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Department of Psychology

College of Arts & Sciences

Issue 3

The following is the letter from the chair that appeared in the Fall 2002 edition of Psychology Now

Letter from the Chair

    Greeting to everyone!  I hope you've all been well since our last newsletter.  The Psychology Department is having a great year and this edition is packed with news.

    First, congratulations to Marty Bourgeois and Anne Bowen.  Marty received tenure and was promoted to Associate Professor and Anne Bowen was promoted to Full Professor in the spring.  Marty and Anne are two of our most popular and productive professors and we're proud they were recognized for their accomplishments.

    Some of you may also be aware that faculty at UW received substantial raises this past summer thanks in large part to President Dubois and the Wyoming legislature.  Salaries at UW have remained stagnant for the past 10 years and have fallen well below the national average.  The reason salaries are so important is because it's one of the ways that the Psychology Department can attract and keep the best faculty.  Many of our faculty are nationally known for their work and several get annual calls from other universities asking them to apply for positions.  This kind of "head hunting" is not uncommon in academia.  We've been lucky because our department is a tight cohesive group and no one has been tempted to leave.  With the raises, I think the chances of having our faculty hired away are getting slimmer.  Thanks to all of you who supported the University during the state budget session.

    The Psychology Department also benefited from a legislative allocation to help the University upgrade their teaching laboratories.  This year the department received $100,000 to upgrade our Psychology Clinic.  The clinic is free to the public and is where Clinical Psychology graduate students are trained in a variety of therapeutic interventions, while being closely supervised by our clinical faculty.  The clinic, as I've mentioned in previous newsletters, hadn't seen a coat of paint, new furniture, or any attention in 30 years.  The money designated by the legislature, is allowing us to make a major renovation.  We're so excited.  In fact, we've been posting the clinic progress on our web site.  Every few weeks we take a picture of the clinic featuring Bill MacLean, Director of Clinical Training.  As a result of the pictures, we've started referring to Bill as "Bill the Builder."  We even got him a hard hat to fit his new identity.

    This fall the college chose the Psychology Department as its feature department during the Morning of Courses.  The department gave tow invited talks at the event.  Walt Scott discussed his research on depression among adolescents on the Wind River Reservation.  Walt described the work he is doing that attempts to characterize depression and how it might be the same of different among Native youth.  He also described some of the prevention and intervention strategies that have grown from his initial work.  The talk was fascinating and showcased some of the very important statewide work being done by our faculty.

    Charlie Ksir, Anne Bowen, and Marty Bourgeois gave a talk entitled "Dorm living: The good, the bad and the ugly of peer influences."  The talk discussed their research of college students and how peer influences lead to changes in attitudes and behavior over time.  The talk was a big hit, especially given the fact that the three had plenty of Clint Eastwood slides and the theme music from "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" to supplement their research talk.

    After the two talks, the department hosted a lunch for the A & S Board of Visitors.  Thyra Thomson (B.A. 1939), a Board member and Psychology alum, was able to join us for lunch.  We couldn't resist dragging out some of the old departmental scrapbooks to show her.  After lunch, we gave the Board a tour of the construction in our Psychology Clinic.  Everyone asked a lot of questions and seemed impressed by the good work being done by our clinical graduate students.

    As always, let me tell you about the Psychology graduates that I run into from time to time.  I always run into my former students and this year was no exception.  Many of us in the Psychology and Law lab see each other at the American Psychology-Law Meeting.  The 2002 meeting was held in Austin and current and former students had a chance to chat.

    We also have several Psychology graduates who work around campus.  Blythe Duell (BS 2000) was in Political Science as an office assistant until this fall.  She's now attending graduate school and studying Social Psychology.  Brandon Kosine (BS 1997) returned to UW this year after getting his maters degree in Counseling from Pittsburg State University in Kansas.  Brandon is the new Director of Housing and Residence Life.  Andrea Mossberg (BS 1998) is a Credential Analyst and Academic Advisor in the Graduate School.  She got married in August and is now Andrea Bryant.  Make sure you congratulate her if you see her.  Finally, two of our former clinical graduate students have taken positions on campus.  Anne Bunn (Ph.D. 1994) is an Associate Director in the Counseling Center and Marilyn Yee (Ph.D. 1997) is a Coordinator at the Office of Student Life.

Dr. Narina L. Nunez
Professor and Chair

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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