Fall 2023 Newsletter

September 27, 2023

Dear Psychology Community,

Welcome to the fall quarter!  I hope you are all doing well and excited for the new academic year.  I am particularly thrilled to welcome so many new faculty and students.  Joining us this year are Assistant Professors Julissa Muñiz, David Menendez, and Danny Rahal (we will need to wait one more year for the arrival of Siwar Hasan-Aslih, who is set to join the department in the Fall of 2024).  The new faculty bring exciting programs of research to the department that will build upon our strengths in new and important ways, and their classes will greatly expand the breadth and depth of our curriculum.  I am also excited to welcome 10 new PhD students, including two students in social (Ashlee Brown, Betsy Paredes Centeno), three students in cognitive (Melissa Chen, Ashley Rosenfeld, Barry Yao), and five students in developmental (Tobi Britton, Sam Fong, Henry Pereira Santos, Felicity Gutierrez, Jordi Sterett)!

We have one of the largest departments on campus, with approximately 2500 undergraduates across two majors, 68 PhD students, 10 staff, and 37 faculty and lecturers.  It takes an enormous amount of time and effort to make it all work, and I am so appreciative of everything that everyone does to help make it happen.  I want to give a big thanks to our fabulous staff, as well as the many faculty, post-docs, and PhD students who serve the department and university in so many important ways.  My goal as chair is to ensure that the department is successful in its mission while ensuring that everyone is supported and well-positioned to thrive in their personal scholarly, pedagogical, and service endeavors.  With such a large department, and so many uncertainties, this can be a challenge, but it is something that I know we can accomplish by working together.  It is worth noting that despite having fewer than 5% of senate faculty, our department is home to more than 12% of majors on campus!  This year, in light of campus goals and our own priorities, I hope to examine ways of bolstering our curriculum to further promote and expand the experiences and success of our students.

I also have some good news.  As many of you know, we will be conducting a search this year for a new Assistant or Associate Professor in Quantitative Psychology (https://recruit.ucsc.edu/JPF01612), with interviews tentatively planned for the first few weeks of winter quarter.  Please be on the lookout for more information about that.  This will be an important search for us, and I want to thank you all in advance for your active involvement and support.  

Finally, many thanks to everyone who responded to the newsletter survey.  As always, I was blown away by your amazing accomplishments, only a small sliver of which I know are highlighted below. 

Wishing you all the best in the new academic year!




Graduate Student Milestones


Claudia Castaneda: Uncovering the Hidden Meaning of Canny Consumption Practices: Links to Indigenous Views about the Natural World

Andrew Dayton: Microscale to Millennia: Fractal Processes of Collaboration among Cherokee Children and Families in Community

Dissertation Proposals

Mercedes Oliva: Creativity in the Face of Examples, as Explained by Executive Function

Audrey Morrow: The Role of Alpha Oscillations in Estimating and Discriminating Peri-Second Durations

Stephanie Tam Rosas: Tracking Transformative Change: A Case Study of a School’s Journey to Disrupt Its Own White Supremacy

Qualifying Exams

Dana-Lis Bittner: Forgetting, Memory, and Metacognition in the 21st Century

Daniel Copulsky: How Do Individuals Develop Nonmonogamous Identities Integrating Narratives of “Orientation” and “Practice”

Gloriana Lopez: Intersectional Experiences and the Role of Digital Counterspaces on the Social Well-being and Identity Development of Latinx LGBTQ+ Individuals

Ghazaleh Mahzouni: The Multisensory Mind: A Review of Perception, Attention, and Mental Imagery from a Multisensory Perspective

Ryan Pili: Flexible Speech Production in Response to Adverse Communicative Conditions

New Positions

Graduate Student Sam Hughes (Advisor: Phil Hammack) will be starting a tenure-track position as Assistant Professor of Psychology at Emporia State University.

Graduate Student Roxy Davis (Advisor: Craig Haney) just started a full-time career staff position at the UCSC Teaching and Learning Center as an Education Grants and Evaluation Specialist for HSI Grants.

UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow Karen Arcos (Advisor: Ben Storm) will be transitioning to a Library Outreach Manager role at a nonprofit called Braille Institute of America. 

Honors, Awards, and Grants

Professor Jeannie Fox Tree received the 2022-23 Martin M. Chemers Award for Outstanding Research which recognizes a senior faculty member with a solid national and international reputation in their field whose research has had a substantial cumulative impact on their discipline.

Graduate Student Daniel Rodriguez Ramirez was awarded a California State University Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program Fellowship. His mentor is Associate Professor Danielle Kohfeldt, who is an alum of the social psych PhD program.

Graduate Student Daniel Rodriguez Ramirez was awarded a Research Grant-in-Aid from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (APA Div. 9), a Conference Scholarship and Travel Grant from the Society for Community Research and Action, SCRA (APA Div. 27), and a STARS Scholarship (UCSC Community Connections).

