Department News, Fall 2015

Message from the Chair
Department Spotlights
Department Announcements
Alumni Updates/Class Notes
Support the Department
Stay Connected


Message from the Chair

Department Chair Carol Sigelman

Department Chair Carol Sigelman

 

Having survived my first year as chair, I am eager to share with you this yearly briefing on GW’s Department of Psychology. I’ll start with some basics: We’re a big and thriving group:

  • We have 24 regular, full-time faculty, two part-time regular faculty and varying numbers of part-time instructors, research professors and the like.
  • As of the spring 2015 semester, we had 447 undergraduate majors and 176 minors. Undergraduate course enrollments topped 4,000 during the 2014-2015 academic year, in keeping with our status as one of the most popular fields in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.
  • We have over 50 graduate students in our applied social psychology, clinical psychology and cognitive neuroscience programs, all busily presenting and publishing their research findings as they work toward their PhDs in psychology.

During the 2014-2015 fiscal year, we spent $2.32 million in external grant funding to advance our research and training goals—funding from various NIH institutes, NSF, private foundations such as the Simons Foundation and the Whitehall Foundation and the universities of our faculty members’ collaborators. In this newsletter you’ll learn of some recent transitions: The departure of Alyssa Zucker; the imminent retirement of Pamela Woodruff; but the return of John Philbeck from a professorship in Australia; and the hiring of new cognitive neuroscience associate professor Stephen Mitroff.

You will also learn of the major overhaul of the undergraduate curriculum we are implementing this year and of the renovation of our undergraduate research lab to accommodate the new research lab courses that are the most exciting part of the new curriculum.


We are proud of our community and its accomplishments and view all of you as an important part of that community. We also thank many of you—alumni, students and friends—for keep in touch and supporting our efforts.

 

 

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Department Spotlights

UNDERGRADUATE CURRICULUM REFORM

Before and after views of the undergraduate lab classroom.

Before and after views of the undergraduate lab classroom. 

 

Starting this fall, new psychology majors will follow our newly designed curriculum.  We knew we wanted majors to leave GW with a solid understanding of theory and research in psychology, of how knowledge is gained, knowing that many of our graduates either go on to graduate study or take jobs that involve conducting research or program evaluation.

Our main goal was to sequence the major developmentally so that students are led from basic to more advanced understandings and skills. The sequence looks like this: 

  • Basic concepts of theory and research in general psychology and in our gateway courses, which are also critical thinking courses that satisfy the college’s general education requirements
  • More in-depth training in research through our research methods course, now required in order to take upper level (3000 level) courses and a statistics course
  • Application of research understandings in upper level courses (e.g., through reading and critiquing original research articles, writing literature review papers and so on)
  • And finally, really applying research concepts in two advanced research laboratory courses.

The advanced lab courses are the most innovative part of the new curriculum—our capstone experiences. They involve focusing on a topic in psychology, learning about it and getting hands-on experience designing, conducting and writing up (and otherwise communicating) research on it. Labs will be offered in sensation and perception, cognitive neuroscience, applied social psychology, clinical/community psychology and developmental psychology.  They will often have a more specific topic focus—for example, visual attention, discrimination and health, stress and coping. And all are approved Writing in the Discipline courses.

With help from the provost and the Columbian College dean’s office, we cobbled together the funds needed to renovate the undergraduate lab in the back of the first floor of Building GG to welcome the new advanced research lab courses. Those of you who took Principles and Methods there or TA’d for that course probably do not remember that room and its cubicles fondly. Now, though, it is a modern, cheerful classroom with an LCD TV screen and a bank of computers. We are excited about the new undergraduate curriculum and believe it will position our majors very well for whatever they decide to do after graduating.

 

PSYCHOLOGY DEPARTMENTS'S FIRST DEAN'S SEMINAR

Fall 2015 Science in the District Dean’s Seminar students tour TSA testing facilities.

Fall 2015 Science in the District Dean’s Seminar students tour TSA testing facilities.

 

New faculty member Stephen Mitroff is teaching the Psychology Department’s first Dean’s Seminar since Lynn Offermann offered one on leadership in 2003. Dean’s Seminars are for first-year undergraduate students, and they are meant to provide a unique opportunity to engage in scholarship in a small-learning environment. Dr. Mitroff’s course , Science in the District, explores how topics of cognitive psychology are applied in real-world environments. To achieve this goal, the students read primary journal articles that they discuss in class, and they also take field trips to locations around the D.C. area. Scheduled field trips include the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) testing facilities, the MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital, the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Highway Administration Turner-Fairbanks Research Facility. The course takes advantage of GW’s location in the nation’s capital, allowing the students to see first hand how the principles of cognitive psychology are put to use to improve national security, patient health, highway safety and more.

To learn more, visit the Columbian College's page on Dean's Seminars.

 

THRIVING PSI CHI HONOR SOCIETY

Psi Chi Forums help students navigate their future career paths.

Psi Chi Forums help students navigate their future career paths.

