Rutgers-Camden Department of Psychology

 Newsletter – Spring 2013

This is the Spring 2013 edition of the Rutgers-Camden Psychology Department Newsletter.  It includes faculty, student, and alumni news that may be of interest to you, and it is just a beginning.  We want to hear what you are doing, and how you are doing, and anything else that you would like to share with the psychology department community.  Please send your news and other material for the Newsletter to

Faculty News & Notes:

Congratulations to Kristin August, who has received an RU FAIR ADVANCE mini-grant award for her project entitled, “Gender and Racial Differences in Norms about Social Network Involvement in Diabetes Management.”  She will be recruiting more summer research assistants to work on the study she is conducting on diabetes experiences among middle-aged and older adults.  Dr. August recently gave a talk, with Rutgers undergrad Melanee Nugent, entitled “Cultural and Gender Differences in Correlates of Spousal Involvement in a Partner’s Diabetic Diet” at the annual meeting of the Gerontological Society of America.

Congratulations to Courtenay Cavanaugh, who was awarded a RU FAIR ADVANCE mini-grant for her project entitled, Intimate Partner Violence and Risky Sex. Dr. Cavanaugh recently gave a talk entitled, “Looking Beyond Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Mental Health Comorbidities and Treatment Needs of Victimized Women,” at the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies conference in Los Angeles, CA. She also had three papers published in 2012 including Cavanaugh, C. E., Messing, J. T., Petras, H., Fowler, B., Laflair, L., Kub, J., Agnew, J., Fitzgerald, S., Bolyard, R., & Campbell, J. C. (2012). Patterns of violence against women: A latent class analysis. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 4, 169-176. Dr. Cavanaugh is on family leave this semester as she and her husband welcomed their first child, Sol, in April.

Sean Duffy has two recent publications with Rutgers-Camden economist John Smith “Preference for increasing wages: How do people value various streams of income?” in the most recent issue of the journal Judgment and Decision Making and “Costly and discrete communication: An experimental investigation” forthcoming in the journal Theory and Decision. Dr. Duffy is conducting research on cultural and social influences on automatic imitation with Professor Cedric Bouquet of the University of Poitiers in France, and on humor and life-span developmental processes with Rutgers-Camden School of Business professor Robert Schindler. Dr. Duffy has been involved in new curricular developments, offering courses on psychology and humor, psychology and scientific reasoning, and most recently, the cultural psychology of food, which brought Rutgers-Camden students for a tour of the Reading Terminal Market and Chinatown in Philadelphia. Finally, Dr. Duffy is on the steering committee of a conference on educating the public about science and technology to be held in Tucson, Arizona in 2014.

Congratulations to Luis Garcia on his retirement after 34 years at Rutgers.   Dr. Garcia has been a professor, psychology department chair, and associate dean of the graduate school in his time at Rutgers, as well as a longtime member of the university’s Institutional Review Board, the Provost’s Executive Council on Diversity and Equity, the Dean’s Advisory Committee on Development, and the University Senate.  A much-loved teacher and mentor, Dr. Garcia taught 16 different courses in his time at Rutgers, was Psi Chi Teacher of the Year in 1982, and won the Alumni Association Outstanding Faculty Award,  the Provost’s Award for Teaching Excellence, and the Lindback Teaching Award.  Dr. Garcia also served for many years as advisor to the Rutgers chapter of Psi Chi (the national psychology honor society) and the Latin American Student Organization, and received the Psi Chi Regional Faculty Advisor Award in 2002.  While at Rutgers, Dr. Garcia published numerous articles on human sexuality, sexual self-concept, and perceptions of the sexuality of others.  He was also on the Board of Directors of the Foundation for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, and served a term as President of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality – Eastern Region.  Dr. Garcia gave his time generously to community groups and organizations, giving numerous talks and presentations, and serving as: President of  the Board of Directors of the Hispanic Health and Mental Health Association of Southern New Jersey; Second Vice-President of the Board of Trustees of the Mental Health Association of Southwestern New Jersey; Southern Region Chairperson of the Hispanic Association of Higher Education of New Jersey; and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Leap Academy and the United Way.  In recognition of distinguished uncompensated service, he received the Rutgers University Class of 1962 Presidential Public Service Award.  Dr. Garcia will be greatly missed by his colleagues, students, and the university, as well as by the local and professional community, and we hope that he will keep in touch.

Congratulations to Charlotte Markey, who was awarded a Rutgers University RU FAIR ADVANCE mini-grant, “Gender, Romantic Relationships and Well-Being” in January 2012.  She was recently honored to be included in the American Psychological Association’s Leadership Institute for Women in Psychology (awarded May 2012).  Her recent publications include Markey, C. N., Markey, P. M., & Schulz, J. (2012).  Mothers’ own weight concerns predict early child feeding concerns in the Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology (Jess Schulz is a Rutgers alum).  Dr. Markey has also been asked to give a series of talks to the Cherry Hill School District for parents and kids.  The first three were Markey, C. N.  (2012, November). What are We Wearing?  Understanding Body Image and Clothing Choice among Girls, Markey, C. N.  (2012, May).  Mirrors, Moods, and Model Mania:  Moving Towards Healthy Eating and Body Image.   Markey, C. N.  (2013, February). What are We Eating?  Understanding Healthy Eating and Food Choice. Upcoming is You and Your Body.  How Physical Changes Affect Our Feelings about Our Bodies and Ourselves (in March). These talks are open to the public.

