Welcome to Fall 2016!


As the University is beginning to come to life after a long quiet summer, we here in the Department of Psychological Sciences are ready to hear students’ footsteps in our hallway, fascinating discussions emanating from classrooms and offices, and the whirr of activity and learning from the Psych Lab. In addition to looking forward to seeing familiar faces and doing familiar things, we are also pleased to announce some new and exciting changes to our department.


  1. Our name: We have officially changed our department name to the Department of Psychological Science. This new name reflects our discipline’s increasing emphasis on our identification as a science. For example, introductory textbooks are being called “Psychological Science”, (Gazzaniga, M., Heatherton, T., & Halpern, D., 2011), and research has indicated that Psychology is one of the seven Hub Sciences, among Math, Physics, Chemistry, Earth Science, Medicine, and the Social Sciences (Boyack, Klavans, & Borner, (2005), Mapping the backbone of science. Scientometrics, 64, 351-374). Finally, other colleges and universities have begun to make this change and we want to be current with practices in our field.


  1. Our new faculty member: We are so pleased to introduce Dr. Greg Engel—the newest member of our department. Dr. Engel studies the neurobiology and genetics of addiction using animal models, specifically fruit flies. We are delighted to have a neuroscientist join us so that we can increase our offerings in coursework and research opportunities for our students in this important area of Psychological Science. This will be the first time that the Castleton Psychology Department has had an active animal lab in 50 years. We will now be able to train our students in lab science techniques and practices, and have them produce basic science research in genetics and neuroscience. We believe this addition to our Department, along with Dr. Blossom’s research and expertise in Psycholinguistics and Cognition, and Dr. Newell’s expertise in Psychological Measurement, is an important step for us toward the kind of modern Psychological Science Department that we are seeking to become.


  1. Our Graduate Program: After years of planning and Dr. Newell’s hard work, we are absolutely thrilled to launch our Master of Arts and Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in School Psychology. This is the first program in school psychology in the state of Vermont and we are proud to bring training opportunities in this growing field to our state. The graduate program is a residential three-year program that leads to eligibility for licensure and national certification in School Psychology, a field that is currently the #2 ranked job in social services by U.S. News and World Report. Our first cohort of students will begin their rigorous and exciting training this week! We are looking forward to integrating our graduate students with our already close family of learners and community leaders here in the department.


2016-2017 promises to be a great year!