Graduate Student Matt Evans was awarded a travel grant to attend the International Conference of Music Perception and Cognition in Tokyo.

Graduate Student Vanessa Oviedo was awarded the J. Frank Yates Conference Award through the Psychonomic Society.

Graduate Student Sylvane Vaccarino Ruiz received the Society for Community Research and Action’s Community Psychology Graduate Student Award for Promotion of Anti-Racist Praxis during the 2021-2023 awards season.

Assistant Professor Liv Hoversten was a Co-PI on UCSC OR Seed Funding for Center-Scale Initiative: “The Comparative Language Sciences Center (CLaS).”

Assistant Professor David Menendez was selected as a Young Scholar for the Jacobs Foundation Conference.

Graduate Student Ghazaleh Mahzouni was awarded the STARS Re-entry Scholarship

Assistant Professor Jeremy Yamashiro will be joining the Executive Board for the UCSC Institute for Social Transformation and was also nominated by the nominations committee of the Memory Studies Association to run for election to the society’s Executive Committee.

Assistant Professor Hannah Raila received a grant from the UCSC COR Large Grant Program to develop a VR intervention for subclinical difficulty discarding possessions.

Assistant Professor Hannah Raila received an honorarium for her mentorship working with undergraduate Annabel Bouwer who received a 2023 UCSC Chancellor’s Research Award.

Assistant Professor Julissa Muñiz has been selected to be a part of the inaugural Social Science Early Career Faculty cohort through the Center for Reimagining Leadership at UCSC.

Leadership Roles, Community Engagement, Public-Facing Scholarship, News Media, and More

Professor Heather Bullock was elected president of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI).

During 2021-2023, Professor Margarita Azmitia served as co-chair of the APA task force on the promotion and retention of faculty of color. The final reports have been released, and include the full report, an executive summary, and a blueprint for administrators with recommendations.

Assistant Professor David Menendez co-created the “Visualizing Viruses” exhibit at the Museum of Natural History at the University of Michigan. Some information about the exhibit can be found here.

As part of her new position at the Braille Institute of America, UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow Karen Arcos will be helping the library to offer free, accessible materials to those with print disabilities, and the library would like to expand membership! Click here to learn more. 

Graduate Student Michael Vallerga and Professor Eileen Zurbriggen contributed a blog post for SPSP’s Character and Context Blog titled “The red pill, incels, and the perils of traditional masculinity.”

Graduate Student Daniel Rodriguez Ramirez was featured in the UCSC Psychology Department’s DEI Spotlight.

Assistant Professor Jeremy Yamashiro sat on the Academic Job Search Materials Panel for the DEI Committee of the Psychology Department at Princeton University. These annual workshops, attended mostly by graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, focus on preparing first-generation college students, BIPOC scholars, and scholars from other underrepresented groups for the academic job market. In recent years, these online panels have been open to the public, with the most recent session serving over 400 research trainees from dozens of universities.

Assistant Professor Jeremy Yamashiro served as the representative cognitive psychologist at an invited roundtable discussion on interdisciplinarity in memory studies at MSA in Newcastle, UK.

Assistant Professor Hannah Raila was featured in the news for her work covering the influence of interaction with pet dogs on distress (e.g., UC Berkeley’s Greater Good, PsyPost)

Research published by former Graduate Student Joel Schooler and Professor Ben Storm on the effect of the internet on memory was featured in an article on KQED.

New Publications

Emeritus Professor Bill Domhoff published an updated version of the 2022 edition of his book titled “Who Rules America? The corporate rich, white nationalist republicans, and inclusionary democrats, and he wrote a new Prologue for it as well.”

Emeritus Professor Thomas Pettigrew completed his sixth book “Is American Racism Declining? A concise assessment.”

Assistant Professor Jeremy Yamashiro and Graduate Student Evelyn Pérez-Amparán published a new paper in Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition titled “Memory media design shapes perceived temporal distance of depicted historical events: Color vs. black and white photographs.”

Professor Regina Langhout and Graduate Students Christine Rosales and David Gordon published a new paper in Journal of Diversity in Higher Education titled “‘Success’ in the borderlands: Measuring success for underrepresented and misrepresented college students.”

Graduate Student Daniel Rodriguez-Ramirez and Professor Regina Langhout published a new paper in American Journal of Community Psychology titled “Seeking utopia: Psychologies’ waves toward decoloniality.”

Assistant Professor Hannah Hausman published a new paper in Journal of Intelligence titled “Delayed metacomprehension judgments do not directly improve learning from texts.”

Assistant Professor Hannah Hausman published a new paper in Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied titled “Testing effects for self-generated versus experimenter-provided questions.”