 

Psi Chi President Nicole Butler and Faculty Advisor Dennis Schell report that GW’s chapter of the International Honor Society in Psychology is thriving. Psi Chi’s presence on campus as a highly acclaimed student organization is expanding as members’ involvement is encouraged at various events held within Psi Chi and outside of the student organization. After inducting 20 new members last year, Psi Chi is preparing to host two induction ceremonies this year to meet the demand, one in November and one in April.

In the spring semester, Psi Chi held another successful event: Career Night. The event was co-sponsored with the Career Center. Over 35 enthusiastic students were in attendance, and they actively listened and engaged with the panel, consisting of two alumni, Barbara Ungiert and Brendan Shields, and UnoBlessed Coons.

The executive board of Psi Chi is busy planning the chapter’s first major event of the year, the annual Graduate School Night Panel, which was held on October 15. The event has attracted nearly 30 students, who enthusiastically interacted  in a discussion with the selected panelists regarding students’ career paths after graduation.

Additionally, the executive board is excited to announce that we are eagerly planning our first collaborative event with the Psychology Graduate Student Forum (PGSF), which will be a workshop to guide undergraduates through the graduate school application process with the mentorship of PGSF members.

Alumni, if you have questions about Psi Chi, please contact Dr. Schell ([email protected]).

The Psi Chi website and its new Facebook page provide timely updates on all Psi Chi events.

 

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Department Announcements

FACULTY KUDOS

Sarah Shomstein, New Funding from the National Science Foundation: Sarah Shomstein has landed a new three-year grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).  It’s title is Semantic guidance of attentional selection: determining how attentional allocation is structured in the face of uncertainty.

Lisa Bowleg Honored: Professor Lisa Bowleg was honored at the APA convention last fall as recipient of the 2014 Distinguished Leadership Award from the Ad Hoc Committee on Psychology and AIDS in recognition of her contributions to HIV/AIDS research.

Guangying Wu Received New Grant: Guangying Wu has a new grant from NARSAD, The Brain and Behavior Research Fund. Its title is “Synaptic Mechanisms Underlying Auditory Hallucination in 22q11.2ds Mouse Model with Schizophrenia Phenotypes.”

Maria Cecilia Zea Leads Critical HIV/AIDS Work: Professor Maria Cecilia Zea is a key participant in the District of Columbia Center for AIDS Research (DC CFAR), which was recently funded with a $7.5 million, multi-year grant from NIH. Dr. Zea is a co-investigator and the co-director of the Social and Behavioral Science Core for this multi-institution enterprise, which is headed by Alan Greenberg of GW’s Milken Institute School of Public Health and involves other psychology faculty such as Professor Paul Poppen. The new center grant aims to advance HIV/AIDS research in the Metro area and is a collaboration among the many universities and other institutions with expertise on HIV/AIDS in the area.

Sarah Friedman New APA Representative: Research Professor Sarah Friedman was elected as one of two representatives of APA Division 7 (Developmental) to the APA Council.  She also serves as APA Division 7’s liaison to the APA Committee on Children, Youth and Families.

Saying Goodbye—Pamela Woodruff: Yes, Pamela Woodruff is retiring after the spring 2016 semester after devoting her career to GW. Many, many of you have taken her Attitudes toward Death and Dying course and recall case examples and stories that brought home the complexities of this essential part of the human experience. We will miss her.

Saying Goodbye—Alyssa Zucker: Alyssa Zucker left GW this summer to take a position as Vada A. Yeomans Chair of Women's Studies at the University of Florida. The Applied Social Psychology Program’s faculty and students will miss her greatly, as will GW’s Women’s Studies Program.

Welcome—Stephen Mitroff: Stephen Mitroff has joined the cognitive neuroscience program in our department as an associate professor. He spent the past 10 years as a faculty member at Duke University, and he is excited to be teaching and researching at GW. He focuses on applied aspects of vision and attention and looks to make the most of the D.C. area.

Welcome Back—John Philbeck:  John Philbeck left the faculty a year ago for a professorship in Australia but we wooed him back. We are happy to have him on campus again.

New Research—Stephen Mitroff: Stephen Mitroff has received funding from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to explore a possible tool for improving visual search processes.

New Research—Guangying Wu: Guangying Wu has a DICE (college interdisciplinary research award) titled “Characterization of social signals in components of ultrasonic vocalizations in laboratory mice,” to be done with Huixia Judy Wang of the Statistics Department.

New Research—Sharon Lambert: Sharon Lambert not only won a DICE for research entitled “Differential risk and response to community violence exposure among African American youth” in collaboration with Ryan Engstrom of Geography and Antwan Jones of Sociology, but also won a Columbian College Facilitating Fund (CCFF) award for a project entitled,  “Neighborhood risk and allostatic load in African American adolescents.”

New Research—Phillip Moore: Phillip Moore also won a CCFF award; his project is on obesity determinants and outcomes.

New Research—Tonya Dodge: Tonya Dodge is now a GWIPP Shapiro Policy Research Scholar, given summer support and a course release to support her project, “Ahead of the Game: Identifying Approaches to Prevent Increases in Recreational Marijuana Use Before Major Changes in Policy.”

New Research—Mimi Le: Mimi Le will receive funds and time off from teaching over three years as a Dean’s Research Chair as she develops a proposal for funding of her work on interventions for mothers at risk for perinatal depression. Maria Cecilia Zea held the department’s first Dean’s Research Chair.

