University UpdatesWinter/Spring 2020

Spring 2020: College of Applied Behavioral Sciences

Dr. Torrey Wilson became the dean of the College of Applied and Behavioral Sciences in August. Prior to arriving on campus, Wilson most recently served as associate professor of clinical psychology at the Illinois School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University.

Research by Dr. Aaron Kivisto, associate professor of clinical and forensic psychology, explored the link between gun ownership and greater incidences of domestic homicides. The study was published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine. His co-authors included Peter Phalen ’18 (PsyD). Kivisto’s research was featured in an NBC News story in August that was distributed by nearly 30 affiliates across the country.

Dr. Michael Poulakis, assistant professor of clinical psychology, presented research at Boston College with two of his students, Rebecca McCormic and Aylin Acosta, who are in their third year of the PsyD program. The presentation, “Working with Individuals of a Minority Racial or Ethnic Background When Part of the Majority,” was part of the Institute for the Study and Promotion of Race and Culture’s Diversity Challenge 2019.

Dr. Kathryn Boucher, assistant professor of psychology, is participating in a large collaborative grant through the Raikes Foundation called the Student Experience Project, which was created to tackle inequalities in college success by transforming the student experience. Boucher contributed to the College Transition Collaborative, which supports the Student Experience Project.

Dr. Erin Fekete, interim associate dean and director of psychological sciences, co-authored a study in the Journal of Positive Psychology entitled, “Gratitude enhances the beneficial effects of social support on psychological well-being.” The study was mentioned in an article published by Greater Good Magazine.

Jessica Simpson ’21 (PsyD) is conducting an analysis of a life skills program for 7th and 8th graders in a South African township for her dissertation. She partnered with the nonprofit iThemba and spent two weeks in South Africa in August to conduct research on the program.

Dr. Kendra Thomas, assistant professor of psychology, is Simpson’s doctoral adviser. Senior psychology students contribute every semester to an ongoing project to provide quantitative program evaluation to iThemba.

The Commission on Accreditation, as part of the Council on Social Work Education, has granted initial accreditation to the University of Indianapolis Master of Social Work Program through July 2023.

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