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Psychology department celebrates centennial

Thursday, April 21, 2016

LAWRENCE – Alumni, faculty, staff and students will gather together next week to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the founding of the Department of Psychology at the University of Kansas.

Psychology has been offered in some form at KU since the university’s founding in 1865. For the first few decades, however, psychology was included within the philosophy department. The first two chancellors, R.W. Oliver and John Fraser, taught courses framed around “Mental Philosophy.” The Department of Psychology became reality in 1916-’17, when courses were completely separated from philosophy for the first time. The university offered 15 courses in psychology with three faculty in the department. The first master’s degrees in psychology were reportedly awarded in the early 1920s.

To mark its centennial year, the Department of Psychology invites the public to attend events ranging from a casual coffee hour to a series of alumni research talks. The scheduled events are:

Centennial Welcome Event, April 28
2 to 3 p.m., Paul Adam Lounge, Adams Alumni Center
Faculty, alumni, students and friends are invited to reminisce, catch up with old friends and make new connections. Cookies and coffee will be served.

Symposium for Undergraduate Psychology Engagement and Research Poster Session, April 28
3 to 5 p.m., Paul Adam Lounge and Phillips Board Room, Adams Alumni Center
The latest research from undergraduate students in the Department of Psychology will be on display. More on the poster session at http://psych.ku.edu/super-poster-session.

Centennial Speaker Sessions, April 29
8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m., All-American/McGee Rooms, Adams Alumni Center
Six alumni speakers will deliver presentations on their research throughout the day.

  • 9 to 9:45 a.m., “Coping with Serious Illness: One Size Does Not Fit All,” Annette Stanton (University of California-Los Angeles)
  • 10 to 10:45 a.m., “40 Years of Math Cognition,” Mark Ashcraft (University of Nevada-Las Vegas)
  • 11 to 11:45 a.m., “Creative Thought: Exploring the Science of Good Ideas,” Paul Silvia (University of North Carolina-Greensboro)
  • 1 to 1:45 p.m., “Activities and Rituals that Promote Cognitive Development and Well-being in Children,” Monica Tsethlikai (Arizona State University)
  • 2 to 2:45 p.m., “A Few Good Men: Power and Patriarchy,” Terri Vescio (Penn State University)
  • 3 to 3:45 p.m., “Theorizing about Context, Resiliency, and Human Vulnerability,” Margaret Beale Spencer (University of Chicago)

For more information or questions about the events, contact the Department of Psychology at 785-864-4131 or psychology@ku.edu.

The Department of Psychology is part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, which encourages learning without boundaries in its more than 50 departments, programs and centers. The College is KU's broadest, most diverse academic unit.