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Message From The Chair - Bert Uchino, PhD

October 30, 2018

The arrival of Fall brings to mind that change is in the air.  Our department is no exception and it starts with the Chair’s office.  After 3 years of leading our department to new heights with her leadership and vision, Lisa Aspinwall is returning to her faculty position.  During her time as chair, Lisa spearheaded a highly successful Graduate Council Review, hired numerous faculty who are emerging leaders in our department, and retained valuable faculty members.  She also started a number of new programs within the department to better serve our teaching and research missions (e.g., Undergraduate Psychology Service & Internship Award, underrepresented postdoctoral fellow program, among others).  We owe Lisa a huge debt of appreciation for her outstanding leadership over the last 3 years that has left a lasting impact on our department.   

Now for some introductions.  Although a new chair, I have been a faculty member in the department for the last 25 years in both the social and health programs.  I look forward to leading the department in its teaching, research, and service missions over the next three years.  I would also like to introduce and send out a warm welcome to our new graduate students.  They have come from all over the country to obtain graduate training here at the U.  We also welcome two new staff members to our department.  Our webmaster Gaven Neufeld is already doing wonderful work and helped develop this newsletter along with Angela Newman.  We also welcome Holly Bruce who is a project coordinator and has come to us with valuable experience in the private sector.  

I wanted to highlight several items in this newsletter.  A big congratulations goes out to AnnaBelle Bryan who is the Director of Operations at the National Center for Veteran’s Studies (NCVS).  She was recently awarded the 2018 Academic and Student Affairs District Staff Excellence award as well as the University of Utah Staff Excellence Award.  Annabelle has been integral in the NCVS’s mission to foster research, education, engagement, and advocacy to improve the lives of military personnel, veterans, and their families.  I also wanted to spotlight the outreach work spearheaded by one of our graduate students, Robby Vlisides-Henry, along with Jeanine Stefanucci (Director of Undergraduate Studies).  They have started a program to visit rural schools in Utah in order to increase their exposure to psychological science and help them apply to college. 

I also wanted to highlight that this year we will be searching for a new Clinical Diversity Faculty member.  We are seeking to hire a scholar who does research on diversity issues broadly defined which will help enhance the diversity mission of the clinical area and department.  This person will join a very active group of award-winning faculty, staff, and students here in the department who have been publishing their outstanding research and securing extramural grants to support their work.   

I look forward to the upcoming academic year and thank all of you for your support of our department and the University of Utah. 

Last Updated: 6/4/21