Congratulations to Sheina Godovich, a 2nd year student in our clinical psychology PhD program, who was awarded a position on the Student Advisory Board for the Society for Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (SCCAP), Division 53 of the American Psychological Association.

Congratulations to Franssy Zablah and Vanessa Fuentes for winning Poster Awards at the American Psychological Association Convention in Washington, DC!
CUA students won two out of the three Student Poster Award from the Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice (Division 37) at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association.  

Both students are mentored by Dr. Sandra Barrueco. Franssy Zablah, a 4th year doctoral student in the clinical psychology program, presented a poster entitled Income inequality and African-American young children served in private schools. Vanessa Fuentes is a 2nd year in the same program and her poster was called Examining the Influence of an Early Childhood STEAM Intervention with Bilingual Children: A Pilot Study.  

APA Poster SessionAPA Poster Awards Ceremony

Congratulations to Dr. Jobes, whose research and Suicide Intervention Assessment has been Verified Effective for Inpatient Treatment!!

More information can be found here: 

Research DayResearch Day 2

Congratulations to Arghavan Hamedi and Katt Rahill for winning the Most Outstanding Graduate Student Poster Presentation Awards at University Research Day!  

Arghavan Hamedi is a 1st year student in the Psychological Science MA program. She won for her poster entitled, "Suicidal Ideation: Diffuse vs. Perseverative Rumination."

Katt Rahill is an Applied Experimental Doctoral student. She won for her poster entitled, “Lunar Psychophysics: Effects of Atmospheric Light Scattering on Perceptual Distortions in a Lunar Virtual Environment.”

Annie DavisAnnie Davis, a clinical doctoral student, was selected to receive a Doris Duke Fellowship for the Promotion of Child Well-Being—seeking innovations to prevent child abuse and neglect. The fellowships are designed to develop a new generation of leaders capable of creating practice and policy initiatives that will enhance child development and improve the nation's ability to prevent all forms of child maltreatment. Congratulations to Annie and her mentor, Dr. Sandra Barrueco!

Marcie Goeke-MoreyMarcie Goeke-Morey, Associate Professor of Psychology, was awarded a Global Religion Research Initiative Curriculum Development grant (, which will support the revision of three of her courses to incorporate the study of religion as a vital component of and context for human development.

The Department introduced a new major: Bachelor of Science in Psychological and Brain Sciences.

The Masters Degree is now an MA in Psychological Science.

The interdisciplinary minor in Neuroscience, introduced in 2016, is already popular among undergraduates.

See more news

Department Spotlight

100% of our clinical doctoral students matched for internships in Phase I (compared to the national average of 87%). Moreover, they all matched to their first choice. The internship sites are Nemours Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Delaware, Children's National Medical Center, and Atlanta VA Medical Center.

Milton ShoreThe Department mourns the passing of Dr. Milton Shore, who served as a lecturer for the Department from 1980 to 1995, making an important contribution to the education of  so many of our graduate students.

Johanna KaplanCongratulations to former graduate student, Johanna Kaplan, Ph.D., who as selected by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America for the 2017 Alies Muskin Career Development Leadership Program (CDLP) .


David Jobes on NPROn November 3rd, Dr. David Jobes, international expert on suicide prevention, was interviewed by NPR ( on 6 Myths About Suicide. The text of his comments can be found at:

Sandra BarruecoDr. Sandra Barrueco’s research on development and bilingualism has been used in establishing new Head Start Performance Standards issued by the DHHS Administration for Children and Families.  In order to ensure a more complete knowledge of children’s skills, abilities, and knowledge, Head Start programs are now required to collect screening and assessment data in both languages for dual language learners. (Barrueco, S., Lopez, M., Ong, C., & Lozano, P. (2012). Assessing Spanish-English bilingual preschoolers: A guide to best approaches and measures. Baltimore, MD: Brookes.)

