Department of Psychology

Department News

The Psychology Department is pleased to welcome Joshua Swift and Rob Rieske as new faculty arriving fall 2015

Joshua K. Swift, Ph.D. will be joining the Department of Psychology at Idaho State University as an Assistant Professor in Fall 2015. He comes to ISU having previously held a faculty position in the Psychology Department at the University of Alaska Anchorage. He earned his PhD from Oklahoma State University's APA-accredited Clinical Psychology Program and completed his doctoral internship at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY. His research lab, the Psychotherapy Process and Outcome Research Lab, is dedicated to empirically examining the processes and mechanisms of psychotherapy in an effort to improve treatment outcomes for clients. This work focuses on studying the client, therapist, and relational variables that influence therapy outcomes broadly, across clients and disorders. Much of this research is done in the clinic setting. However, some of this research is completed by surveying potential clients, clients, trainees, and therapists out in the community and throughout the nation or through meta-analytic reviews of the existing research in the field. Dr. Swift is also a licensed psychologist in Alaska (hopefully Idaho too after their board meeting next month) and provides clinical supervision to students for a broad array of clients. He works from an integrative orientation, integrating cognitive-behavioral techniques with relational approaches that utilize the therapeutic relationship as a mechanism for change in treatment. In addition, in clinical supervision he provides training in patient-focused research, using outcome monitoring systems and other objective measures to track client progress and inform treatment decisions.

Rob Rieske is anticipating completing his PhD in Clinical Psychology from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge in August 2015. He is currently completing an internship at Nationwide CHildren's Hospital. His research interests broadly include intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and comorbid psychopathology with a specific focus on autism spectrum disorders. More specifically, he is interested in investigating risk/protective factors in developing comorbid psychopathology (e.g., anxiety, feeding problems, challenging behaviors) and novel ways of treating these problems. Within that scope, he is currently focusing on the assessment of anxiety in children with IDD utilizing parental observations, clinical observations, and psychophysiological measurements of anxiety (e.g., GSR/EDA, heart-rate, blood pressure). This research will hopefully help to develop and validate anxiety measures in these istinct populations. His clinical interests include assessment of developmental delays and disabilities with specific focus in the early detection of autism spectrum disorders. He is also involved in the treatment of comorbid problems in children with developmental disabilities including feeding therapy, behavioral interventions, exposure therapy, and parent-training. His teaching interests are in the areas of child, adolescent, and life-span development, child psychopathology, and child assessment and treatment methods.

Dr. Shannon Lynch received an ISU Outstanding Researcher Award in 2015

Dr. Shannon Lynch received an ISU Outstanding Researcher Award in April 2015. Her research examines women's experiences of interpersonal violence and their ability to recover from traumatic events. Since coming to ISU, her work has focused on incarcerated women, an underserved population. She has examined women's pathway to incarceration. She has also provided and evaluated treatment for women in prison. Her work was supported by grants from the US Department of Justice and Idaho State University.
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Graduate students in Psychology participated in the ISU Graduate Research Day

Graduate students in Psychology participated in the ISU Graduate Research Day on March 14th sponsored by the ISU Graduate School and two psychology students were recognized for their presentations. Chris Decou and coauthors were category winners for the Psychology & Health oral presentations category and Jennifer McDonald and faculty sponsor Tera Letzring were awarded first place for their poster in the Research Across the Sciences category.

Dr. Maria Wong's research on sleep and substance use gains national and international publicity in January 2015
New research by Maria Wong on the relationship between poor and insufficient sleep and substance use problems has gained national and international publicity. Even before her latest research had been published Jan. 16 as an “Early View” on the website of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, Wong had completed interviews with National Public Radio, BBC, the Brazilian magazine “VEJA” and Healthline News. Her work was discussed by Time, LA Times, US Department of Health and Human Services, US News and Report and the American Medical Association.

http://www.isu.edu/headlines/?p=7196
https://sites.google.com/a/isu.edu/mmwong/news
Dr. Xiaomeng (Mona) Xu received a prestigious Suffrage Science Heirloom
Dr. Xiaomeng (Mona) Xu, assistant professor of psychology, recently received a prestigious Suffrage Science Heirloom (Women in Life Sciences Award) from the Medical Research Council, Clinical Sciences Centre (United Kingdom). The Suffrage Science Project was launched in 2011 to commemorate 100 years of women pioneers in science. Dr. Xu was one of the 11 recipients for 2014, and the only recipient from an American institution. The award recognizes Dr. Xu's contributions to the Life Sciences through her work in social, health, and neuro psychology.
Sierra Kauer awarded travel grants to attend the annual meeting for the International Society for Development Psychobiology (ISDP)
Congratulations to Sierra Kauer who has been awarded travel grants to attend the annual meeting for the International Society for Development Psychobiology (ISDP). She is first-author on a poster presentation. The conference will be held in November 2014 in Washington D.C. The travel awards are supported by the NIH, ISDP, and the Sackler Institute. She is mentored by Dr. Michele Brumley in the Experimental Psychology Ph.D.
Jacob Allmond awarded travel grants to attend the annual meeting for the International Society for Development Psychobiology (ISDP)
Congratulations to Jacob Allmond who has been awarded travel grants to attend the annual meeting for the International Society for Development Psychobiology (ISDP). He is first-author on a poster presentation. The conference will be held in November 2014 in Washington D.C. The travel awards are supported by the NIH, ISDP, and the Sackler Institute. He is mentored by Dr. Michele Brumley in the Experimental Psychology Ph.D.
Hillary Swann awarded travel grants to attend the annual meeting for the International Society for Development Psychobiology (ISDP)
Congratulations to Hillary Swann who has been awarded travel grants to attend the annual meeting for the International Society for Development Psychobiology (ISDP). She is first-author on a poster presentation. The conference will be held in November 2014 in Washington D.C. The travel awards are supported by the NIH, ISDP, and the Sackler Institute. She is mentored by Dr. Michele Brumley in the Experimental Psychology Ph.D.