Class of 2024 Celebration

Please join us in celebrating our 2024 graduates and the many accomplishments of members of the Psychology Department this year! 

A Message From Our Chair

Jennifer Read.

Incredibly, we are already at the end of another academic year! This is one of the best times of the year here at UB, and as proud parents, partners, friends, and families arrive on campus to celebrate graduation, the excitement is palpable. The closing of another academic year also is an opportunity to pause and consider on all that we together—students, faculty, and staff of the Psychology Department—have accomplished. This year has been one of tremendous growth; we launched multiple new research projects, welcomed an incredible four new teaching faculty, and brought several staff members on board to help support the department’s mission. Even as we say goodbye to the ‘23-’24 academic year, it’s already exciting to think about what’s in store for the year to come. In the Fall semester two more new faculty members will be joining our department, and there are more hires on the way! These new faculty members will help us to continue to build our research and will enhance our strong commitment to undergraduate and graduate education.

So as we say goodbye, on behalf of our entire department, I thank you for letting us teach you and learn from you. Students are at the heart of the University and our department, and it has been an honor to be a part of your UB experience. To our graduates and awardees: Congratulations! We are so proud of all that you have achieved, and all that you are going to achieve. We wish you the best as you embark on this next phase of your career and life.

--Dr. Jennifer Read

On this page:

College of Arts and Sciences Commencement Ceremonies

Graduate
Friday, May 17
1 p.m.

Undergraduate
Sunday, May 19
Arts, Natural Sciences, Math and Interdisciplinary Programs: 9 a.m.
Humanities and Social Sciences: 1 p.m.

Ceremony Details

Share in the celebration!

Post on social media using #UBclassof2024

Student Awards

Graduate Awards

The Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (SCCAP) Student Achievement Award

The SCCAP Student Achievement Award recognizes one late-stage graduate student who has made a significant contribution to the field of clinical child and adolescent psychology, primarily through research work but also through teaching, mentoring, clinical work, and other forms of community engagement. 

Gretchen Perhamus.

Honoree: Gretchen Perhamus

Gretchen won the award for her exemplary approach to clinical child and adolescent psychology, as well as the significance and innovation of her work. Her research broadly centers on applying a developmental psychopathology framework to examine the interplay between affective, social-cognitive, and psychophysiological factors in the development of youth externalizing problems. In addition to the honor, Gretchen will receive a monetary award of $1000. She is mentored by Dr. Jamie Ostrov. 

The Department of Psychology Bugelski Dissertation Award

The Bulgelski award recognizes outstanding doctoral scholarship in psychology. It is given based on excellence in scholarly productivity during doctoral studies, and significance and quality of the doctoral dissertation project.

Katie Paige.

Honoree: Katie Paige

Katie received this award for her dissertation research, titled “Leveraging Bifactor Modeling to Test Prospective Direct and Mediational Effects of Adolescent Alcohol Use and Externalizing Symptoms on the Neurobiological Development of Executive Functioning.” This work investigated the effect of alcohol use on the development of executive functioning in adolescence. Katie's findings suggest the critical role of social adaptation within peer and school contexts in promoting healthy development of executive functioning. Specifically, general externalizing symptoms predicted poor executive functioning indirectly through poor social adaptation. There was no evidence that specific, neurotoxic effects of alcohol or drug use derailed development of executive functioning. In addition to the honor, Katie will receive a monetary award of $2500. She is mentored by Dr. Craig Colder. 

Runners-up: Gretchen Perhamus (mentored by Dr. Jamie Ostrov) and Nolan Ramer (mentored by Dr. Craig Colder) each received a monetary award of $1500.

The Robert W. Rice Memorial Award

The Rice award honors early excellence in scientific research for an empirical paper completed by a graduate student. It is given based on evaluation of scientific work completed by the student during the first three years of graduate training.

Verenice Ascencio Gutierrez.

Honoree: Verenice Ascencio Gutierrez

Verenice received the award for her paper titled “TRPM4 and PLCβ3 Contribute to Normal Behavioral Responses to an Array of Sweeteners and Carbohydrates but PLCβ3 is Not Needed for Taste-Driven Licking for Glucose,” published in Chemical Studies in January 2024. In this study, Verenice examined the role of multiple intracellular signaling pathways in taste responding to “sweet” and “starchy” stimuli. Her findings are consistent with mounting evidence that glucose has access to a sweet-independent signaling pathway and expands the field’s understanding of sweet taste signaling to include a new cell type. In addition to the honor, Verenice will receive a cash award of $1,800, and will be recognized on our Robert W Rice Memorial Award plaque. Her mentor is Dr. Ann-Marie Torregrossa.