Graduate Student Audrey Morrow and Assistant Professor Jason Samaha published a new paper in Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience titled “Evaluating the evidence for the functional inhibition account of alpha-band oscillations during preparatory attention.”

Assistant Professor Liv Hoversten published a new paper in Journal of Memory and Language titled “Interference between non-native languages during trilingual language production.”

Assistant Professor Liv Hoversten published a new paper in Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance titled “Parafoveal processing in bilingual readers: Semantic access within bot not across languages.”

Assistant Professor Danny Rahal published a new paper in Psychoneuroendocrinology titled “Positive and negative emotion are associated with generalized transcriptional activation of immune cells.”

Assistant Professor Danny Rahal published a new paper in Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology titled “Racial discrimination moderates associations between sociopolitical discussions and internalizing problems among racially minoritized college students.”

Assistant Professor Danny Rahal published a new paper in Stress & Health titled “Associations between emotion reactivity to daily interpersonal stress and acute social-evaluative stress during late adolescence.”

Assistant Professor David Menendez published a new paper in Cognitive Science titled “Some correct strategies are better than others: Individual differences in strategy evaluations are related to strategy adoption.”

Assistant Professor David Menendez published a new paper in Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied titled “Like mother, like daughter: Adults’ judgments about genetic inheritance.”

Assistant Professor David Menendez published a new paper in Educational Research for Policy and Practice titled “Timelines or time cycles: Exposure to different spatial representations of time influences sketching and diagram preferences.”

Assistant Professor David Menendez published a new paper in Journal of Experimental Child Psychology titled “Detailed bugs or bugging details? The influence of perceptual richness across elementary school years.”

Professor Phil Hammack co-edited a special issue of Current Opinion in Psychology titled “Sexual & gender diversity in the 21st century.”

Professor Phil Hammack published a new paper in Current Opinion in Psychology titled “Sexual and gender diversity in the twenty-first century.”

Assistant Professor Megan Boudewyn published a new paper in Cognitive Neuroscience titled “Half-listening or zoned out? It’s about the same: The impact of attentional state on word processing in context.”

UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow Karen Arcos, Assistant Professor Hannah Hausman, and Professor Ben Storm published a new paper in Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology titled “Are you sure?: Examining the potential benefits of truth-checking as a learning activity.”

Graduate Student Brenda Gutierrez and Professor Campbell Leaper published a new paper in Sexuality & Culture titled “Linking ambivalent sexism to violence-against-women attitudes and behaviors: A three-level meta-analytic review.”

Graduate Students Claudia Castañeda and Tess Shirefley and Professor Maureen Callanan published a new paper in Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology titled “Early strengths in science: Young children’s conversations about nature in Latine families.”

Professor Maureen Callanan published a new paper in Frontiers in Psychology titled “Science in stories: Implications for Latine children’s science learning through home-based language practices.”

Professor Ben Storm and Assistant Professor Jeremy Yamashiro co-edited a new special issue in Applied Cognitive Psychology titled “Rethinking cognition in a digital environment.”

Assistant Professor Jeremy Yamashiro published a new paper in Memory & Cognition titled “Simulating conversations: A Markov chain model of a central speaker’s mnemonic influence over a group of communicating listeners.”

Professor Ben Storm, Graduate Student Dana-Lis Bittner, and Assistant Professor Jeremy Yamashiro published a new paper in the volume The Remaking of Memory in the Age of Social Media and the Internet titled “The changing dynamics and consequences of memory retrieval in the age of the Internet.”

Assistant Professor Hannah Raila published a new paper in Journal of Emotion and Psychopathology titled “Compulsively seeking certainty: Clarifying the association between intolerance of uncertainty and compulsion severity in OCD.”

Assistant Professor Hannah Raila published a new paper in Emotion titled “The influence of interactions with pet dogs on psychological distress.”

Assistant Professor Hannah Raila published a new paper in Journal of Psychiatric Research titled “Augmenting group hoarding disorder treatment with virtual reality discarding: A pilot study in older adults.”

Assistant Professor Saskias Casanova published a new paper in Child Development Perspectives titled “The value of communal and intergenerational settings for studying social and emotional belonging.”

Graduate Student Mercedes Oliva and Professor Ben Storm published a new paper in The Journal of Creative Behavior titled “Internet use and creative thinking in the Alternative Uses Task.”

Professor Ben Storm and Graduate Student Mercedes Oliva published a new paper in the volume Emergence of Insight titled “Forgetting and inhibition as mechanisms for overcoming mental fixation in creative problem solving.”

Graduate Student Betsy Centeno published a new paper in Journal of Adolescence titled “Revealing the nuance: Examining approaches for research with adolescents who identify with multiple racial/ethnic groups.”