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Psychology Department News

Spring 2017

Earlier this semester, the Institute for Disaster Mental Health’s research team held a poster session at the 2017 American Counseling Association in San Francisco, California. Under Rebecca Rodriguez, the research team had four students working on this project: Cynthia Stewart (Mental Health Counseling), Jonathan Kovalsky (School Counseling), Lauren Dershowitz (Mental Health Counseling) and Maggie Zielinski (Mental Health Counseling).  Group Interventions in Disaster Mental Health -The poster session reviewed the use of group-based interventions after a disaster or traumatic event. Initial responses in disaster mental health are often individually focused, yet groups have the potential to be an effective response for multiple reasons. It also highlighted the benefits of groups, discussed the potential uses of groups in different settings and reviewed existing models, and examined some of the challenges of using group-based interventions in disaster situations.  For more information, you can also visit the ACA’s main website and the poster session page.  https://www.counseling.org/conference/past-conference/session-events-2017/poster-sessions/disaster-mental-health

Two of our faculty, James Halpern (Emeritus professor of psychology) and Karla Vermeulen (assistant professor of psychology) and their upcoming book, Disaster Mental Health Intervention: Core Principles and Practices, are featured and quoted in an article in the Atlantic on the psychology surrounding natural disasters. The article focuses on the Cotopaxi Volcano, one of the world's highest active volcanoes in San Rafael, Ecuador, and the “anticipatory anxiety” locals experience at the thought of the volcano erupting at any moment. https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2017/03/living-in-fear-of-disaster-in-ecuador-cotopaxi/519684/

"The SUNY New Paltz Evolutionary Psychology Lab held a panel for the Hudson Valley Humanists’ annual celebration of Darwin Day. Have a look if you missed it. https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2JpxxBCGd6Kbm1QMnF2dWVXcXc


Glenn Geher, chair and professor of psychology, has recently signed a book contract with the American Psychological Association. This book will be titled: What is the Point of the Psychology Major? The APA Guide to Student Success.  Over his past eight years as Psychology Department Chair, Dr. Geher has guided thousands of students to help them master the psychology major, get into graduate programs, and obtain meaningful careers as they advance. This book is designed to encapsulate much of the content of Dr. Geher’s guidance for students in a way that should both (a) provide clear guidance on how to succeed as a psychology major as well as (b) inspire them along the way – getting students to know that they are on a path toward something great. This book should come out in early 2018.


Fall 2016

Joe Di Pietro, a psychobiology alumni (BA in psychobiology from SUNY New Paltz, 2008) is featured in a recent issue of the national news magazine, The Atlantic.  It includes more details on his short piece about teaching neuroscience at the Auburn Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison in NY State, as a part of the Cornell Prison Education Program. Inmates enrolled in this program receive an associate’s degree from Cayuga Community College.  You can read his article at http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/04/teaching-neuroscience-in-prison/477642/  Joe Di Pietro has nearly completed his PhD thesis (neurobiology, Cornell University) and will start working as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Chicago next year. He will be working on the problem of memory engram, that is, researching how assemblies of neurons work together to form associative memories.

On Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016, the New York State Psychological Association at its Council of Representatives meeting at St. Johns University made Professor Emeritus Howard Cohen the first recipient of its  "Lifetime Achievement Award." The citation reads, "With deep affection and respect we salute Howard Cohen, PhD, ABPP in recognition of your years of loyal and dedicated service to NYSPA and the field of psychology. You have been an inspiration to us all. November 2016." He was President  of NYSPA 1979-80. Dr. Cohen was the founding chairperson of the SUNY New Paltz psychology department in the 1960s. Congratulations Dr. Cohen!

"A collaborative research project on the psychology of marathon running, being conducted by Glenn Geher (Professor of Psychology) along with Kanssandra Cousineau (graduate student in psychology), and Harbert Okuti (collaborative researcher on the project) has been featured on the website of Runner’s World magazine (LINK HERE: http://www.runnersworld.com/new-york-city-marathon/elite-runner-studies-the-minds-of-marathoners). This research, which dovetails with Kassandra’s master’s thesis on the motivational underpinnings of exercise, will partly focus on understanding the psychological characteristics of elite marathoners versus other classes of runners. Harbert, is a Ugandan native and is considered one of the world’s elite marathoners (having finished 15th in Boston last year). He apparently has been speaking up this research (which is almost ready for implementation) in the right circles  - it got picked up by Runner’s World in this very-cool article. As an aside, note that Harbert will be running in the NYC Marathon on Sunday, 11/6 (starting at 9:45am). Good luck, Harbert – our entire community is standing behind you!"