Runners-up: Xinyao Ma (mentored by Dr. John Roberts) and Veronica Schnieder (mentored by Dr. Shira Gabriel), who will each receive a cash award of $250.

The Murray Levine Award for Community Engagement in Psychology

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.

Hope White.

Graduate Honoree: Hope White

Hope received the honor and $500 monetary award for her paper titled, “Play With Me: Effects of a Shared Activities Parenting Intervention on Positive Parenting and Relative Reinforcing Value of Food.” This work reports results of a randomized controlled trial evaluating impacts of a novel parenting intervention that is implemented by parents in their home to promote positive parenting skills and prevent child obesity via shared-parent child activities. The self-guided intervention combines traditional didactic parenting videos with play kits that enable parents to practice positive parenting skills learned in the videos. Providing positive parenting resources that can be completed at home reduces barriers to engagement in the intervention and facilitates the practice of skills in families’ natural environments. Findings indicate that the intervention was feasible, improved positive parentings skills, and was well-liked by local parents. This work will help facilitate exporting the intervention into the community and has broad implications for improving health and well-being of children. Hope is a student in our social-personality doctoral program and was mentored by Dr. Stephanie Anzman-Frasca for this project.

Reilly Diemond.

Undergraduate Honoree: Reilly Diemond

Reilly, a very deserving recipient of the Murray Levine Award for Community Engagement in Psychology, has been a valuable member of the Department of Psychology and UB in his time here. He has served several leadership roles in Psi Chi International Honors Society in Psychology, helped implement the yearly WNY Psychology Research Conference, and participated in numerous informational and recruiting events for the department. Reilly worked as a research assistant for Dr. Mark Seery, Dr. Leonard Simms, and Dr. Larry Hawk. He also participated in many activities with the UB Women's Healthcare and Wellness Association and served as an instructor for the College of Arts and Sciences Peer-Assisted Learning program. As a recipient of the Murray Levine Award, Reilly will receive $500.

Graduate School Excellence in Teaching Awards for Graduate Teaching Assistants

Elizabeth Rakowski.

Honoree: Elizabeth Rakowski

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. Beth has served as a teaching assistant for Psychological Statistics, Scientific Inquiry, Social Psychology, and Psychology of Personality. Her advisor is Dr. Paul Meyer.

Undergraduate Awards

SUNY Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence

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.

Cole Fredericks.

Honoree: Cole Fredericks

Cole Fredericks of New York City graduates with a Bachelor of Science in psychology. He is a University Honors scholar and has served as a residence hall vice president, student affairs director for the Student Association, a teaching assistant for evolutionary biology, and a volunteer counselor for a crisis hotline. A research assistant for both Dr. Matthew Paul's behavioral neuroscience laboratory and Dr. Julie Bowker's clinical/developmental psychology laboratory, Cole has contributed to research on vasopressin deficiency impacting rat social communication and young adolescents’ friendships and victimization experiences. He plans to pursue a doctorate in clinical psychology.

The Dean’s Departmental Award for Outstanding Senior

This award honors the most outstanding graduating senior from each department in UB’s College of Arts and Sciences. We recognize 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.

Reilly Diemond.

Honoree: Reilly Diemond

Reilly Diemond of Ithaca, New York, graduates summa cum laude with a 4.0 GPA, receiving a Bachelor of Science in psychology and a minor in counseling. Reilly is a member of the Psychology Honors Program, which enabled him to complete an independent Honors thesis under the mentorship of Dr. Mark Seery, and served as vice president of UB's chapter of Psi Chi International Honors Society in Psychology. He worked as a supervising research assistant in Dr. Seery's Social Psychophysiology Laboratory, and as a research assistant in both Dr. Leonard Simms's Personality, Psychopathology, and Psychometrics Laboratory and Dr. Larry Hawk's Behavioral Health Laboratory. In the fall, Reilly plans to continue working in psychology research to prepare for a doctoral program in clinical psychology.

Psychology Honors Program

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.

Honors Students 2023-2024 Group Shot.

