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Professor Rebecca Shiner featured in New York Magazine article on presidential temperament

October 17, 2016
A photo of Colgate's Olin Hall, were Rebecca Shiner is based

Professor Shiner and psychology department are in Olin Hall

When New York Magazine planned an article on presidential temperament, they went to psychology professor Rebecca Shiner, the editor of the Handbook of Temperament for her thoughts on the subject.

The article is titled “What Is ‘Presidential Temperament,’ Anyway?” and it analyzes the history, science — and political implications — of temperament.

Temperament is an issue in this election because, during the first debate, Donald Trump suggested his “winning temperament” was his biggest asset, yet many people have asked whether his temperament makes him unsuitable for the Presidency.

The author of the New York Magazine piece, Drake Baer, thinks temperament isn’t a new consideration in U.S. Presidential elections: “The discussion of ‘presidential temperament’ is long (it goes back to the country’s founding) and weird (because the political usage doesn’t match up with the scientific understanding, except when it does).”

Drawing on her research on personality development, Shiner offers insights into how temperament is expressed and its role in shaping life outcomes. The Handbook of Temperament considers “… the pivotal role of temperament in parent-child interactions, attachment, peer relationships, and the development of adolescent and adult personality and psychopathology.”

As the 2016 election comes to a close, the expertise of Colgate professors continues to inform students and the media.

Read the full article at New York Magazine.


Colgate to open first of four residential learning communities
Ciccone Commons
Department of Psychology

Senior Reflection: Kalani Byrd ’16

May 12, 2016

Name: Kalani Byrd

Hometown: Los Angeles, Calif.

Major/Minor: Peace & Conflict Studies/Psychology

Campus activities:

Research assistant for Professor Jennifer Tomlinson in the psychology department
Student caller for the Office of the Annual Fund
Student employee in the merchandising department of the Colgate Bookstore
Member of Kappa Kappa Gamma with service on its philanthropy committee
Vice president of Colgate’s Panhellenic Council

Portrait of Kalani Byrd ’16

Kalani Byrd ’16

I want people to see … that a first-generation woman of color can be successful at Colgate. It was a blessing for me to have the opportunity to attend this university, and I did everything I could to reap the benefits, enjoy my time here, and set myself up for future success. Colgate is such a generous place, and you definitely can find the right people here to help you do well and support you along the way. I also want to leave people understanding that, despite some flaws in the system, there can be a place for women of color in Greek Life at Colgate, seeing as I have had such a positive experience and have found some of my best friends through it.

I hope I leave people with … an understanding that you do not have to study something “mainstream” or “expected” to be successful. You should absolutely only do what you want to do. I started out on the pre-med track and changed to peace and conflict studies, because it’s what I truly loved studying — and I still have a great job lined up after I graduate!

OUS has … tremendously impacted my time here at Colgate. Although I was annoyed back then to be spending my last summer before college taking classes here, I’ve come to realize that it was all totally worth it. The experience of those two classes really prepared me for Colgate’s academic challenges. Having a family of faculty and professors whom I can go to when I need literally anything at all has been invaluable. Some of my very best friends — friends I know I will be with for life — I also found from that summer and OUS. These are memories and people that are going to be with me for a lifetime, and for that, I am forever grateful.

Primary analysis: nonverbal communication in the 2016 presidential race

March 7, 2016

With candidates knitting their brows, pouting, barking at hecklers, making sweeping hand gestures, and wearing high-heeled boots, the 2016 primary season is a true wild west show.

“I’ve never seen an election quite like this one, where stage presence has meant so much,” said Colgate University Professor of Psychology Carrie Keating. “So what are the elements that draw us to certain leaders?”

Keating, an expert on nonverbal communication in politics, answers this question and many others in a new series of videos, analyzing the appearance and behavior of America’s 2016 presidential frontrunners.

Jeffrey Sumber ’92 offers relationship advice

December 17, 2015
Jeffrey Sumber ’92 stand in front of a cityscape

Jeffrey Sumber ’92

As you gather together with your family for the holidays, check out this alumni profile from the autumn Colgate Scene.

Jeffrey Sumber ’92 is encouraging couples to take responsibility for their own happiness with his new book, Renew Your Wows: Seven Powerful Tools to Ignite the Spark and Transform Your Relationship.

