Dear Alumni and Friends:
It is my great pleasure to introduce you to the inaugural alumni newsletter of the University of Toronto’s Psychology Department and, at the same time, to our newly launched alumni website.
The goal of this newsletter, and that of our new alumni website, is to connect with Psychology alumni, to recognize the work that you have done and are currently doing, and reciprocally, to keep you updated on Department news and current events. Alumni are an essential part of the U of T community and it is one of our priorities to reach out to our alumni, to include you in what we are doing and to provide you with an opportunity to give back, should you wish to do so.
In this newsletter, you will read about recent and upcoming alumni events. You will hear about fellow alumni, learn about new faculty we've recruited, and read about our excellent staff. You will discover how to take part in programs designed to provide our undergraduate students with sound career advice. Read this newsletter to find out more about us and about your fellow graduates.
We welcome you and would love to hear from you! If you would like to comment on the newsletter, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Backpack to Briefcase (b2B) Event
On March 5, 2014, the Psychology Department, with Arts & Science Alumni Relations, hosted its very first Backpack to Briefcase (b2B) Career Panel. Students were invited to attend a panel discussion featuring alumni from the Psychology undergraduate programs offered by U of T. Under the capable monitoring of Caitlin Burton, herself a Psychology undergraduate alumna and current graduate student, the panel spoke in turn about their current careers, the steps they took to get to where they are, and how their experiences as a Psychology undergraduate student contributed to their current success. Following an active question period, participating students had an opportunity to mingle and chat individually with panel members. Refreshments were served and enjoyed as well.
For information and more photos from this event, visit http://www.alumni.artsci.utoronto.ca/psych-career-panel/. If you would like to participate in future b2B events, go to http://www.alumni.artsci.utoronto.ca/b2B/ to find out how.
Career Talk for Psychology Undergraduates
In late February 2014, former Psychology student and current Career Educator with U of T`s Career Centre, Candice Stoliker, gave a talk to Psychology undergraduates on navigating the career world equiped with a psychology degree. Her talk included advice on how to access the work world, insight into what employers are looking for, the transferable skills Psychology student develop and how to promote them, and suggested next steps for students to take while completing, and upon completion, of their degree, including post-graduate and professional development opportunities.
The highlight of the talk was when Candice and her two guest speakers, Rob Mackenzie and Lauren Drvaric, also graduates from the Psychology Department, offered details and perspective on their own careers and on how their undergraduate Psychology degree featured in the different paths that they took. As with the b2B event, students had ample opportunity to ask questions, share their own experiences, and learn more.
Future Alumni Events
The Psychology Department plans to continue offering more opportunities for our undergraduate students to connect with graduates who have gone before them. Working with both Arts & Science Alumni Relations and the Career Centre, we are excited about these future plans. Student mentoring and job shadowing are just a small part of what we hope to offer in 2014-15 and beyond. If you are interested in volunteering to be part of any future initiatives, visit http://www.alumni.artsci.utoronto.ca/engagement-opportunities/.
Alumni are welcome to attend our Psychology Department talks and seminars. At this time of year, these are infrequent, but starting in September we will be offering a full selection of talks on a variety of topics. For details on our events and speaker series, visit our Events website at http://home.psych.utoronto.ca/news-events/events.htm. And if you would like to be added to our seminar listserv to be sent email notice of upcoming Events, just send an email to email@example.com with your request.
2013-2014 has been an extremely busy year for the Psychology Department, a trend that promises to continue over the coming years. Five new Faculty members were hired this year and we are very excited to welcome them. Christopher Honey joined the Department in January 2014. Chris, a cognitive neuroscientist, was born and raised in southern Africa and came to us by way of Indiana University and Princeton. Award winning lecturer, cognitive scientist John Vervaeke, a longtime instructor for our Department, has been hired as a lecturer with a shared appointment with Psychology and Cognitive Science. Daphna Buchsbaum, whose research focus is cognitive development, is arriving from Berkeley in July 2014 and in May 2014, Dirk Bernhardt-Walther comes on board as a computational neuroscientist. We also welcome social psychology professor Elizabeth Page-Gould, who is making the move to St. George campus in July 2014.
Sadly, this year also saw the loss of one of our longest serving Faculty members, Professor Douglas Creelman. Doug joined our faculty in 1964 and has been Professor Emeritus since 1999, continuing to teach first year seminar courses until his death in February 2014. He was also curator of the Psychology Museum, now a virtual presence on our website.
Our Faculty and students continue to garner an impressive array of awards and contribute to ground breaking psychological research. To mention just a few: William Cunningham received the IUPsyS Young Investigator’s Award (Basic Science) from the Milde International Union of Psychological Science, Morgan Barense has won the McDonnell Scholar Award in Understanding Human Cognition, a prestigious award that was given to only eight early-stage researchers worldwide, and Nicholas Rule won the International Social Cognition Network (ISCON) 2013 Early Career Award.
