Newsletter and Announcements

TWU Psychology and Philosophy students at the capital, posing around the
TWU Psychology and Philosophy graduate students and faculty visited the capital on March 27 to discuss state policies relevant to psychology. Photo by Jana Birchum.


Download the 2019-2020 Department of Psychology Year in Review Newsletter today!

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Turning pain into purpose

A group of TWU students found a path to healing following the death of George Floyd when they formed TRIBE: A Black Student Support Group. The new, safe and confidential space allowed students to “celebrate blackness and express themselves fully in community,” as well as to discuss police brutality, racial inequality and the various emotions that would arise.

Dr. Samuel Y. Kim fosters belonging across communities, generations

Assistant Professor and Director of TWU’s School Psychology Specialist Program, Dr. Samuel Y. Kim, is raising awareness and advocating for change within the Korean American community through the mental health YouTube channel "Joon and Dr. Sam," which he co-hosts with friend and counselor Joon Koh. By creating videos and curating resources in English and Korean that cover a range of topics, including life in the U.S., raising children, navigating the Korean American experience and finding a therapist, they aim to destigmatize mental health, help viewers discern good information from bad, and encourage those in need to seek assistance from professionals.

Argyle ISD hires TWU alumnus as director of special education

Last month, the Argyle ISD Board of Trustees approved the hiring of Dr. Mark Ruggles as the district’s new director of special education, a new position starting next school year. He holds a doctoral degree in School Psychology from Texas Woman’s University.

Debra Mollen, PhD, discusses trauma on TV with ABC News

TWU psychology professor Debra Mollen was interviewed for a report on ABC News in Houston about how watching violence played out on TV – for example the footage of the U.S. Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6 – can trigger adverse feelings for those who have previously experienced violence or trauma in their own lives.

Professor Debra Mollen quoted in USA Today article about psychological impact of capitol riot

"We can have physiological responses," said Debra Mollen, Ph.D.,  a psychology professor at Texas Woman's University. "After the riot, one of my former students told me she couldn't get out of bed. I've heard lots of accounts of women I know who have been uncontrollably crying. I've read several accounts of people who vomited, they were so upset and distressed by what they were witnessing."

TWU psychology faculty examine dynamics of bullying in new book

Texas Woman’s University psychology professors Lisa Rosen, Shannon Scott and Samuel Kim recently published “Bullies, Victims, and Bystanders: Understanding Child and Participant Vantage Points.” The book examines the complex systems involved in peer victimization and provides recommendations for bullying prevention and intervention programs.

Sally Stabb discusses anger management tips in 'The Times' article

So often we learn that anger is damaging and that we should minimise it. But anger is neither good nor bad, it’s simply an emotion, and often one that can be used for positive change. "Learning emotional awareness is an important first step," says Sally Stabb, PhD, a psychology professor at Texas Woman's University.

Governor appoints TWU alumna to Continuing Advisory Committee For Special Education

Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Susan Nichols, Ph.D. to the Continuing Advisory Committee for Special Education for a term set to expire on February 1, 2021.  The committee provides policy guidance on special education and related services for children with disabilities in Texas. Nichols is currently serving as the Interim Executive Director at the University of North Texas Kristin Farmer Autism Center in Denton. She received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Texas Woman’s University.

Alumna Sarah Johnson discusses COVID-19 in virtual OSU-Tulsa Townhall

In July, TulsaKids Magazine joined experts from OSU-Tulsa for a Coronavirus Q&A Facebook Live series. In the first session, Dr. Sarah Johnson discussed mental health and relationships during COVID-19. Johnson is a Clinical Assistant Professor and director of the Al Carlozzi Center for Counseling at OSU-Tulsa. She holds a doctorate degree in Counseling Psychology from Texas Woman’s University and is a Licensed Health Service Psychologist in Oklahoma. 

TWU, UNT partner to expand autism assessment access

The Texas Woman’s University Woodcock Institute and Department of Psychology and Philosophy are partnering with the University of North Texas Kristin Farmer Autism Center to create a new joint clinic that will increase access to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) assessment services across the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

Historic individual gift to TWU triples in value to $25 million

What began five years ago as Texas Woman’s University’s largest gift in history from world-renowned psychologist and psychometrician Richard W. Woodcock, Ph.D., will more than triple — reaching nearly $25 million in three years. 

