Newsletter Editions

Published: 05/05/2014
Summer 2014


Endowments Support Summer Research

The Psychology Department is steward to endowments that provide support to graduate students. Fellowships funded by our endowments are typically awarded to students who are near the end of their training.  They are intended to enable students to work on their independent research (Hunt) or pursue a professional training goal (Alcor). You can learn more about each of these awards and their intents by clicking on the links at the end of this article. The Psychology Department is proud to announce the following recipients of the summer fellowships for 2014:

Photo: Amanda Gilmore and Son Kai
Photo: Amanda Gilmore and Son Kai

Our first Summer 2014 Hunt Fellow is Amanda Gilmore (Adult Clinical with William George). Her research seeks to incorporate alcohol consumption reduction practices with established sexual assault risk reduction (SARR) programs.  Nearly half of college women surveyed who were heavy drinkers also experienced sexual assault while intoxicated. Existing SARR programs leave out the influence of alcohol as a factor in sexual assault.  The results from Amanda's project could help reduce sexual assault risk by innovating SARR programs.

Photo: Yong Sang Jo
Photo: Yong Sang Jo

Yong Sang Jo (Behavioral Neuroscience with Sheri Mizumori) is our other Summer 2014 Hunt Fellow. Yong's research examines the role of the midbrain dopamine systems and the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) in the decisions that one makes when expecting particular outcomes (such as rewards) after long or short delays. He measured the preference in delayed-large versus immediate-small rewards before manipulating the OFC. Inactivation of the OFC resulted in increased preference for more immediate rewards. These findings not only help clarify the role of brain reward systems and the OFC in decision making but they may help our understanding of reward choice decisions by individuals who experience brain trauma resulting in changes in dopamine transmission or which affect the functioning of the OFC.

Photo: Jessica Chen Photo: Janie Jun Photo: Exu Anton Mates with Mundi Photo: Joris Vincent
Photo: Jessica Chen Photo: Janie Jun Photo: Exu Anton Mates with Mundi Photo: Joris Vincent

Four graduate students in Psychology have been selected to receive the Alcor Endowment in Psychology for 2014.   Jessica Chen (Adult Clinical with Ronald Smith) will be collecting data for her study on online interventions to improve upon traditional psychotherapy services. Along the same vein, Janie Jun (Adult Clinical with Lori Zoellner) seeks to examine the components of interventions and their effectiveness in PTSD treatments. While Exu Anton Mates (Animal Behavior with Jim Ha) will be recording wild American and Northwestern crows as the crows are courting and defending their territory. And Joris Vincent (Cognition & Perception with Steve Buck) will spend the summer learning to use computational approaches in vision research, while collaborating with faculty in other departments and honing his own research interests.

The Psychology Department is grateful to our benefactors who have made these training and research opportunities possible! 

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