New Research Activity—Lisa Bowleg: Dr. Bowleg’s lab began the main quantitative data collection phase for their “Menhood” study. Their goal is to collect data from about 833 black men from socioeconomically diverse neighborhoods in D.C. to assess the effects of neighborhood on HIV risk and protective behaviors.  So far things are going slowly but they are optimistic that the recruitment pace will pick up once they get into Southeast D.C. neighborhoods in September.

New Research Activity—Dwight Kravitz: The Kravitz lab is starting data collection for a new project looking at the joint coding of retinotopic and depth information in the human parietal cortex. This involves a new way of modeling population receptive fields. The lab is also about to begin a series of experiments that use transcranial magnetic stimulation to understand the causal effects of attention on perception.

New Research Activity—John Philbeck: John Philbeck is collaborating with Dr. James Hahn (computer science), Dr. Lamia Soghier (Children's National) and Dr. Naji Younes (public health) on a project to improve training and patient outcomes in neonatal intubation, an especially challenging psychomotor skill. The Philbeck lab also has a new paper coming out soon in Psychological Bulletin!

New Research Activity—Mimi Le: Mimi Le will chair a symposium on international interventions to prevent perinatal depression at the Global Maternal Newborn Health Conference 2015 in Mexico City in October 2015. 

New Research Activity—Michelle Stock: Michelle Stock and graduate student Janine Beekman published two new papers! One is titled “Need to belong, not rejection sensitivity, moderates cortisol response, self-reported stress, and negative affect following social exclusion,” and the other is “It only takes once: The absent-exempt heuristic and reactions to comparison-based sexual risk information.” They also developed a new lab webpage! See it here: www.mstockresearchlab.com.

New Research Activity—Sarah Shomstein: Sarah Shomstein, director of the cognitive neuroscience program, was invited to give colloquia at the University of Toronto and Penn State University. She is also an invited speaker (second year in a row) of the Nifty Fifty science program, in which 200 inspiring professionals in science, engineering and mathematics fields will help spur the interest of young people in science by presenting an assembly in a Washington-area middle school or high school.

New Research Activity—Stephen Mitroff: Stephen Mitroff and his lab are transitioning from Duke to GW and are settling in quickly. Dr. Mitroff is continuing his translational/applied goals by finding ways to connect his university research with the broader public—he was invited to speak as part of the Nifty Fifty science program (see bullet above!), and he has a paper coming out in the journal Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences.

 

CURRENT STUDENTS

Graduate Student Jennifer Marceron: Many congrats to Jennifer Marceron for landing three grants and awards to support her dissertation research: the APAGS Ellin Bloch and Pierre Ritchie Diversity Dissertation Grant, a Grants-in-Aid Award from The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues and a second place 2014 APA Division 27 Student Dissertation Research Award--all supporting her dissertation research on “Disability and Disasters: The Role of Self-Efficacy in Emergency Preparedness and Health Outcomes.”

Graduate Student Meagan Sweeney: And congratulations to Meagan Sweeney for her award from the SCRA (Society for Community Research and Action) to help fund research being done by Dr. Cindy Rohrbeck and her students evaluating the Red Cross’ “Be Red Cross Ready" program and asking whether emergency preparedness presentations change behavior. Two undergraduate research fellowships were awarded by the university in 2014 to support this research: one to Archana Anandakrishnan and one to Ilana Petrescu.

Graduate Student Marta Genovez: Marta Genovez received a $2000 fellowship from the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. Congratulations!

Prestigious Graduate Fellowships: Three graduate students who succeeded in receiving prestigious external awards to support their years in our doctoral programs will see that funding come to an end in 2016: Devin English (clinical) has been supported by a National Institutes of Health Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award; Samia Ortiz-Hernandez (clinical) is coming to the end of her Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship; and Courtney Wallin (cognitive neuroscience) is in the last year of her National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Courtney also received an Endeavour Research Fellowship from the International Research Program in 2015.

Graduating Graduate Students: Two clinical psychology students graduated in August, 2015: Miguel Iracheta, who is at the Naval Hospital in Bremerton, Washington; and Christopher Nettles, who works with the American Psychological Association, Office of Ethnic Minority Affairs, as project director for the Cyber Mentors Program.  Meanwhile Ana del Rio Gonzalez earned her PhD in applied social psychology and is now working with Lisa Bowleg as a postdoctoral scientist as part of Team Represent and also working as a data analyst for the SHARPPP Project directed by Kim Blankenship at the Center on Health, Risk and Society at American University.

