Please join us in celebrating our 2022 graduates and the many accomplishments of members of the Psychology Department this year!
This has been quite a year! UB started back to in-person, campus-based learning in the Fall semester, after over a year of very limited on-campus activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At first, coming back to campus was a bit of a transition. But with each passing week, the excitement of getting out of our Zoom rooms, and back into classrooms grew, as we rediscovered the simple pleasures of working and learning together again. And now, as we finish up the academic year, teaching our last classes, and submitting our final grades, we can finally step back and begin to reflect on all that we together--students, faculty, and staff of the Psychology Department--have accomplished. There is so much to celebrate.
To our graduates: We are so proud of you and what you have achieved. We know that the last couple of years have been challenging; as the country has moved through the various phases of the pandemic, you have persevered, completing your degree and program milestones under extraordinary circumstances. Well done!
As we end the 2021-2022 academic year, on behalf of our entire department, I’d like to thank you for letting us teach you, work with you, and learn from you, and for allowing us to be a part of your UB experience. We congratulate you, our awardees and graduates, for all of your achievements, and we wish you the very best as you embark on this next phase of your career and life.
--Dr. Jennifer Read
Friday, May 20
Sunday, May 22
Arts, Natural Sciences, Math and Interdisciplinary Programs: 9:30 a.m.
Humanities and Social Sciences: 3:00 p.m.
Post on social media using #UBclassof2022
Honoree: Kathleen Paige
The SUNY GREAT award provides $5,000 in flexible funds to Kathleen for research expenses, professional development, and supplemental stipend support. Her research focuses on the intersection of substance use and psychopathology across development. Specifically, she is interested in the mechanisms by which early substance use impacts the developing adolescent brain, and how this process may precipitate the onset of mood and anxiety disorders. Kathleen's mentor is Dr. Craig Colder.
Recognizes outstanding doctoral scholarship in psychology. The award is given based on excellence in scholarly productivity during doctoral studies, and significance and quality of the doctoral dissertation project.
Honoree: Destiny Brakey
Destiny received this award for her dissertation research on identifying brain regions that control Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists that help regulate drinking in Brattleboro rats. In addition to the honor, Destiny will receive a monetary award of $1800. She is mentored by Dr. Derek Daniels.
Honors early excellence in scientific research for an empirical paper completed by a graduate student. This award is given based on evaluation of scientific work completed by the student during the first three years of graduate training.
Honoree: Allison Scagel
Allison received this award for her investigation of dogs’ ability to flexibly retrieve memories of recently performed actions and to use such memories to guide their responses. Allison’s 2022 paper titled “Do that again! Memory for self-performed actions in dogs (Canis familiaris)” was published in the Journal of Comparative Psychology. In addition to the honor, Allison will receive a cash award in the amount of $1,200, will be included on our Robert W. Rice Memorial Award Plaque. Her mentor is Dr. Eduardo Mercado.
Dr. Murray Levine was a member of the UB Psychology Department from 1968 until 2000. He was a member of the clinical area and a SUNY Distinguished Service Professor. Murray was among a core group of influential psychologists who helped launch the field of community psychology. This award recognizes original research that is poised to make a significant impact on the community surrounding UB and is sponsored by the generous support of Dr. Robert Fink, a UB alumnus and one of Murray’s former students.
Graduate Honoree: Gretchen Perhamus
The honor and monetary award of $200 is given to Gretchen for her paper titled “Inhibitory Control in Early Childhood Aggression Subtypes: Mediation by Irritability” published in 2021 in Child Psychiatry and Human Development. The goal of Gretchen’s research is to work with teachers, parents, and children to facilitate positive transitions from child care centers to kindergarten. Behavioral and emotional self-regulation are critical skills children need for positive adaptation during this transition. Gretchen’s basic research in child care centers throughout the Buffalo metro area has identified important mechanisms that promote or impede the development of critical self-regulation skills. She is working towards translating these findings into effective school-based intervention to help teachers “coach” children to increase their capacity for self-regulation. Gretchen is mentored by Dr. Jamie Ostrov.
Undergraduate Honoree: Jasmine Greggs
Jasmine was honored with this award for her countless hours of service to the Psychology Department. Jasmine is completing a BS in Psychology with a minor in Global Gender Studies. She is a Daniel Acker Scholar and also served as an undergraduate teaching assistant for the Psychology and Biological Sciences Departments. Jasmine served as President of UB's chapter of Psi Chi, The International Honor Society in Psychology. She conducted research in Dr. Matthew Paul's Behavioral Neuroendocrinology Lab, and is completing a Psychology Honors Thesis under his supervision. Jasmine completed a Human Resources Internship at Amazon. As a recipient of Murray Levine Award, she will receive $200.
Honorees: Jennifer Betts & Christina Perazio
Bestowed by UB's Graduate School and Graduate Student Association, the award recognizes graduate students who demonstrate exceptional performance in the execution of teaching responsibilities, teaching competence, effective mentorship of students, and maintenance of high academic standards and expectations of student performance.
