Welcome back! Although the summer might feel like ancient history by now, I hope that it was a restful and productive time for you. As many of you know, summer 2017 was a little different than usual in Weiss Hall, mainly due to all the construction and renovation projects that were going on. One of the more obvious outcomes of the construction is the new plaza outside the building, but we also saw upgrades to various spaces within Weiss, including the Psychology main office, the student organization offices, and some of the classrooms. The HVAC system in most of the building was also replaced – not a trivial task! Over the summer there was also a great deal of progress on construction of TUBRIC, the new brain imaging center located in the basement. The state-of-the-art Siemens 3T MRI scanner was delivered on September 14th, and construction of the center is due to be complete in a few weeks. Stay tuned for more updates on the next phase in the launch of this exciting new interdisciplinary center.
In mid-September I led the first regular departmental meeting of the semester, during which I had the pleasure of announcing all the recent accolades of our students and faculty. The long list of accomplishments included numerous new grants supporting our research laboratories, and many student awards at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Going through this list made me particularly proud of the work that is going on at all levels across the department. That said, we are certainly not “resting on our laurels”. We are always engaged in a process of self-evaluation to ensure that we are meeting student needs across our various programs, and to make sure that the faculty and students in our world-class research laboratories have what they need to succeed. Back in the Spring, we had a visit from a committee of three Chairs from other top Psychology departments around the country, and they took a close look at how we are running our programs. As part of that visit, the committee met with undergraduate and graduate students, and also with every faculty member in the department. They came away with a very positive impression of Psychology at Temple, and gave us some useful advice on tweaks that could make our programs even better. We’ll be going over those suggestions this semester, again with the goal of making sure that we are doing the best we can to offer cutting-edge training in psychological science and that we are ensuring that our graduates leave our programs well prepared for the next stage of their career.
Wishing you all the best for the remainder of the semester, and I hope that you enjoy the articles that we have put together for this issue of the newsletter.