Spring 2016

Long-Standing Psychology Adjunct Faculty Member, Rosemarie Sokol-Chang, PhD, has just been promoted to the position of Acting Publisher of Journals for the American Psychological Association (APA). The APA journals have a long-standing international reputation as elite in the field of psychology and holding this position is a sign that Dr. Sokol-Chang has earned an extraordinary reputation in the domain of publishing psychological research. In addition to serving as a long-standing adjunct faculty member in the psychology department at New Paltz, Dr. Sokol-Chang was employed by the SUNY Research Foundation for part of an NSF grant awarded to our Evolutionary Studies (EvoS) program. Her work in this capacity involved the launching of the open-access, peer-reviewed EvoS Journal, for which she served as the founding editor. She also served as founding co-editor of the Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology (now Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences) which is the official journal of the NorthEastern Evolutionary Psychology Society (NEEPS), which also was founded at SUNY New Paltz.

Psychology Professor Doug Maynard's Positive Psychology Practicum class held a special poster session as part of our campus-wide EAP series designed to help cultivate a positive work environment. The event took place in a packed SUB 418 - with employees from a wide variety of offices on campus participating. Students from the class presented work from their projects, which focused on the use of positive psychology research to help cultivate beneficial outcomes for individuals in various contexts (such as one project that sought to study the emotional benefits of altruism). Needless to say, this was a VERY POSITIVE event! (photo credit, Maryalice Citera).

Click here to see a photo of the event.


Dr. Bonjo band’s appears in the trailer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2!

Dr. Laurie Bonjo, Assistant Professor of Psychology, had her band, Batala NYC (the ONLY all-women Afro-Brazilian Samba Band in NYC) featured in the trailer for the upcoming Paramount Pictures film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2. The trailer starts out with a scene from New York’s Halloween parade and Batala NYC is featured loudly and prominently therein. The band has been asked to play at the upcoming Red Carpet premiere of the film. Congratulations Dr. Bonjo - and have fun meeting Donatello, Michaelangelo, Davinci, and Raphael!

Click here to see the video.


Fall 2015

Glenn Geher, Professor of Psychology, has recently obtained a book contract with Oxford University Press. This book, to be titled Evolutionary Studies: Darwin's Roadmap to the Curriculum, is slated to be co-edited with David Sloan Wilson (Distinguished Professor of Biology at Binghamton University), Rosemarie Sokol-Chang (Acting Publisher of Journals of the American Psychological Association), and Hadassah Head (recent Coordinator of Evolutionary Studies at Binghamton University). The book is set to appear late in 2017.  

Spring 2015

  • Dr. Laurie Bonjo is President-elect of ALGBTIC-NY- the Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues in Counseling for New York State.
  • A documentary on the psychology underlying long-distance running called Why We Run, produced by Al Jazeera English (an international, 24-hour news and current affairs TV channel), is partly inspired by a Psychology Today article written by Dr. Glenn Geher on the evolutionary psychology of running. The film documents Al Jazeera English correspondent Andrew Richardson as he travels the world talking to world-renowned runners (such as Sebastian Coe) and prepares for his own first marathon – in the Antarctic. Dr. Geher is featured in the film. A showing of the film occurred on campus on March 25th, along with Steve Jordan's brief film on the Preserve's 50-mile Rock the Ridge event. Sponsors of the event include the Undergraduate Psychology Association, the Athletic and Wellness Center, the Mohonk Preserve, the Psychology Department, the Evolutionary Studies Program, React to Film, and the Evolutionary Studies Club.
  • New Paltz graduate students teamed up with fellow graduate students in Beer Sheva, Israel to learn more about disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. As times change and crises become more varied, this important information gained by these students will serve us in the times to come. This was made possible through the SUNY New Paltz Institute for Disaster Mental Health (IDMH) under Director James Halpern, and the formal collaborative agreement known as the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between our university and the Ben Gurion University in Israel. To learn more, view this slideshow of the trip (you must be logged into your hawkmail account), an article in the Mid-Hudson News or one on the SUNY New Paltz news website.

Fall 2014

  • As part of the 2014-2015 Cognitive Science Colloquium Series, New Paltz is proud to welcome our two Fall speakers: Dr. Marie Coppola, director of the Language Creation Lab at the University of Connecticut, and Dr. Lisa Scott, director of the Brain, Cognition, and Development Lab at UMass Amherst. These talks will also count towards Subject Pool credit, the website of which can be found here.
    • Dr. Coppola will be discussing homesign (creations by deaf individuals unexposed to commonplace sign/spoken language) gesture systems and their characteristics, as well as the consequences on development due to linguistic deprivation on other aspects of cognition. It will take place at 3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23 in the CSB Auditorium.
    • Dr. Scott will be discussing how the brain and both cognitive and perceptual abilities develop throughout the stages of life, from infancy to adulthood, and how this learning process shapes the development of perceptual skills. This talk will take place at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 7 in LC 104.
  • Dr. Navin Viswanathan, Assistant Professor of Psychology here at SUNY New Paltz, has been granted $50,000 from the National Science Foundation, where he, alongside Dr. Lisa Sanders of UMass Amherst and Dr. Laura Dilley of Michigan State University, will work on a project of "Making words disappear or appear: A neurocognitive and behavioral investigation of effects of speech rate on spoken word recognition." The grant will allow for research learning experience from the project, as well as funding for travel for students to present in front of several esteemed professional conferences. More can be found out here.

