Natasha de la Rosa-Rivera, 2019 CRF Graduate Student Grant Writing Program Member Receives NIH Funding

Improving the Diagnosis and Treatment of Memory Disorders in Aging and Alzheimer's 

Natasha de la Rosa-RiveraNatasha M. de la Rosa-Rivera, a 4th year Ph.D. candidate in the Neuroscience and Behavior Program, and 2019 CRF Graduate Student Grant Writers Program member was recently named as a recipient of an NIH dissertation award (R36) to complete and further her research. Receiving this award will allow Natasha to test her overarching hypothesis that brain regions contribute to a cognitive task – be it perceptual or mnemonic – according to the representations they contain. 

Fall 2021 Newsletter

lacrosse players practice by Tobin Hall

Catch up with the latest PBS news including spotlights on our talented students, faculty, and alumni!

Read full issue

Features include:

  • Using behavioral activation therapy as a treatment for depression
  • Alumni Profile: Ibrahim Dahlstrom-Hakki ‘08PhD, Senior Research Scientist at TERC
  • Songbird neurons for advanced cognition mirror the physiology of mammalian counterparts
  • PBS mentors promising students during summer programs
  • Spotlight on Alumni:
    • Jane Studeny Oliveira '13, PsyD, Pediatric Neuropsychologist at Boston Neuropsychological Services
    • Patrick McGonigal '16, MA, Doctoral candidate in Clinical Psychology and Masters of Legal Studies (MLS) Student at the University of Nebraska Lincoln

Also check out additional Research Highlights, Awards and Updates, and PBS faculty and students In the Media!

A Qualitative Investigation of the Impact of COVID-19 on Emergency Medicine Physicians’ Emotional Experiences and Coping

doctors hands using stethoscope

UMass Amherst graduates and current PhD students of the Affect and Social Cognition Lab directed by Linda Isbell have authored a new paper in press at the Journal of the American College of Emergency Physicians. This project is part of the grant "Emotional Influences on Diagnostic Error in Emergency Medicine: An Experimental Approach to Understand Diagnostic Failure and Facilitate Improvement for Patients with and without Mental Illness" funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Authors: Welsh, Margaux; Chimowitz, Hannah; Nanavati, Janvi; Huff, Nathan R., & Isbell, Linda M.

Study objective: Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, emergency medicine providers in the United States have faced unprecedented challenges, risks, and uncertainty while caring for patients in an already vulnerable healthcare system. As such, the pandemic has exacerbated high levels of negative emotions and burnout among emergency medicine providers, but little systematic qualitative work has documented these phenomena. The purpose of this qualitative investigation was to study ED physicians’ emotional experiences in response to COVID-19 and the coping strategies that they employed to navigate the pandemic.

Clark University and UMass Amherst “Teachers and Adopted Children” Survey:  Key Findings, Topline Results, and Recommendations

university logos

Abbie Goldberg (Clark University) and Harold Grotevant (UMass Amherst), in collaboration with the Rudd Adoption Research Program, launched a survey of teachers’ experiences with adopted children April 6 2021 – May 15, 2021. Responses were gathered from 207 K-12 teachers,  paraprofessionals, and other school professionals, including elementary school teachers, secondary school teachers , special education teachers, and programming/support staff (e.g., afterschool program teacher; librarian). A broad representation of grade levels and subject matter areas was achieved; over 40 responses were received from teachers at each grade level, K-12. Primary focus was teachers’ experiences with and perspectives on adopted children and families, but the survey also addressed COVID-19-related stressors and concerns.

Using behavioral activation therapy as a treatment for depression

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A diagnosis of depression can make those who suffer from the disorder feel lethargic, reluctant to participate in activities that once brought them pleasure, or feel unable to take action to better their situation. Behavioral activation (BA) is a method of psychotherapy that helps people get re-engaged in their life by reducing depression, enabling individuals to live more in the present moment, and increasing their overall enjoyment of life.

First recipients of the Feldman-Vorwerk Internship Award announced

Patricia Cole
Patricia Cole
Shelby Casimir
Shelby Casimir

I am pleased to share information on the first recipients of the Feldman-Vorwerk Internship Award. Your generosity helps our engaged, curious, and creative students thrive as they pursue their degrees and prepare to lead in academia, government, healthcare, and industry.

In a time of societal transformation brought on by a global pandemic, advances in technology, and other challenges, support from the Feldman-Vorwerk Internship Award helps to ensure the next generation of scientists and leaders will be well prepared to make contributions to their professions and communities.