In December, 2011, Dr. Markey and  co-Principal Investigators, Kristin August and Chris Nave) were awarded a Rutgers University Faculty Research Grant “Romantic Relationships and Health.”  In the last 8 months of 2012 they collected survey, behavioral, anthropometric, and psychophysiological data from 72 gay male couples.  This, in combination with the data that Dr. Markey previously collected from 72 lesbian couples (supported by the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association) and 106 heterosexual couples will be analyzed in the months ahead as they try to learn more about romantic relationships, gender, personality, behaviors, and health.  All together, they have data from 498 people!

Congratulations to Naomi Marmorstein, who has been promoted to Full Professor, effective July 1, 2013, making her the first female full professor in the history of the Psychology Department in Camden.  Dr. Marmorstein has also published two studies in recent months:  “Associations between substance use disorders and major depression in parents and late adolescent–emerging adult offspring: an adoption study,” written with colleagues Bill Iacono and Matt McGue, appeared in the November, 2012 issue of the journal Addiction.  “Associations between dispositions to rash action and internalizing and externalizing symptoms in children,” a study using data from the first wave of the Camden Youth Development Study, appeared in the January, 2013 issue of the Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.

Chris Nave recently (July 2012) organized a symposium entitled “How personality can Truly Be a Behavioral Science” and gave a talk “Long-term Stability of Personality: Implications for Behavior” at the biennial European Conference on Personality in Trieste, Italy.  In January 2013, Dr. Nave along with current graduate student Kyle Sauerberger and Theresa Murzyn, a Ph.D. Childhood Studies student, presented research on the associations between personality, behavior, and cognitive performance at the annual Society for Personality and Social Psychology conference in New Orleans.  Dr. Nave, along with collaborators Ryne Sherman and David Funder, have published two papers in the Journal of Research in Personality:  “Properties of Persons and Situations Related to Overall and Distinctive Personality-Behavior Congruence” (February 2012) , and “Situational Construal is Related to Personality and Gender”  (February 2013).  In August 2013, Dr. Nave is set to give a talk entitled “Personality Processes: Using Directly Observed Behavior to Understand the Relationship between Personality and Health” at the upcoming American Psychological Association conference in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Congratulations to Ira Roseman, who received a 2012 Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence.  Dr. Roseman has a new paper “Appraisal in the Emotion System: Coherence In Strategies for Coping”  in press at Emotion Review (along with an author’s reply to special issue commentators).  In May he presented a poster “Are some emotions more politically potent than others?” with RU-C alumni Brian Johnston, Sean Garguilo, and James Floman, grad students Andy Bryant and Ian Frazier, and undergrad Melanee Nugent, at the Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science in Chicago.  This March, the same team along with first year grad student Gabe Johnston, presented a poster “Emotions Mediate Effects of Perceptions of Candidates in Presidential Debates” at the annual conference of the Eastern Psychological Association in New York City.  In December, Dr. Roseman traveled to Belgium to give a colloquium at the University of Leuven and serve on the thesis committee of University of Ghent doctoral candidate Evelein Bossuyt, who was testing some hypotheses from his work on discrete emotion action tendencies.  While there, he visited with former student Michael Häfner (now a professor at Utrecht University).

Robrecht van der Wel’s lab is conducting a range of experiments on action cognition. These experiments address questions about how people plan physical actions, how people experience a sense of control over such actions, and how people represent other people’s actions and beliefs.  Dr. van der Wel recently co-authored a paper on cognition, action and object manipulation, published in the September 2012 issue of Psychological Bulletin. Late last year, he also published a paper in Consciousness and Cognition on the sense of agency (i.e. the sense of being a causal agent) when people learn new tasks together. He has a paper in press in Experimental Brain Research on how people plan actions they perform together with others.  Over the winter break, Dr. van der Wel taught a Winterim course on the Psychology of Action. As part of this course, students conducted a class experiment on skill learning. To do so, students took basketball shots each day under a variety of experimental manipulations designed by the students. The goal was to determine the factors (e.g., vision, muscle memory, etc.) people rely on when they learn new motor skills, and how specific such learning is. Each student contributed to the conception, development of hypotheses, experimental method, data collection, and data analysis of the experiment. They compiled the results in a full version of a research paper.