At Colgate, Sumber double-majored in peace and conflict studies and political science. Now a licensed psychotherapist, university professor, and relationship consultant, he also has a master’s in theological studies from Harvard University and a master’s of transpersonal psychology from Southwestern College. Sumber’s premise for healthy relationships is that we must embrace the power of personal responsibility as the counterbalance to projection. “If we want to be happy, we can’t look across to our partners and blame them for our own lack of engagement, passion, and sense of gratitude,” he said. Here are his tools to transform our relationships with ourselves and shift our relationships with others. Keep reading.


New ColgateX online course: Medicating for Mental Health

August 25, 2015
A portrait of Scott Kraly

Scott Kraly, Charles A. Dana Professor of psychology (Photo by Andrew Daddio)

“It is highly likely that you, a member of your family, or a close friend will face the decision of whether to use a medication to treat a diagnosed psychiatric disorder. Do you have the skills and knowledge to participate in the decision to use a drug as therapy?”

That is the opening paragraph for Medicating for Mental Health: Judicious Use of Psychiatric Drugs, a new online course on ColgateX, launching on August 26.  The instructor is Scott Kraly, Charles A Dana Professor of Psychology.

Read more

Summer school for Shiner

August 3, 2015
Psychology professor Rebecca Shiner standing with members of her summer course

Psychology professor Rebecca Shiner (far right) with members of her summer course

Editor’s note: This post was written by Rebecca Shiner, professor of psychology

To what extent do we maintain the same personality traits from childhood to adulthood? Are our most extraverted college classmates likely to be the most extraverted middle-aged adults at our 25th college reunion? How do our motivations and goals shape the course of our lives? Do the ways that we narrate our experiences shape our well-being and satisfaction with our lives?

I have spent the last two weeks in Boston exploring questions like these with a group of 15 graduate students from PhD programs in social and personality psychology from the United States, Canada, and the Netherlands.

Normally, Colgate professors do not teach during the summer and use that time to focus on their scholarship instead. But, I was offered the opportunity to co-teach a two-week course on personality development as part of the Summer Institute for Social and Personality Psychology, held at Northeastern University this July. Read more

April Bailey ’14 and Professor Spencer Kelly publish in the Journal of Nonverbal Behavior

May 28, 2015

April Bailey ’14 began studying gender and power dynamics at Colgate, in classrooms and in the lab with Spencer Kelly, professor of psychology and neuroscience. Now a PhD student in the social psychology program at Yale, Bailey has already published the first paper of her career.

Titled “Picture power: Gender versus body language in perceived dominance,” the paper is based on Bailey’s senior thesis at Colgate. It appeared in the April 2015 issue of the Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, and was subsequently covered by Psychology Today.

“The upshot of the study is clear,” wrote Susan Krauss Whitbourne, a professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. “For women, if you want to appear powerful, you have not only to walk, but to stand and sit, like a man. It doesn’t take designer clothes, expensive suits, killer heels or even short hair to show that you’re in charge. Your body’s pose will tell it all.”

April Bailey '14

April Bailey ’14, PhD student at Yale

Bailey, first author on the paper, conducted her research at Colgate. Participants were presented with images of men and women in dominant and submissive poses, and then given a word and asked to quickly classify the word as dominant or submissive. The research also measured how quickly participants could make this decision and how many errors were made.

The results showed that participants associated dominant words with dominant poses for both men and women, but when it came to submissive poses, things weren’t as clear. While participants did link submissive words to submissive poses for women, men in submissive poses caused confusion. Participants didn’t always link submissive words to submissive poses for men.

Bailey also presented her research at the Nonverbal Preconference to the 16th Annual Meeting of the Society of Personality and Social Psychology in Long Beach, California, in February 2015. (PDF of poster)

Roleplaying club brings people together through storytelling

April 30, 2015
Colgate's Roleplaying Game Society. Photo by Anna Heil '16

Colgate’s Roleplaying Game Society brings together students, faculty, and staff. Photo by Anna Heil ’16

A jungle ranger, an alchemist, a nomadic bard, and a cleric of the sun goddess struggle to save a fantasy desert region from a war fueled by racial discrimination. In other words, a small group of Colgate students, staff, and faculty members are gathered together in the Coop for their weekly role-playing game session. This group is just one segment of a new organization on campus called the Colgate Roleplaying Game (RPG) Society. Read more

Colgate students meet President Obama

April 10, 2015
President Obama at a podium addressing a town hall event in Jamaica.

A snapshot of President Barack Obama addressing a town hall event in Jamaica. Photo by Stephanie Rameau ’15.

President Barack Obama’s brief visit to Jamaica this week included time to chat with three excited students in the Colgate Jamaica Study Group.