Back row: Joseph Cook, Jake Lis, Sonny Hsia, Elizabeth Goldstein, Matthew Preisigke, Reilly Diemond

Front row: Hui Yue Crystal Chen, Yoon Park, Jessica Gurbacki, Esther Turay, Angelia Venezia, Megan Ang, Rachel Fan, Amanda Mondschein

2023-2024 Psychology Honors Students

Student Advisor Thesis Title

Megan Ang

Dr. Alexis Thompson

Mitigating Morphine’s Respiratory Effects: The Effect of Afterbirth Ingestion on Morphine-Induced Respiratory Depression

Bidushi Bhowmik

Dr. Hollen Reischer

Trauma History and the Process of Creating an Ethical Will

Hui Yue Crystal Chen

Dr. Julie Bowker

Networks of Relationships and Happiness in Emerging Adulthood: A Cross-Cultural Examination

Joseph Cook

Dr. Jennifer Read

Investigating the Role of Traumatic Experience in the Association Between Sexual Orientation and Alcohol Use in Young Adult Women

Reilly Diemond

Dr. Mark Seery

Voluntary Investment of Unrewarded Effort: The Consequences of Cognitive Dissonance on Perceived Growth and Entitlement in College Students

Rachel Fan

Dr. Ann-Marie Torregrossa

The Role of Salivary Amylase in Taste-Driven Behaviors

Elizabeth Goldstein

Dr. Peter Pfordresher

Does the Emotional Content of a Stimulus Affect Accuracy in Pitch Imitation?

Jessica Gurbacki

Dr. Julie Bowker

Romantic Relationship Qualities and Internalizing Problems During Emerging Adulthood

Sonny Hsia

Dr. Ann-Marie Torregrossa

Female Salivary Proteins and Their Effect on Bitter Diet Acceptance

Jake Lis

Dr. Mark Seery

The Impact of Exposure to Peer Successes and Failures on First-Generation College Students

Amanda Mondschein

Dr. Matthew Paul

The Impact of Short-Term Estradiol Administration on Anxiety-like Behavior of Juvenile Hamsters

Yoon Park

Dr. Jennifer Read

Exploring Potential Mechanisms of the Relationship of Sexual Assault History and Usage of Sexual Assault Protective Behavioral Strategies

Matthew Preisigke

Dr. Paul Meyer

The Effects of Liraglutide in an Operant Food-Social Choice Model

Esther Turay

Dr. Rebecca Ashare

Exploring Generational Differences Regarding Perceptions of Mental Health in Buffalo’s Black Community

Angelia
Venezia 

Dr. Ken DeMarree

Learning to Listen: Do Learning Goals Facilitate High-Quality Listening?

The Marvin Feldman and Walter Cohen Award

Matthew Preisigke.

Honoree: Matthew Preisigke

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 award goes to the undergraduate whose Honors Thesis receives the highest ranking by the student’s examination committee and faculty advisor.

Matt's thesis, supervised by Dr. Paul Meyer, investigated the effects of the anti-diabetic and weight loss medication liraglutide on healthy reinforcement processes in Long-Evans rats. Results revealed that liraglutide induced weight loss as expected. In addition, rats under conditions of food restriction and social isolation preferred food reinforcers to social reinforcers. Further, liraglutide induced transient decreases in responding for food reinforcers but had no effect on responding for social reinforcers. Overall, results confirm that liraglutide reduces body weight and can reduce food choice, although this latter effect may be transient and subject to tolerance development. Along with the honor, Matt will receive a monetary award of $500. 

Psi Chi, The International Honor Society in Psychology

Psi Chi logo.

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. 

Our Psi Chi officers and members work closely with officers from our Undergraduate Psychology Association (UPA) on fun and enriching activities for psychology undergraduates (e.g., guest speakers, informational sessions on careers and graduate school, social events, and volunteer activities).

Psi Chi Graduating Officers

  • President: Jessica Gurbacki
  • Vice President: Reilly Diemond
  • Social Media Voice / Graphic Designer: Khushi Parashar

 

UPA Graduating Officers

  • Vice President: Athena Smith
  • Secretary: Alysse Rollins
  • Treasurer: Gwen Gominiak
  • Volunteer Coordinator: Joe Cook

