Department of Psychology
Department of Psychology

Recent Events

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Each spring, the clinical area holds PsychFest, a daylong event and banquet in honor of third-year students. This event features individual presentations by third-year students of their current research (typically, the second-year project) and course of future studies. The department invites a distinguished speaker to attend the event, meet with students, and give a lecture; organizers solicit student input when choosing each year’s speaker.

Speakers have included:
  • Michael Bailey, Northwestern University (2000)
  • John Weisz, UCLA (2001)
  • Jack Rachman, the University of British Columbia (fall, 2002)
  • Edna Foa, the University of Pennsylvania (spring, 2004)
  • Margaret Kemeny, UCSF (2005)
  • Bill Miller, the University of New Mexico (2006)
  • Andrew Shatte' , Managing Director at Adaptiv Learning Systems (2007)
  • James Coyne, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (2008)
  • Julia Heiman, director of The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction (2009)
  • Elizabeth Loftus, University of California, Irvine (2010)
  • Charles Carver, Distinguished Professor at the University of Miami (2011)
  • Richard McNally, Harvard University (2012)
  • Matt McGue, University of Minnesota (2013) 
  • Ian Gotlib, Stanford University (2014)
To the right of this page is a list of student presentations from this year's event.
The Polka Docs, a band comprised of several clinical faculty members (and quite possibly the only band featuring an accordion AND a didgeridoo), has provided entertainment at a number of the evening banquets.


Lee Willerman Award for Excellence in Research

A highlight of PsychFest is the presentation of the Lee Willerman Award for Excellence in Research, which is given for the outstanding student paper publication. Dr. Willerman, a distinguished researcher in the clinical area from 1971 until his untimely death in 1997, was well-loved by his students and colleagues. The area established the award in 2000 as a tribute to Dr. Willerman and his contributions to the department and the field. The winner receives a plaque and a cash award, and his or her name is added to the permanent plaque displayed in the Seay library.

This year's Lee Willerman Award was given to PETER CLASEN for his paper, "Cognitive control network connectivity in adolescent women with and without a parental history of depression." It was published in 2013 in the journal Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 7, pp. 13-22

Clinical Party

The area hosts a fall dinner and party for clinical faculty, students, and their partners or spouses. A party highlight is the videotape made by second-year students to welcome the first-year students. In past years, this "welcome video" has included Dr. Telch’s moving efforts to excite a depressed clown, and a current doctoral student "dumpster diving" to find a golden ticket admitting him to the clinical program.
2014 1st Year Clinical Students

1st-year students (from left): Jolene Jacquart, Megan Patterson, Michael Mullarkey, Stephanie Oleson, Scarlett Baird, Michael Lee


Clinical party group

Dr. Mike Telch serves cake to Dr. Andreana Haley.



Keynote speaker:

Dr. Ian Gotlib, Stanford University 

KEYNOTE TALK: “Understanding and Reducing Risk for Depression”

Student speakers:

Adam Cobb: "Interacting diatheses in soldiers deployed to Iraq: A prospective, multi-wave analysis of PTSD, anxiety and depression symptom trajectories”

Justin Dainer-Best: “Am I good or bad?: The serotonin transporter polymorphism is associated with biased processing of negative selfreferent information” 

Michelle Davis: “The relation between attention bias and symptom severity during and following cognitive-behavioral therapy for social anxiety disorder”

Rahel Pearson: “Serotonin promoter polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) predicts biased attention for emotional stimuli: Moderation by the social environment:

Leslie Rice: “Identification of risk and protective factors in the emergence of psychopathology in EMS medics”

Emily Wilhite: “Sexual intentions and negative affect: While drinking and next day”

Download PsychFest 2014 Poster (PDF)

Past Winners of the Lee Willerman Award

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