Undergraduate Research Awards: As usual, our undergraduate students are actively engaged with faculty and graduate students in research. The following students, with help from their faculty mentors, won prestigious GW or college (Luther Rice) undergraduate research fellowships for projects to be completed in 2015-2016:

Student Faculty Member Title Award
Emily Alexander Carol Sigelman Raising the bar: Normalization of Heavy Drinking Behaviors in College Students GW Undergraduate Research Award
Michael Scanlon Lawrence Rothblat Cognitive and Social Disabilities in the 22q11DS Mouse Model of ASD GW Undergraduate Research Award
Emily Bragg (Speech & Hearing) Guangying Wu Impact of Early Social Interaction and Aging on Mouse Vocalization Luther Rice
Klarissa Garcia Orellana Mimi Le Postpartum OCD: Perspectives from Mothers, Health Professionals, and Policy Makers Luther Rice
Abby Lieberman Michelle Stock Exploring the Role of Intersectionality: The Effects of Perceived Racial and Gender Discrimination on Risky Sex and Substance Use Luther Rice

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Alumni Updates/Class Notes

Helen Ackerman, MA ’62, is a psychologist in South Florida with an interest in women's health and life-change issues as they impact day-to-day living.

Michael Acquah, BA ’12, is a student at Harvard Law School (JD ’16). This semester, he is taking comparative international law courses at Sciences Po University in Paris through Harvard's foreign exchange program. He will work in Los Angeles, Calif., after graduation.

Dara Albright (Podber), BA ’91, is a recognized authority and frequent speaker on topics relating to market structure, entrepreneurism, IPOs, P2P and crowdfinance. She is currently writing a book on how crowdfinance will serve as the catalyst for economic democracy.

Nancy Allinson, BA ’71, retired from the federal government, as a human resources development team leader after 42 years of service in December 2011.  In June 2015, she had her first book of poetry, Harmony Not Yet Broken, published by Finishing Line Press.

Angelica Alston, BA ’10, has been working as a scholar advocate for Interfolio, Inc. (a software higher education company) for the past four years since 2011. She is looking to start her master's/doctoral programs in psychology/counseling in 2016/2017.

Mollie Anderson, BA ’10, is currently beginning her second year of graduate school studying clinical mental health counseling.

Jessica Badger, PhD ’14, earned her PhD in industrial/organizational psychology in 2014 and is working as a research psychologist at the U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences.

Anisah Bagasra, BA ’02, is an assistant professor of psychology and interim director of online education at Claflin University, a Historically Black College in Orangeburg, South Carolina. In 2013 they launched the first psychology program in the school's 146 year history.

Alexis Barton, BA ’05, BS ’05, is a fifth year graduate student in the psychology department at Indiana University. She studies how infants and children learn by watching other people act and how that learning might be constrained by what they can already do.

Lindsey Lawson Battaglia, BA ’98, lives in Alexandria, Va., with her husband, Damon, and son, Sam.  She is a policy manager at the Drug Policy Alliance, Office of National Affairs, promoting drug policies grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights.

Habiba Belguedj, BA ’11, is now going into her third year of living in Paris, France, and pursuing a master's degree. She studied last year at a French university to obtain a certificate in psychoanalysis, learning that the Lacanian way was just as interesting as the Freudian way!

Robin Beltzer, BA ’74, is currently senior HR generalist, academic programs at Barnard College.

Ingrid “Lisa” Bowleg, MA ’91, PhD ’97, is delighted to report that after graduating from the Department of Psychology with her doctorate in applied social psychology in 1997, she joined the faculty of the Department of Psychology in the rank of professor in 2013.

Leslie Fox Breslau, BA ’90, attended the University of Pennsylvania where she earned her MSW. She has been working in social work since 1993. Currently, she is the director of early intervention service coordination for five counties in Southern New Jersey.

Dale Camhi (Hausler), BA ’72, is currently the Metro-N.Y. regional director for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  AFSP saves lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide.

Jennifer Carey, BA ’14, entered into the doctoral program in clinical psychology at Antioch University New England in Keene, N.H., in September, 2015. She hopes to graduate with her PsyD in clinical psychology in 2020 and become a practicing therapist.

Yoo Jung “Sloan” Chong, BA ’92, lives in Seattle with her husband and two children. In 2000, she completed a MA ED in school counseling at Seattle University. This fall, she will start a new position as an academic support counselor at The Bush School.

Valeria Cogliani, BA ’11, is defending her thesis on September 2 and will graduate with her master’s in biomedical science from Mount Sinai. She will be applying to clinical psychology PhD programs, and hopes to return to GW to complete the degree!!

Howard M. Cohen, BA ’48, MA ’49, went to GW when Thelma Hunt was chair of the Psychology Department. He was president of the NY State Psychological Association Council, president of the American Academy of Clinical Psychology, chair of the Academy of Presidents of ABPP, board of directors of ABPP and chair of the Psychology Academy of National Academies of Practice.

Marilyn Cohen, MA ’62, worked in psychology until 1990 and then she drafted child support regulations until she retired in 2003 from the government.  She has been volunteering at museums.

Mitchell Cohen, PhD ’80, is a partner at Ruda, Cohen and Associates in Chicago. They are a management consulting firm that focuses on executive selection and leadership development. He has been married for 35 years, is a proud father of Elizabeth and Lauren and grandfather of Camden.

Richard Creswell, BA ’53, worked for the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab for 30 years and is retired and living on an airport in Winter Haven, Fla., where he flies his homebuilt airplane. In the summers, he lives in his beach cottage in Middlesex Beach, Del.