Psi Chi Graduating Seniors

  • Adam A. Aref
  • Julie Luna Aronsky
  • Jacob D. Bernstein
  • Devyani H. Budhnarain
  • Anthony Qi Chen
  • Alyssa Leigh Cline
  • Joseph Anthony Cook
  • Karina Marie Cutrona
  • Celine DeCambre
  • Reilly W. Diemond
  • Zuriel Enoe
  • Abigail A. Feldman
  • Cole Fredericks
  • Sarah Glashauser
  • Ying Hui Goh
  • Elizabeth A. Goldstein
  • Gwenalyn A. Gominiak
  • Isabella Jesse Gray
  • Akashpreet S. Grewal
  • Jessica Nicole Gurbacki
  • Michael Alexander Hanakis
  • Lance Cartier Hill
  • Sonny Hsia
  • Kathleen E. Jackson
  • Kenneth Jovel-Truong
  • Jane M. Lawicki
  • Ava Adeline Leahey
  • Madelyn R. Lehmann
  • Siman Lin
  • Amy Louise Maslin
  • Ryan Elizabeth Melber
  • Amanda Shira Mondschein
  • James O'Heron
  • Khushi Parashar
  • Yoonseo Park
  • Sophia C. Rafaloff
  • Skyler James Randall
  • Charmy Rani
  • Hakem Mohamed Saeed
  • Agnes Tong
  • Esther Princess Turay
  • Gabrielle L. Vella
  • Angelia Grace Venezia
  • Caitlyn S. Vernillo
  • Jer'valle Wee
  • Jiaqi Wei
  • Arthur John Wilson
  • Isabella Laura Yallof
  • Abigail Helen Young
  • Chenmiao Zhou

Alumni Awards

Society of Personality and Social Psychology Early Career Trajectory Award

Veronica LaMarche.

Dr. Veronica Lamarche

The Society for Personality and Social Psychology offers the SAGE Early Career Trajectory Award in recognition of outstanding achievements by early career scholars in social and personality psychology, including contributions to teaching, research, or service to the field. Dr. Lamarche is a 2017 graduate from UB's social-personality doctoral program, mentored by Dr. Sandra Murray. She is currently a Senior Lecturer (equivalent to Associate Professor) in the Department of Psychology at the University of Essex in Colchester, UK. 

Society of Personality and Social Psychology Diener Award

Dr. Brooke Feeney.

Dr. Brooke Feeney

The Society for Personality and Social Psychology's Carol and Ed Diener Award is designed to recognize a mid-career scholar whose work has added substantially to the body of knowledge to the social psychology field and/or brings together personality psychology and social psychology. Dr. Feeney is a 1999 graduate from UB's social-personality doctoral program, mentored by Dr. Nancy Collins. She is currently a Professor in the Department of Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University. 

Faculty Awards and Promotions

SUNY DISTINGUISHED PROFESSORSHIP

The SUNY Distinguished Professorship constitutes a promotion to the State University of New York’s highest academic rank. This honor is conferred by the Board of Trustees on faculty who have achieved national or international prominence and a distinguished reputation within their chosen field through significant contributions to research and scholarship. Appointees are inducted into the SUNY Distinguished Academy.

Craig Colder.

Dr. Craig Colder

Dr. Craig R. Colder was named a 2024 SUNY Distinguished Professor. Dr. Colder’s groundbreaking scholarship has demonstrated ongoing commitment to excellence and his funded research portfolio, publications, and mentorship of students and other faculty helps to elevate the intellectual discourse and rigor of research in the Department of Psychology at UB. Dr. Colder is considered a world-renowned authority on the developmental psychopathology of alcohol use during adolescence. His program of research uses advanced quantitative methods and rigorous longitudinal designs and has received nearly continuous support during his 24 years at UB, including 7 grants as Primary Investigator/Multiple Primary Investigator from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) totaling over $17 million and another 15 NIH grants as Co-Investigator, for over $43 million in total funding. He has published over 150 peer-reviewed articles and 6 book chapters. With an h-index of 61 (and over 12,600 citations), Dr. Colder’s publications have appeared in the most prestigious journals in the field of psychology. He is a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and was a 2022 recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities. 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 scientists and has been a mentor on NIH-supported National Research Service Award applications for five students.

Promotions

Julie Bowker.

Dr. Julie Bowker

Dr. Bowker was promoted to Professor in 2023. A developmental psychologist and member of our Clinical area, her work examines the roles that close interpersonal relationships (e.g., friendships, parent-child relationships) play in social and emotional development and psychopathology during late childhood and early adolescence. 

Department of Psychology Excellence in Teaching Awards

The Excellence in Teaching Awards celebrate outstanding instruction in psychological science. We recognize those instructors whose quantitative and qualitative teaching evaluations reflect the most exceptional in the Department of Psychology.

Michael Poulin.
Shannon Lupien.
Elizabeth Rakowski.

Honorees (from left): Dr. Michael Poulin (Faculty), Dr. Shannon Lupien (Adjunct Instructor), and Elizabeth Rakowski (Graduate Student Instructor)

Other Faculty Awards and Honors

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!