News & Events
L-R: Jill-Ellyn Straus; Wendy Heller, Professor & Head, Department of Psychology
The Department of Psychology honored Jill-Ellyn Straus, a distinguished alumna, at our awards program on Saturday, May 13, 2017. She was also the department's Commencement speaker in the Great Hall at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday, May 14, 2017.
Jill-Ellyn Straus earned her B.S. degree in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1979, and J.D. (1982) from the University of Denver College of Law.
Ms. Straus started at the 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office in 1983 and retired from there in 2008, upon her appointment to the bench as a District Court Judge for the 17th Judicial District of Colorado. As a prosecutor she specialized in crimes against children and juvenile delinquency. She was a Chief Trial Deputy for eighteen years and trained professionals from many different disciplines on issues related to the investigation and prosecution of child abuse and neglect.
Ms. Straus acted as a consultant with the child protection team for the C. Henry Kempe National Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect, and was the prosecution representative on the State Child Fatality Review Committee for eighteen years. As a lawyer and as a judge, issues of addiction, mental competency, insanity, mental illness, intellectual delays and deficits have been part of so many of her cases. The science of psychology has always been woven through her professional life.
Dr. Takao Hensch will present the Department of Psychology's 2017 Lyle Lanier Lecture on Monday, March 27, 2017, 4:00 p.m. at the Beckman Auditorium, 405 N. Mathews, Urbana, IL. The title of his lecture is "Power of the Infant Brain".
Summary of the lecture:
Early life experiences enduringly shape brain function, when neural circuits exhibit windows of profound plasticity then later stabilize. A biological basis for these "critical periods" has begun to emerge: the balance between excitation and inhibition drives onset timing, while molecular "brakes" actively limit rewiring thereafter. Manipulations targeting these processes are so powerful that individuals of identical chronological age may be at the peak, prior to, or past their plastic window. Thus, critical period timing per se is plastic. Strikingly, most of these regulators converge in and around pivotal inhibitory circuits which are particularly voulnerable in mental illness. Understanding their maturation and maintenance offers novel therapeutic insight into cognitive disorders and the potential to tap juvenile levels of plasticity throughout life--for better or worse.
Dr. Hensch is a joint professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School at Boston's Children Hospital, Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard's Center for Brain Science, and he currently directs the NIMH Silvio O. Conte Center for Basic Mental Health Research at Harvard. His research explores the mechanisms underlying critical periods of brain development, specifically, neural circuits sculpted by experience in infancy and early childhood.
The Department of Psychology would like to thank L. Gene and Catherine Lemon, and Lyle Lanier, Jr., for establishing the Lyle H. Lanier Fund in memory of Catherine and Lyle's father, Head of the Department of Psychology (1951-1959); Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (1959-1960)); and Provost of the Urbana-Champaign campus (1960-1972).
Dr. Elizabeth Pieroth received the 2016 LAS Alumni Achievement Award for her work to treat and reduce concussions in sports.
Elizabeth Pieroth is the first to point out that she is not gifted athletically. Growing up, her family nicknamed her “Grace” because of her lack of that quality in sports. But when it comes to protecting an athlete’s most important body part—the head—Pieroth is the go-to person for many athletic programs around the country, including major professional teams.
Article by Doug Peterson
Are you interested in hearing the latest department news, learning more about what the University is doing for wounded veterans, or learning how you can get more involved with department and Alumni Advisory Board initiatives? If you are, we hope that you will join us for an informational webinar on Thursday, September 15, 2016 from 12-1:00 pm (CST).
Wendy Heller, Professor and Head of Psychology, will be sharing some of the latest department news, and Professors Howard Berenbaum and Florin Dolcos, along with Christian Williams, a graduate student and veteran, will share the research they are conducting at the new Center for Wounded Veterans at the University. A Psychology Alumni Advisory Board member will also share the latest news about the board's initiatives and ways you can get involved.
To receive an Outlook invitation for the webinar please email Cheryl Berger at email@example.com. You can sign up for the free webinar using the Skype or Dial In information below:
Join voice only by Desk Phone/Landline/US Dial In (Toll-Free) - 1-844-882-6682 Inline image, Participant Code 1223550342
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|2016 Alfred M. Wellner Lifetime Achievement Award|
Beth Rom-Rymer (PhD'86) is the 2016 recipient of the National Register's Wellner Lifetime Achievement Award.The award, named after the first Executive Officer, Alfred M. Wellner, PhD, is the highest honor bestowed on a Registrant by the National Register to commemorate numerous and significant contributions to psychology during a distinguished career. The National Register of Health Service Psychologists is the largest credentialing organization for psychologists. Established in 1974, the independent nonprofit organization is dedicated to improving healthcare by identifying psychologists who meet specific credentialing standards to consumers, healthcare organizations, and regulatory bodies.
Dr. Rom-Rymer is the recipient of many awards, including the Karl F. Heiser APA Presidential Award and APA Presidential Citation for Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Professional Psychology. She is a licensed psychologist with the clinical and forensic practice, Rom-Rymer & Associates, located in Chicago, IL.
(Kelly Burger and co-driver on top of the "Bun Roof". Each year thousands of college graduates apply for twelve Oscar Mayer Wienermobile spokesperson openings and Kelly is the first Illini to hold this job.)
I graduated from the University of Illinois May 2015 with a double major in Psychology and English, and a minor in Secondary Education. As a "hotdogger" I represent Oscar Mayer and drive the iconic Wienermobile across the country for an entire year. Thousands of college grads apply for the Wienermobile Spokesperson job every year, but only twelve "lucky dogs" are chosen. More people have gone to space than have driven the famed Oscar Mayer Wienermobile! As a hotdogger I travel all across the country with the 27 foot long hot dog on wheels doing a variety of different events including parades, charitable functions, festivals, retail events and sporting events. I coordinate events, pitch and conduct media interviews, book hotels, and engage thousands of people a week. Hotdoggers essentially operate a public relations firm on wheels.
(Kelly meets Sid, the Dog Mayor of Austin, TX) (On the Road - Boise, Idaho)
I started my tour across the "Hot Dog Highways of America" in June right after I graduated and so far I have traveled to 28 states. My co-driver and I travel to a new city each week where we get to explore the hidden gems across America. I am very thankful that I was able to receive such a well-rounded education at the University of Illinois that made me a standout candidate for this position. I relish" every moment that I have with this job. I am just so lucky to be doing such a fun and unconventional job right out of school and I want as many people to know about it as possible. It has truly been life changing for me and I am sure it could be the same for another lucky Illinois grad.
Do you have strong communications skills and love to travel? Submit your application to Oscar Mayer for consideration: Deadline - January 31.
|2016 Distinguished Downstate Alumnus|
The Honorable Jeffrey Ford received the inaugural 2016 Distinguished Downstate Alumnus Award from The Downstate Legal Society at the University of Illinois’College of Law in recognition of his long history of public service and commitment to reform. In 1991, Judge Ford founded the first DUI court in the country. In 1999, he established the Champaign County Drug court to break the cycle of recidivism. He also received the National Association of Social Workers Public Citizen of the Year Award (2013) and the Goldstein Award for Preeminent Contribution to the Drug Court Field from the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (2014).
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Dr. Elizabeth Pieroth (BS'88) was one of five alumni selected to receive the 2016 LAS Alumni Achievement Award.
The Undergraduate Career Exploration Award was created by the Psychology Alumni Advisory Board. Read about the three recipients in the 2015 Fall issue of Psychology Times: http://www.psychology.illinois.edu/alumni/news/newsletter/