Kelia Cummins, BA ’00, is currently serving as a U.S. diplomat for the Department of State. Previous assignments have been to Jamaica, China, the Office of the Secretary and Pakistan. Next assignment will be in Switzerland.

Pooja Dave, BA ’03, MA ’08, recently earned her PhD in clinical psychology. She is a current postdoctoral fellow specializing in health psychology and integrated primary care at University of Chicago Medicine.

Lillian Dawit, BA ’14, is excited to say that she is at GW Medical School! This has always been a dream of hers and she is definitely where she wants to be!

JoAnn Difede, BA ’82, is currently a professor in the psychiatry department at Weill Cornell Medical College where she has pioneered the use of virtual reality simulations of trauma for the treatment of PTSD, particularly WTC and combat-related PTSD.

Miriam Eisenberg, PhD ’14, is in her second year as a postdoctoral fellow at the NICHD, NIH.  Her research focuses on 1) disordered eating behaviors and 2) the effect of hyper-palatable foods on eating, exercise and weight change.

Carolyn Eldred (Moeller), MA ’68, PhD ’72, spent her career as an applied research psychologist doing social policy-related studies.  She is now retired & living in Fredericksburg, Va., (where she did her undergraduate work at Mary Washington).  She has endowed a graduate fellowship at GW.

Danya Ellman, BA ’06, MA ’12, has been working at GW since 2008 and was recently appointed as the assistant athletic director for educational support services where she oversees all academic resources for the university's 27 varsity teams.

Amir Faghfoory, BA ’02, works as a psychiatrist in Los Angeles, primarily in telemedicine, where he sees patients at 20+ hospitals. A career in mental health offers many wonderful challenges and rewards!

Yassi Fallah, BS ’13, started working in Dr. O'Brien's laboratory in the Pharmacology and Physiology Department then in Dr. Berg's laboratory in the Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine Department. Now she is finishing her master's degree at Georgetown in tumor biology

Elizabeth Feinstone, BS ’12, just graduated in May  2015 from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health with an MPH in health promotion. She is now working as a health behavior change specialist.

Caitlin Figg, BA ’13, after 1.5 years on the Attorney Development team at Axiom, she recently joined CEB's Learning and Development team. She is supporting their internal training programs and putting her psychology degree towards helping others improve themselves in their careers.

Johanna Fishbein, BA ’04, is working as a university advisor at the United World College of South East Asia, an international high school in Singapore. Every year several of their students apply to GW.

Jean Forman, MA ’69, after a long career as a licensed school psychologist in Virginia, she is now retired.  Now she is a sea glass jewelry designer/owner of Lucky Sea Glass Jewelry and beachcombs around the world!

Sarah Friedman, PhD ’75, in the last two years she has been a research professor of psychology at GW working with colleagues and students on studies of communication between deployed military parents and their children.

Luis I. Garcá, PhD ’10, was hired by Stockton University in Galloway, N.J., to start a new Bachelor of Science in Health Science. While most of his research training is on HIV prevention, now he researches Interprofessional Education (IPE) and educates future healthcare professionals.

Philip Gentry, BA ’85, following graduation from GW in 1985, he attended Georgetown Dental School and graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1989. He has been in private practice in Arlington, Va., for 26 years and teaches advanced general dentistry at the University of Maryland Dental School.

Rachel Getzenberg, BA ’10, is a medical student at the University of Tennessee in Memphis.

Alan Gibson, BA ’70, is retired now and playing in a senior softball league.

Molly Giorgio, BA ’10, as of June 2015, completed all course requirements and dissertation as a doctoral student in clinical psychology at William James College. In September 2015, she begin her one year APA Internship at the Bedford VA Hospital and will receive her PsyD in 2016.

Lucy Goodman, BA ’13, is now a PsyD at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia, Penn.

Ashley Gomez, BA ’12, is currently employed as a foster care caseworker in Brooklyn, N.Y. She has been working there for the past three years. Prior to that, she did an Americorps term with City Year in Washington, D.C.

Samantha Granski, BA ’11, graduated with her Master of Social Work from Florida State University this past May. She is currently working in Tallahassee, Fla., at a nonprofit community center for women and girls, helping staff a city and county citizen's advisory board.

C'pher Gresham, BA ’09, launched Swillings Coffee, a social impact business to educate and employee individuals in rural Colombia. Swillings roasts in Colombia and air-freights to the USA. In addition, C'pher runs all programming at a SEED SPOT, a social impact incubator.

Leslie Grossman, BA ’69, is a chair for Vistage, the largest global CEO peer advisory board organization.  She facilitates and coach CEOs, senior women executives and entrepreneurs.  Her latest book is LINK OUT: How to Turn Your Network into a Chain or Lasting Connections (Wiley, 2013).

Emily Guthrie, BA ’11, is currently an English and social studies teacher at a primary and secondary school in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq. She received an MA in conflict resolution and mediation from Tel Aviv University in 2013. She minored in psychology during her time at GW.

Danielle Guttman-Lapin, BA ’04, and Blaine Lapin, MD, BA ’08, celebrated their one year wedding anniversary on August 31, 2015. They live in Buffalo, N.Y., where Danielle is an adjunct professor and Blaine is finishing his pediatric residency.

