Theodore Beauchaine, the William K. Warren Foundation Professor of Psychology at Notre Dame, is co-director of the Suicide Prevention Initiative—Research, Intervention, & Training (SPIRIT), located off campus at the Department of Psychology Clinical Studies Building. Along with co-director Brooke Ammerman, Beauchaine is helping to teach children and adolescents in the South Bend community to better regulate their emotions, with the goal of reducing risk factors for suicide. One promising tool he is researching is a pocket-sized music player with earbuds that stimulate the vagus nerve with a low amplitude electrical current. “If one has heart disease, you don't wait until they have a first heart attack to intervene. It turns out that suicide prevention is similar to that,” he said.
An interdisciplinary team of Notre Dame faculty is leading an effort with institutions in Ohio and Kentucky to replicate an experiential learning model for attracting and retaining diverse STEM workforces in Rust Belt cities through university-community partnerships that strengthen quality of life. The three-year project, Replication of a Community-Engaged Educational Ecosystem Model in Rust Belt Cities, is supported by more than $2.5 million from the National Science Foundation’s Improving Undergraduate STEM Education program, $1.1 million of which is directed to Notre Dame. Led by the Center for Civic Innovation — which uses technology and methods to address pressing issues in the South Bend/Elkhart area — the project also involves College of Engineering and Department of Psychology faculty in the effort to understand how CCI’s model for community improvement projects functions in other cities under varying circumstances.
Morgan Widhalm Munsen knows that effective communication is key for scientific research to have real life implications. So, in addition to conducting significant research of her own as a fourth-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Psychology, Munsen also pursues community-based projects that make science more accessible and understandable to the general public. “It’s not like you can do research and then suddenly expect it to be meaningful to people,” Munsen said. “Which is why I think it’s so important for scientists and researchers to tell stories about their research and help to make it as relevant as possible to people.”
In less than six minutes, the new film “Breaking the Cycle” invites caregivers, parents, policymakers, and anyone concerned with child development to adopt more collaborative and peace-inducing strategies for child rearing. The new film, a companion to the website EvolvedNest.org, grew out of groundbreaking research by Darcia Narvaez, Kroc Institute faculty fellow and professor emerita of psychology, with support from current peace studies and psychology Ph.D. student Mary Tarsha.
Senior Dain Kim had never been to Notre Dame before she arrived on campus for orientation. As a student at an international high school in Seoul, Korea, she knew she wanted to go to college in the U.S. — in a city, preferably, like one in New York or California. Instead, she ended up in South Bend. Now a psychology and statistics major with a minor in computing and digital technologies, Kim plans to pursue a career working to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion programs — helping others like herself who need to adapt quickly to entirely new cultures or circumstances.
Claire Scott-Bacon is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Psychology’s clinical program and was recently awarded a Distinguished Graduate Fellowship from the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study. Her research focuses on issues related to the structure and assessment of criminal personality in clinical, forensic, and legal settings. In this interview, she discusses her work and its impact on the high rate of wrongful convictions and criminalization of mental health-related crimes in the United States.
Psychologist Jessica Payne is passionate about helping the world better understand the value of sleep — and the many ways it impacts our cognition, health, and longevity. She dreams of a society where people no longer take pride in how little sleep they need to get by, but how much they sleep in order to thrive. Her groundbreaking research on sleep, stress, and psychological function has led to her being selected as the National Academy of Sciences 2021 Seymour Benzer/Sydney Brenner Lecturer — and to being awarded a nearly $900,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.
Sociologist Erin McDonnell and psychologist Nathan Rose have received National Science Foundation Early Career Development (CAREER) Awards for 2020. They are among nine University of Notre Dame faculty members to receive the awards this year. “This is the most prestigious award granted by the NSF to early-career faculty and reflects the quality of Erin McDonnell’s and Nathan Rose’s research,” said Sarah Mustillo, the I.A. O’Shaughnessy Dean of the College of Arts and Letters. “I am thrilled that they are continuing the College’s strong record of success with these awards.”
Nathan Rose, the William P. and Hazel B. White Collegiate Chair in psychology, is one of nine University of Notre Dame faculty members to receive a National Science Foundation Early Career Development (CAREER) Award for 2020. He received the award for his project, “Targeted Memory Reactivation with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation,” which seeks to identify the mechanisms that enable the reactivation of information passively retained in working memory.
As of August 19, the Psychology Department has voted to NOT ACCEPT THE GRE OR GRE SUBJECT TEST for the 2020-21 admission cycle (meaning, for students who are applying to begin in Fall 2021). …
The University of Notre Dame plans to begin the 2021 spring semester with in-person classes Feb. 3, forgo spring break and end classes May 11, the University’s president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., announced today in a letter to students, faculty and staff.
Women in the academic field of psychology are overrepresented at the undergraduate level but, ultimately, underrepresented at senior levels. No gender parity reviews of the discipline had been conducted until a group of scholars, including Lee Anna Clark, the William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Professor of Psychology, decided to take on the task. Clark and the other researchers found that women are less likely to apply for tenure-track positions; however, those who do apply are equally if not more likely to be hired than men.
An experiment that was part of the study, now published in Ecopsychology, showed that students reported increased mindfulness towards the environment after performing ecological attachment tasks like contemplating nature, or practicing environmental preservation tasks like recycling and limiting electricity usage.
At Notre Dame’s William J. Shaw Center for Children and Families, psychology experts address and study other aspects of health that contribute to healthy family life. Having to turn a physical space that is normally bustling with moms and dads and their children into a virtual environment that preserves research continuity and continues to provide services is not easy, but that’s exactly what the Shaw Center researchers and staff are doing. Several programs at the center have been converted to a telehealth model, including the child and family therapy clinic and a number of parenting programs such as the Notre Dame Families & Babies Study (ND-FABS).
Students, parents of students, alumni, faculty and staff, have donated nearly $40,000 toward the coronavirus response in St. Joseph County — specifically for personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers and others who may come into close contact with the virus.
A now-former postdoc at the University of Notre Dame, Department of Psychology recently posted hateful, racist messages on Facebook, including on the pages of some current and former students of the University. Members of the Department were stunned and horrified by these posts and quickly rallied in support of all those targeted or affected by the appalling messages.
Laura Miller-Graff, an assistant professor of psychology and peace studies, along with co-principal investigator Kathryn Howell of the University of Memphis and a team of Notre Dame faculty members, will evaluate the intervention program through a randomized, controlled trial involving more than 200 women and their infants.
In this Q&A, Brooke Ammerman, an assistant professor of psychology, discusses her research on the risk factors and protective factors for self-injurious behaviors, how her work maps onto the University mission, and why undergraduate and graduate students are essential to her research.