As we begin to head into the summer, I have been reflecting on a busy year for the Department of Psychology and our various programs. One of the main projects that we accomplished this year was the writing of a “self-study” document in which we took stock of our strengths, noted areas for improvement, and mapped out plans for the future. At the undergraduate level, some of the strengths that we highlighted included our University and Psychology Honors courses, the presence of a full time advisor in the department, our new Careers in Psychology course, our team-taught Introduction to Psychology course, the wide selection of Capstone courses offered, new opportunities for advanced statistical training, and multiple avenues for research laboratory, practicum, and internship placements. In addition to these highlights, one particularly exciting initiative is our new 4 + 1 accelerated Bachelors/Masters program that continues to generate a great deal of interest from students (and parents too!).
At the graduate level, our students continue to excel. We recently counted up all the journal article publications that our doctoral students had been involved as authors or co-authors on over the past five years. The total came to 682, a level of productivity that is truly remarkable and is a testament to the strength of our graduate program. We ended the year with the inaugural graduate student poster session, at which a number of doctoral students presented posters from their ongoing research projects. The session was a big success as measured by the turnout, the lively discussions, and the amount of pizza eaten (28 trays). Based on this initial experience, we hope to make this a regular event!
Looking across these highlights, I am very proud of our accomplishments but I also know that the department and our programs are nothing without the students and faculty who are working day in and day out to promote excellence inside and outside our classrooms and research laboratories.
In wrapping up the year, I also want to send my congratulations to all our 2017 graduates. I was happy to hear the “shout out” to Psychology from Provost Epps during her undergraduate Commencement remarks, in which she noted that Psychology had the most graduates out of all programs at Temple! We also had a strong presence at the graduate commencement ceremony, where a number of our doctoral students received their degrees before moving on to a variety of postdoctoral positions at other Universities.
For those of you returning in the Fall, when you come back you’ll see a number of improvements in and around Weiss Hall. The new heating and air conditioning system will be operational, and the plaza and steps outside the building will have been replaced. We will have new upgrades space to the 6th floor, including improvements to the entryway and the student organization spaces. Starting this Fall, the 6th floor will be home to the four student organizations across Psychology and Neuroscience: Psi Chi, the Psychology Majors Association, Nu Rho Psi, and the Undergraduate Neuroscience Society. Finally, over the coming year we will be opening the Temple University Behavioral Research and Imaging Center (TUBRIC) in the basement of Weiss Hall. This exciting new center will be an interdisciplinary hub of research and will be a very important addition to our research facilities. So — a lot to look forward to! In the meantime, all the best for a restful but productive summer.