Sam Kim authors Korea Town News column for parents of children coping with COVID-19 depression

"An important question that is being asked a lot these days is how this pandemic will affect children, especially in terms of children's psychological well-being and education," writes Samuel Y. Kim, assistant professor of school psychology at TWU, in a column for Korea Town News. Kim provides steps that parents can take to relieve their children's anxiety and help them succeed in school.

Psychology alumna Cynthia Nevels is providing free meals to those in need

Soulgood founder and head chef Cynthia Nevels was featured in Dallas Innovates for her work providing free meals to Dallas communities during COVID-19, from people who have lost their jobs to Dallas ISD students. Nevels earned two bachelor's degrees from TWU, majoring in both accounting and psychology.

Palomares-Fernandez featured in DFW Child article, 'How To Help Your Child Deal with a Traumatic Situation'

Ronald Palomares-Fernandez, Ph.D., licensed psychologist and associate professor at Texas Woman’s University, was recently featured in the DFW Child article, "How To Help Your Child Deal with a Traumatic Situation." 

"Being able to talk openly with your child, and having them feel comfortable and willing to talk openly with you, is a skill that should be developed and nurtured,” said Palomares-Fernandez.

John Terrizzi discusses the science and psychology behind disgust, disease avoidance

In the most recent edition of Greater Good Magazine, published bu UC Berkeley, Dr. John Terrizzi writes about how the current pandemic divides us. "In our fight against COVID-19, we are walking a tightrope. On one hand, we must engage in social distancing and limit social interaction so that we can mitigate the spread of this disease. On the other hand, we need to recognize that these steps can evoke some of the ugliest social behavior in humans, splitting us into antagonistic camps," said Terrizzi.

TWU alumna, religious trauma therapist Dr. Kathryn Keller featured in Dallas Observer profile

The kind of trauma specific to religious indoctrination isn’t, for most people, a frequently occurring topic of discussion — except when a sect is discovered with sister wives or a former Scientologist goes rogue with a tell-all — but it's the subject of Kathryn Keller’s lifework.

Along with business partner and fellow TWU alumna, Dr. Justine Kallaugher, Keller is co-owner of Dallas Therapy Collective. Keller earned a doctorate in counseling psychology from Texas Woman’s University. Now she specializes in trauma and religious and spiritual abuse.

Dr. Ron Palomares-Fernandez discusses Texas pro-bono telehealth initiative in response to COVID-19

Assistant professor Samuel Y. Kim elected president of the Korean American Coalition DFW chapter

TWU assistant professor and director of the specialist in school psychology program, Samuel Y. Kim, Ph.D., LP, LSSP, NCSP, was recently elected president of the Korean American Coalition-DFW Chapter. The non-profit, non-partisan organization works to engage Korean Americans in civic activities such as voter registration drives and providing assistance with citizenship applications.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Kim said, “as a second-generation Korean American who majored in psychology, I have a special interest in the mental health of Korean Americans in the United States. I look forward to helping you not only as a Korean, but also as a member of our community.” Read more about Kim's inauguration, or listen to his interview with a local radio station.

Counseling psychology doctoral students published in SAW WomanView newsletter

Congratulations to counseling psychology doctoral students Meredith Higgins, B.S., Madison Hurley, B.A., Marijo Villano, B.S., Kathy Torres, M.Ed., Allison Comiskey, M.A., Abigail Baird, M.S., and professor Sally D. Stabb, Ph.D., who were published in the latest edition of WomanView, the newsletter for the Section for the Advancement of Women (SAW) Society of Counseling Psychology. Their project, "Ending Period Poverty: An Advocacy Example," illustrated the need and successfully advocated for students’ unrestricted access to menstrual products in campus restrooms.

TWU's Wendi Johnson, PhD, and Amy Skinner weigh in on supporting students who are moms

Associate professor Wendi L. Johnson, PhD, and fourth year school psychology doctoral student Amy Skinner discuss the difficulties facing student moms and supporting student moms in the classroom in a new Faculty Focus article about effective classroom management.

Psychology student Kashmiere Culberson shares her day-to-day experiences in a world not built for her needs

TWU psychology student Kashmiere Culberson was born without arms into a world not built for her needs. She's now sharing her strength in adapting through videos inspiring thousands online. Next year, Kashmiere will graduate from Texas Woman's University with a degree in psychology and a perspective that no textbook can teach.  

Psychology professor shares passion for helping mental illness patients

Associate professor and director of TWU’s counseling psychology master's program, Claudia Porras Pyland, Ph.D., knew from an early age that she wanted to become a psychologist. 

