Current News

Researching the Hows and Whys of
Brain Changes Through Life

Read about the research being done by Dr. Jill Shelton and her students as featured in UTC News


Teaching and Learning Research Grant
Congrats to master's student Stephanie Wells and Dr. Jill Shelton for receiving a grant of $1,340 from the Society for the Teaching of Psychology’s Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Research Grant program for their proposal entitled Those Who Teach Can Do - Development of Professional Skills Through Undergraduate Teaching Experience.   1.6.20

Take a break :)  Enjoy a video made by first year Psych students!
Stats Guy (Bad Guy Parody)


Faculty receive awards for research and workshops. 

Good things continue to happen in the Psychology Department!

Drs. David Ferrier, Alex Zelin and Amanda Clark have all received Faculty Grants from the Provost's office.  Here are titles and amounts:

Dr. Ferrier - Social-Emotional Development and the Role of Teacher Socialization - $1,470

Dr. Zelin - The Effects of Sexism on Society - $1,500

Dr. Clark - Implementation of a Concussion Baseline Testing Protocol for Club Athletes - $1,199

Dr. Chris Cunningham has received $3,984 from Covenant Transportation for the project entitled, “UTC – Covenant Transport Critical Thinking Workshop.”

Dr. Ashley Howell has received $19,543 from the American Psychological Foundation for the project entitled, “Fear regulation, executive functioning, and child trauma exposure: A prospective study on psychological risk and resilience in youth.”  11.22.19

Department Head Eaten by Extinct Reptile.
Search for replacement to begin immediately!

T-Rex and Dr. O



Dr. O's Words to Live By: Always remember to live each day like it's your last day on earth. You never know when you might be eaten by a T-Rex . . .



Dr. Kristen Black has received a Faculty Pre-Tenure Enhancement Program (PREP) grant in the amount of $13,035 for her study entitled “Examining Stress as a Badge of Honor among Full-Time Employees."   The award includes funding for a student research assistant, participant incentives, and CARMA training in advanced statistical techniques. Congratulations Dr. Black! 10/31/19

Congratulations to Dr. Ralph Hood on receiving $120,000 from the John Templeton Foundation to pay copyright permissions for a major revision of his 1999 book entitled Measures of Religiosity, co-authored with Peter Hill. The revised two-volume book will be linked to the Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA), a massively funded Templeton project headed by researchers at Chapman University. Chapman University will continue to provide direct payment to six UTC Masters students, both I-O and Research, who are paid $30 an hour (up to a limit of $5,400 per year) to assess existing and proposed measures of religion and spirituality – for which they are acknowledged as author or co-author. 10.29.19

 Congratulations to Dr. Jill Shelton on her selection as a Fellow in the Psychonomic Society.

From their website: Established by the Psychonomic Society Governing Board in 2014, the Fellows program recognizes members who demonstrate clear evidence of independent scholarship, active engagement in methodologically rigorous and theoretically interesting high level research, and indications of an imminent national/international reputation for excellence in the psychological sciences. Fellows shall be persons who have demonstrated that they are well qualified to conduct and to supervise scientific research in psychology or allied sciences.  10/24/19

Dr. David Ferrier, Assistant Professor of Psychology, speaks at Stand Up Science!  Vist for comedian Shane Mauss' website for fun details! 10/17/19

Dr. David Ferrier


Congratulations to Dr. Nicky Ozbek on receiving an Honors College Student Research Fellow, Honors student Hannah Turner, to assist Nicky in her ongoing research into olfactory resilience, stress and measurement of olfactory sensitivity in humans. 9/11/19

 Dr. Chris Cunningham and Dr. Kristen Black have received Provost Faculty Grant Awards in the amounts of $1,500 and $1,275 respectively, to support their participation in the APA Work, Stress and Health Conference in Philadelphia! A number of our I-O graduate students will also be traveling to the conference (by university van) partially funded by the Department of Psychology. 9/11/19

Drs. Silver and Hood Garner Additional Award Funds
Congratulations to Dr. Chris Silver (Doctorate in Learning and Leadership) and Dr. Ralph Hood (Psychology) on receiving additional sub-award funding from the United States Department of Defense in cooperation with the Consortium for Health and Military Performance (CHAMP) and Uniformed Services University, in support of their ongoing research on spiritual fitness. Dr. Silver and Dr. Hood have already received over $31,000 related to this project, and this award provides UTC an additional $86,000 for a total of $117,440. As part of their research, they have created and are testing measures to be used by the United States Military as part of holistic health initiative which includes measures of spirituality as one of many indicators of psychological coping and preparedness. Overseeing work at UTC and three other institutions, Dr. Hood and Dr. Silver plan to complete this next phase of the project by Fall 2019. 6/28/19

Dr. Ozbek Awarded  Grant
Congratulations to Dr. Nicky Ozbek for her William H. Wheeler Center for Odor Research award. The $6,700 grant will support her research on the Human Factor in Olfaction, building on her previous research exploring the relationship between stress and olfaction as mediated by neuropeptide Y using human sweat instead of blood samples. The award provides funding for a graduate student and associated travel.   6/5/19

Dr. Zelin Comments on Athlete Training

Dr. Z was able to combine her IO and sexual harassment (and other types of harassment) knowledge for the swim community. She took the new SafeSport Athlete Protection Training (APT) course, and recounts what is included, what the course does well and what the course could do better.
Read it here!