Summer 2014

  • Dr. James Halpern, Director of the SUNY New Paltz Institute for Disaster Mental Health and Professor of Psychology, has recently returned from the Middle East alongside other trauma experts. While in the Middle East, they directed workshops for the Palestinians and Israelis, specifically on crisis counseling and psychological first aid. Over 700 individuals have been trained by over 30 U.S. trauma experts to help out their community in turn. Dr. Halpern recently spoke with WAMC's Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne about the mission, the full story of which can be found here.

Spring 2014 

  • May
    • Congratulations to the Spring 2014 semester Psychology Department Outstanding Students and Psychology Students of Excellence! The Outstanding Student award is given to a small number of students and honored at a campus wide event run by the Office of the President. The Students of Excellence is a department award given to students deemed exceptional in some way by the department faculty. Congratulations to all recipients!
      • Outstanding Students:Samantha Grove,RainaHaffka,andChristineVuolo
        • Undergraduates: Amelia Batchelor, Stefanie Catalano, Bernadine Gangemi, Ariel Matasci
        • MS in Mental Health Counseling student: Kara Lukowski
        • MS in School Counseling: Kimberly Pietris
        • MA in Psychology student: Briana Tauber
      • Psychology Students of Excellence:
        • Undergraduates: Amelia Batchelor, Stefanie Catalano, Rachael Cea, Michael Costa, Blair Dawson, Daniel Decker, Bernadine Gangemi, Elisabeth LIster, Ashley Mannine, Ariel Matasci, Veronica Padro-Garone, Katie Roosa, Russell Seymour, Samantha Weiss
        • MS in Mental Health Counseling student: Kara Lukowski, Jeremy Litkin
        • MS in School Counseling: Samantha Cimbrello, Kimberly Pietris
        • MA in Psychology student: Jessica Fell, Briana Tauber
    • Many congratulations to Dr. Navin Viswanathan for winning the Provost Award for Faculty Excellence in the category "Outstanding Pre-Tenure Award." The award attests to Dr. Viswanathan's ability to adopt innovative strategies in the classroom, motivate students, and promote active learning; furthermore, it attests to his ability to successfully integrate a clear and productive research agenda into the practice of teaching.
    • Dan Glass (2012, MA in Psychology) recently was given "honorable mention" in the student award competition regarding oral presentations at the recent meeting of the NorthEastern Evolutionary Psychology Society (NEEPS) which was held on campus in April 2014. His talk was on the topic of Psychtable, an online database that is being created by Dan and others to help create a taxonomy of psychological adaptations. Dan is currently in a clinical PhD program at Suffolk University in Boston.
  • April
    • Congratulations to Emily Heimbender (2013, Psychobiology) who was featured in the section "Faces of New Paltz" on the SUNY New Paltz website. Emily is a first-year student in the MA psychology program. Learn about Emily in the story, and watch a video where she gives a clear and articulate explanation of how electrophysiology can be used to study changes in the brain when people learn a second language.
    • Professor James Halpern appeared for an interview with Central China TV (America) in a recent interview regarding the traumatic reactions that have followed regarding the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. Thanks to Professor Halpern for helping people around the world process this kind of difficult information.

  • February
    • Professor Glenn Geher, along with Gökçe Sancak Aydın, a doctoral student in psychological counseling at Middle East Technical University and a visiting researcher in the Evolutionary Psychology lab at SUNY New Paltz, published a post for Oxford University Press's blog OUPblog. The piece is titled "Mating Intelligence for Valentine's Day." A modified version of this blog post is posted on the list of blogs for Psychology Today. Relatedly, Dr. Geher's book, "Mating Intelligence Unleashed," co-authored by Scott Barry Kaufman of NYU, will be published in Chinese (simplified characters) in mainland China by The Commercial Press of Beijing in August 2015.