Serene HabayebSerene Habayeb, a doctoral candidate in the clinical psychology program, was awarded two funding awards for her dissertation entitled "Stress, Coping, Stigma and Acculturation in Arab American Caregivers of Children with Autism and other Developmental Disabilities". These awards were provided by the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) Student & Early Career Council and the Dr. Philip M. Kayal Fund for Arab American Research. 

New Endowed Research Fund for Psychology from Mary Muldoon
The John F. Muldoon, PhD Endowed Fund in Psychology was established in the Department of Psychology through the generous gift from Mary E. Muldoon, in honor of her husband, Dr. John "Jack" Muldoon, who passed away last January. Married for 60 years, Jack and Mary met when they were both students at CUA. After earning a B.A. in 1949 and an M.A. in 1953 in Psychology, Dr. Muldoon went on to enjoy a long, distinguished career in mental health administration. The fund will be used to support psychological research.  

Students at annual meeting10 current students and a number of CUA alumni presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Suicidology.

David JobesDr. David Jobes received the Marsha Lihehan Award for Outstanding Research in the Treatment of Suicidal Behavior.



Annie DavisAnnie Davis was selected as a Public Interest Policy Scholar in American Psychological Association's (APA) Public Interest Government Relations Office. She will spend one year participating in legislative and advocacy work on a team dedicated to applying findings from Psychological science to federal policy initiatives. Ms. Davis is a doctoral student in the clinical psychology program.

Research News

Students at Catholic University participate actively in the leading-edge research carried out by our faculty.

Catalina Pérez, a fourth year doctoral student in the clinical psychology program, was awarded the Elizabeth Munsterberg Koppitz Child Psychology Graduate Student Fellowship from the American Psychological Foundation. It is awarded to 3-6 students nationally to support graduate student research in the area of child psychology. The award will be used to support Catalina's dissertation. The project's title is The role of home visitor and maternal depression on parenting practices: The case of an early childhood stimulation program in rural Colombia. Catalina will appear in an upcoming issue of the Monitor on Psychology.

Ben Hinnant, assistant professor, was quoted in an article in the October issue of Smithsonian magazine about research that indicates that conflict between parents may affect how children respond to stress.

Catholic University students and faculty had a major presence at the recent American Association of Suicidology meeting in Baltimore. Congratulations to Senior Psychology Major, Ryan Horgan, who won the student poster competition at the conference. More on the conference.

Dr. Brendan Rich received the CUA Young Faculty Award for Achievement in Research at the Provost's reception on April 25.  Congratulations Brendan!

Dr. Dave Jobes received the Louis I. Dubin Award for lifetime achievement in the field of suicide prevention at the April 21 meeting of the American Association of Suicidology in Baltimore. Dave will also deliver an address entitled The Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality (CAMS): An Evolving Evidence-Based Clinical Approach to Suicidal Risk. Congratulations Dave!

Dr. Marty Safer was interviewed by NPR's WAMU radio on March 16 about Carolyn Breslyn's dissertation research on memory for intense emotional experiences of sporting events.

Dr. Jim Howard's research with Georgetown colleagues on implicit learning in dyslexic college students was cited in the February 4 New York Time's Sunday Review.

Drs. Carolyn Breslin (Ph.D. '11) and Marty Safer have recently published the results of their study of emotion and memory for world-series baseball in the journal Psychological Science. (more)

Dr. Dave Jobes has been awarded a $3.4 million grant from the U.S. Army to test the effectiveness of his Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality (CAMS) approach to the prevention of suicide.

Together with colleagues in Biology and Sociology, Dr. Sandra Barrueco has been awarded a grant from the National Girls Collaborative Project on “Introducing 8th Grade Girls to Biotechnology.”

Psychology students and faculty to present six posters at the upcoming Society for Neuroscience annual meetings in Washington. 

Welcome to Dr. Ben Hinnant, our newest faculty member.  Dr. Hinnant's interests are in developmental psychopathology and biopsychology.


