Psychology Enrichment Program

All psychology students (and students interested in psychology) are invited to participate in the Psychology Enrichment Program (PEP). The Program helps students become more familiar and involved with the Department of Psychology, the advising office, and psychology faculty. These events encourage students to meet faculty outside of the classroom while being introduced to various topics in the field of psychology. Students are also introduced to career resources, exploration tools, and research opportunities.

Check out the PEPs for AU18:


Validation and Invalidation: The Benefits Associated with Effective Communication

Tuesday, August 28, 2018, 4:00pm, PS 35

Presented by: Dr. Jenn Cheavens, Associate Professor, Clinical

In this presentation, validating and invalidating communication are defined with examples. Additionally, Dr. Cheavens will review findings from both behavioral laboratory and clinical trial settings demonstrating the benefits associated with validation. Specifically, she will present data suggesting that validating communication is associated with positive affect, cognitive flexibility, and retention in treatment.

Why Should Psychology Students Care about the Vagus Nerve? Implications for Physical and Mental Health

Monday, October 8, 4:00pm, PS 35
Presented by: Dr. Julian Thayer, Professor, Clinical
Darwin identified the connection between the brain and the heart via the vagus nerve in his landmark 1872 book on expression of emotion in man and animals. In the present talk this connection will be elaborated and the implications of this connection via the vagus nerve for physical and mental health explored. The ability to assess and intervene in this connection should be of great interest to students of psychology. It is hoped that the present talk will spur that interest and lead to novel research opportunities for those attending.

The Role of Neural Stem Cells in Hippocampal Brain Injury