and has recently taken on the teaching of the core entry level graduate statistics course in Psychology. This year's recipient of the Gillis Award is Ms. Stephanie Wasserman, who was chosen from a field of 14 nominees selected on the basis of their outstanding student evaluations and super-visor ratings. Stephanie taught a section of Social Psychology in the spring semester of 2007. 100% of the students in her class who completed a course evaluation indicated that their overall evaluation of their instuctor was positive. Her teaching supervisor indicated that he had "rarely seen anyone do such a good job ... she lectured with a great deal of authority and competence, yet kept an unusually high degree of class participation." Ms. Wasserman, also an alumna of our undergrad program and a former Peer Advisor, was recognized at a faculty/student reception at the beginning of this academic year and received a $300 check. The Gillis Award is funded by a group of anonymous faculty in the Department of Psychology. The Empty Cup Runneth Over The ability to make lemonade out of lemons has been demonstrated by our own Cindy Papale, Office Manager for Psychological Services. Diagnosed and treated for breast cancer in 2000, Papale's remarkable resilience and coping helped her deal with her own illness, and also help others, particularly younger women. Her outreach efforts have included many talks to high school and college students throughout Dade County. She has also written a book to help other women grappling with similar issues. The Empty Cup Runneth Over is slated to hit the bookstores early next year.
Fall 2007
Accreditation The Clinical Psychology graduate program recently underwent a review for re-accreditation from the American Psychological Association (APA). Beginning in the fall of 2005, the program initiated a year long Self-Study to gather information from our current students and recent alumni (the Alumni Survey) and to evaluate all aspects of the training program (curriculum, practicum training, research training, recruitment and retention of minorities, public disclosure of program information and outcomes). Four faculty-student workgroups conducted a year-long evaluation that included an all-day faculty retreat in January 2006, and adjustments were made to the clinical training program in response to the review and self-assessment. Detailed data were gathered on our program outcomes, and a comprehensive Self Study Report was submitted to APA in August 2006. In April 2007, the APA conducted a formal Site Visit in which three faculty from other universities came to UM and met with all program faculty, associated faculty, clinical supervisors, UM administrators, and clinical graduate students to review and evaluate numerous aspects of the program. The visit was very successful, and the feedback from the site visitors was extremely positive. As a result of this review, the program was re-accredited for seven years, the maximum allowable interval between reaccreditation reviews. As a result of the Self Study, we have revised and greatly expanded the information that is available on the Department website (see -> Clinical Training). We now include comprehensive information about the program philosophy and model of training, as well as detailed information on our program outcomes. This latter information is required by the APA Committee on Accreditation and must be updated annually. Because some of it requires contacting our program graduates regarding their current positions and licensure status, we would appreciate it if you would keep us informed regarding your best "contact information!" The entire Self Study process required a tremendous amount of effort from support staff, students, faculty, and alumni, but the enormous undertaking was spearheaded by the Director of Clinical Training, Professor Annette LaGreca. If you graduated between 1997 and 2005, and have not already done so please let us know if you are licensed by emailing [email protected]
Arrivals and Departures Jill Kaplan's (4th) child Kenzie ... a girl at last! Gemma Anne Varkey born to Steve and Krista Varkey
Kate Weaver's new pumpkin addition, Ella.
Amy Weisman de Mamani and family visited husband, Jumaqui's native land.
We are saddened to report the loss of two of our former faculty. Although gone from the Department now for many years, the effect of their mentorship goes on. Professor Emeritus Edward J. Murray passed away October 27, 2007 from a sudden heart attack. Ed was recruited to the University in 1966 as Director of Clinical Training. He was a major figure in our clinical psychology program until his retirement in 1993. Ed, who was 79, is survived by his wife, Louisa Murray, a former faculty member in UM's School of Nursing, and his daughters, Sarah Diafi and Martha Prioletti. Professor Emeritus Carrol V. Truss in the Deparment of Psychology, passed away on January 15, 2007 at the age of 85. Born and raised in Alabama, Truss entered college at the age of 15 and studied a range of subjects from comparative religion to electrical engineering. In 1957, he obtained a Ph.D. in Industrial Psychology from Johns Hopkins University and was with the Department from 1959 to 1987. Truss taught Industrial Psychology and was the Department's liaison with the Business School for our brief attempt at a joint program in Industrial Psych. Truss also served as Assistant to the Dean in the Graduate School.
Faculty Positions Open The Department has grown rapidly in stature in recent years; it ranks among the top tier in the nation in NIH funding among psychology departments. With the benefit of recent retirements and new funding opportunities, we plan to continue that development, by recruiting additional tenure-track faculty members over the next few years. President Donna Shalala (former US Secretary of Health and Human Services) has affirmed that her desire is to bring the university to the next level of scholarly attainment, and the Department of Psychology plays a major role in that process. The Department is currently seeking new faculty members in each of its Divisions, as well as our Psychological Services Center; details are provided on our web pages
Fall 2007
Psychology News: What's Inside? A Fond Farewell .......................................................2 Outstanding Alumnus Award ...................................2 Donor Honor Roll .....................................................3 Our Wide World of Research ...................................4 Alumni News and Notes ..........................................12 Graduate Student News ...........................................14 Undergraduate News ................................................16 Neuroscience ............................................................18 Flipse Family Legacy ................................................19 Following the Tracks ................................................19 Community Service and Outreach ...........................20 Kudos .......................................................................21 Accreditation ............................................................23 Arrivals and Departures.............................................23
Contributors Rachel Acosta, B.A. Jossie Dauval, B.A. Pam Deroian, Ph.D. Anna Fredericks, B.A. Jason Garstka, B.E. Sean Kilpatrick, B.A. Andre Perwin, B.S. A. Rodney Wellens, Ph.D. Richard Williams, Ph.D. The Psychology Faculty The Psychology and Neuroscience Peer Advisors
Published by University of Miami, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology. Creative Editor, Layout, and Design: Victoria Noriega, Ph.D.
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Fall 2007

F Legacy

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