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Psychology News Archive

News Archive

These are news items that have previously appeared on the Shepherd University Department of Psychology’s home page.

Online and in-person options available for Fall classes

With the COVID-19 pandemic, many students are looking for class options that don’t require them to be physically present on campus. Other students are excited to be back on campus. Shepherd has done an incredible job preparing the campus for our return, and so the Psychology Department is excited to be able to accommodate all of our students. Fall 2019 classes in the Department of Psychology are being offered in seated (in-person), online, and hybrid formats. While, as in most semesters, students have a number of choices among classes that take place completely online, many of our classes are being offered such that students have the choice of either being physically present in the classroom or tuning in to the class via Zoom. Students should contact individual instructors for information on specific classes. Welcome back, Shepherd Psychology students!

Summer Class to be Offered by Senator John Unger

During the summer, 2020 class session, WV State Senator John Unger will teach a class in the Shepherd University Department of Psychology titled PSYC 499: Special Topics: West Virginia Recovery Coach/Life coach Academy. The 3-credit course will enhance the skills of those individuals who support people on their life journey. This groundbreaking, game changing training is one of the best available for anyone interested in recovery/ life coaching by providing the knowledge and skills necessary to guide, mentor and support others through their own transition, recovery and growth process. It prepares participants by helping them actively listen, ask appropriate questions and discover ways to manage their own issues while providing resources to others.

There are no course prerequisites and enrollment is open to all. There is no additional cost to participants beyond Shepherd University tuition. Participants have one calendar year to complete at least 16 clinical hours after which they may be certified as a WV Recovery Coach/Life Coach.

Middle schoolers visit Shepherd

November 2019. Seventh-graders from both Harpers Ferry Middle school (Jefferson County) and South Middle (Berkeley County) experienced a taste of college life while Shepherd students in Dr. Dobish’s Adolescent Development class and Dr. Lawless’s Stress Management class learned more about the various aspects of adolescent development and coping with stress. The 7th graders saw the Shepherd campus, spent some time in the Game Zone, and engaged with Shepherd students in small groups. The highlight of the day was eating in the dining hall. The fun-filled day of learning and mentorship ended with a pep rally led by Shepherd cheerleaders before departing for their return ride to their middle school.

40th Anniversary of the psychology B.A.

At Homecoming, we celebrated 40 years of the B.A. in Psychology degree at Shepherd by participating in the Founder’s Day parade and the Homecoming Parade. The faculty had a wonderful time seeing so many of our current and past students!

2019 Study Abroad program a success!

A group from Shepherd University, including 14 Psychology majors, two Psychology minors, three members of the community, one Shepherd staff member, and three Shepherd faculty traveled to London and Paris in May for an academic study tour focused on the history of Psychology. Even though we were only overseas for six days, we saw many incredible things, like the homes of Charles Darwin home and Sigmund Freud in London, an exhibition on the psychology of magic at the Wellcome Collection in London, and the Salpetriere hospital and the Louvre in Paris. Everyone had a fantastic time!

Here we are in front of Down House, the home of Charles Darwin in the village of Downe, Kent.

Graduate training agreement with Frostburg State U.

Spring 2019. The Master’s in Counseling Psychology program at Frostburg State University has agreed to accept at least one qualified Shepherd Psychology graduate into their program each year. The application deadline for this program is December 15th. See Dr. Murtagh for more information.

Department of Psychology leadership award

April, 2019. Our congratulations to this year’s recipient of the Department of Psychology Leadership Award, Lacey Emry. Lacey will be recognized for all she does for the students and faculty of our department at the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences student recognition day, Tuesday April 16th, starting at 3:30 p.m. in White Hall. All are welcome.

Eleventh annual Aging Well Workshop slated for May 14; registration deadline is May 8

Shepherd’s 11th Annual Aging Well Workshop, “Compassion: Tools for Personal Transformation and Social Courage,” will take place Tuesday, May 14, from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education. This workshop, sponsored by the departments of nursing, psychology, and social work, will offer six continuing education units (CEU) for nurses and social workers. It is open to members of the community, including elders and their families. The cost, which includes lunch, is $50 to obtain CEUs and $25 for other participants. The deadline to register is May 8. The keynote speaker will be the Rev. Gudjon Bergmann, founder and lead educator at Harmony Interfaith Initiative, an educational and social good organization based in Kyle, Texas.

Psych of Aging students & SAIL

On Friday, March 22nd, students from Dr. Dobish’s PSYC 343 Psychology of Aging class had the opportunity to meet with members of Shepherdstown Area for Independent Living (SAIL). This experiential learning experience helps dispel negative stereotypes the students may have about older adults.

Student Research published

Recent Psychology graduate Rachel DiLima recently saw the writeup of her Senior Thesis research, Risky Behavior: The Roles of Depression, Openness to Experience, and Coping, published in Shepherd’s online journal for undergraduate research, SPARKS.

Congratulations, Rachel!

Study Abroad 2019

Once again, the Department of Psychology is sponsoring an academic study tour to London and Paris to take place in May, 2019. Visit our Study Abroad page for more information. Students wishing to receive credit as part of the trip should plan on enrolling in Dr. Lovelace’s section of PSYC 420 History & Systems of Psychology in spring, 2019.

Contact Dr. Chris Lovelace for more information.

Seeding your Future Workshops

Do you know any middle-school-aged girls interested in learning about science? If so, take a look at Shepherd’s “Seeding Your Future” workshops taking place on Saturday, September 22nd, 2018

There’s a list of workshops on their website. Three will be presented by Psychology faculty:
Dr. Lindsey Levitan: Thinking outside the box: odd and unexpected mental processes
Dr. Heidi Dobish: The Eyes: a pathway to your soul or your brain?
Dr. Chris Lovelace: I See What You’re Saying: Sight and Hearing in the Brain

And did I mention it’s free? Visit their website for more information. Use the pull-down menu at the top right to see the list of workshops and to register. The deadline to register is September 7th.

10th Annual Aging Well Workshop

Aging Well: Being Prepared Through the Decades
Tuesday, May 8th at the Robert C. Bryd Center for Congressional History and Education.

This day-long workshop presents themes related to: planning for healthy aging across the life span, the lifestyle factors that contribute to healthy aging, ways to proactively plan for all aspects of the aging process, and to not forget the importance of humor along the way. It offers 6 continuing education units for nurses and social workers and is also open to members of the community, including elders and their families.

Registration is $50 per person for CEUs or $25 per person. RSVP by May 1 to Sharon Earl at 304-876-5332 or or Heidi Dobish at 304-876-5435 or

Sponsored by Departments of Nursing Education, Psychology, and Social Work.

Read more:

Brain coverage

The Department got some publicity for our newly-acquired human brain, to be used in PSYC 361 Biopsychology and possibly a few other classes outside the department. Read all about us in the local papers here:
Martinsburg Journal
Hagerstown Herald-Mail
Biopsychology students see human brain

Study Abroad 2016

The Department of Psychology is sponsoring an academic study tour to London and Paris in May, 2016. Visit our Study Abroad page for more information.