Program awards and news

Ask the Expert: Resilience and Well-Being in Transgender and Nonbinary People

What is known about resilience in transgender and nonbinary people? How can gender affirmation play a role in better health outcomes? Jae Puckett, PhD, shares about their research focused on the health and well-being of transgender and gender diverse communities.

Read the Q&A here.

The College of Social Science has selected Sean Hankins, an academic specialist who serves as the director of the MSU Adolescent Diversion Program, for the 2024 Dean's Diversity and Inclusion Excellence Staff Award. This award recognizes staff for displaying an exceptional commitment to fostering an environment in which diversity is understood, valued, respected, appreciated, and practiced.

Read more here.

Community-Centered Leadership: A Q&A with Dr. Kwesi Brookins

Dr. Kwesi Brookins, Vice Provost for University Outreach and Engagement and professor in the Ecological-Community Psychology program, will be delivering the keynote at the Joseph L. White lecture series on April 5th at 1:30PM. He recently shared about how his ecological-community psychology training has affected every aspect of his career, why he's particularly honored to be a part of this lecture series, and why he thinks psychology can be instrumental in the future of higher education.

Read more here.

Associate Professor of Psychology and Core Faculty in Chicano/Latino Studies, Dr. Ignacio Acevedo has contributed greatly to the research on how young people access services and supports, especially within Latine communities. It is the basis of his Community-AID Lab which uses data to develop, disseminate and improve sustainable preventative and positive development programs for all youth.

Learn more here.

Congratulations to MSU Psychology professor Dr. NiCole Buchanan on her reappointment to the Michigan Domestic & Sexual Violence Prevention & Treatment Board.

Read the full story here.

A new study, conducted in collaboration between researchers at Michigan State University and Central Michigan University, found that public spending on social safety net programs and on education spending each independently impact high school graduation rates, which are a key predictor of health and well-being later in life.

Read the full story here.

The MSU University Outreach and Engagement office spotlighted the work that Dr. Jae Puckett and the Trans-ilience research team are doing in the community, including the Gender Affirmation Project that helps individuals change their name and gender marker.

Read more here.

Congratulations to Dr. Robin Lin Miller for receiving the 2023 Alva and Gunnar Myrdal Evaluation Practice Award from the American Evaluation Association. This prestigious award is presented to an evaluation practitioner who has made substantial cumulative contributions to a specific area of evaluation practice and whose contributions to the field have been influential, substantial, and sustained over time.

Read more here.

Dr. Robin Lin Miller, a community psychologist and program evaluation specialist in the MSU Department of Psychology, along with Dr. Giovanni Dazzo of the University of Georgia have received a $1.78 million grant from the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. This three-year grant will fund their project, Promoting Rights-based Evaluation, which aims to strengthen the use of partner-centered evidence to ensure equitable design, implementation, and evaluation of human rights polices, practices, and programs, with a special focus on realization of LGBTQ and disability human rights objectives.

Interested in applying for our graduate program?  

Come to our virtual information session on September 19th at 7PM (ET) to find out more about our area of focus, how to apply, and to meet some of the faculty and students. Sessions will be held for each area of interest:

*Missed the session? Click here to watch a recording.

Ten Michigan State University faculty, including Dr. Rebecca Campbell, have been named University Distinguished Professor in recognition of their outstanding achievements in teaching, research and public service. The recognition is among the highest honors that can be bestowed on a faculty member by the university. Those selected for the title have been recognized nationally and internationally for their exceptional teaching, outstanding record of public service, and scholarly and creative achievements.

Read more here.

Congratulations to Dr. Jaleah Rutledge on earning her PhD this summer! For her dissertation, Dr. Rutledge drew on Black Feminist Theory and resilience frameworks to explore the sources of community, intrapersonal, and interpersonal strength that assist young Black women to mount a resilient response to acquiring an STI. Her committee was especially impressed by how she integrated these frameworks with narrative methods and journey mapping visualizations to center Black women's experiences, elevate their voices, and celebrate their strengths.

