Class of 2022 Celebration

Please join us in celebrating our 2022 graduates and the many accomplishments of members of the Psychology Department this year! 

A Message From Our Chair

Jennifer Read.

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

On this page:

College of Arts and Sciences Commencement Ceremonies

Friday, May 20
1:00 p.m.

Sunday, May 22
Arts, Natural Sciences, Math and Interdisciplinary Programs: 9:30 a.m.
Humanities and Social Sciences: 3:00 p.m.

Ceremony Details

Share in the celebration!

Post on social media using #UBclassof2022

A Message from the Director of Undergraduate Studies

Dr. Micheal Dent.

When you all started college four (five, six….) years ago, I am sure you did not imagine how this time would go for you. New roommates? Check. Awesome Psychology classes? Check. Snow? Check. Global pandemic lasting more than half of your time at UB? What??? Nevertheless, you persisted. Our graduating seniors have more experience taking more modes of classes than ever imagined. Nobody is walking away with simple classroom history at this point. You probably have a mode you never want to see again. You probably want to throw your webcam out of your window once you walk across that stage. Your professors get it (and wholeheartedly agree). We hope that you still managed to get the most out of your time at UB and in the Psychology Department, participating in the clubs, hanging out with Christa Greenberg, doing research in one of our labs, and of course avoiding the geese as much as possible. We are grateful that you chose to spend your time at UB in our Department. We hope you will succeed in all future endeavors and that you will use your foundational knowledge of Psychology for those endeavors. It may not feel like it now, but the time we shared together during this pandemic has given us all the power to succeed. Now go do it! Congratulations from all of us in the Department of Psychology.

--Dr. Micheal Dent

A Message from the Director of the Graduate Studies

Dr. Craig Colder.

Scholars and scientists at UB are making new discoveries each year to reduce inequality and improve the health and welfare of everyone for a more just and sustainable world. Students are among our most valuable asset in UB’s academic community. They bring a crucial element of vitality and diversity to our university. They bring energy, enthusiasm, and new ideas and perspectives. Strong and productive relationships between faculty and students are the lifeblood of our university. Our students and faculty have risen to the meet the very real challenges of the past two years. Through their resilience and fortitude our teaching and research has not just continued, but I believe that we have emerged a stronger academic community. I am filled with admiration for my colleagues and our students. As the Director of Graduate Studies, I have a unique opportunity to see the work and scholarly output of our graduate students across all four of our doctoral programs and our MA program. Our graduate students in psychology are an impressive group that are pursuing groundbreaking research in their respective sub-disciplines. I congratulate our awardees and graduates for all of their achievements. It is truly amazing that our students were able to accomplish their goals and continue to achieve excellence in the face of the challenges of the past two years. I wish them well in their future careers. Congratulations!

--Dr. Craig Colder

Student Awards

Graduate Awards

Psychological Association of WNY (PAWNY) Morton D. Brooks Scholarship Award

Gretchen Perhamus.

Honoree: Gretchen Perhamus

Established by the late Morton D. Brooks (1926-2021), a clinical psychologist in WNY known for his specialty in school psychology, this award bestows $500 to a doctoral student or early career psychologist who has excelled in both academic and clinical areas and who has shown promise in making significant contributions to the field of psychology. Gretchen, a doctoral student in our Clinical Psychology PhD program, is mentored by Dr. Jamie Ostrov.

SUNY Graduate Research Empowering and Accelerating Talent (GREAT) Award

Katie Paige.

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.

The Department of Psychology Bugelski Dissertation Award

Destiny Brakey.

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. 

The Robert W. Rice Memorial Award

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.

Allison Scagel.

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. 

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.

Gretchen Perhamus.

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.

Jasmine Greggs.

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.

Graduate School Excellence in Teaching Awards for Graduate Teaching Assistants

Jennifer Betts.
Christina Perazio.

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.

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.

A headshot of Sydney Emley.

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.

A headshot of Fiona Pratt-MacDonald.

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.

The Dean’s Departmental Award for Outstanding Senior

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.

Jordan Johnson.

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.

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 2021-2022 Group Shot.

From L to R: Emma Bailey, Jordan Johnson, Lucia Fetkenhour, Emily Demieri (rear), Sam Brooker (front), Nikoleta Antoniou Karademitrou, Jasmine Greggs, Ashlan Hubbard, and Isabella Chee

2021-2022 Psychology Honors Students

Student Advisor Thesis Title
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

The Marvin Feldman and Walter Cohen Award

Jordan Johnson.

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, The International Honor Society in Psychology

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. 

Psi Chi Graduating Officers

Psi Chi logo.
  • Jasmine Greggs - President
  • Ashlan Hubbard - Vice President
  • Matthew Negersmith - Secretary
  • Kristen Kibler - Social Media Voice / Graphic Designer
  • Chantel Fatorma - Community Service Coordinator


Psi Chi Graduating Seniors

  • Emma G. Bailey
  • Allyson Baio
  • Celeste J. Beauvilaire
  • Maria E. Blujus
  • Elizabeth B. Bukoskey
  • Dejanay C. Burke
  • Nadia T. Cannistra
  • Gabrielle E. Chung
  • Jaidenne R. Collins Miller
  • Anna Katherine Dzury
  • Chantel S. Fatorma
  • Lucia Marie Fetkenhour
  • Kayla Cathleen Giglia
  • Jasmine Nicole Greggs
  • Kayla F. Holmes
  • Ashlan N. Hubbard
  • Jordan Marie Johnson
  • Alexa R. Kertzie
  • Kristen Elizabeth Kibler
  • Jacob Dylan Leach
  • Soo Min Charlotte Leong
  • Ann J. Malcolm
  • Michael William Middleton
  • Matthew E. Negersmith
  • Cassidy M. Nelson
  • Amanda Marie O'Donnell
  • Kyle A. Pelcak
  • Sunshine Ella Peña
  • Leah M. Santalis
  • Brian Silva
  • Eun-Myung Mary Song
  • Gabriella Staley
  • Shaina Eden Stillman
  • Shaun Wei Jie Tay
  • Nabiha Ukaj
  • Faustine R. Viri
  • Cassandra L. Williams
  • Jer Maine Won

Faculty Awards and Promotions


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.

Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities

Craig Colder.

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.

Excellence in Teaching

Shira Gabriel.

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.”

Ann-Marie Torregrossa.

Alan N. Epstein Research Award

Ann-Marie Torregrossa

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. 

Frank A. Beach Comparative Psychology Award

Eduardo Mercado.

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.

Promotions and Appointments

Ann-Marie Torregrossa.

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. 


Peter Pfordresher.

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. 

Department of Psychology Excellence in Teaching Awards

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.

Lora Park.
Thomas Saltsman.
Gabriela Memba.

Honorees (from left): Dr. Lora Park (Faculty), Dr. Thomas Saltsman (Adjunct Instructor), and Gabriela Memba (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!