Student News & Notes:

Congratulations to undergraduates Jessica FlinnMelissa Mathis, and Melanee Nugent, who were awarded Dorothy and David Cooper Scholarships for the Spring semester.  These endowed scholarships are awarded to psychology majors who qualify for financial aid and have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to psychology in service, scholarship, and research.  The scholarships honor Dorothy Cooper’s wish to help deserving undergraduates pursue studies in psychology at Rutgers.

Congratulations  to M.A. program graduates: Lindzee Bailey (Thesis Title: Understanding lesbian women’s restrained eating in the context of their romantic relationships. Thesis Director: Charlotte Markey); Robert BolletinoValerie BrunoJames Floman (Thesis Title: The role of hope and pride in organizational citizenship behavior and job performanceThesis Director: Ira Roseman); John Gunn (Thesis Title: Discrete emotions, thwarted needs, and suicidality: An analysis of suicide notes. Thesis Director: Ira Roseman); Jenny Hettenbach (Thesis Title: Risk and persistence of youth externalizing disorders: Relations with parental psychopathology and family interaction. Thesis Director: Naomi Marmorstein); Tom Martinez (Thesis Title: Effects of attention and cognition on simulated driving. Thesis Advisor: Bill Whitlow); Elisa Miyake (Thesis Title: Associations between early adolescent caffeine consumption and use of other licit and illicit substances, impulsivity, and conduct disorder. Thesis Director: Naomi Marmorstein); Amy Mears (Thesis Title: Visual tools in service industries: Effects on individual employee performance moderated by transformational leadership. Thesis Director: Curtis Spell); Erika Olsen (Thesis Title: Negative affect and coping in caregivers of conduct disordered youth. Thesis Director: Michael Wogan); Jen Shukusky (Thesis Title: Hookups to romantic relationships: Sexual behaviors in various partnerships. Thesis Director:  Luis Garcia); Emily Speas; and Emily Wood (Thesis Title: Word choice during a cooperative task and romantic partners’ relationship quality. Thesis Director: Charlotte Markey).

Madison Nilsen, an undergraduate working with Dr. Cavanaugh, received one of the Dean’s Undergraduate Research Fund Grants and presented a poster, The influence of depression and substance use disorders on condom use among sexually active adolescent girls in the child welfare system, at the Eastern Psychological Association conference this March.

Pavithra Prabakaran, a graduate student working with Dr. Cavanaugh, received Honorable Mention for her scientific poster, A longitudinal study of injury among female nurses and nursing personnel, at the Women’s Health 2013 Congress this March in Washington D.C.


Alumni News & Notes:

RU-C alumnus Michael Sulik, now a graduate student working with Nancy Eisenberg at Arizona State, received the 2012 Early Career Outstanding Paper award from division 7 (developmental psychology) of the American Psychological Association.

RU-C alumna Iris Cheng is working as an ABA therapist in Hong Kong.

Masters program alumnus John Gunn had three papers published in 2012:

Gunn, J. F. III, & Lester, D. (2012). Media guidelines in the internet age. Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, 33, 187-189.

Gunn, J. F., III, Lester, D., Haines, J., & Williams, C. L. (2012). Thwarted belonging and perceived burdensomeness in suicide notes. Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, 33, 178-181.

McSwain, S., Lester, D., & Gunn, J. F., III. (2012). Warning signs for suicide in internet forums. Psychological Reports, 111, 186-188.

Psi Chi & Psych Club Corner

In the Fall 2012 semester, the Psi Chi Honors Society and the Psychology Club hosted a symposium about graduate school.  A panel of three current graduate students and two alumni took questions from undergraduate psychology students.  Some of the questions asked pertained to: what the graduate school application process was like; how to network with people who have a shared interest – especially professors; why it is important to build a Curriculum Vitae; and when to get research experience.

In November, the student psychology organizations collected complete Thanksgiving dinners to help feed four families in Camden County.  The meals were delivered to the South Jersey Center for Family Services for distribution.  Through our fundraising events and campus involvement activities, we were also able to raise enough money to sponsor a needy family with four children with all of their Christmas gifts over the 2012 Holiday Season.  We worked out a schedule with SJCFS MEPRI division to volunteer our time to sort and wrap gifts to benefit other children in need.  It was a rewarding experience for all who were involved, and we thank all of our members who volunteered.

Currently, Psi Chi is getting prepared for its annual induction ceremony, which is held at the end of the Spring Semester.  It is an exciting time of year, to see so many of our fellow Psych Club and Psi Chi members reach their academic goals.  Many of us will be graduating this May, and it is rewarding to know that together we share the memories of all that we have been able to accomplish over the last year.   We are very proud of our achievements, and of our fellow members who helped to make it all possible.

Those of us who are graduating are looking forward to welcoming our successors for the 2013-14 academic year.  We hope that they will continue to provide opportunities for Rutgers undergraduates to learn and grow in the field of Psychology, as well as carry on the humanitarian efforts to help provide for less fortunate families in Camden. 

For more information, please contact:

Melanee Nugent, Psi Chi President, at  or

Chris Russell, Psychology Club President, at