Check out more on our News website at http://home.psych.utoronto.ca/news-events/News.htm.
Lisa Norton graduated from the University of Toronto in 2000 with an Honours BSc double major in Psychology and Sociology with a special interest in Criminology and Psychology. She is currently employed full-time with North York General Hospital’s Mental Health and Justice Treatment and Support Services Program as an Intensive Case Manager/Court Support Worker. She also works on a part-time basis with Sherbourne Health Centre’s Health Bus Program as an outreach worker to the homeless.
While working on her undergraduate degree Lisa volunteered with The Hincks-Dellcrest Centre prior to being hired on as a part-time employee. She worked as a Research Assistant with U of T’s Occupational Health department, Psychology department and with CAMH’s Children’s Genetic Program where they were looking for genetic markers in children with conduct disorder. She was also employed through the SEED program for the summer with CAMH in a research capacity.
In 2001 Lisa began to work full-time as a Research Assistant at CAMH in the Mood Disorders Clinic and also worked part-time with Mt. Sinai Hospital, again in a research capacity. In 2003 she accepted a position as a Case Manager with the Canadian Mental Health Association before moving into her current position with North York General Hospital.
Lisa was one of the alumni who volunteered her time to participate in the March 2014 Backpack to Briefcase event. Undergraduates in attendance were eager to ask her questions and speak with her after the event. The Department thanks Lisa for her participation and for giving back.
For more alumni profiles, visit http://home.psych.utoronto.ca/alumni/profiles.htm.
ASHLEY WAGGONER DENTON
Ashley Waggoner Denton is both a Faculty member and an alumna. Ashley received her Honours BSc from the University of Toronto in 2006, where she was a part of the Psychology research specialist program. She completed her thesis on automatic social comparison processes under the supervision of Dr. William Cunningham. She then attended graduate school at Indiana University and received her doctorate in Social Psychology in July 2012, just before starting as a Lecturer back in the Department where she fell in love with psychology in the first place!
Her research focuses on impression formation processes, including the role of gossip in how people form impressions. She also conducts pedagogical research, examining issues such as the role that peers and instructors play in influencing students’ online help-seeking behaviour. But her true passion lies in teaching psychology to others, and she teaches a wide range of courses within the Department, including Introductory Psychology and Statistics.
Tamara Ferguson has been the Department’s Undergraduate Administrator since October 2001. Tamara graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Arts from both the University of Western Ontario and York University in 1999 and started working at the University of Toronto in August 2000.
Tamara started her U of T career at Innis College, where she worked for the Cinema Studies Program, before moving to the Department of Psychology the following year. During her time as the Undergraduate Administrator, Tamara has enjoyed working with the faculty and staff, which is primarily why she is still here. "The faculty are really down-to-earth people, and the staff are great to work with. It would be hard to leave if I ever had to."
While working in a department with a large student population has its challenges, Tamara admits that interacting with the students is often a highlight of her day. "We have such a wonderfully diverse population of students and, although it's hard to get to know many of them personally, I really cherish some of the relationships that have developed over the years. Some of our students still keep in touch with me and every once in a while I am treated to coffee or lunch and an update on their lives. It's great catching up and finding out what some of our alumni are doing after graduating!"
While not at work, Tamara and her husband Andrew stay busy raising their three children, ages 5, 8, and 11.
Initiatives to provide our undergraduate students with increased resources and information on career options and guidance have increased University-wide as well as within our Department. Thanks to those alumni who have already contributed their time and experience to the events we have hosted. Perhaps you, too, will want to become involved. Visit http://www.alumni.artsci.utoronto.ca/engagement-opportunities/.
If you would like to add your profile to our website, please email Nora Sellers at firstname.lastname@example.org and let her know.
With a diverse and internationally recognized faculty, first-rate laboratory facilities and a tradition of cutting-edge, collaborative research in an inspiring intellectual environment, U of T's Department of Psychology has been a top choice for people pursuing a career in psychological research for over a century.
The combined expertise of more than 60 full-time and 20 cross-appointed faculty, many of whom are based at affiliated hospitals and research institutes, spans every major area of psychology, reflecting an impressive range of approaches to the study of mind, brain and behaviour. The department has complemented core strengths in learning, memory and attention with expertise in social cognition and now covers all areas of cognitive neuroscience.
Faculty are at the forefront of examining the influence that cultural, gender and age distinctions among groups have on an individual's understanding of the world, the pivotal role that emotion and meaning play in cognition, the neural substrates and neurotransmitters that influence learning and memory, and the cultural traditions that moderate these processes. They also have a proven track record of translating their important fundamental discoveries into insights that have a direct impact on human health, development and wellbeing.
Consider making a gift to support education and research in this core scientific discipline. Donate online at https://donate.utoronto.ca/psychology.