Summer 2022

Faculty Spotlight in Dr. Yuki Okubo


Yuki Okubo received her Ph.D. from Teachers College, Columbia University in counseling psychology and an M.A. in counseling psychology from Boston College. She is an associate professor at the Department of Psychology at Salisbury University. Dr. Okubo has embraced her professional identity as a counseling psychologist, a qualitative researcher, a feminist and a scholar-activist on social justice issues. Her identity as a researcher is heavily influenced by the professional identity of a counseling psychologist, where the discipline embraces multiculturalism, diversity and social justice issues as core values (Norcross et al., 1998; Speight & Vera, 2004). She is more driven by how the actual research is conducted, as well as the outcome of it to inform action and change. Moreover, her findings from her research have direct implications to the marginalized communities she studies, which inform mental health professionals.

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Two Alums Gave Back to SU Psychology Students


Dr. Hailey Gibbs and Dr. Kate Rogers gave back to their Alma Mater by sharing the victories and challenges of their careers with our students in a Psych Forum facilitated by Dr. Lance Garmon. If you are willing to share your insights with students, please email Dr. Garmon at

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Suicide Prevention: Out of Darkness Walk


Salisbury University hosted the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in the fight to prevent suicide, the second leading cause of death among people ages 15-24, through an Out of the Darkness Campus Walk on April 2, 2022.

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2022 Psi Chi inductees

2022 Psi Chi inductees

In-Person Student Awards Ceremony


The Psychology Department hosted its inaugural combined awards ceremony and Psi Chi honor society induction on Saturday, April 30. Thirty-two of the 71 new Psi Chi inductees celebrated with their families and friends. The ceremony was run by Drs. Heidi Fritz and Rachel Steele, the Psi Chi co-advisors, and Dr. Meredith Patterson, the Psychology Department chair, who introduced the Anderson Award, and Dr. Larence Becker who introduced the Psychology Department Awards and provided musical entertainment. The ceremony was co-facilitated by the Psi Chi student officers, Mackenzie Nickle (president), Breann Smith (vice president), Tieryn Heishman (secretary) and Amanda Niederland (at-large member) and attended by Drs. Cecilia Acocella, Sunny Becker, Karl Maier, Yuki Okubo and Suzanne Osman. Congratulations to all the new Psi Chi inductees and their families!

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Pereboom and Dr. Charisse at the Fulton School Awards

Fulton School Dean Maarten Pereboom and Dr. Charisse Chappell, awardee for service to the Fulton School

Psychology Department Faculty Awards


Four psychology faculty members received Fulton School Awards in May 2022. Dr. Rhyannon Bemis received the award for Excellence in Civic Engagement for her work in the community as part of her Childhood Disorders (PSYC 402) course. Dr. Charisse Chappell received the award for Excellence in Service to the Fulton School for her tireless work supervising the Psychology Internship Program and being on the forefront of diversity efforts in the Psychology Department and the Fulton School. Dr. Michèle Schlehofer received the award for Excellence in Scholarship, and everyone was awed by the time Dean Maarten Pereboom finished reading her list of publications and talks from this academic year. Schlehofer and Dr. Rachel Steele received the award for Excellence in International Education for their innovative work to create opportunities for international education in a time with limited travel and for developing a partnership with Pandit Deendayal Energy University in Gandhinagar, India. Steele also received the 2022 President’s Diversity and Inclusion Champion Award along with six other faculty, staff and students, see:


Students and Faculty in Zoom meeting

Ryan Devine, Ethan Lacy, Drs. Okubo and Schlehofer

SU at the Winter Roundtable Conference, Columbia Teachers College


Drs. Yuki Okubo and Michèle Schlehofer co-presented three talks at the 39th Annual Winter Roundtable Conference at Columbia Teachers College, Columbia University ( in February 2022 with students from the Accelerated Mentoring Program (AMP): Zoe Moreno, Gabrielle Swilley, Rachelle Watson, Ryan Devine, Ethan Lacy, Romona Harden and Soleil Darbouze, and recent graduates of Dr. Okubo’s Racism and Coping Lab: Jenny Welch and Catie Fell. The theme for the Winter Roundtable was “Collective Action and Liberatory Practices in Psychology and Education.” The full program is available at:

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Students and Faculty in Zoom meeting

Dr. Fritz and her students Gretchen Beernink, Erin Stiffler and Sydney Steeves at SUSRC

Psychology Had Strong Presence at SUSRC


Twenty-nine psychology students (listed below) presented seven talks and six posters at Salisbury University’s 20th annual Student Research Conference (SUSRC) in April 2022. Their excellent scholarly work was supported by psychology faculty, including Drs. Larence Becker, Rhyannon Bemis, Heidi Fritz, Karl Maier, Yuko Okubo, Suzanne Osman, Michèle Schlehofer, Rachel Steele and Mark Walter. Bemis and Osman were both nominated for the research mentor award. For the conference program see:

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Salisbury University Participants at Eastern Pyschological Association Conference Department Faculty Awards

Gabrielle Atkinson, Mackenzie Nickle, Justin Lazzarino, Dr. Walter and Alison Weeg at EPA

SU at the Eastern Psychological Association Conference

Department Faculty Awards


A sizeable SU Psychology Department contingent attended and presented in person at the Eastern Psychological Association Conference in March 2022, including Drs. Larence Becker, Heidi Fritz, Echo Leaver, Jason McCartney, Mark Walter, and undergraduate students Josie Amberman, Gabrielle Atkinson, Gretchen Beernink, Regan Benton, Zoe Michelle Bradshaw, Tieryn Gingerich Heishman, Justin Lazzarino, Mackenzie Nickle, Sydney Steeves, Alison Weeg and Samantha Walsh. It was the first professional conference for many of the students. In addition to presenting seven research posters (for the program, see:, Gretchen Beernink won a Psi Chi Honor Society Student Research Award. She gave a terrific presentation at the awards ceremony.

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Supporting Psychology Students Financially

We need your help to provide our students the research and service opportunities that go beyond strictly textbook learning. Your gift, no matter the size, combined with others, will help the Psychology Department give our students the skills needed to succeed in various human services fields. Your investment will support valuable training experience in a range of clinical settings and scientific research. If you wish to give a financial gift please consider donating.

If you would like to be featured in a future newsletter, we would love to hear from you.

Please email Dr. Rachel Steele at

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SU is an Equal Opportunity/AA/Title IX university and provides reasonable accommodation given sufficient notice to the University office or staff sponsoring the event or program. For more information regarding SU’s policies and procedures, please visit

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