Department News

Dr. David Jobes work on suicide among young children is highlighted in the APA Monitor

2016 is another great year for our doctoral clinical psychology program, with 100% of students matching for internships (compared to the national average of 87%). The internship sites are: American University Counseling Center, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (Behavioral Health Integrated Track), Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital, University of Maryland Counseling Center, UCLA - Semel Institute (Major Mental Illness Track), and Yale University Child Study Center (Autism Track).

A new interdisciplinary Neuroscience minor has been added! For more information please contact Dr. Nancy Adleman at

The Department welcomes our new Academic Specialist, Brittany Mistretta ( Brittany will provide administrative support for the Chair and will be the primary contact for graduate student issues.

On Friday October 23, CUA psychology alumni, students and faculty gathered for the 5th annual Psychology Alumni Reception. Dr. Alan Berman, Ph.D., was honored with the Department's Distinguished Alumni Award for his outstanding contributions to the field.

Blaire Schembari, M.A. was recently elected to the APAGS' position of Member at Large, Education. Her two year term will focus on representing psychology graduate students' internship and training needs to APA boards and committees, as well as advocate for psychology graduate students' quality of education and training experiences.

Building on her CUA doctoral dissertation in clinical psychology, Dr. Brieanne Kohrt founded PASEO, a Spanish psychology immersion program. Her program is featured in a recent article.

The doctoral program in Clinical Psychology is pleased to report continued success in internship placements. 100% of the program's doctoral students matched to internships, while the national average was 82% for 2015. Moreover, CUA's doctoral students will be attending among the top internships in the nation:

Yale University-Psychiatry/ CT Mental Health Center, Young Adult Services Salt Lake City, VA Health Care System VA, Boston Healthcare System, Dual Diagnosis (PTSD-SUD) at Brockton University of Connecticut, Counseling and Mental Health Services Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford University and the Children's Health Council Consortium, VA Maryland School Mental Health Program/Center for School Mental Health, Children's National Medical Center, and VA Medical Center-Washington DC

Applied-Experimental alumna Nancy Dennis (Ph.D. '04) was promoted to Associate Professor with continuous tenure at Penn State University. Congratulations, Nancy!

On Friday October 17, CUA psychology alumni, students and faculty gathered for the 4th annual Psychology Alumni Reception. Dr. Robert K. Heinssen, Ph.D., was honored with the Department's Distinguished Alumni Award for his outstanding contributions to the field.

Meg Wheeler, Ph.D. candidate in our clinical program, has been awarded the Evelyn K. Aitken Named P.E.O. Scholar for 2014-2015 by the Philanthropic Educational Organization.  The award will support Meg's dissertation research on "The effect of iRest Yoga Nidra on psychological and physiological health in the veteran population." Congratulations to Meg!

Kendra Seaman, Ph.D. candidate in our applied-experimental program, has accepted a position as Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale University to begin this Fall.  Kendra will be continuing her work on the cognitive neuroscience of aging with Dr. Greg Samanez-Larkin. Congrats, Kendra!

On Friday September 27, CUA psychology alumni, students and faculty gathered for the third annual Psychology Homecoming Reception. Dr. John J. O'Hare, Ph.D. '57, received the Department's Distinguished Alumni award for his outstanding contributions to the field. Congratulations, John!

Applied-Experimental alumna, Ericka Rovira (Ph.D. '06), Associate Professor at the United States Military Academy, West Point, has been elected President of APA's Division 21. Congratulations, Ericka!

Applied-Experimental alumna, Katie Kardiasmenos (Ph.D. '05), Assistant Professor at Bowie State University, was awarded a Catalyst Award for innovation by BlackBoard, Inc. Congratulations, Katie!

Dr. Nancy E. Adleman, has joined our experimental faculty as tenure-track Assistant Professor.  Congrats Nancy!

Dr. Claire Adams Spears, Instructor and Fellow at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, joined our clinical faculty in Fall, 2013.  Welcome Claire!

Rob Hindman and Sarah Krueger presented colloquia at their dissertation defense on November 20 and 29, respectively. Congratulations to Rob and Sarah!