Professor Linda Rubin acts as consultant for musical about family struggling with mental illness

The new seriocomedic musical 'Next to Normal' explores a family's struggle with mental illness. Music Theater of Denton co-directors Sienna Riehle and Benjamin Brown connected with Linda Rubin, Ph.D., a TWU professor of psychology, to understand everything from the symptoms of bipolar disorder to the typical treatments. Riehle and Brown credit Rubin for breaking down the treatments and medicines referenced in the script. Performances are 7 p.m. on July 12-13 & July 19-20 and 2 p.m. July 14 & 21. Music Theatre of Denton will host a talk-back following the July 13 performance featuring Rubin.

Professor Christian Hart, Ph.D., interviewed in NPR story 'Big Little Lies: The Art of Being Duped'

TWU professor of psychology Christian Hart, Ph.D., weighed in on fraud and con artists in the NPR newscast, "Big Little Lies: The Art of Being Duped," which aired June 26 on multiple NPR stations across the nation. 

Christian Hart, Ph.D., authors Psychology Today article, "Why is my Child Lying?"

"...While all children learn to lie, the socialization they are exposed to at home and at school influences the degree to which they practice lying. All children lie, and trying to stamp out lying altogether may be a fool’s errand. Parents may be well-advised to accept that their kids lie, and focus their efforts on shaping the frequency and types of lies that their children tell," said Christian L. Hart, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology and Director of the Psychological Science program at Texas Woman’s University.

John Terrizzi, Ph.D., leads local discussion on prejudice in library's cultural appreciation series

The Nature of Seeing, Part 2 of the Cultural Appreciation Series, will be held at Emily Fowler Central Library at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 8. Led by John Terrizzi, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at TWU, the discussion will focus on prejudice and how it forms naturally in humans.

Debra Mollen co-chairs APA guidelines for girls and women, TWU alumni contribute

The American Psychological Association (APA) published the revised APA Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Girls and Women. Debra Mollen, professor in the TWU Department of Psychology and Philosophy, along with colleagues Sharon Lamb and Lillian Comas-Diaz, co-chaired the working group that consisted of more than 40 contributors, including several alumni of the TWU Counseling Psychology MA and Doctoral programs (Dena Abbott, Sonia Carrizales, Justine Kallaugher,  Jennifer Mootz, Noelany Pelc, Angela Salzmann, Lauren Woolley, Sapna Patel and Natasha Shukla). Dr. Roberta Nutt, TWU Professor Emeritus, was one of the three co-chairs of the original APA Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Girls and Women published in 2007.

Women Who Lead: Laryn Kropik (BS '19)

Laryn Kropik discovered her creative side while struggling with depression and fell in love with art. This led her to pursue a degree in psychology, pre-occupational therapy, with hopes to heal future patients physically and mentally through occupational therapy and art.

TWU professor and chair Shannon Scott, PhD, featured in DRC cloudy weather article

The Denton Record-Chronicle interviewed TWU Psychology and Philosophy professor and chair, Shannon Scott, Ph.D., for a recent article about cloudy weather and its impact on mood.

"When spring arrives with better weather, most people have a higher mood, better memory and a broader cognitive style, especially when compared with the poorer weather in winter, studies show.

'This year, by this point, we’ve typically had that weather shift,' Scott said. “Some people may be experiencing a mismatch of what we expected to feel and what we are actually feeling.'"

Meet recent psychology grad Alexander Adegbembo

Alexander Adegbembo and his family, having arrived in the US in early 2011, are a picturesque example of the opportunity and life-changing fortune of a new life in the United States as immigrants.

“My case is like winning the lottery,” he said. Quite literally.

TWU school psychology alumna named Abilene Christian college dean

Jennifer Shewmaker, Ph.D., who earned her doctorate in school psychology from TWU, was recently named dean of the College of Education and Human Services at Abilene Christian University. She is a nationally certified school psychologist and author of Sexualized Media Message and Our Children: Teaching Kids to be Smart Critics and Consumers.

Psychology student Sandra Moreno leads by registering voters and mobilizing her community

She wasn’t even old enough to vote in 2017, but when TWU psychology major Sandra Moreno was in high school, she mobilized a force strong enough to impact a school board election. "When I first did this, I was timid. But I knew I had to do something out of my comfort zone. And I knew I wouldn’t be at peace if I didn’t do this – and nothing changed."

Page last updated 4:31 PM, May 25, 2021