Elizabeth A. Hart, BA ’71, is currently president and CEO of an education foundation.  She has worked in nonprofits for over 30 years.  She was chairman and CEO of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in the '90s and worked with DOD, NCI and the Cancer Cube.

Christopher Hartwell, BA ’01, recently graduated with a PhD in organizational behavior and human resource management from Purdue University and was hired as a tenure-track professor at the Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University.

Candice J. Hunter, BA ’98, was appointed as the chief of staff and compliance officer for Richmond Public Schools in December 2014.

Cailey Indech, BA ’14, is in her first year of medical school at Midwestern University - Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Rebecca John, BA ’15, started her Masters in Health Science in mental health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

 YouJin Kang, BS ’14, is attending graduate school at Seoul National University, majoring in International Commerce.

Billie Katz, BA ’15, is a first-year student in the School-Clinical Child Psychology PsyD program in Yeshiva University's Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology. Additionally, she provides direct ABA therapy services to children with ASD as a developmental specialist.

Caitlin Kennedy, PhD ’13, does user experience research on Google's Self-Driving Car Project, studying users' attitudes and behaviors towards the autonomous cars with the goal of optimizing a safe, accessible transportation method. She lives in San Francisco.

Carrie Kerstein, BA ’07, earned an MS in speech-language pathology from Emerson College in Boston last year. She now works at a pediatric private practice.

Mitali Khera, BA ’06, moved back home to India after graduation in 2006. In 2009, she moved to New York to pursue an MS in social work. Thereafter, she graduated and got married in May 2010. She had her daughter in November 2012 and moved to Singapore in March 2014.

Gabrielle Kirk (Patrissy), BA ’05, went on to earn a Master of Public Health and works in health communication and education. She currently manages a tobacco cessation and counter-marketing campaign for the U.S. military.

Arthur Kirsch, BA ’55, is enjoying being Professor Emeritus of both psychology and of statistics.  After 40 years at GW, he taught in Georgetown's public policy program for five years. He also consulted in various places until 2001.

Barbara D'Auria Lerner, BA ’73, received her MA from GW in early childhood special education in 1974, and a PhD from Texas Woman's University in 1997. She currently serves TWU as associate provost for undergraduate studies and academic partnerships.

Tanya Lavelle (Holland), BA ’08, recently completed a 1.5 year policy research project on mental health and housing in Texas that resulted in new legislation passed to provide better housing options for people with disabilities.

Heather Lavine (Newberg), BS ’91, works as a clinical therapist at Childhood Solutions, a private pediatric psychology practice in Fort Washington, Penn.

Jessica Lazarus (Rutstein), BA ’07, received her doctorate in clinical psychology, with a specialty in neuropsychology and school psychology, from Widener University in 2012. After completing a two-year neuropsychology post-doctoral fellowship, she now works in private practice.

Lani Le, BA ’14, continued to work for the Office of the Vice President for Research at GW as a sponsored research administrator after graduation. She has been an employee for GW since July 2008.

Keren Isaacs Lebeau, PhD ’03, is currently the co-director of clinical neuropsychology at the Northeast Regional Epilepsy Group.  She has been with the practice for eight years and practices out of their office at Overlook Medical Center in Summit, N.J.

Emily Leik, BA ’10, wed Scott Cornella on September 5 in Charlottesville, Va. She met Scott during graduate school at the University of North Carolina, where she earned an MPA in 2012.

David Levy, BA ’85, is the founder of Generocity Capital, owner of Mayacamas Ranch, the SF Bay Area’s leading group retreat center and MediaOne Services, a live to air digital broadcast studio that make up the core assets of the Generocity convening and communications platform

Mallory Levy, BA ’13, started this fall at GW's Graduate School of Education and Human Development and is getting a master’s in school counseling.

Steve Levy, PhD ’78, between Cal State, San Bernardino, and Santa Clara University, he has been teaching for about 35 years. He is also co-author of The Ropes to Skip and the Ropes to Know, a management text that has been in print for almost 35 years.

Dennis Lindenbaum, PhD ’82, retired from neuropsychology practice this year to pursue sports full time while still able to function. He won a national championship in rifle competition; rows daily; and is trying to get his golf handicap to scratch.

Dana Litt, PhD ’10, is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington, in Seattle, Wash.

Marta (Marcy) Losonczy-Marshall, PhD ’01, is a full professor of psychology at Salisbury University in Salisbury, Md.

Whitley Lucio, BA ’14, began working as a contractor for the Department of Defense. She is currently a clinical research assistant at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. Additionally, she is currently preparing graduate school applications.

Jacqueline Lussier, BS ’13, has been enrolled in a doctor of physical therapy program at MGH Institute of Health Professions with an anticipated graduation in  January 2016. She will spend the next year working in inpatient rehabilitation at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.

Lacey Marks (LaBarge), BA ’02, got married in 2012, and just had her first baby, Abigail, this April 2015.  She is currently working in Spokane, Wash., as an OBGYN physician.

