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Psychology undergraduate student selected for competitive research internship in Chicago

Shelby Weber, a graduating senior psychology major (double majoring in Sociology) received notification that she was selected for a competitive research internship this summer funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA). She has been matched to work on a project in Chicago at Rush Medical Center interviewing inner-city women to assist on the TAP study- a study of trauma and chronic pain- funded by the National Institute of Health thru 2020. The NIDA summer internship is a two month fellowship with stipend and housing. It is a very competitive selection process. We are so pleased Shelby was selected for this opportunity! Shelby has elected to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology at ISU this fall.

Experimental Psychology Grad Student Doug Colman awarded Outstanding Graduate Student

Doug hits the mark on all of the criteria for the Outstanding Graduate Student Award. Doug’s level of academic achievement is extremely high, as reflected in his cumulative GPA of 3.94 - which includes grades from challenging classes that have mostly been statistical courses or seminar-format courses. Doug has sought out additional, high quality, intensive career-related experiences to ensure he learned as much as possible during this phase of this career. Two of these experiences stand out as exceptional. First, he spent several weeks during the summer at the University of British Columbia to learn more about the statistical model we use to analyze our data from the person who developed the model. This visit resulted in a publication in a respected, peer-reviewed journal. The other experience was the 2-week intensive summer institute that Doug attended last summer. He was chosen from among 300 applicants for one of 77 spots, which was an honor and recognition of his academic success and potential. Doug’s involvement in conducting and disseminating research has been impressive: he has eight publications, seven manuscripts in preparation, and a multitude of conference presentations and posters. His research is conceptually and methodologically rigorous and timely. Furthermore, he is at the forefront of emerging changes in the Psychology to increase the reproducibility, transparency, and replicability of research findings. In addition to designing and conducting his own research projects, Doug has mentored undergraduate and junior graduate students on research projects, and he is an encouraging and talented mentor. Doug has worked with three undergraduate students to help them develop projects that have been presented at national, regional, and local conferences. Two students he mentored received research awards for the quality of the abstracts they submitted to regional conferences. Doug has independently instructed multiple courses at ISU at both the lower- and upper-division undergraduate levels, and is a fabulous teacher who cares deeply about his students and their learning. Overall, Doug is an excellent student, teacher, mentor, leader, and researcher, and is fully deserving of ISU’s Outstanding Graduate Student Award.

ISU Clinical Psychology ranked in top 50 best Ph.D. Programs

The doctoral program in Clinical Psychology at Idaho State University was recently ranked in "The Top 50 Programs in Clinical Psychology 2017" by Best Counseling Degrees.  It ranked 4th!

The ranking is based on the EPPP pass rate, length of the program, tuition (full time out of state), and licensure percentage.


Psychology Graduate Students present first authored research at International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies

Psychology graduate students Bailey Perschon, Stephanie Kaplan,  Elizabeth Craun,  and Colin Mahoney, as well as recent ISU graduate, Chris Decou, all presented first authored research posters at the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies in Chicago November 9-11, 2017. Faculty members Shannon Lynch, Maria Wong, and Nicki Aubuchon-Endsley were coauthors on the students' presentations.

Maria Wong Receives ISU Achievement Award

Wong, Maria, Ph.D.

ISU Achievement Award – Maria Wong – Wong is professor and director of the Development and Resilience Lab in the Psychology Department at Idaho State University.

She received her Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the University of Chicago and completed postdoctoral work in substance use at the University of Michigan.

Her research examined risk and protective factors associated with important developmental outcomes such as substance use, suicidal behavior and resilience.

Her current work focuses on understanding how sleep and self-regulation (control of affect, behavior and cognitive processes) affect substance use.

Her work has been funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and National Institute of General Medical Sciences. Her research was cited in articles published by National Public Radio, Time Magazine, BBC, CNN, NBC, Reuters and the Associated Press.

2017 Idaho State University Homecoming award recipients announced

Joy Lee, a clinical PhD student in the Psychology Department has just been awarded a $10,000

Joy Lee, a clinical PhD student in the Psychology Department has just been awarded a $10,000 research grant from the Sidney W. and Janet R. Bijou Grant, which is offered through the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis.  The grant supports doctoral research that combines behavior analysis and developmental science principles. Joy will use the money to fund her dissertation, which will be to test the extent to which food impulsivity changes across the lifespan, with special emphasis on the transition from childhood to puberty. Joy's mentor for the grant proposal and project is Dr. Erin Rasmussen.

Mona Xu was awarded ​an Outstanding Achievement Award

Mona Xu was awarded ​an Outstanding Achievement Award by the Mountain West Clinical Translational Research - Infrastructure Network. The MW CTR-IN comprises 7 Mountain West states and 11 institutions, including ISU. Dr. Xu was recognized during their annual conference in May 2017 in Las Vegas.