  • January
    • First published in New Paltz' News Pulse on Jan. 22, 2014:

      The article "Educating Undergraduate Psychology Students about Stigma and Mental Illness: From the Classroom to the Field," by Assistant Professor Greta Winograd appeared in the winter 2014 newsletter of the American Psychological Association's Division 27 (Community Research and Action), The Community Psychologist. This article highlights a New Paltz internship opportunity for psychology students at Projects to Empower and Organize the Psychiatrically Labeled (PEOPLe, Inc.) in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

Fall 2013

  • December

    • James Halpern, Professor and Director of the Institute for Disaster Mental Health here at SUNY New Paltz, has recently published an article in the Huffington Post. The article, "Is Disaster Mental Health Helpful? Revisiting the Response to the Sandy Hook School Shooting," talks about his experience as a volunteer Red Cross mental health professional sent to Sandy Hook following the shootings that occurred. The full article can be read here. He was also recently interviewed in a feature on crisis counseling for NBC - as related to the anniversary of the Newtown tragedy. Dr. Halpern's leadership in this area continues to help counselors, emergency personnel, and people in general understand ways to cope with tragedy and disaster. The online article is found here.

  • November

    • Congratulations to the Fall 2013 semester Psychology Department Outstanding Students and Psychology Students of Excellence! The Outstanding Student award is given to a small number of students and honored at a campus wide event run by the Office of the President. The Students of Excellence is a department award given to students deemed exceptional in some way by the department faculty. Congratulations to all recipients!
      • Outstanding Students: Samantha Grove, Raina Haffka, and Christine Vuolo
      • Psychology Students of Excellence:
        • Undergraduate students: Robert Arena, Chloe Brittenham, Brian George, Samantha Grove, Raina Haffka, Miles Kilgour, Julianne Reilly, and Samantha Schiffman
        • MS in Mental Health Counseling students: Benjamin Brett and Kaitlin Pellegrin
    • Two undergraduate students in Glenn Geher's Evolutionary Psychology class wrote Halloween-themed blogs (related to the evolutionary psychology of gore and blood, etc.) that were posted as articles on Dr. Geher's Psychology Today Blog. Nicole Pemberton wrote "The Evolutionary Psychology of The Vasovagal Syncope Response...Or Why Vampires are Scary!" and Peter Marinelli wrote "Look out! The Evolutionary Psychology of Why We are Scared of Creepy Stuff" which comprise the full blog titled "Blog of Horrors: Happy Halloween from New Paltz" The entire class helped edit and shape the blogs as an in-class activity and deserves credit for these great articles that made it onto the homepage for the Psychology Today website!

  • Congratulations to James Halpern and IDMH on two recent awards! Dr. Halpern has just been notified that he'll be the recipient of the Provost Award for Excellence in Professional Service. IDMH (directed by Dr. Halpern) has been selected to win a Psychologically Healthy Community Award from the Hudson Valley Psychological Association. These awards take a step toward acknowledging the huge work that Dr. Halpern and IDMH do for our region and beyond. Many congratulations on these awards!

  • Congratulations to Dr. Geher for being interviewed for CBS News segment "What do tall women think of shorter men?" Watch it here!

  • Congratulations to Rosemarie Sokol Chang (Adjunct faculty member in psychology and EvoS) who co-edited "Evolution's Empress: Darwinian Perspectives on the Nature of Women," which was just released by Oxford University Press. This book, co-edited with Maryanne Fisher of St. Mary's University (associate professor of psychology; Halifax) and Justin Garcia of the Kinsey Institute (post-doctoral fellow; Indiana University) includes cutting-edge research on the interface of evolutionary psychology and feminist perspectives on humanity. Here is the link from Oxford's homepage

  • Congratulations to Professor Giordana Grossi for receiving the 2012 Liberal Arts and Sciences "Excellence in Faculty Scholarship" award. Dr. Grossi has been recognized for her empirical work on the cognitive and neural systems important to reading, and for her theoretical program in which she provides a scientific critique of research on inherent sex difference in cognition and brain organization. Dr. Grossi is, in the words of Dean James Schiffer, a model of the "highest professional standards."


Fall 2012

  • We congratulate MA Psychology students Rachael Carmen and Amanda Guitar and recent alum Haley Dillon on their newly published paper: carmenetal.
  • Dr. Kathleen Tillman recently published her first academic book - Group Counseling with Elementary Students (published by the American School Counselor Association). Congratulations Dr. Tillman!

    Here is some information about it:
    Group Counseling with Elementary Students (American School Counselor Association, 2012) is a title in the "Design Elements and Best Practices" series from the American School Counselor Association.

    Here's a synopsis of the book: "From friendship issues to coping with loss to changing family situations, elementary school counselors encounter student needs on a daily basis. But when time is short and resources are limited, counseling groups can effectively address a host of academic, career and personal/social/emotional issues. This book contains programs of 10-12 sessions for three groups: a grief and loss group, a social skills group and a parental separation group."

Summer 2012

  • Rosemarie Sokol Chang, Psychology Adjunct Faculty Member, has recently been appointed to the position of Managing Director of Journals for the American Psychological Association (APA). APA journals are considered the most elite in the behavioral sciences and we are certain that Dr. Chang will continue to foster the success of this wing of APA. Congratulations Dr. Chang!

