The following is the letter from the chair that appeared in the Spring 2002 edition of Psychology Now
Letter from the Chair
Greetings to all our alums and friends of the department. Our academic year is coming to a close and in many ways its been a very difficult year. All of us know about the events of September 11th, and many have heard about the tragic loss of eight UW students in a head-on collision on Highway 287. One of the students, Cody Brown, was a Psychology major so it brought the tragedy very close to home. But spring is usually considered a time of hope, and there are many wonderful things going on in the department that make us optimistic and excited for the future.
Following our first newsletter this summer, we heard from so many people. I received wonderful letters from our former students, some who were here before me and many who I've had the pleasure to work with. For a while, I received one or two letters or e-mails a week. I looked forward to getting the mail each day. As you'll see we've added a section called Alumni Notes to this newsletter to tell you about some of the friends that we heard from.
During the past year, our clinical program underwent a complete revision and is now prepared to train students using a primary care model. Most of the previous features of the program will be maintained, but the program will emphasize the current trend of developing treatment and prevention in collaboration with other health professionals. We will use a variety of health care settings for practicum training opportunities. Ours will be one of the few programs in the entire country to offer this training model and our first class of students will begin in the fall. We hired two new clinical faculty this spring and hope they will help us to build this exciting new program. See pg. 4 for an introduction to the new members of our department.
The fall semester also saw the loss, as well as the return, of some of our faculty. Charlie Ksir returned to our department after being the dean of the College of Education for 4 years. Charlie was planning to return to us and focus on teaching, but he's already been enlisted to help the state develop effective tobacco cessation programs. I think his plan to have a few years of quiet time before retirement has been thwarted. But to be honest, I couldn't imagine Charlie taking it easy anyway, and the new work he is doing will be of tremendous benefit to the people of Wyoming.
At the beginning of the year, Bill Flynn and Jim Rose moved to Zoology and the Neuroscience graduate program moved with them. Some of you who went through the old program may remember that it was originally an interdisciplinary program that was housed in Psychology. Now it is a stand alone major that is housed in Zoology. Psychology students who want to major in Neuroscience will now have a double major in Psychology and Neuroscience.
Finally, our Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology will be celebrating 30 years of APA accreditation on December 8, 2002. Those of you who graduated from the clinical program will be receiving an announcement of a celebration to mark this important occasion.
As before, I can't end my letter without telling you about some of the students I've run into this year. I do a lot of work in the community and state in developing programs for children that help promote healthy development. This gives me an opportunity to run into students who are working in the state. For example, I often run into Steve Hamaker (BS, 1995). He's the director of Big Brothers and Big Sisters in Laramie (one of the few BBBS sites in the state). I also occasionally see MacKenzie Williams (BS, 2000), who is working for SAFE, an agency that works with domestic violence victims in Laramie. I look forward to hearing from more of you and being able to include information about you in our next newsletter.
Have a great summer and keep the wonderful letters coming.
Dr. Narina L. Nunez
Professor and Chair