News

Video: Notre Dame psychologist Theodore Beauchaine on using research and technology to prevent suicide

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.

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With NSF grant, interdisciplinary Notre Dame team aims to develop national model for community-university partnerships that can help revive Rust Belt cities 

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.

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In research and community outreach, psychology Ph.D. student strives for science to influence policy and make an impact on the public

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.” 

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Website, film developed by psychologist and Ph.D. student encourage parenting for peaceableness

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.

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Experiencing a new culture and majoring in psychology at Notre Dame inspires Korean native to pursue career in diversity, equity, and inclusion

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.

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Q&A with Claire Scott-Bacon, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Psychology

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.

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Notre Dame psychologist Jessica Payne receives National Academy of Sciences recognition, National Science Foundation funding for her research on sleep, stress, and memory

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.

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Two Arts and Letters faculty members receive NSF Early Career Development Awards

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.”

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Psychologist Nathan Rose receives NSF Early Career award

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.

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Notre Dame’s spring semester to begin Feb. 3

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.

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First gender parity review of psychological science shows some successes amid persistent problems

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.

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Shaw Center continues community work with virtual outreach

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). 

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University Acts Swiftly to Hateful Facebook Posts

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.

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Q&A with Brooke Ammerman, assistant professor of psychology

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.

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How a visit to the career fair launched a psychology alumna’s career at the FBI

Erin walked into the fall career fair her senior year — and walked away with a job at the Federal Bureau of Investigation. She visited the FBI’s booth, secured an interview for the next day, and was promptly offered an entry-level position. “My job hunt was very easy because of that one choice,” she said. “I just went to the career fair, and that was it — that was how it all started.”  Now an analyst, Erin has connected to a network of Notre Dame alumni at the FBI — and said graduates from every major are valuable to the bureau.

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Kristin Valentino Named Director of the Shaw Center

Kristin Valentino, the William J. Shaw Center for Children and Families Associate Professor of Psychology, has been named the director of the William J. Shaw Center for Children and Families beginning July 1, 2019. Julie Braungart-Rieker, Mary Hesburgh Flaherty and James F. Flaherty III College Chair and Professor of Psychology, served in this role from 2008-2019 and is stepping down in preparation to become the chair of the Department of Psychology in the fall of 2020.…

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