Spring 2012

  • May 4: Congratulations to the following SUNY New Paltz faculty, alumni, and students who won honors at this year's annual meeting of the NorthEastern Evolutionary Psychology Society (NEEPS) in Plymouth, NH:

    • Daniel Gambacorta (class of 2009) with Tim Ketelaar (at New Mexico State University) received Honorable Mention in NEEPS Student Poster Competition for their presentation titled: Dominance and deference: The effect of social status on creative display in a competitive mating context.

    • Amanda Guitar (MA student) and Daniel Glass (MA student) with Glenn Geher (New Paltz faculty mentor) won best NEEPS oral presentation for their paper titled: Situation-Specific Emotional States: A Test of Evolutionary Functionality.

    • Amanda Guitar (MA student) with Maryanne Fisher (St. Mary's University), Justin Garcia (The Kinsey Institute), Daniel Kruger (University of Michigan) and Glenn Geher (New Paltz faculty mentor) won best Feminist Evolutionary Psychology Society (FEPS) poster for: Assessing Definitions and Interpretations of Sexual and Emotional Infidelity.

    • Rosemarie Sokol Chang (Faculty member in Psychology; SUNY New Paltz) with Maryanne Fisher (St. Mary's University) won best faculty poster for FEPS for: Rose Sokol Chang and Maryanne Fisher, What do Women Paint?

  • Feb 24: Congratulations to Dr. Julian Keenan, an alumnus, who was recently named one of New Jersey's 20 "Biggest Brains" and interviewed by NPR.
  • Feb. 1: The Institute for Disaster Mental Health (IDMH) is coordinating a program with helping professionals in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza that aims to address the mental health needs of Israeli and Palestinian children and families via development and distribution of psychoeducational materials. Read more about it.

Fall 2011

  • Congratulations to Professor Jonathan Raskin for receiving the 2011 Liberal Arts and Sciences "Excellence in Faculty Scholarship" award. Based on his many publications and presentations - along with his being honored in recent years by such esteemed bodies as the American Psychological Association - Dr. Raskin is, in the words of Dean James Schiffer, "richly deserving of this award." Please make sure to congratulate Dr. Raskin when you see him!

Summer 2011

  • June 27: Navin Viswanathan, assistant professor of psychology, recently received an extramural grant from the National Institute of Health. This grant, for $291,698, will fund a great deal of student research and travel as part of this initiative and will help shed light on the basis and architecture of speech perception. Way to go Dr. Viswanathan!

  • June 24: Adjunct professor of psychology Rosemarie Sokol Chang has had a recent article of hers, published in the Journal of Social, Cultural, and Evolutionary Psychology, make the media all over the world. This article, titled "Whines, cries, and motherese: Their relative power to distract," has been covered in such outlets as The New York Daily News, 1010 WINS Radio, Time Magazine's website. And more. Here are just some of the media links to this story: MSNBC, Reuters, The Huffington Post

  • June 14: Dr. Douglas Maynard, associate professor of psychology, has just published a co-edited book with Springer Press, Underemployment: Psychological, Economic, and Social Challenges. In the book "experts from management, economics, psychology, and sociology present their unique approaches to understanding underemployment in terms of theory development, empirical findings, and implications for policy and practice" (from the back cover). 

  • June 10: The Institute for Disaster Mental Health was featured in the Metro section of today's New York Times. Drs. James Halpern and Karla Vermeulen were both interviewed about SUNY New Paltz's disaster mental health minor. Students Carlene PintoRebecca Rodriguez and Lindsay Yates were also interviewed; Rebecca and Lindsay are both entering the counseling graduate program this fall. The article notes that the disaster mental health minor at SUNY New Paltz "is unusual both for its location — the Northeast, which has relatively few disaster programs — and for its focus on mental health." Congratulations to everyone at the institute for having their work covered by the Times. Read the complete article.

Spring 2011

  • Institute for Disaster Mental Health annual conference, focusing on the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, is a huge success. Thanks to IDMH director, James Halpern, and Deputy Director, Karla Vermeulen (along with IDMH staff members Meredith Johnson and Rachael Biscele). Find out more in this WAMC story on the conference.