The SUNY Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence acknowledges students for outstanding achievements that have demonstrated the integration of SUNY excellence within many aspects of their lives in areas such as academics, leadership, campus involvement, community service, or the arts. It is the highest honor bestowed upon a student by the University.
Honoree: Sydney Emley
Sydney, from Lackawanna, NY, is a University Honors College scholar. She has been a peer mentor, teaching assistant and treasurer of the Buffalo Bullfrogs Club swim team. Sydney has worked in Dr. Eduardo Mercado's cognitive psychology research laboratory, contributing to a paper on autism spectrum disorder and a study on emotional regulation. She also volunteers at her local food bank and fosters feral kittens with the feline rescue organization Ten Lives Club. Sydney will graduate with a BA in Psychology.
Honoree: Oress Fiona Pratt-MacDonald
Fiona, of East Amherst, NY, is an advanced Honors College scholar, Student Engagement ambassador, student tutor for athletics, teaching assistant, self-determination assistant through People Inc. and a member of both the Dean of Students Advisory Council and the Violence Prevention Team’s Student Advisory Council. Most notably, Fiona is an upcoming panelist for the Buffalo Niagara Chapter of the Association for Talent Development, a campus nominee for a Fulbright Scholarship, and a scholarship recipient from AmeriCorps. Pratt-MacDonald will earn a BA in Sociology with a minor in Psychology.
Honors the most outstanding graduating senior from each department in UB’s College of Arts and Sciences. The award recognizes the undergraduate who has best demonstrated the highest level of academic achievement and involvement in the Department of Psychology and the field of psychological science.
Honoree: Jordan Johnson
Jordan, of the Tuscarora Nation in Sanborn, NY, graduates summa cum laude with a BS in Psychology and a minor in Neuroscience. Jordan is a member of the Psychology Honors Program and recipient of the Tuscarora Nation NYPA Scholarship. She served on the Department of Psychology's Equity and Inclusion Committee and was Vice President of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society. She worked as an undergraduate researcher in Dr. Matthew Paul’s Laboratory, conducting an independent Honors Thesis under his advisement, and completed a National Institutes of Health-funded STAR U Program at Columbia University. In the fall, Jordan plans to pursue a post-baccalaureate research program to prepare her for a doctoral degree.
The Psychology Honors Program enables senior Psychology majors to complete an individual research project (i.e., Honors Thesis) under the supervision of a faculty advisor. Students work on completing their Honors Thesis throughout both the Fall and Spring semesters, then defend it in an oral examination at the end of Spring. This challenging yet highly rewarding experience involves all steps in the research process and prepares students for a wide variety of educational and career opportunities. The Honors Program Director is Dr. Wendy Quinton.
|Nikoleta Antoniou Karademitrou||Dr. Julie Bowker||Examining Prospective and Bidirectional Associations Between Anxious-Withdrawal and Negative Peer Beliefs During Early Adolescence|
|Emma Bailey||Dr. Matthew Paul||Who Do You Prefer? Genotype Preference in Rats|
|Sam Brooker||Dr. Ann-Marie Torregrossa||Taste Driven Behavior: Investigating the Specificity of Salivary Proteins on Bitter Taste Acceptance|
|Isabella Chee||Dr. Ann-Marie Torregrossa||Differential Effects of Diet and Weight on Taste Responses in Diet-Induced Obese Rats|
|Emily Demieri||Dr. Micheal Dent||The Effects of Chronic Short-Term Noise on Tinnitus in CBA/CaJ Mice|
|Lucia Fetkenhour||Dr. Micheal Dent||An Analysis of Mouse Ultrasonic Vocalizations Across Sex, Age, and Strain|
|Jasmine Greggs||Dr. Matthew Paul||The Effects of Gonadal Hormones on Anxiety-like Behaviors in Juvenile Siberian Hamsters|
|Ashlan Hubbard||Dr. Becky Ashare||The Importance of Social Support for HIV+ Smokers with Depression|
|Jordan Johnson||Dr. Matthew Paul||Estradiol Does Not Alter Exploratory Behavior in Juvenile Siberian Hamsters|
Honoree: Jordan Johnson
The Feldman-Cohen Award recognizes the most exceptional undergraduate Psychology Honors Thesis. Named in honor of two of the Department’s most distinguished former faculty, the $500 monetary award goes to the undergraduate whose Honors Thesis receives the highest ranking by the student’s examination committee and faculty advisor.
Jordan's thesis, supervised by Dr. Matthew Paul, investigated the role of estradiol in exploratory behavior in juvenile hamsters. Her findings indicate that estradiol does not mediate the actions of the juvenile ovary on exploratory behavior, and that more studies are needed to better understand the potential role of juvenile gonadal hormones in behavioral development.
Psi Chi was founded in 1929 to encourage, stimulate and maintain excellence in scholarship and advance the science of psychology. Membership in Psi Chi is an earned lifetime honor. UB's Psi Chi chapter is student run and advised by Dr. Joyce Lacy.
