Newsletter Section

Letter from the Chair

Letter from the Chair

Cheryl Kaiser
Cheryl Kaiser

Hundreds of friends, family, and Psychology faculty and staff came together in June to celebrate the graduation of 500 of our undergraduate students! The Class of 2019 undertook exceptional learning opportunities in our department, as they interned in research labs where they worked hand-in-hand with graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty members exploring groundbreaking scientific projects that have been funded by the highest profile funding agencies in our nation. Some of our students engaged in clinical work, others in peer teaching, and were engaged in fieldwork all over the world. When you think about the scope of these experiences, it is apparent that these students had a truly remarkable undergraduate experience. Their time with us will provide them with the skills they need to thrive in their careers, any subsequent schooling, in their relationships, and in life. We are incredibly proud of the Class of 2019, and look forward to their accomplishments in the next stage of their lives.

June also marks our time-honored hooding ceremony, where we celebrate Psychology’s new PhD recipients. Our nineteen graduate students have been recognized with prestigious awards and fellowships from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Ford Foundation, among others. Our new PhDs will move to outstanding postdoctoral fellowships and faculty positions, will transform industry and government, and will bring evidence-based practices into therapeutic contexts all over the world. Generous support from our community of donors has given us increasing opportunities to fund fellowship opportunities for our graduate students, providing these students with dedicated time to pursue their research and develop their skills. There is nothing more special than seeing our students connect with the donors who made these opportunities possible, and watching our students share the joys of their discoveries.

Our faculty continue to bring great honor to our university with their research and are regularly the recipients of prestigious awards and grant funding, including earning over 11 million dollars in grant funding this year alone. This year was particularly special as Professor Kristina Olson was named a MacArthur Fellow, commonly referred to as the “genius award,” for her pioneering scholarship, which includes the Trans Youth Project. We also celebrated many promotions, including Ann Culligan to Senior Lecturer, Andrea Stocco to Associate Professor with tenure, and Sapna Cheryan, Shannon Dorsey, and Kristina Olson to Professor. This spring we also celebrated the careers of Drs. Steve Buck, Nancy Kenney, and Marsha Linehan on the occasion of their retirements. We are grateful for the decades of distinguished contributions they have made to our department and to the UW, and we wish them the best as they join our emeritus faculty ranks. You can learn more about our talented faculty elsewhere in this newsletter.

This year also marked the start of construction on a $45 million-dollar renovation of Kincaid Hall which, along with Guthrie Hall, will consolidate nearly all of our faculty into two buildings. Kincaid Hall will host a number of faculty research labs and centers, the Psychology Services and Training Center, undergraduate learning spaces, and a state-of-the-art MRI center which will serve as a neuroscience hub for the broader campus community.  We’re excited for the opportunity to bring our department together in two nearly contiguous spaces as we have long been vastly spread out across campus.

Thank you to our supporters for keeping Psychology thriving amidst challenging times in our federal and state budgets. Our student endowments and gifts, which delivered over $150,000 this year, represent a particularly vital investment in the future of Psychology. We are also working toward fully funding the Marsha M. Linehan Endowed Chair campaign, which was launched this year with a generous $1.5-million-dollar gift from our supporters. If you would like to support these and other endeavors, as well as explore naming opportunities in Kincaid Hall, please reach out.

After an unusually rainy start to the Seattle summer, we’ve now hit our stride, and I wish you well and hope you will keep in touch.

All the best,

Cheryl R. Kaiser

Professor & Chair