Fall 2010

  • Dec. 10: Patrick Saxe, adjunct professor of Psychology, has successfully completed his doctorate. Congratulations Patrick!
  • Sep 3: Leigh A. Rokitowski, a student in the MA in Psychology program at SUNY New Paltz, was recently recognized with a Psi Chi Regional Research Award for the poster she presented at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association in New York City. The poster, which she co-authored with study abroad student Elena Gonzalez-Sanzo of Spain, was entitled "Gender, Nonverbal Behavior and Perceptions of Applicant Personality During the Employment Interview." Congratulations Leigh and Elena!
  • Aug 30: Dr. Rebecca Jordan-Young of Barnard College will present a lecture, "Brain Storm: The Flaws in the Science of Sex Differences," on Wednesday, September 15 in the CSB Auditorium at 5:00 pm.
  • Aug 30: Over the summer Dr. Jonathan Raskin, professor of psychology and counseling, received the 2010 George Kelly Award from the Constructivist Psychology Network (CPN). The award recognizes those who have made an outstanding scholarly contribution to constructivist psychology.
  • Aug 23: Dr. Giordana Grossi has assumed the duties of director of the Psychology Graduate Program. Dr. Tabitha Holmes, who was the previous director, is now the assistant chair for the department. Thanks to the outgoing assistant chair, Dr. Melanie Hill, for her service in that role. 

Spring 2010

  • Apr 15: Karla Vermeulen successfully defended her doctoral dissertation in Applied Developmental Psychology at Fordham University. Way to go Dr. Vermeulen!
  • Apr 15: Congratulations to Dr. James Halpern on his inclusion in the American Red Cross' Greater New York video depicting the work of the Red Cross in our region. Check it out here:
  • Apr 9: Congratulations to Psychology MA students Ben Crosier and Heather Mangione, who have both recently been accepted into top-tier Ph.D. programs. Starting in fall, Heather will start a program related to cultural psychology at Clark University and Ben will begin work on an evolutionarily-oriented social psychology program at the University of Florida.Great job Ben and Heather - you make us proud!

Fall 2009

  • Dec 11: The inaugural issue of the journal The Evolutionary Review: Art, Science, Culture is available December 28, 2009. TER was founded and is co-edited by adjunct faculty member Alice Andrews, whose co-editor, Joseph Carroll (University of Missouri at St. Louis), is the world's leading authority on Darwinian literary theory. TER is published by SUNY Press.
  • Dec 8: Dr. Jonathan Raskin was elected a 2009 fellow of the American Psychological Association’s Society for Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology.
  • Oct 20: On Wednesday, October 28, William H. Tucker, author of The Cattell Controversy: Race, Science and Ideology (2009) will present a lecture, “Measuring Intelligence or Measuring Persons: The Politics of Assessment.” Tucker will discuss racial and eugenic controversies in research on IQ. The lecture will be held in the Coykendall Science Building Auditorium at 5 PM. For more information, please contact Dr. Carol Vázquez at vazquezc@newpaltz.edu or (845) 257-3469.
  • Oct 12: Psychology MA students Ben Crosier and Kelly Donahue just had an article published in the Journal of Social, Evolutionary and Cultural Psychology, 3(3), 273-277. This article, titled "Buyer’s Remorse: A personal and revealing look into what we want and why we shouldn’t" reviews Geoffrey Miller's (2009) Spent: Sex, Evolution, and Consumer Behavior.
  • Sep 16: The Institute for Disaster Mental Health at SUNY New Paltz just published a curriculum written by Jonathan Rust and KatySue Tillman, faculty members in the psychology department. This curriculum, titled "Disaster Mental Health: Assisting Children and Families," will be used by the New York State Department of Health.

Spring 2009

  • Apr 16: Social psychologist Shalom Schwartz (Professor Emeritus, Hebrew University of Jerusalem) gave a talk on campus entitled "Personal Values and Socially Significant Behavior." The talk was recorded and can be viewed here.
  • Apr 4: Several students, supervised by Doug Maynard presented their research at the 3rd Annual Mid-Hudson Psychology Research Conference on the campus of Mount Saint Mary College (Newburgh, NY). Anna Lange, Stacey Smiel (a Management major), and Jeffrey Cummins presented a poster entitled "The Effect of Applicant Nonverbal Behavior on Interviewer Judgments and Decisions." Adam Villela and Joanna Rousseau presented a poster entitled "The Anatomy of a Pilot Study." Pictures can be found at the Psychology Department blog here.
  • Apr 3: Viola Silvan, an undergraduate Psychology major, presented her independent research at the 7th Annual Mid-Year Conference on Religion and Spirituality, held on the campus of Loyola College in Maryland (Baltimore, MD). Her poster was entitled "The Effects of Belief in Determinism and Divine Omnipotence on Prosocial Behavior."
  • Feb 20: Glenn Geher (Director of Evolutionary Studies and Professor of Psychology) gave the keynote address at SUNY Albany's conference celebrating Charles Darwin's 200th birthday. The presentation, given February 13, was titled "Darwin's Bottom Line and the Nature of Human Intelligence: Understanding the Elements of the Mind's Reproductive System."