Committee on Women in Psychology

Shannon Lynch, Psychology Professor, has been appointed to the Committee on Women in Psychology for a three-year term. The Committee on Women in Psychology is a standing committee of the American Psychological Association ( It has six members. The committee collects information regarding the status on women in psychology and develops and informs policy recommendations that affect women's lives. The committee has produced a Changing Gender Composition in Psychology report and a resolution on Human Trafficking that have been approved and will be published this spring. An ongoing task is a project focused on sexual assaults on campuses and campus climate. Dr. Lynch attended the consolidated spring meetings for this committee assignment March 24-26 in Washington DC. 

2017 Distinguished Student Research Award in Clinical Psychology

Chris DeCou, a graduate student in Clinical Psychology, has been awarded the 2017 Distinguished Student Research Award in Clinical Psychology by Division 12 of the American Psychological Association. The committee indicated this award is in recognition of Chris' work with undeserved and marginalized populations. Chris, in collaboration with Professor Shannon Lynch and fellow lab members​ and collaborators​, has examined risk and resilience factors for trauma exposed incarcerated women, with a focus on predictors on negative outcomes, including suicidality. This recognition is given by the Education and Training Committee of the Society of Clinical Psychology, American Psychological Association. Chris will be presented with the award at the annual APA conference, in Washington DC in August 2017, and will receive an award plaque, a $200 honorarium, and a complimentary two-year subscription to the Journal of Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice.

ISU Graduate Research Symposium Recognitions

The Psychology Department congratulates our students who won recognition for their work presentations and posters at the ISU Graduate Research Symposium hosted by the Graduate School. 

Top Oral Presentation in Health & Innovations 

Retinoic-Acid Induced Spina Bifida in Rats: Behavior and Morphology -- Hillary Swann, Leah Kollmeyer, Steven Conway, Valerie Mendez-Gallardo, Kira Hunter, Nicholas Burgett & Michele Brumley

Top Oral Presentation in Complex Social & Behavioral Systems 

Pupil Dilation and Blink Rate as Measurements of Cognitive Load During Deception -- Reinalyn Echon, Kandi Turley-Ames, Shana Humphreys & Charles Parker

Top Oral Presentation in Building Success Across Diverse Context 

Exploring the Publication Network of Graduate Students Across Programs: A Social Network Analysis -- Douglas Cruthirds, Jessica N. Stoker & Douglas E. Colman

Top Poster in Adversity & Resilience 

Suppression and Acceptance as Predictors for Physical Health among Incarcerated women -- Bailey Perschon, Bryn Kennel, Shelby Weber, Duyen Vo, Emily Konecky & Shannon Lynch 

Top Poster in Complex Behavioral Systems 

Differences in Caregiver Coping Style Effect Efficacy of Mindfulness-Based Interventions -- Lucinda Scott 

Clinical Graduate Student selected as student publication subcommittee co-chair of the Trauma Psychology Newsletter

Colin Mahoney, a graduate student in his fourth year in the Clinical Psychology PhD program has been selected to serve as the 2017-2019 student publication subcommittee co-chair of the Trauma Psychology Newsletter for Division 56 of the American Psychological Association. Colin was selected from among a nationally competitive pool of applicants. As co -chair, he will review and edit abstracts and article submissions for the Trauma Psychology Newsletter.

Outstanding Student Achievement Award

Chris DeCou was awarded the Outstanding Student Achievement Award from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies at the November 2016 annual conference. This international award recognizes a graduate student member of ISTSS who has made a significant contribution to the field of traumatic stress through research, clinical activity or advocacy. Chris was recognized for his research examining risk and protective factors for the mental health of trauma exposed incarcerated women, coauthored with Dr. Shannon Lynch.

American Psychological Foundation/Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology Scholarship

Colin Mahoney, was awarded an American Psychological Foundation/Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology (APF/COGDOP) Graduate Research Scholarship of $1,000 for his dissertation study titled "A Laboratory Examination of Sexual Risk-Taking in Sexually Traumatized Women" mentored by Dr. Steve Lawyer. Hundreds of students from doctoral programs all over the country apply for these grants, and only 21 receive them each year.

Ted Blau Student Poster Award

Arianna Tart-Zelvin  won the 2016 Ted Blau Student Poster Award from the National Academy of Neuropsychology, which comes with a $500 prize. Her poster was selected from among 289 eligible entries. The poster titled "Neural activity associated with rehearsal strategy use on a working memory task" presented data from Arianna's dissertation study. Coauthors on the poster included graduate students Reinalyn Echon and Alyssa Korell and faculty members Kandi Turley-Ames,  Xiaomeng Xu, and Karol Osipowicz (Drexel University).  

International Society for Developmental Psychobiology (ISDP) Travel Grants

Four psychology students mentored by Dr. Michele Brumley have been awarded travel grants to attend the annual meeting for the International Society for Developmental Psychobiology (ISDP). Experimental Psychology PhD students Sierra Kauer, Hillary Swann, and Nancy Devine, and research assistant Steven Conway received the awards and will present their first-authored research posters at the conference. The conference will be held in November in San Diego, CA. The travel awards are supported by the NIH, Wiley, the Sackler Institute and the Nurture Science Project at Columbia University.

