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Department of Psychology

College of Arts & Sciences

Issue 5

The following is the letter from the chair that appeared in the Spring 2004 edition of Psychology Now

Letter from the Chair

Where has the year gone? We were planning to get a newsletter out some time in January, but time got away from us. Now we're approaching summer and there is just so much to tell. As always we have both good and bad news to tell you about the department.
Our bad news is that this year we lost three friends and alumni from our department. We learned about the untimely loss of Cindy Riggs (Ph.D. 1996) in July and only a couple of months later we heard that our former student, Nancy LaGrange (BA 2001), was killed in a car accident. Finally, around Christmas time we learned that our dear friend, Huldah Bruce, passed away. All three made a mark on our department and we were sorry to hear that we had lost them.

            Of course, the year has been filled with good news as well. In August, we held a grand opening in our Clinic and invited friends to a ribbon cutting ceremony. Every time I walk through the Clinic I can't help but admire the work that was done. To read more about the Clinic and to see some pictures see page 3. I think you'll agree that the Clinic will be a source of pride for our department for many years to come.

            We are also happy to announce that Richard Pasewark, who retired from the department in 1994, was chosen by the college as one of this year's Outstanding Former Faculty. A dinner will be held in May to honor Richard, and I know he is planning to attend. For those of you who would like to congratulate Richard, feel free to send cards and letters to the department. We'll make sure that he gets them. Also, congratulations to Charlie Ksir. We just heard that he's been chosen for the 2004 Arts & Sciences Exemplary Faculty Award. Award winners are faculty who are excellent teachers, but who also contribute to the College welfare through service on committees, task forces, and taking initiative to solve problems. The award letter to Charlie noted that he's constantly given of
his time and energy over the years and that Charlie exemplifies the best qualities in a faculty member. We couldn't have said it better ourselves.

            This year we hired two new faculty in the department. Daren Jackson is a Neuroscientist who received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin- Madison. He studies the prefrontal cortex and its role in emotion and emotion regulation. Our department has been looking for someone with biological interests and Daren is exactly what the department needs. He has a strong biological background, an interest in human emotion, and he also has a degree in clinical psychology. He and his fiance, Cory, will be moving here during the summer.

            Our second new member of the department is Brett Deacon, a clinical psychologist and postdoctoral fellow at the Mayo Clinic. He is doing very interesting research on treatments for anxiety disorders. Brett and his wife Merek will also be moving to Laramie in the summer. As an added bonus, we will have a new baby in the department. (Brett and Merek are expecting their first baby in August). A new job and a new baby! Hopefully, Brett won't be too tired his first semester at UW.

            Speaking of new babies, we've just heard that Kami London (Ph.D. 2001) had a bouncing baby boy on February 20, 2004. Baby Kian, dad, and mom are doing fine. Kami is finishing up her postdoctoral work at Johns Hopkins University.

            Before I close I want to tell you a little about our plans for graduate recruitment. Some of you may be aware that the University is developing a new five year academic plan. One aspect of the plan is to pay greater attention to graduate education. We agree, and as a department we are doing a variety of things to attract the best students to UW and showcase the work that they do. With regard to recruitment, this past year our faculty established relationships with Northern Iowa University, Creighton University, and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. We sent faculty to those campuses and invited one member of their faculty to come give a talk at our campus. Our goal is to establish relationships with several psychology departments around the Rocky Mountain area, with the hopes that faculty will think of UW when advising students about graduate school. So far it looks as if our "feeder school" idea is successful. Four of our best graduate student applicants were from one of the feeder schools. We are planning to continue building relationships with different psychology departments and will keep track of data to determine if we are being successful. If any of you have relationships with other psychology departments and would like to help us in our recruitment, please let us know. We'd love to have your help.

        As always, I hope this newsletter finds you and your family in good health. Have a great summer, and don't forget to let us know how you're doing.

Dr. Narina L. Nunez
Professor and Chair

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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