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Faculty & Staff News

What's going on with the psychology faculty and staff?  Take a look here for general news regarding our department.  You can also visit individual faculty pages to learn more about the people who work here. 



Feb 2018

Virlinda Billups received SCSU's Social Justice Top Owl award for January 2018, and was recognized at a ceremony on Jan 31.  She received the award in recognition of her "To Fuel the Mind" initiative and her overall generosity toward and concern for students and the community. For To Fuel the Mind, Virlinda bought a variety of 'grab-n-go' snacks and drinks with her own money and posted signs around Engleman, so that any student who was hungry or in need of a pick-me-up, could stop by the Psychology Department and get a free snack. She also made sandwiches and provided them for free for students during finals. She also started a food bank at her church, Breakthrough Church in Hamden, and she has spearheaded this initiative, from buying the food, to organizing the goods at the church, to welcoming families who came to the food bank looking for assistance. More generally, she keeps an eye out for students in the Psychology department showing signs of distress, and makes sure they have help when they need it.

We're very excited that Virlinda was recognized for all that she does!




May 2017

The SCSU R.E.A.D.S. lab collected books and cash donations at SCSU to provide a "book fair" for first graders at our school research site, Church Street School in Hamden, on May 10, 2017. Children chose two books to keep and read for summer reading. Thanks to all who donated! Below are two of our research assistants who helped at the book fair:




  Debby C--Feb2016 News

DR. Debby Carroll and dr. Cheryl Durwin newspaper INTERVIEW

February 2016
Excerpt from Joe Musante,  SCSU Public Relations office

The Connecticut Post ran a Page 1 story Friday about a reading intervention program offered by Southern’s Psychology Department at St. James School in Stratford.

Faculty and students have been working with those first- and second-grade students at the school who are below grade level in reading comprehension. Assessment tests showed major gains by those students during the 2014-15 school year. Deborah Carroll, professor of psychology; Cheryl Durwin, assistant chairwoman of the psychology department, and Emily Spoto, an SCSU psychology major, were quoted in the story. Three photos accompanied the article.

To view the interview, click here 


SCSU Reads 2015


DR. CHERYL DURWIN, Dr. Dina Moore, & Dr. Larry Brancazio

December 2015

The SCSU R.E.A.D.S. lab collected and distributed over 400 books to local children at the citywide Winter Wonderland event at Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven on December 21st. Thank you to our “little elves” for helping at the event.



November 2015
Excerpt from Joe Musante,  SCSU Public Relations office

As Southern celebrates Social Justice Week on campus, the New Haven Register ran a story in today’s paper about a new course being taught this semester by Jessica Suckle-Nelson, associate professor of psychology, called “Social Psychology of Stereotypes and Prejudice.” The story explores the psychological side of prejudice, stereotypes and discrimination.

To view the Register story, click here


DR. JULIA IRWIN Interviewed by Channel 3

March 2015
Excerpt from Joe Musante,  SCSU Public Relations office

Dr. Julia Irwin discussed her ongoing study on autism... "The study is funded through a $500,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health and includes Haskins Laboratories. It examines whether the avoidance of eye contact by children with an autism spectrum disorder is the primary cause of the speech and language difficulties that typically accompany the disorder. Children between the ages of 6 and 12 are being tested with the hope that the results will lead to better treatments."

 To view the Channel 3 story, click here



January 2015

Julia Irwin was interviewed regarding her research on autism.  Graduate student Jacqui Turcios and undergraduate student Kate DeMartino were also mentioned in the article.  See the article here.




Dr. Michael Nizhnikov featured in Southern Life

November 2014 edition

The newest member of the psychology department faculty is making headlines already.  He discusses his research on prenatal drinking and the effect on descendants here.

New book

DR. Dina Moore & DR. Julia Irwin publish new book

November 2014

Preparing Children for Reading Success: Hands-on Activities for Librarians, Educators and Caregivers

DR. Cheryl Durwin and Dr. Debby Carroll FEATURED IN SOUTHERN LIFE

June 2014 edition

 This article highlights their research on reading and skill learning in local schools.  See the article here.