Skip to Main Content
Idaho State University

Previous Department News

Clinical Research Opportunity

It is the mission of the ISU Psychology Clinic to perform clinical research. Currently, researchers are seeking families interested in participating in a clinical trial designed to treat sibling aggression. Families with 4-11 year old siblings who physically fight are encouraged to contact the ISU Psychology Clinic (282-2129) to complete a Phone Intake. Participating families will receive professional services at reduced fees or no cost, depending on eligibility and project completion.

Graduate students in Psychology participated in the ISU Graduate Research Symposium

DeCou, C.R., Lynch, S.M., DeHart, D.D., & Belknap, J. (2016, April). Evaluating the association between childhood sexual abuse and attempted suicide across the lifespan: Findings from a nationwide study of women in jail. Paper presented at the 3rd annual Idaho State University Graduate Research Symposium, Pocatello, Idaho.

          *Top Presentation: Adversity & Resilience, Idaho State University Graduate School: Graduate Research Symposium.

Brown, R., Gibbs, J., Baumgartner, S., Johnson, C., Miller, L., & Staley, C. (April, 2016). Biofeedback as a treatment modality in clinical mental health counseling. Poster presented at the 3rd annual Idaho State University Graduate Research Symposium, Pocatello, Idaho.

          *People’s Choice Award, Idaho State University Graduate School: Graduate Research Symposium


Erin Rasmussen selected as 2015 Outstanding Mentor

Erin Rasmussen

Professor Erin Rasmussen was selected as a 2015 Outstanding Mentor by the Association for Behavior Analysis International on the basis of nominations submitted by current and former ISU students. Dr. Rasmussen was recognized during the 2015 Presidential Address at the annual conference on May 25th in San Antonio, TX.

Recognized Participants of ISU Graduate Research Day

Chris Decou Jennifer McDonald

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.

Michele R. Brumley is guest editor

Michele R. Brumley

Associate Professor of Psychology Dr. Michele R. Brumley, is guest editor of the recent issue of the peer-reviewed journal Developmental Psychobiology. The special issue of the journal that Dr. Brumley compiled is on "Developmental plasticity in the control and functional recovery of motor behavior", which includes research papers and reviews from leading international researchers in pediatric motor control and rehabilitation. Link to this special issue:

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

Joshua K. Swift Ph.D

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.

Rieske, Robert. Ph.D.

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. Maria Wong's research on sleep and substance use gains national and international publicity in January 2015

Wong, Maria, Ph.D.

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.

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

Shannon M. Lynch, Ph.D.

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.
more >

Erin Rasmussen selected as 2015 Outstanding Mentor

Erin Rasmussen

Professor Erin Rasmussen was selected as a 2015 Outstanding Mentor by the Association for Behavior Analysis International on the basis of nominations submitted by current and former ISU students. Dr. Rasmussen was recognized during the 2015 Presidential Address at the annual conference on May 25th in San Antonio, TX.

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:

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.

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.

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.

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!

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:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).  

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.

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.

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.

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.

Psychology Department



Department of Psychology

921 S 8th Ave, Stop 8112

Pocatello ID 83209



Physical/Walk-in Address:
1400 E Terry 
Garrison Hall
Building 63 
4th floor
Main Office Rm 427

Psychology Clinic

(208) 282-2129

(208) 282-5411

Psychology Clinic

921 S 8th Ave, Stop 8021

Pocatello, ID 83209


Physical/Walk-in Address:
1400 E Terry 
Garrison Hall
Building 63 
5th Floor
Reception Rm 533