-Newsletter posted October 23, 2013

Table of Contents
Letter from the Chair, Faculty Notes and Activities,
Student Notes, Welcome New Faculty


Dear Western Alumni, Students, and Friends:

Another year has passed and the Psychology Department remains as busy as ever. The department had the great opportunity to recruit a new faculty member who joined us in the Fall of 2013. Dr. Lucy Lewis is a school counseling educator who comes to us from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Previous to completing her Ph.D., she worked for a number of years as a school counselor in the public school system. Lucy’s research interest concerns the study of school belongingness and peer social capital on the school adjustment of refugee and immigrant students. In particular, she is interested in the role of online social networks and how they are used by immigrant youth to maintain cultural cohesiveness, and accumulate social capital resources. For her dissertation, she examined these issues with an immigrant group from Burma, the Karen. Lucy is also exploring how Facebook can be used as an intervention and assessment tool with adolescent clients.

The department also saw the departure of two faculty members over the past year. Arleen Lewis and Max Lewis retired after 26 years of service. They are currently touring Vietnam.

The annual celebration of research, PsychFest was held on June 7th, 2013. The event was very successful, with over 70 students presenting their research through talks or posters. The keynote speaker was Dr. Izabela Z. Schultz, from the Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology and Special Education of the University of British Columbia. She spoke on “Mental Disorders and Work”. All alumni are invited to attend PsychFest.

The past academic year was productive for faculty research. The Psychology faculty authored 47 papers, 20 book chapters and 82 conference presentations. Most of these included student authors. In the case of student conference presentations, the department was able to provide funding from donations to help students travel to conferences. These activities are directly reflected in the classroom instruction that students receive, resulting in an up-to-date knowledge base for students. As well, many students participated in service learning components to their courses. Finally, the Behavioral Neuroscience Program initiated an internship for students with the Cascade Spine and Brain Institute.


Larry Symons, Ph.D.

Chair, Department of Psychology

October 2013

Publications and Presentations


The Psychology faculty had a productive year and authored 47 papers, 20 book chapters and 82 conference presentations, many with WWU student coauthors.


A list of faculty publications and presentations from July 2012-September 2013 is available here.



Dr. Joseph E. Trimble Receives Two Distinguished Awards for Promoting Diversity and Inclusion

    The director of diversity in the department of psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston recently informed Dr. Joseph E. Trimble that he was chosen to be the 2013 recipient of the Francis J. Bonner Award. The award was established in 2010 by the MGH Department of Psychiatry and the MGH Psychiatry Center for Diversity in order to promote diversity and inclusion in the psychiatric community.

     Dr. Trimble is one of ten professors in the United States to receive $25,000 from the Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award Trust in 2013. The trust focuses on awarding professors who have inspired their former students to make a difference in the community. “He was the first multicultural psychologist that I had as a professor.  This alone was an inspiration.  It was very important to me, as a person of color, to know that the profession of psychology was accessible to African, Asian Pacific, Native, Hispanic, and Mixed Race Americans,” said D. John Lee, PhD, former student at Western Washington University and nominator of Dr. Trimble. The trust was established in 2008 under the will of Gail McKnight Beckman in honor of her mother Dr. Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman. Dr. Beckman was an educator, a renowned author and a pioneer in the field of psychology. The Beckman Award Trust has granted $1.3 million to 52 professors and/or faculty members to date. Dr. Trimble, along with the nine other 2013 Beckman Trust Recipients, will be honored Saturday, November 9 in Atlanta at The Carter Center.

Tony Tinsley Appointed to an APA Committees

Dr. Howard E. A. (Tony) Tinsley, research associate in psychology, has been appointed to an American Psychological Association (APA) accreditation review team. The three-person team will review the doctoral training program in counseling psychology at Louisiana Tech University. Licensure as a psychologist in the United States requires graduation from an APA accredited doctoral training program and completion of an APA accredited internship. Barring extenuating circumstances, doctoral training programs are evaluated by the APA every 5-7 years. Programs failing to meet the APA standards for accreditation are denied accreditation or — in the case of less critical shortcomings — given 2-years to correct their deficiencies. He is a member of the Executive Board of the Section for Vocational Psychology of the Society of Counseling Psychology of APA and also the webmaster for the Section website.

Ethan Remmel Scholarship. The Department has established a scholarship in Dr. Ethan Remmel's name to support a student with interests in child development. The scholarship is endowed as a result of generous donations by many individuals. An endowed scholarship helps ensure that a scholarship will be awarded every year. Contributions to this scholarship fund can be made by visiting www.wwu.edu/give, selecting scholarship, and typing in "Ethan Remmel Scholarship."

The Neuroscience Research Driven Students (NeRDS) club has been hard at work increasing community awareness and involvement in neurobiological discourse. Club members have orchestrated and aided in a variety of engaging events for individuals of all ages.  NeRDS visited local elementary schools to host interactive activities which educated students on topics such as the five senses, the lobes of the brain, and the anatomy of a neuron. They have also been active in the facilitation of the faculty’s quarterly “Neuroscience on Tap” all-ages community event at Glow Nightclub in downtown Bellingham and the Compass 2 Campus and Discovery Days events on the WWU campus. In the Spring, the NeRDS’ Relay for Life team raised over $1000 for the American Cancer Society and won second place in the BioLife plasma donation competition. They applied for and were awarded $3000 by the AS Activities Council to support their trip to the annual Society for Neuroscience Meeting, which attracts 30,000 neuroscientists each Fall. The NeRDS were recently recognized as Western’s 2012-2013 Academic Club of the Year. Much of this is thanks to the efforts of Nicole Bazar, who served as the club’s Outreach Coordinator and graduated in the Spring. Nicole received the distinction of AS Club Leader of the Year.  Under the current leadership, attendance has been significantly higher than in any years previous. More information about the NeRDS Club may be found at www.wwunerds.com

We are pleased to welcome a new tenure-track faculty member!
Dr. Lucy Lewis is a new assistant professor in the counseling graduate program at Western Washington University. She earned her Ph.D. in Counseling and Counselor Education from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and is a licensed school counselor, National Certified Counselor, and Approved Clinical Supervisor. Prior to pursuing her Ph.D., she spent nearly 5 years working as a school counselor in elementary and high school settings. These settings included diverse school environments in both urban and rural communities, Title I schools, and a school specifically for newly arrived refugee and immigrant students. Her dissertation research examined the impact of social networking on the school adjustment and identity development of Karen refugee students from Burma. She has a strong interest in service learning and community engagement, pairing former students with various organizations including Head Start, Americorps, and refugee resettlement programs. She is looking forward to making connections in and across the Western Washington community.

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