Dr. Rutledge will be joining Yale University School of Public Health as a postdoctoral research fellow.

New research by Dr. Jae Puckett and members of the Trans-ilience Lab surveyed 420 transgender and gender diverse individuals in the United States about what improvements would decrease barriers to accessing healthcare for TGD people. There were six main recommendations for healthcare providers that emerged from this research including eliminate cisnormativity, take an individual and holistic approach to care, revaluate standards of care for TGD healthcare, reduce accessibility issues, improve interactions with patients, and improve provider and staff training. 

Read more about these recommendations here. 

Jaleah Rutledge, a graduate student in the Ecological-Community Psychology program, was awarded the Bob and Bets Caldwell Land Grant Values Award for her notable record of service-oriented research, mentorship, and community involvement.

The Caldwell award recognizes a psychology graduate student who exemplifies public-spirited attitudes and actions that encourage bridging divides to discover unity in common purpose and to be a positive force for hope and possibilities.  

Learn more about Jaleah's service-oriented approach to community and research here.

This month, Dr. Cris Sullivan, a professor of ecological-community psychology at MSU, and a team of collaborators from the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WSCADV) will be traveling to Washington DC to meet with federal agencies and policymakers with their findings from a multi-year study on domestic violence and homelessness.

Read more here.

A team of Michigan State psychologists, including Drs. Rebecca Campbell and Katie Gregory, recently concluded a major 3-year study looking at the victim notification process for Detroit’s untested sexual assault kit survivors on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Violence Against Women. This study provides guidance to a variety of teams, including lawyers, law enforcement, and advocates, who are tasked with notifying sexual assault survivors and potentially asking them to participate in the re-opening and prosecution of their cases.

Read more here.

In honor of World AIDS Day, Dr. Robin Lin Miller shares about growing up on Fire Island Pines, dedicating 37 years of her career to studying community-led responses to the HIV epidemic, and why HIV is still devastating to the marginalized and vulnerable.

Read more here.

Dr. Jae Puckett (they/them; Michigan State University Department of Psychology), along with Drs. Em Matsuno (they/them; Arizona State University) and Paz Galupo (she/they; Towson University) have been awarded a $2.2 million dollar grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. This grant will help fund the team’s research on experiences of resilience in transgender communities.

Read more about their research here.

Every October 11, National Coming Out Day is recognized. But for many, it is still a challenging day of figuring out what path is best for them. A team of psychologists and counselors collaborated to figure out the best ways for mental health service providers to support clients who are in the early stages of navigating the coming out process.

Watch the video about this collaboration here

MSU Recognized for Exemplary Community Engagement Project

In recognition of its community engagement efforts, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities recognized Michigan State University for its exemplary community engagement project.

MSU professor of psychology Robin Lin Miller partnered with civil society organizations to address stigma and discrimination against LGBTQ people in the global south and provide urgently needed access to HIV-related medical care.

Read more about this recognition here.

Social Scientists Partner on Youth Violence Study in Lansing

 Carole Gibbs and Jennifer Cobbina of the College of Social Science’s School of Criminal Justice, along with Psychology research associate Sean Hankins, are in the midst of conducting an ongoing research project with adolescents in the Lansing community. The project, titled ‘Putting Violence in Context: How Neighborhoods Shape Youth Decision Processes,’ aims to investigate the ways that one’s neighborhood influences can shape their decision-making process, especially when it comes to engaging in crime and other forms of violence within their community. 

Read more about this research project here.

Jae Puckett is the 2022 recipient of the David Shakow Early Career Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Clinical Psychology from the Society of Clinical Psychology, Division 12 of the APA. Congratulations Dr. Puckett!

Robin Lin Miller is the 2022 recipient of the MSU Community Engaged Scholarship Award along with her partner, MPact Global Action for Gay Men's Health and Rights. Congratulations Dr. Miller!

We are proud of our four graduate students who completed their Ph.D.s in Spring 2022! Congratulations to Drs. MK Kitzmiller, Funmi Ayeni, and Lauren Vollinger (not pictured, Dr. Isi Bilbao)!





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