Society for Psychotherapy Research Grant

Joshua K. Swift Ph.D

Jonathan Goode (graduate student in the clinical psychology Ph.D. program) and Joshua K. Swift, Ph.D. were awarded a small research grant from the Society for Psychotherapy Research. This $2,000 grant will be used to fund Jonathan's dissertation examining mental health stigma in veterans.

Western Psychological Association Research Award

Joshua K. Swift Ph.D

Joshua K. Swift, Ph.D. was recognized with two national early career research awards this summer. He received the first from the Western Psychological Association at their annual convention in Long Beach, California in April. He has been invited to give an awards address at their 2017 convention this coming April in Sacramento, California. The second early career award he received from the American Psychological Foundation and the Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy in August at the 2016 American Psychological Association Annual Convention in Denver, Colorado.

National Science Foundation Research Grant

Letzring, Tera, Ph.D.

Tera Letzring received a grant from the National Science Foundation for over $400,000 to conduct a series of four studies over three years. The first study will test the State and Trait Accuracy Model by examining the correlation between accuracy of judging the emotions of others and accuracy of judging personality traits of others.  The next three studies will manipulate accuracy of judging emotions to determine whether more accurate judgments of emotions will cause people to make more accurate judgments of traits. Funds from this grant will support a graduate student research assistant each year of the grant, and will also help pay for student travel to conferences to present the findings.

Co-Investigator on 2 ISU Developing Collaborative Partnerships Grants

Dr. Xiaomeng (Mona) Xu

Dr. Xiaomeng (Mona) Xu is a Co-Investigator on 2 ISU Developing Collaborative Partnerships Grants.  The first (PI: Sankara Srinivasan) is a collaboration between researchers (informatics, psychology, and nursing) and industry on the intersection between technology and healthcare.  The team focuses on the utilization of technology in the prevention and management of diabetes.  The second (PI: Danny Xu) is a collaboration between faculty in the College of Pharmacy, College of Arts & Letters, and College of Science and Engineering with a goal of submitting for an NIH Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) grant.  This PREP grant would support the recruitment and training of underrepresented students interested in the biomedical and behavioral sciences and would prepare them to become competent candidates for doctoral programs.

2015 Association for Psychological Science Rising Star

Dr. Xiaomeng (Mona) Xu

The Association for Psychological Science honored Dr. Xiaomeng (Mona) Xu as a 2015 Rising Star.  This designation recognizes “outstanding psychological scientists in the earliest stages of their research career post-Ph.D. whose innovative work has already advanced the field and signals great potential for their continued contributions.” More information is available at:

Biobehavioral Mechanisms of Emotion, Stress, and Health Member

Wong, Maria, Ph.D.

Maria Wong has accepted the invitation to serve as a regular member of NIH study section for the Biobehavioral Mechanisms of Emotion, Stress, and Health area. This prestigious appointment reflects her reputation as a leader in her discipline. Congratulations Maria!

Reciprocity Project

 Aubuchon-Endsley, Nicki, Ph.D.   Brumley, Michele R, Ph.D.

Dr. Nicki Aubuchon-Endsley and Dr. Michele Brumley are working on the Reciprocity Project, which examines the influence of infant-caregiver interactions on offspring socioemotional, motor, sensory, language, and functional developmental trajectories. This project is a collaboration among faculty researchers in Clinical and Experimental Psychology, Occupational and Physical Therapy, and Communication Sciences and Disorders. Graduate and undergraduate students also are involved in the project, which is supported by a Developing Collaborative Partnerships for Building Research and Scholarship grant at ISU.

National Institutes of Health R15 Research Grant

Erin Rasmussen

Dr. Erin Rasmussen was awarded a three-year $400,000 R15 research grant by the National Institutes of Health. The grant will examine the relations among obesity, food insecurity, and delay discounting (a model of impulsive food choice) in women. In addition, Rasmussen's research team will examine the extent to which a mindful eating strategy affects impulsive food choice in this population. This grant also will fund a graduate research assistant and an undergraduate research assistant for three years.

ISU Sleep Study

Wong, Maria, Ph.D.

Dr. Maria Wong is currently conducting a study funded by the National Institute of Health. The title of the study is ISU Sleep Study.  It examined the relationship between sleep and health outcomes. The study is currently looking for families with children between the ages of 8-12. For more information, visit our website, or contact Maria Wong at, 208-228- 5577.

Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health Training Grant

Rieske, Robert. Ph.D.

Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health has awarded Dr. Rieske and the Psychology Clinic a training grant to improve training for future clinical psychologists in the area of intellectual and developmental disabilities.  The Idaho State University Psychology Clinic offers extensive training and promotes the development of core competencies to prepare students for clinical practice. With the grant funds, ISU intends to improve the educational and training experience for future clinical psychologists by providing doctoral-level graduate students with the necessary measures and associated training in order to effectively assess and treat clients that have often been underserved. Their overall goal is to improve training and increase the quality of care for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

See press release:

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