Faculty Receive Funding for Research
Congratulations to Dr. Chris Cunningham and Dr. Kristen Black on receiving $49,870 from Miller Industries to develop and implement an employee engagement survey. This three-year contract also provides 100 hours of funding annually for graduate student assistants.  5.15.19


Congrats to SEARCH Grant Awardees
Six of the department's students have received grants from the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavors. Congrats to Aishani Eggenberger, Leanza Greenlee, Adeola Ijijode, Braden Sanford, Molly Sloan and Chelsea Wymer!


Psy Grad Featured in Local News!

Hannah Boulware beat the odds...



Dr. Paul J. Watson . . .


. . . is the recipient of the UTC Lifetime Achievement Award in Research for 2019. Dr. Watson passed away on March 10, 2019. He served UTC and its students with distinction for 41 years, retiring in December 2018.  He taught an estimated 35,000 students in his tenure, and was among the most productive researchers on campus. 4.16.19

A Homunculus!


Psychology and art major, senior Haven Wright combined her two passions to create a female Homuculus! Says Haven,  “The homunculus comes in three variations: motor, sensory, and sexual. A homunculus is essentially a map of the human body with enlarged features to demonstrate the amount of the brain that is dedicated to sensory processing, motor functioning, or sexual arousal. Based on my research, there had never been a 3D representation of the homunculus as a female which is problematic considering that there are differences in the male and female brain. Scientific research has often underrepresented women and I was excited by the idea of creating this iconic figure as the equally important female version.” 4.23.19

Read more in the Cleveland Banner

Students Present Research


Several students of the Psychology Department recently presented their research at the Southern Society of Philosophy and Psychology in Washington, D.C., and also on campus at April's Research Dialogues. Pictured left to right: Thomas Vorweck, Claudia Craig, Amelia Edwards and Anna Splean.


Dr. Ross Receives Statewide Accolades


Dr. David Ross has received the THEC 2019 Harold Love Community Service Award! Dr. Ross was one of only five faculty members from across the state of Tennessee, and one of two from UTC, to receive this prestigious award.

Dr. Ross surely exemplifies the high standards for community service set by Rep. Love, for whom the award is named. He is being recognized for his 25 years of advocacy for the underserved in the city of Chattanooga and beyond. Dr. Ross has provided extensive training on the science of eyewitness testimony to local and regional law enforcement agencies to enhance social justice, particularly for racial minorities and the poor. Dr. Ross’ expertise in the vagaries of eyewitness testimony was also instrumental in freeing Mr. Anthony Williams who had served 20 years of a life sentence imposed on him at age 14 for a murder he did not commit. Dr. Ross has provided significant time and financial support to a variety of community organizations, including Signal Centers, the YMCA Y-Cap program, and the Piece of Thread Program that provides Christmas presents for refugee children. 3/26/19

Alum Receives Research Prize


Amanda Schwartz, 2018 Psychology graduate, won first prize in the Psi Chi Undergraduate Research competition at this year's meetings of the Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA)! Her poster, based on her DHON thesis chaired by Dr. Amye Warren, entitled LIWC Analysis of Written Responses from Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Depression, or No Diagnosis, was also co-authored with Dr. Kate Rogers and Dr. Nicky Ozbek. Using Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LWIC) software, the study identified differences in written language patterns between those with and without invisible disabilities. Congratulations Amanda and her faculty co-authors! 3/22/19

Students Present at Conference

Morgan Andrews and Leanza Greenlee were two of the presenters at the American Psychology-Law Society in Portland, Oregon! 3/18/19

morganandrews2019 leanzagreenlee

Left: Morgan Andrews; Right: Leanza Greenlee.

Psy Grad Becomes CEO of One Warm Coat

Beth DeWolf is a 1990 graduate of the UTC Psychology Department. Congratulations Beth!  3.13.19

Read more

UTC Grad Lands Position at Unum

Eddie Christopher, a graduate from our Research Psychology Master’s program, has been offered a position at Unum as an Advanced People Analytics Consultant. Christopher will be completing his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology at Purdue University this spring. While at Purdue, Eddie earned a certification in statistics, and he was able to earn this certification more quickly than anyone in the history of the program due to the training he received in the Master’s program at UTC.  Congratulations Eddie!  3.1.19