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Recent News

Headshot of Lovey Peissig

Interview with Lovey Peissig

In honor of Black History Month, we spoke with three PhD alumni from the Counseling Psychology program to learn about what drew them to Psychology and how they are now making an impact as professionals. They also told us about why it is essential that we work to increase Black representation in our program, the profession, and the field. Lovey Peissig, Ph.D. ‘16
Jason Steward

Interview with Jason Steward

In a recent interview with Counseling alumnus Jason Steward, PhD (class of ‘05), we learned what drew him to Psychology and how he is making an impact. Also, he told us about what he sees are some of the barriers to increasing Black representation in Psychology and how the program, profession, and field can work toward change.

Graduate Student on Effective Engagement of Senior Volunteers

The number of Americans over the age of 65 is steadily increasing with a current population of 56 million predicted to grow to 94.7 million in forty years. In a Nonprofit Quarterly article titled “Engaging Our Elders: The Power and Potential of Senior Volunteerism,” Joshua Braverman, social psychology graduate student in the Psychology Department at the University of Minnesota, discusses how to productively engage seniors in volunteerism.

Lee on the Internet’s Impact on Middle America Teens

For some, growing up in middle America away from cultural hubs of the East and West coasts can feel very disconnecting. However, in recent years the internet has provided a platform for immediate access to information and similar individuals. A Vice article titled “How the Internet Is Saving Gen Z in Flyover Country,” explains that particularly for immigrant and minority youth, social media has allowed them to celebrate their heritage and meet others with shared backgrounds.
Black Representation in Psychology: Addressing the gap in our Department

Black Representation in Psychology

Regrettably, the Department of Psychology at the University of Minnesota has never had a Black psychologist as a permanent faculty member. For our students, we know that seeing someone on our permanent faculty who looks like them can have a profound impact, which is not something our Black students have been able to experience thus far in our Department. Because diversity, equity, and inclusion are critical components of excellence in all that we do, we are actively working to change this track record. Currently, faculty and department leaders are consulting with BIPOC faculty across the nation to learn how to best attract such candidates in future faculty searches. They are also consulting on strategies to retain new hires, especially since a new Black faculty member might literally be “the only one” in the Department in the short-term. The Department is reaching out to BIPOC alumni as well to build stronger connections with them, gain a better understanding of their experiences in our department, and hear about ways in which we can be more welcoming and supportive of BIPOC students, staff, and faculty moving forward.

Psychology in Science Court

Last week, the University of Minnesota’s Science Court hosted Kerri Miller of MPR News to shed some light on the case of fighting political polarization through mandatory national service. Science Court is a project housed in the Honors Program that is designed to address social issues by using scientific knowledge. This year their topic is political polarization in the United States. While the course is interdisciplinary, psychology certainly plays a major role in informing the research.

Graduate Student Receives the 2021 Social Personality and Health Network award for...

Congratulations to Chloe Huelsnitz for receiving the 2021 Social Personality and Health Network (SPHN) award for Most Outstanding Dissertation titled “Effects of Type of Social Control Strategy and Perceived Agent Motivations on Eating and Relational Behavior in Romantic Relationships Over Time.” Specifically, Huelsnitz’s research addresses how the strategies one partner uses to try to improve the other’s eating habits elicit relational and eating responses over time. Chloe was advised by Jeff Simpson and Alex Rothman.

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