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Recent News and Highlights

Martha Ann Bell Appointed Chair of NIH Study Section

Dr. Martha Ann Bell has been appointed chairperson of the Cognition and Perception Study Section, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the term beginning July 1, 2015 and ending June 30, 2017. Chairing a study section represents a major commitment of professional time and energy as well as a unique opportunity to contribute to the national biomedical research effort.

Clinical Science Program Accredited by PCSAS

The Clinical Science program has received accreditation by the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS: PCSAS was created to recognize and promote clinical science programs that embody the highest training standards and produce graduate clinical scientists who advance our understanding of mental and behavioral health care through their research and application.

Marika Coffman Receives the Hulick Serving Spirit Award

Marika Coffman, a graduate student in the Clinical Science area and a graduate student affiliate of the Virginia Tech Center for Autism Research, was chosen for the 2015-2016 Hulick Serving Spirit Award for her work with sibling support groups for those who have a sibling with Autism Spectrum Disorder. 

Faculty Receive Grant from Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention

Psychology faculty members Drs. Brad White, Tom Ollendick, and Robin Panneton were selected to receive a grant for $3,000 from theCenter for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention (CPSVP) for their proposal, “Eye Gaze and Aggression in Children with Callous-Unemotional Tendencies: Mediation by Emotion Recognition and Empathic Responding.” 

Jordan Booker Featured in VT News

Jordan Booker, graduate student in the Developmental Science area, is featured in the VT News. Go to to read more.

Deanna Swain Receives Grant from OAR

Deanna Swain, doctoral student in the Clinical Science area, has won a graduate student research grant from the Organization for Autism Research (OAR). The title of her project is, “Feasibility Study of Mindfulness Enhanced Pivotal Response Treatment Group Training for Parents of Children with ASD.”

Dr. Lee Cooper Receives Clinical Training Award

Dr. Lee Cooper, Clinical Associate Professor in Psychology, received the Jean Spruill Achievement Award from the Association of Psychology Training Clinics (APTC) in recognition of longstanding active involvement in APTC, commitment to excellence in training, dedication to innovative and best practices in doctoral psychology training clinics, integration of research and practitioner training, and inspirational leadership.


Zechariah Robinson Named Outstanding Senior

Zechariah (Zack) Robinson, an undergraduate psychology major, received the College of Science Outstanding Senior Award. Read all about it at


Julie Dunsmore Receives COS Diversity Award

Julie Dunsmore, Associate Professor of Psychology, was chosen by the College of Science honorifics committee to receive the 2014-15 Diversity Award. The award carries a $1,000 stipend. The Department of Psychology and the University are very appreciative of Julie’s efforts to further the cause of diversity and inclusiveness.

Faculty Receive Summer Funding From ISCE

Several psychology faculty were awarded competititve funds for summer projects from the Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment (ISCE).

Brad White, in collaboration with Tom Ollendick and Robin Panneton, was awarded $20,000 to support proposal development related to research on eye-gaze interventions for children with elevated callous-unemotional traits.

Angela Scarpa and her team, including Martha Ann Bell, Julie Dunsmore, and Richard Ashley, were selected to receiv