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Message from the Chair

lisaMay 23, 2018

 Dear Alumni, Emeriti, and Friends:

Please join me in congratulating the Class of 2018!  We are proud of their accomplishments and the accomplishments of our faculty, staff, and alumni.

We swept the CSBS Research Awards, with Liz Conradt winning in the junior category and Sarah Creem-Regehr winning in the senior category. Bert Uchino was honored by the Graduate School for his contributions to mentoring. Patricia Kerig was honored with the University's Distinguished Scholarly and Creative Research Award. Graduating senior Hannah Samowitz (advised by Monisha Pasupathi) was named the Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher in the college, while Kristina Oldroyd won the Skidmore Scholarship and Danielle Geerling, the Gustafson Scholarship.

At our departmental graduation ceremony earlier this month, I had the honor of presenting the Irwin Altman Outstanding Faculty Award to Dr. Craig Bryan for his contributions to research, training, and treatment dissemination to prevent suicides among members of our Armed Forces. Shortly after receiving this important recognition, Craig was awarded more than $3,000,000 from Boeing Company for a partnership between the National Center for Veterans Studies and the National Ability Center for the STRIVE initiative (Suicide & Trauma Reduction Initiative for Veterans). In addition to providing effective treatments to veterans free of cost, the new funding will support the training of 1000 mental health professionals in 11 states. Congratulations to Dr. Bryan and all members of the NCVS for this outstanding accomplishment and their continued efforts through research and advocacy to reduce suicide rates among our veterans.

Please also join me in congratulating Dr. Don Strassberg on his appointment to Professor Emeritus. We invited Dr. Strassberg to contribute to this issue and his comments may be found here.

Congratulations, all!

On a sad note, I must relay the news that Professor Emeritus Dr. Afesa Marie Adams passed away this month. Dr. Adams, a distinguished alumna of the University of Utah, received her Masters and PhD at the University of Utah. Dr. Adams was chair of the Department of Family and Consumer Studies and then became the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs where she initiated many important programs to promote diversity on campus. I only had the privilege of knowing Dr. Adams for a few years but can tell you that her leadership and other contributions to campus and community will be lasting and she will be sorely missed.

Last, I wish to highlight the accomplishments of a very special group of graduate students who on their own initiative formed a group to help underrepresented students with their applications to graduate and professional school. The Diversity Graduate School Application Advisory was founded by Cognition and Neural Sciences doctoral student Lace Padilla (with ongoing participation from Spencer Castro, Lauren Williams, Erica Barhorst-Cates, Danielle Geerling, and MaryJane Simms). The group individually advises 25 students per year on how to prepare for graduate school, how to write their applications, and how to prepare for entrance exams. They've even successfully arranged for free or discounted GRE preparation services and organized a drive for donated textbooks and other materials. If you would like to support their efforts, please contact Lace Padilla.

In closing, this is my last newsletter as I will be passing the torch to Bert Uchino in July. It's been a privilege to support the efforts of our outstanding students, faculty and staff and to get to know our alumni and friends.


Lisa G. Aspinwall

Last Updated: 7/8/19