Loring McAllister, BA ’60, recently boarded AMTRAK in St Paul, Minn., and took a fabulous, first-class round-trip to Seattle with his wife. The train amenities are special and the food is fantastic! The scenery in the Cascades is wonderful.

Erin McCormack, BA ’14, is a second-year medical student at GW.

Emma McKee (Burns), BA ’10, is currently employed at the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Va., and will be finishing up her master’s degree in forensic DNA and serology in the spring. Go Colonials!!

Sean McKinley, BA ’14, is currently pursuing his MA in forensic psychology at John Jay College in New York City, where he is conducting research on psychopathy and aggressive behavior in hero populations. He is also a research analyst with the NYC Department of Corrections.

Diane McQuail, BA ’71, MA ’76, has been with the GW School of Medicine MD Admissions Office for many years, currently serving as associate dean of admissions

Hiwot Menberu, BA ’97, is working in human resources for a consulting firm in Alexandria, Va.  She has also received her master’s in human resources recently.

Allison Meni (Sylvetsky), BA ’09, is back at GW as a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, where she conducts research studies related to obesity and diabetes and teaches several nutrition science courses at the graduate and undergraduate level.

Alessia P. Miller (Mariani), BA ’04, and Joseph T. Miller Jr., BBA '03, currently live in New Canaan, Conn.  Alessia is a trusts & estates associate in Greenwich, Conn.  Joe is a bond trader in Greenwich and New York. They are expecting their first child in October 2015.

Suzanne Miller (Dick), BA ’93, is the high school counselor at the Waldorf School of Garden City on Long Island, N.Y. She received an MA from GW's Graduate School of Education and Human Development and an MS in school counseling from Long Island University. She lives in Dix Hills, N.Y., with her husband Barry and her two boys, ages 15 and 13.

Christina Tripodi Mitchell, BA ’05, after completing her PsyD, worked for two years in London in private practice conducting neuropsychological assessments for international schools. She currently directs psychological testing and evaluation at The Ross Center for Anxiety in Washington, D.C.

Alicia Rahema Mooltrey, BA ’08, went on to Boston College to receive a MSW in 2011 and did child therapy while also doing community organizing. She just completed a master’s in education and is teaching English at a public school using the psychology skills she gained.

William Munoz, BA ’06, is currently completing his final year of residency at Rutgers-NJMS in orthopedic surgery.  He will be going to UVA next year for a Spine Surgery Fellowship.

Rahul Nadendla, BS ’15, is currently almost one month into his first year of medical school at George Washington University.

Beth Nauman, BA ’02, received MPH (2006) and PhD (2013) degrees from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and is currently research director of the Research Action for Health Network (REACHnet) at Louisiana Public Health Institute.

Miriam Nemeth, BA ’06, after several years at a civil rights firm in Detroit, she has moved back to Washington, D.C., and is currently working as an associate in the Civil Rights and Employment practice group at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, PLLC.

Kristin L. Lewis Noon, BA ’92, is the assistant county attorney with Harford County. She has a family of three kids and four step-kids; married and living happily in Towson, Maryland!

Ellen O'Boyle, BA ’74, MA ’77, MBA ’83, started at EPA the day after graduation; she is still there after all these years.  She lives in Annapolis and loves being in D.C. for work. She enjoys traveling, exercising and the beach.

Eva Zita Patai, BA ’07, after GW, went on to work as an RA with Professor Sohn in psychology and then went to do a PhD at Oxford University. Since then she has been involved with research on memory and attention in the human brain, and how it changes with age and disease.

Lyn Paul (Spiro), BA ’81, was just promoted to clinical associate professor, Adelphi University School of Social Work in Garden City, N.Y.  She is a part-time clinical social work practice in New York, N.Y.

Jennifer Perry, BA ’10, after a stint working for the Spanish government in Madrid, she returned back to the states and completed her MA in social neuroscience/social psychology at NYU. She is now a PhD candidate at Tufts University in the same field.

Adam Pletter, BA ’96, returned to GW for his PsyD and just began his 15th year in private practice in Bethesda, Md. He specializes in the treatment of children, adolescents and young adults.  He is married and has two children and a dog at home.

Jill Plevinsky, BA ’10, is a third year in the clinical psychology PhD program at Rosalind Franklin University with a focus in pediatric psychology. Her current research efforts include transition readiness, risk-taking behavior and self-management in AYA with IBD.

Wanda Rappaport, PhD ’77, PostDoc ’92, since 1992 has had a private clinical psychology practice in Foggy Bottom. Prior to that, she had a career in the computer field, first as a systems engineer, then in consulting and finally in the development and marketing of a computer software system.

Larry Raskin, BA ’63, is still working at 75. He is the owner of Psychology Resource Group in Louisville, Ky., where he has lived since 1973.  His PhD is from McGill University in Montreal (1966). His email is [email protected].

Heather Rasowsky (Kaufman), BS ’06, started a business called Something Borrowed (www.SBFloralDecor.com) where she buys flowers from the host of one event and sells them to the host of another event at a discounted rate. She and her husband (GW ’05)  are expecting their third child in December.

Michelle Rattinger, BA ’12, began her first year in the clinical neuropsychology PhD program at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Ga. She majored in psychology and minored in mind-brain studies at GW.

