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The Department of Psychology Centennial Celebration Gala

June 15, 2018

On May 11, the Department of Psychology celebrated its 100-year anniversary at the McNamara Alumni Center on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus. 

At the Centennial Celebration Gala, department chair Monica Luciana and dean of the College of Liberal Arts John Coleman gave opening remarks. Everyone played a game of department trivia before the inaugural presentation of the Department of Psychology’s Distinguished Alumni Awards. Honorees were Dr. Mary Koss, who was unable to attend but recorded an acceptance speech that was shown at the gala, and Dr. Heather Peters, who received her award in person and gave remarks. 

The evening continued with a panel of psychology alumni, current faculty, and faculty emeriti: Brian Engdahl (alumnus and adjunct faculty), Ty Tashiro (alumnus), Tom Bouchard (faculty emeriti), and Bruce Overmier (faculty emeriti). Faculty member Thomas Brothen facilitated the fascinating discussion. 

Congratulations to Dr. Koss and Dr. Peters, and thank you to everyone who contributed to the evening!

2018 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

Honoring distinguished alumni from the Psychology’s undergraduate and graduate programs.

Mary Koss

Dr. Mary Koss

Dr. Koss, PhD, is Regents’ Professor in the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona.

She published the first national study sexual assault among college students in 1987. She was the principal investigator of the RESTORE Program; the first restorative justice program for sex crimes among adults that was quantitatively evaluated. She also directed Safety Connections, a restorative justice-based family strengthening program for children under 5 exposed to violence. She has developed resources for campus use including ARC3 Campus Climate Survey and the STARRSA model for rehabilitation of those responsible for sexual misconduct. Her ongoing work evaluates a sexual assault primary prevention program focusing on staff of alcohol serving establishments. She recently published a test of the “serial rape” hypothesis among college men.

Her credentials document close to 300 publications. The most recent appeared in American Psychologist and focused on victim voice and in re-envisioning responses to sexual and physical violence, better responses to underserved populations, and greater alignment of funding from the Violence Against Women Act funding with expressed victim needs.

During her career, she has consulted with many national and international health and advocacy organizations. Since 2016, she advised the US Departments of Justice, Education, and the White House Taskforce on Campus Sexual Assault.

She was the 8th recipient of the Visionary Award from End Violence Against Women International. She has received awards from the American Psychological Association: the Award for Distinguished Contributions to Research in Public Policy (2000) and the Award for Distinguished Contributions to the International Advancement of Psychology (2017).



Dr. Heather Peters

Dr. Peters, Ph.D., LP, CMPC, is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Minnesota, Morris and a Licensed Psychologist in the state of Minnesota.

Dr. Peters received her doctorate of philosophy (2006) in clinical psychology with a specialty in sport psychology from the University of Arizona. She completed her predoctoral internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California-Davis Counseling and Psychological Services where she received extensive training in multicultural counseling and diversity issues.

The overall goal of Dr. Peters’ program of research is to assist in the development of culturally sensitive interventions and programs that improve the health and wellbeing of people from marginalized cultural groups within our society.

Dr. Peters has published numerous chapters and articles on various topics related to culture. Her applied interests include facilitating multicultural discussion groups and providing sport psychology services to coaches and athletes. Dr. Peters is a certified mental performance consultant and a member of the United States Olympic Committee’s Sport Psychology Registry. She has conducted numerous diversity training seminars around the United States.

Dr. Peters has recently received the following awards: Cesar E. Chavez Award; UMM Alumni Association Teaching Award; Horace T. Morse-University of Minnesota Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education.