Psychology and Child Development

College of Liberal Arts

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Message from the Chair

Welcome to this year’s electronic version of the Networker! As we progress further into the digital age, we are exploring ways to best communicate with our students and alumni (check out our new department Facebook page).

In fall 2014, I became chair of the department. I assumed this role from Gary Laver, who led the department for six years and who now serves as chair of the Cal Poly Academic Senate. We thank Gary for his leadership during a time when Cal Poly, like our entire nation, was in a financial crisis. We have come through this period a strong and vibrant department, largely as a result of Gary’s steady hand on the tiller.

We’ve had a busy year in the department! Student enrollment continues to grow. Our fall 2015 entering class includes approximately 110 psychology majors and 65 child development majors, and we now have more than 300 psychology or child development minors. Higher enrollment means our classes are full — not just with our own majors and minors but with students from across campus who take our classes to fulfill a General Education requirement or who have heard how wonderful our courses are and just want to take them.

And our courses are popular, thanks to our amazing faculty who care deeply about student learning. This year we welcomed the newest member of our faculty, Taylor Smith, who completed his doctorate in clinical psychology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University. We are thrilled to have him at Cal Poly!

We are proud of our students! So many take on multiple responsibilities, including work, clubs, study abroad, community service, research and more. We were pleased, but not surprised, last year when Camille Zumbro (child development) received the university-wide award for academic excellence while Jerusha Beebe (psychology) received the College of Liberal Arts award for Contributions to the Objectives and Public Image of the College.

I hope this issue of our newsletter will give you a sense of what we have been up to last year. As always, we thank you for your continued support. Keep us updated on your current activities, and please stay in touch!

Jasna Jovanovic

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