The SUNY Chancellor's Awards for Excellence are system-level honors conferred to acknowledge and provide system-wide recognition for consistently superior professional achievement and to encourage the ongoing pursuit of excellence.
Dr. Craig Colder
The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities recognizes the work of those who engage actively in scholarly and creative pursuits beyond their teaching responsibilities. Dr. Colder is a world-renowned authority on the developmental psychopathology of alcohol use and alcohol use disorder during adolescence. One colleague notes, “This work has refined current conceptual models of the development of youth substance use, and provided new tools to measure key model constructs”. Another expert in the field states, “Dr. Colder is a true thought leader in his discipline in terms of his seamless integration of advanced quantitative methodology and clinical theory in the rigorous pursuit of understanding the factors that put a child at risk for drug and alcohol use.” Dr. Colder’s work often includes longitudinal studies of a decade (or more) and has received nearly continuous support during his 22 years at UB, including 6 grants as Principal Investigator/Multiple Principal Investigator from the NIH totaling nearly $14 million and another 11 NIH grants as Co-Investigator (an additional $17 million) for over $30 million in total funding. He has published over 140 peer-reviewed articles and 6 book chapters. With an h-index of 59 (and 11,000 citations) per Google Scholar, his publications have appeared in the most prestigious journals of both psychology and the sub-fields of clinical and developmental psychology, including Development and Psychopathology, Developmental Psychology, Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, and Psychology of Addictive Behaviors. He is a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science. Finally, Dr. Colder, who has served as the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Psychology since 2008, strives to mentor the next generation of clinical scientists and as such he has served as a mentor on NIH supported NRSA applications for 5 former or current students.
Dr. Shira Gabriel
The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching honors those who consistently demonstrate superb teaching at the undergraduate, graduate or professional level. Dr. Gabriel regularly teaches the discipline's most fundamental undergraduate course, Introductory Psychology, often teaching over 900 students in a given semester. She also teaches special topics courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, including Consciousness and the Self, the Social Self, and the Psychology of Prejudice. Dr. Gabriel is well known as a dynamic and engaging lecturer, an open and nimble discussant, and a generous mentor. In her course evaluations, students repeatedly describe her as engaging, humorous, effective, passionate, knowledgeable, enthusiastic, organized, and immersive. Colleagues note that, "Dr. Gabriel has probably been responsible for bringing more people into the psychology major at UB than any other professor in the department." In addition, she has supervised 17 individual undergraduate Psychology Honors students over the past 20+ years, which is by far the highest number of mentored Honors students of any Psychology faculty member. A notable number of Dr. Gabriel’s Honors students have served as co-authors on peer-reviewed publications that include their Honors work, including some students who have served as first author. She also has a strong record of supervising and serving on dissertation committees for graduate students, and her graduate students finish with strong research records, including multiple publications in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Gabriel is the kind of educator who invests deeply in her students, striking an ideal balance between providing guidance and promoting independence. In the words of one of her students, “If I had to describe her with one sentence, Dr. Gabriel is like a mom that gives amazing insight but with a calming charm and a big smile.”
The Alan N. Epstein Research Award is bestowed on those who make significant contributions to the field of ingestive behavior. Alan Epstein (1932-1992) was a professor, a distinguished researcher in ingestive behavior, and president of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior. In keeping with Dr. Epstein’s scientific vision, Dr. Torregrossa was honored with this award for her research discoveries that have advanced the understanding of food preferences and diet choice.
Dr. Eduardo Mercado
The American Psychological Association's Frank A. Beach Comparative Psychology Award recognizes the best paper published in Journal of Comparative Psychology. Dr. Mercado won for his 2021 paper, co-authored with Christina E. Perazio, "Similarities in composition and transformations of songs by humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) over time and space." This work revealed findings that question the foundations of current studies of animal communication not only in whales, but in all animals that use complex sequences of sounds to interact.
Dr. Ann-Marie Torregrossa
Dr. Torregrossa was promoted to Associate Professor in 2021. She is a leading expert in rodent models that inform questions about diet choice and food preference. These are very important questions as diet selection is a critical part of maintaining health, yet it is poorly understood. Using innovative methods, her research unpacks environmental and physiological influences that influence food choice preference.
Dr. Peter Pfordresher
In 2021, Dr. Pfordresher was appointed Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for the College of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Pfordresher's work examines the way in which the mind organizes sequences of events in real time during production and perception. He focuses on sensorimotor interactions that occur during the production of complex sequences, such as music and speech.
The Excellence in Teaching Awards celebrate outstanding instruction in psychological science. We recognize those instructors whose teaching evaluations reflect the most exceptional in the Department of Psychology.
Honorees (from left): Dr. Lora Park (Faculty), Dr. Thomas Saltsman (Adjunct Instructor), and Gabriela Memba (Graduate Student Instructor)
We are also incredibly proud of our faculty who have received recognition in the form of elected office, journal editorship, fellowship in professional societies, and other honors!