Read more

Sohee Ryuk ’15 wins prestigious Thomas J. Watson Fellowship

March 16, 2015
A photo of Sohee Ryuk ‘15

Sohee Ryuk ’15 wins Watson Fellowship

Sohee Ryuk ’15 is one of just 50 students awarded a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship for a year of independent, purposeful exploration and travel outside of the United States on a self-designed topic of their choosing. Ryuk receives $28,000 for the 12-month fellowship beginning in July, 2015.

Including Ryuk, 70 Colgate University nominees have received this prestigious fellowship since it was established in 1968.

Read more

Google’s Debra LoCastro ’05 explains why tech firms value Colgate degrees

November 18, 2014

(Editor’s Note: Colgate has a professional network committed to helping students and alumni discover careers in the digital media and technology fields.)

In her eight years with GoogleDebra LoCastro ’05 has risen from sales associate to university programs lead. She manages the student outreach team, helping students learn about career opportunities at Google.

She recently visited Colgate for a series of workshops and networking sessions with students. She took a moment to share her ideas on how the tech world, and companies like Google, find value in liberal arts degrees, like those offered at Colgate. Read more

Professor Bruce Hansen looks at the ability to process a scene

August 29, 2014
Bruce Hansen, associate professor of psychology and neuroscience

Bruce Hansen, associate professor of psychology and neuroscience

It takes humans about 27 milliseconds (or less) — approximately one-tenth of the time it takes to blink your eyes — to comprehend the meaning, or “gist,” of a scene. Read more

Professors team up to show Colgate first years The ’Gate Way

August 15, 2014

Some students adjust to college easily and naturally, while others struggle and even falter. A new online non-credit “course,” comprised of 13 short videos made by Colgate faculty, is designed to minimize the mystery about what it takes to succeed. The series also includes many student-produced video responses featuring current students and alumni. Read more

Margaretta Burdick ’14 awarded a Fulbright to teach in Turkey

May 23, 2014

Margaretta Burdick ‘14, of Bedford, N.Y.,  has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) to Turkey, where she will serve as an English teaching assistant in a university setting.

A double major in political Science and psychology, Burdick first experienced Turkish culture during a brief trip to Istanbul while she was on Colgate’s Geneva Study Group, where she also did a major research paper on Turkey’s possible accession to the European Union.

Read more

Professor Jennifer Tomlinson examines peril of putting romantic partner on a pedestal

April 29, 2014

What are the consequences when one partner feels over-idealized by another?

Jennifer M. Tomlinson, assistant professor of psychology, set out to examine whether there is a limit to the benefits of feeling idealized.

Read more

Colgate seniors present research to leading scholars in Japan

April 16, 2014
J&M traveling_WEB

Jessica Huang ’14 and Michael Manansala ’14 presented their research at Kobe University in Japan and also had time for some independent travel.

Over spring break, Jessica Huang ’14 and Michael Manansala ’14 put the capstone on a research project that they’ve been working on for much of their Colgate careers. Traveling to Kansai, Japan, the seniors presented their research titled “Does observing or producing different types of hand gestures help second-language auditory learning of Japanese short and long vowels?” Read more

Psychology professor Douglas Johnson receives 2014 Balmuth teaching award

April 10, 2014
Professor Douglas Johnson

Douglas Johnson, associate professor of psychology, is the recipient of the 2014 Jerome Balmuth Award for Teaching and Student Engagement. (Photo by Alice Virden-Speer)

Douglas Johnson, associate professor of psychology, has received the 2014 Jerome Balmuth Award for Teaching and Student Engagement. Faculty, staff, students, university trustees, and friends joined the celebration, which took place March 27 at the Colgate Inn.

Established through a gift from Mark Siegel ’73, the Balmuth Award recognizes a faculty member whose teaching is “distinctively successful and transformative.” It is named in honor of the legendary Jerry Balmuth, Harry Emerson Fosdick Professor of philosophy and religion emeritus.