Denise Rivera, BA ’77, is a full-time professional performer living in Manhattan, N.Y., and running her businesses: "Daisy Doodle's Childrens Parties" and "Delilah International Dance & Variety Shows." Websites: daisydoodle.com and delilahdance.com.

Laurie Roberts (Spencer), BA ’86, just published a book! The Great Hoop of Life Volume 2. She co-authored with her mother, Paula Underwood Spencer, BA/MA from GW in international relations. The book describes a Native American (Oneida) understanding of emotions and emotional health.

Kate Rodriguez, BA ’06, graduated from Texas A&M University in 2010 with a master's of science in family counseling. While working on her license, she graduated in 2014 from TAMUCC with a doctorate of philosophy in counseling psychology. Now she is working in private practice.

Marilyn Rodriguez, PhD ’00, is now the director of research, insights and analytics at Leon Medical Centers in Miami, Fla.

Alena Russell, BA ’15, is currently a 1L (first-year student) at Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

Ellen Schlossberg, BA ’87, is semi-retired from practicing law in Atlanta, and now lives in the North Georgia Mountains with her wife, where they own and run a bookstore.

Rosemary Segalla, PhD ’79, continues to work in private practice, is a cofounder of the Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, director emirate, faculty ICP&P, and faculty of Group Training Washington School of Psychiatry.

Rachael Silard (Solomon), BA ’05, currently lives in San Francisco with her husband Andrew and dog Bandit. After graduation, she pursued a career in healthcare consulting until 2014, when she felt it was time for something new, and started a wedding planning business called Ruby & Rose.

Robert Silberfarb, MA ’68, MPP ’83, has been retired from the National Institute of Mental Health since March 2006, after a 40 year career which was interrupted by working as a psychologist in Israel from 1973-78. He currently does volunteer work with Common Cause in Washington, D.C.

Taryn Silverman (Dangremond), BA ’05, is a high school teacher in South Jersey who teaches chemistry and AP psychology (for the 1st time).

Amanda Slutsky, BA ’15, is currently working at Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan, and is looking to get her MBA in healthcare administration!

Emily Steinau (Griffith), BA ’94, has been working in the I/O field for 10+ years. She is currently an I/O psychologist for Monster Government Solutions.

Julie Stewart (Fukes), BA ’06, is an attorney practicing general commercial litigation at Goldberg Kohn Ltd. in Chicago, Ill. After graduating GW, she clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. She lives in Chicago with her husband Carter and son Elijah.

Morrie Sukoff, BA ’99, is a foot and ankle surgeon.

Jeffrey Sunshine, BA ’71, practices general and oncologic surgery in the Pacific Northwest for greater than 30 years. He has married up (wife a pathologist) and has three children that are better than he deserved. Lucky!

Sari Sunshine, BA ’85, after graduating from interior design school in 2013, partnered with another designer and founded In Two Design.  With numerous jobs completed together, they are currently working to complete a 7,000 square foot contemporary home in Connecticut.

Lauren Supplee, BA ’97, works for the Department of Health and Human Services overseeing program evaluation research on child and family poverty programs. She would be happy to talk to alums about non-academic research career pathways!

Shouh-Rong Vivian Tsai, BA ’99, completed a PsyD in 2009. She is currently a licensed clinical psychologist living and working in Orange County, Calif.

Alyssa Ward (Hershberger), BS ’01, was recently promoted as assistant vice president of clinical training and evidence-based practices at Hathaway-Sycamores Child & Family Services in Los Angeles.

Emily Weinger, BS ’08, is working at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC as an outpatient social worker at the Preventable Admissions Care Team (PACT). She works with Medicare patients who are at high risk of readmission by assessing their psychosocial risks in their home and community.

Kristin Weisbach, BA ’03, currently works as a detective for a police department in Colorado. She specializes in family crimes, which includes domestic violence, child abuse, child sexual assault and Internet crimes against children.

Dorothy White, BA ’15, is now pursuing her PhD in clinical psychology at GW!

Rebecca Wood, BA ’09, received her Master of Forensic Science from GW while working for the University Writing Program.  After graduating, she began working as a medicolegal death investigator for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Virginia and is now doing the same in D.C.

Jiayuan Zhao, BA ’15, is working as a research assistant at the Georgetown University Medical Center and as a child counselor at a Family Counseling Agency. She plans to attend graduate school next fall and is busy filing applications.

Shiyun Zhu, BA ’13, is currently studying epidemiology at Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health.

Donna Zubris, PhD ’94, after two postdoctoral fellowships, she took a position at the Child Development Programme in Bermuda for seven years. In 2004, she returned to her native Long Island, got licensed in New York and works at a preschool for children with developmental disabilities.

 

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Gifts to the Department of Psychology allow us to provide support for faculty and student research and travel, graduate student fellowships, and academic enrichment activities including guest speakers, visiting faculty, and symposia. Each gift, no matter how large or small, makes a positive impact on our educational mission and furthers our standing as one of the nation's preeminent liberal arts colleges at one of the world's preeminent universities.

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  • By phone by calling the GW Division of Development and Alumni Relations at 1-800-789-2611.

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