Fall 2008

  • Dec 31: A paper by Dr. James Halpern, Dr. Phyllis R. Freeman, graduate student David Anchin, and Dr. Tabitha Holmes, "Treating Veterans and Their Families: Are Practitioners Utilizing Evidence-Supported Practice?" was presented at the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies Annual Conference, on November 13, 2008, in Chicago, IL. It was also the subject of a report in in Clinical Psychiatry News in December 2008, entitled, "Knowledge Gap Exists on Best Practice for PTSD."
  • Oct 24: The Institute for Disaster Mental Health recently received a $48,125 federal grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for its 2009 conference. "In the Wake of Disaster: Effective Mental Health Interventions" will be held on April 17 and will provide health and mental health professionals with the latest evidence-based research for caring for victims of natural and man-made disasters. The grant was written by IDMH Director Dr. James Halpern (Priniciple Investigator), IDMH Program Coordinator Karla Vermeulen, and Dr. Phyllis Freeman (former Chair of the IDMH Board). Outcome research will include assessing the impact of the event on the professional practice of the attendees.
  • Sep 17: The Psychology Department seeks a tenure-track assistant professor in cognitive/experimental psychology, to begin Fall 2009.
  • Sep 17: The Psychology Department offers a belated welcome to Jane Lehman, the department's new full-time secretary. Jane joined the department over the summer. The faculty is excited to have her join us. Welcome Jane!
  • Aug 27: Dr. Glenn Geher, Professor of Psychology, is the principal investigator on a grant that was recently awarded by the National Science Foundation in the amount of $211,387.00 to support the Evolutionary Studies program over the next two academic years. This grant was submitted in collaboration with Binghamton University - the total amount of the award is nearly $500,000. In collaboration with Dr. David Sloan Wilson (Professor of Biology at Binghamton), Dr. Geher and Dr. Jennifer Waldo (Assistant Professor of Biology at New Paltz) submitted the proposal for this project, titled "Expanding Evolutionary Studies in American Higher Education." In addition to supporting New Paltz and Binghamton's existing programs, monies from this grant will be used to help start new programs in evolutionary studies at more than a dozen other institutions of higher learning across the country - ranging from large research universities (e.g., Cornell University) to community colleges (e.g., Pomona College in California). At New Paltz, grant monies will be used (among other things) to support student research on projects dealing with evolution, support the development of new courses by faculty members across disciplines that pertain to evolution, and to develop an interactive online journal that will serve to connect this national consortium. For more information, please see: http://www.newpaltz.edu/evos
  • Aug 26: Dr. Tabitha Holmes will be the new Director of the Psychology Graduate Program. In this capacity, she will oversee the daily operations of the M.A. in Psychology degree. Similarly, Dr. Jonathan D. Raskin will be the new Director of the Counseling Graduate Program. In this role, he will oversee the M.S. in Mental Health Counseling and M.S. in School Counseling degrees.
  • Aug 26: Exciting newsaboutcurricular revisions in our psychology and counseling graduate programs:
    • A new 60-credit degree has been approved and will admit its first students for Spring 2009.
    • The degree has been expanded to 60-credits, in line with NY State requirements that say all such degree programs must be 60-credits by 2010. The 60-credit degree is also registered with NY State as meeting the educational requirements for licensure in mental health counseling. All students entering the degree starting Fall 2008 will complete the 60-credit requirements.
    • Revisions to the curricular requirements for the 36-credit degree have been approved and take effect beginning with students entering the degree during the Fall 2008 semester.

Summer 2008

  • June 9: KatySue Tillman, a doctoral candidate in counseling psychology with an emphasis on school counseling, will be joining the faculty in the Fall 2008 semester. She anticipates completing her doctoral degree in August. The Department welcomes her.
  • June 2: The Psychology Department main office will be in Humanities 4 during the summer due to the closing of Faculty Tower for new air conditioner installation. We will return to Faculty Tower when it reopens for the fall semester.
  • May 31: Dr. Min Ju has left the university as of the end of the spring semester. The Psychology Department is sad to see her go, but wishes her much luck in the future.