Read more

Alumni running for seats in U.S. Congress

April 3, 2014
New York State Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney

New York State Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney


Derek Hyra, associate professor of urban affairs and planning at Virginia Tech









At least two Colgate alumni are running for U.S. Congress: State Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney ’83 is running in New York’s 22nd District, and Derek Hyra ’96 is running in Virginia’s 8th District.  Read more

April Bailey ’14 dances with gender issues in her research and performance

March 7, 2014

Performed by 17 students, Wires accompanied women’s studies and psychology research by April Bailey ’14 (far right). Photos by Ashlee Eve ’14

In the last movement of her dance performance titled Wires, April Bailey ’14 (pictured in pink) breaks free from the group and moves independently — just as she’s demonstrated academically.  Read more

Psychology major Casey Sherman ‘14 researches what makes memories stick

October 29, 2013
Casey Sherman '14 is studying how we process memories. (Photo by Natalie Sportelli '15)

Casey Sherman ’14 is studying how we process memories. (Photo by Natalie Sportelli ’15)

Colgate students are sharing their experiences conducting research with faculty members on campus and in the field. This post is by Casey Sherman ‘14, of Vancouver, who is a psychology major.

Each day you see hundreds of different stimuli. You pay attention to certain environmental features, but not to others; some things change, and others stay constant. At the end of the day, you’re left with an array of memories. You’ll forget some details from the day, but other memories remain with you for future use.

My thesis research, supervised by Professor Douglas Johnson, is intended to explore several questions about memory. How does attention to experiences affect your memory of them? Are changes or consistency in the environment more readily remembered? Are changes in the environment processed differently depending how much attention you pay to them?

Read more

NSF grant fosters interdisciplinary research, allows student access to high-level instrumentation

September 10, 2013

Students manipulate an older model of the electroencephalography (EEG) system.

Several faculty members recently were awarded a major National Science Foundation (NSF) grant that will allow for interdisciplinary cooperation between the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience Program and provide students access to equipment usually not found in undergraduate research facilities.

Professors Bruce Hansen, Arnold Ho, Spencer Kelly, Carrie Keating, and Doug Johnson jointly applied for the grant through the NSF’s Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program to obtain a state-of-the-art electroencephalography (EEG) system for use by faculty and students studying psychology and neuroscience.

The EEG system, which consists of electrodes that are placed on a person’s scalp, records brain waves. The system will integrate existing lines of behavioral research with neuroscience research measuring neuroelectric brain activation.

Hansen, associate professor of psychology, spearheaded the grant proposal.

“Having a shared EEG system will provide a common tool connecting a diverse range of department members and will facilitate both intradisciplinary and interdisciplinary work among researchers at Colgate that may not otherwise collaborate,” Hansen said.

Read more

Professor Spencer Kelly featured in The Atlantic magazine

June 10, 2013
In psychology professor Spencer Kelly's cognitive neuroscience lab, students examine data results from experiments to see how the brain responds to gestures. Professor Kelly is on the far left in the blue shirt.

Students examine data in Spencer Kelly’s cognitive neuroscience lab.

For an article titled “The Evolution of Hand Gestures: Why Do Some Die Out and Others Endure?”, The Atlantic magazine contacted Spencer Kelly, associate professor of psychology, for his expertise on hand gestures.

The article examined two kinds of hand gestures. The first are “co-speech gestures”, unconscious ways we move our hands as we talk. Professor Kelly talked about the use of these kinds of hand gestures in Scientific American Magazine

“Emblematic gestures”, the second kind of hand gestures, are culturally codified motions we use to supplement or substitute speech—the peace sign, the thumbs-up, the raised middle finger, etc.

Read more

Faculty appointments and promotions announced

March 20, 2013

Provost and Dean of the Faculty Douglas A. Hicks recently announced faculty appointments and promotions that had been approved by the university’s Board of Trustees. Read more

Colgate students awarded Watson Fellowships

March 19, 2013
 Rebekah Ward ‘13

Rebekah Ward ‘13 is one of two Colgate students recently selected as Watson Fellows. (Photo by Janna Minehart ’13)

Thanks to newly awarded Watson Fellowships, two Colgate seniors will travel the globe next year to conduct research ranging from political accountability in countries like Egypt and Russia, to bias toward Gypsy populations in Europe.

The prestigious Watson Fellowship is a one-year $25,000 grant for independent study and travel outside the United States, awarded to graduating seniors. Colgate University is one of 40 institutions of higher education participating in the Watson Fellowship program.

Srikar Gullapalli ’13, a math major from Bangalore, India, and Rebekah Ward ’13, a psychology and peace and conflict studies double major from Montreal, Canada, are two of just 40 announced Watson Fellowships for 2013-2014. Read more

Colgate professor evaluates debate performances

October 4, 2012

Psychology professor Carrie Keating studies charisma, physical leadership qualities, and the facial features that suggest power as well as compassion. Last night, she watched the first of four presidential campaign debates for clues to how the candidates are being perceived by voters in the home stretch. Read more