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Psychology in the News

Matt Cooper, Jess Hay, Tim Hulsey, and Greg Stuart receive awards at 2018 Chancellor's Honors Banquet

Once again, Psychology faculty were well represented among the winners at the annual Chancellor’s Honors Banquet: 

· Matt Cooper received the 2018 Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year

· Jess Hay received a 2018 Research and Creative Achievement Professional Promise Award

· Tim Hulsey received a 2018 Excellence in Teaching Award

· Greg Stuart received the 2018 Alexander Prize

Congratulations to our outstanding faculty award recipients!

Descriptions of the awards and the recipients are below:

2018 Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year

 The Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year award honors a faculty member who has shown outstanding commitment to mentoring undergraduate research students.

Matthew Cooper
Imagine performing cutting-edge research, being published in peer-reviewed journals, and presenting your findings at national conferences. It may sound like the life of a successful professor or graduate student, but it’s the experience of dozens of undergraduate students mentored by Matthew Cooper, associate professor of psychology and associate chair of the Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program. Cooper leads a behavioral neuroscience laboratory that uses animal models of social stress to better understand the biological basis of stress-related mental illness. Undergraduates learn laboratory techniques, discuss experimental design, and collaborate with PhD students. Over the past 10 years, Cooper’s students have co-authored 44 national conference presentations and 15 peer-reviewed articles. They have received prestigious scholarships and internships, and many have gone on to medical or graduate school.

2018 Research and Creative Achievement—Professional Promise

Research and Creative Achievement — Professional Promise awards honor faculty members who are early in their careers for excellence in research, scholarship, and creative achievement.

Jessica Hay
Jessica Hay, associate professor of psychology, works to find how babies learn language so quickly. She studies children across early development and has uncovered details about their ability to map sounds and words with meanings. Her findings have influenced her field with the suggestion that infants learn language by taking advantage of regularities in their environment, which in turn helps to organize infants’ perceptual systems in a way that supports subsequent learning. Her work extends to infants and young children with hearing loss, who often have a significant delay in language development. Hay’s research has received about $3 million in support from the National Institutes for Health, an unprecedented level of funding for a junior faculty member. Considered a rising star in her field, she is involved with a number of big data projects involving multiple labs.

2018 Excellence in Teaching

Excellence in Teaching is bestowed by the Office of the Chancellor and the Teaching Council of the Faculty Senate to honor outstanding work in the classroom.

Tim Hulsey
Tim Hulsey, associate professor of psychology and associate provost of Honors and Scholars Programs, has the unenviable position of teaching required classes, including many that are unpopular. But he has successfully challenged misconceptions time and again. One student in his psychoanalytic theory class left not only having enjoyed the course but also seeking out more opportunities to learn from him. “His passion for the field is contagious,” she explained. Hulsey’s classes are filled with intense discussion that fosters growth in students. He demonstrates an exceptional capacity to convey complex information in a way that is digestible to students, carefully choosing content that is relevant and contemporary. He also demonstrates a long-term commitment to mentoring students—helping them through stressful times and guiding them to a path of success after graduation.

2018 Alexander Prize

The Alexander Prize is named for former UT president and now US Senator Lamar Alexander and his wife, Honey. It recognizes superior teaching and distinguished scholarship.

Greg Stuart
Greg Stuart, College of Arts and Sciences Excellence Professor and Sally and Alvin Beaman Professor in Psychology, is changing the world with his research and changing lives with his teaching. He performs innovative clinical research into the prevention and treatment of family violence, with a particular emphasis on how substance abuse affects intimate partner violence. He is the only researcher in the world studying genetic predictors of batterer intervention outcomes, an area so transformational that he has worked on projects funded by more than 40 grants equaling more than $25 million. His hope is that this research will lead to tailored interventions and a safer world. Stuart is also a dedicated and passionate teacher. As one of his students put it, “Dr. Stuart is a phenomenal teacher, and I don’t think that he knows it. One thing he possesses that other professors don’t have is the ability to truly listen to what students say during class.” Stuart is a gifted mentor with a lengthy and successful record of mentoring both students and colleagues. He’s also a reviewer for 67 scientific journals, the editor of one, and a member of numerous editorial boards. He finds time to provide an extraordinary amount of service to his department, the university, and the profession.


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