Dr. Peter E. Turkeltaub, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neurology Georgetown University and Director of the Aphasia Clinic, National Rehabilitation Hospital, delivered a colloquium "Developing Neuromodulatory Treatments for Aphasia and Other Language Disorders" on December 6.

Applied-Experimental alumna, Katie Kardiasmenos (Ph.D. '05) was awarded tenure at Bowie State University. Congratulations, Katie!

APA Commission on Accreditation has awarded our Clinical Ph.D. Program accreditation for another 7 years, the maximum possible! Congratulations to all!

Congratulations to the CUA Counseling Center which is now one of only 28% of counseling centers nationwide to be accredited by the International Association of Counseling Services (IACS).> Congratulations to Dr. Sandra Barrueco on her promotion and tenure!

Congratulations to our 2012 graduates! CUA awarded 59 B.A., 17 M.A., and 7 Ph.D. degrees to psychology students at its May 12, 2012 graduation ceremonies. 

Department Colloquium. Dr. Mary Ann Dutton, Professor of Psychiatry, Georgetown University Medical Center, will speak on "Trauma and Interpersonal Violence." Thursday April 19, 12:30 - 1:30, McMahon 200.

Department Colloquium. Dr. Abigail Marsh, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Georgetown, spoke on "Empathy, Psychopathy and Fear." March 22, 12:30 - 1:30, McMahon 200.

On Monday, February 28, Department faculty, students and alumni gathered for the first annual Psychology Graduate Student Research Symposium in the Pryzbyla Center Great Room B.  Thirteen second and third year students presented posters on their latest research findings and engaged in lively discussion with their fellow students and faculty. More on the symposium.

Department Colloquium. Dr. Marjan Holloway, Associate Professor, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, will speak on "Post Admission Cognitive Therapy (PACT) for the Prevention of Suicide."  Feb 23, 12:30 - 1:30, McMahon 200.

Department Colloquium.On February 2, clinical alumnus Dr. Jason Luoma (Ph.D. '02) spoke on "Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and the Development of a Contextual Science of Behavior."

Congratulations to alumna, Marisa Hillyard (Ph.D., '10), who is completing her fellowship at Children's Hospital in Cincinnati and will begin as a Research Associate at Johns Hopkins University in April. 

On December 7,  Dr. Daniel Lewin, Program Director, Sleep Disorders Medicine, NIH, spoke on "An Introduction to Pediatric Sleep Disorders."

On Friday October 22, sixteen CUA psychology alumni gathered with department students and faculty for the first annual Psychology Homecoming Reception.  Dr. Paul Fedio, Ph.D. '64, received the Department's Distinguished Alumni award for his outstanding contributions to research, teaching and clinical practice.

Twenty-two CUA undergrad psychology majors were inducted into Psi Chi, the international Psychology Honor Society in a ceremony on Wednesday, September 28.

In Memoriam: James P. O'Connor, Ph.D.

It is with sadness that we report the passing of Dr. James O’Connor, former faculty member and Professor Emeritus in the Psychology Department. Dr. O’Connor was a major figure at the University where he held numerous key positions. He was the first lay person to Chair the Psychology Department, and the first non-classicist to serve as Dean of the School of Arts& Sciences. He also held the position of Academic Vice-President. He was instrumental in the establishment of Boys Town Centers at CUA, Stanford and in Omaha, and served as the first Director of the CUA center, which later became the Life Cycle Institute. We celebrate the many accomplishments of our former colleague.

Kendra Seaman, graduate student in the Cognitive Aging Lab, was awarded a travel grant to attend a selective workshop on multilevel modelling at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroeconomics.

Dr. Dave Jobes was one of four experts on suicidology presenting at a Congressional roundtable on Innovative Strategies for Reducing Suicide Risk in Military Service Members and Veterans.

Welcome to Dr. Ben Hinnant, our newest faculty member.  Dr. Hinnant's interests are in developmental psychopathology and biopsychology.