Spring 2008

Fall 2007

  • Dec 31: student and swimming champion Michelle Coombs was featured in a Dec 25 article in the Times Herald Record.
  • Dec 28: Dr. Glenn Geher was selected to receive the Alumni Association's 2007 Distinguished Teaching Award, which is to be awarded at a ceremony on campus January 19.
  • Dec 20: Recent graduate Michael Reisner has been hired by Ulster-Greene ARC as an applied behavioral specialist.
  • Dec 7: Faculty member Jonathan Rust passed his doctoral dissertation defense on Nov 28. Congratulations, Dr. Rust!
  • Dec 5: M.S. in Mental Health Counseling student Michelle Coombs was selected the Division III ECAC Swimmer of the week after leading the Hawks to a fifth place finish at the Winter Championships. Details here.
  • Nov 12: Drs. James Halpern and Phyllis Freeman were awarded a $13,000 grant by the National Institute of Mental Health - National Institute on Drug Abuse for Health in support of the Institute for Disaster Mental Health's April 2008 conference, "Healing the Scars of War,' which will provide mental health workers with the best practices in assisting returning service personnel experiencing stress reactions. The award also will support research on the perceptions of training needs and research gaps of those providing mental health support for regional military personnel and their families. Assisting them are undergraduate psychology major Rachel Fish, and psychology graduate students David Anchin (M.A. Psychology Program), Diane Grimaldi, Meredith Johnson, and Jaymie Lowitt (M.S. Mental Health Counseling Program). The Conference also is supported by awards from the New York State Office of Mental Health and the SUNY New Paltz Campus Auxiliary Services.
  • Nov 5: Dr. Glenn Geher will be interviewed regarding Evolutionary Psychology on a show called "Mind Matters" on WWUH of Hartford, CT. This interview will taped Thursday, Nov 8, from 5:00-5:40 and broadcast later this year.
  • Oct 29: Second-year graduate students in the Psychology Department's Mental Health Counseling program Brandon Roman, Allison TrussoLaura Caccavone, Diane Grimaldi, and Keith Rico volunteered with the American Red Cross as disaster mental health volunteers on Sept. 11 at a memorial ceremony at Ground Zero. Details available in NewsPulse.
  • Oct 15: Dr. Jonathan Raskin has been elected a fellow of the American Psychological Association. He was elected by Division 32, the Society for Humanistic Psychology.
  • Oct 4: Lecture: Dr. Donna Coch of Dartmouth College will present a lecture on "Mind, Brain, and Education: A New Science of Learning" on Oct 9 at 6:30 p.m. in LC 100.
  • Aug 23: The Psychology Department welcomes Dr. Corwin Senko to the faculty as a new assistant professor. Dr. Senko earned his Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research interests include achievement motivation and goal-setting processes, intrinsic motivation, and students' learning strategies. Welcome Dr. Senko!
  • Aug 22: Dr. Jonathan Raskin gave the address at SUNY New Paltz's Twenty-First Annual Convocation. His address was entitled "Overcoming That 'Sink'-ing Feeling."

Spring 2007


  • The Psychology Department wishes a warm farewell to Dr. Jason Carter, who is leaving the faculty at the end of the spring semester. He will be missed!
  • Dr. Jonathan Raskin has been selected to receive a State University Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities.
  • Dr. Jonathan Raskin has been selected as a recipient of the 2007 SUNY Research Foundation Research and Scholarship Award. He received the award at a dinner reception in Albany on May 2.
  • Dr. Melanie S. Hill, along with her students Amanda Dixon, Meredith Johnson, Claire Lipton, Regina Musicaro, and Pashmina Rashad, presented their research "Exploring Women's Diverse Experiences of Sexual Objectification" at the 32nd Annual Association for Women in Psychology Conference in San Francisco, CA in March. The presentation included a series of four separate sub-projects: Powerful or Powerless? Diverse Emotional Reactions to Sexual Objectification Experiences; The Power of the Context: Positive, Negative, and Conflicted; Hooking Up: Objectification, Sexual Liberation, or Rape?; and Venturing Inward: The Experience of Women Interviewing Women.
  • Dr. Glenn Geher's research on Mating Intelligence is the focus of an article in the March 31, 2007 issue of The New Scientist written by Dan Jones and titled " The Love Delusion."
  • Dr. Jonathan Raskin has been selected to receive the Carmi Harari Early Career Award for Excellence in Scholarship from the Division of Humanistic Psychology of the American Psychological Association. He will receive the award at the 2007 APA Convention in San Francisco this August.
  • Dr. Glenn Geher's research on evolutionary psychology and romantic relationships was covered in the January/February 2007 Psychology Today cover article, "Love's Loopy Logic."


  • Michelle Coombs, Heather Mangione, and Regina Musicaro have been awarded the Richard Panman Scholarship award. Congratulations to all three of them on this well-deserved honor.
  • Congratulations to the following students, who have been nominated by the Psychology Department to receive the honor of being recognized as Outstanding Graduates by the college at May commencement: Michelle Coombs, Heather Mangione, Regina Musicaro, Kimberly Stanistreet-Clouston, and Stacie Walker (undergraduate students); Justin Krass (graduate student)
  • Psychology majors Regina Musicaro and Kimberly Stanistreet-Clouston have been selected to receive the Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence. Congratulations to them both!
  • Psychology major Michelle Coombs was named the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Winter Chancellor's Scholar Athlete for women's swimming. She also became the first female SUNY New Paltz national champion as she claimed the 100 freestyle with a time of 50.84 at the 2007 NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships held in Houston,TX.