Fall 2018 Newsletter | Moving On

Richard Halgin | Paula Pietromonaco | Sally PowersDavid Scherer

Richard Halgin

Richard HalginRichard Halgin is now Professor Emeritus in the Clinical Psychology Program at UMass, where he served on the faculty for 41 years.  He is a Board Certified Clinical Psychologist with over four decades of clinical, supervisory, and consulting experience.  He has published several editions of three textbooks including Abnormal Psychology: Clinical Perspectives on Psychological Disorders, 7th edition (2014, McGraw-Hill, co-authored with Susan Whitbourne); Taking Sides: Controversial Issues in Abnormal Psychology, 9th edition (2018, McGraw-Hill); and A Casebook in Abnormal Psychology: From the Files of Experts (1998, Oxford University Press, co-edited with Susan Whitbourne). He is the author of more than sixty journal articles and book chapters in the fields of psychotherapy, clinical supervision, and professional issues in psychology.

At UMass he has been renowned for his course in Abnormal Psychology, which attracts several hundred students each year. At the graduate level, he helped launch the careers of dozens of clinical psychologists. He played a key role in clinical training through his service as director of the Psychological Services Center (PSC) for many years, through his teaching of ethics and assessment, and in his clinical supervision in the PSC. Over the course of his career at UMass, he was a devoted mentor to 30 graduate students who have all gone on to wide-ranging, impressive careers thanks to his guidance. His teaching and mentorship have been recognized by several awards including the University of Massachusetts Distinguished Teaching Award, the UMass Alumni Association’s Distinguished Faculty Award, and the Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award for mentorship. 

Dr. Halgin’s service to the department, university, state, and national level has been far-reaching. For example, he has served as faculty mentor for the UMass Minutemen Hockey Team and the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, and has served for many years at the Institute for Teaching Excellence and Faculty Development. Dr. Halgin served on the Ethics Committee of the American Psychological Association, as Chair of the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Psychologists, and as Chair of the GRE-Psychology Board of Examiners. He remains clinically active in an independent psychotherapy practice in Amherst, and the University is fortunate that he will continue teaching Abnormal Psychology, Psych 380, for at least the next two years. We thank Dr. Halgin for his many years of service!

Paula Pietromonaco

Paula PietromonacoPaula Pietromonaco was a professor in the Social Psychology Program within the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences (PBS). Her research focuses on how basic psychological processes that arise in the context of people's close relationships such as dating and marital relationships might impact relationship outcomes as well as emotional and physical health over time. Dr. Pietromonaco investigates relationship processes using a variety of methods including examining people's subjective perceptions, the speed of their responses (reaction time), physiological responses (e.g., cortisol reactivity), and behavior (e.g., during interactions with their partners).

Dr. Pietromonaco led a significant longitudinal study, along with PBS faculty member Dr. Sally Powers.  The Growth in Early Marriage Project (GEM), funded by the National Institutes of Health, concentrated on newlywed couples in Western Massachusetts. The researchers investigated how couples change over time and how close relationships affect health.

Dr. Pietromonaco is a fellow of the American Psychological Association (Division 8), the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, the Association for Psychological Science, the Society for Experimental Social Psychology.  She is affiliated with the Center for Research on Families, is a member of the International Association for Relationship Research, and is the Editor for the APA journal Emotion.

Sally Powers

Sally PowersDr. Sally Powers was a professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences and a member of the Neuroscience and Behavior Program at UMass Amherst. She is the former faculty Director of the Center for Research on Families and served - since 2013 until her retirement - as the Associate Dean for Research in the College of Natural Sciences. Professor Powers joined the University in 1988. She was an Assistant Professor of Psychology (1988-91), Associate Professor (1991-95), and has been a Professor since 1995. She served as coordinator of the Psychological Services Center from 1998-2000 and was head of the Department of Psychology’s Clinical Division from 2003-06.

As a renowned developmental psychopathologist, Dr. Powers’ research investigates the interaction of normal developmental processes and psychopathology in adolescents and young adults. Her research focuses on understanding cognitive, personality and life history risk factors in the development of psychopathology, and the mediating roles of interpersonal behavior and neuroendocrine functioning within close relationships. Her most recent studies - funded by NSF, NIMH and NCI - investigate a biopsychosocial model of factors hypothesized to contribute to the sex difference in the prevalence of adolescent and adult depression and anxiety. 

In her administrative roles as Director of the Center for Research on Families and Associate Dean of Research in the College of Natural Sciences, Dr. Powers made significant and lasting contributions to the developmental trajectories of numerous new faculty while building a strong, supportive base for all faculty to build their programs of research. As a leader of research on the UMass Amherst campus, she also modeled through her own active research program, how to use science to answer pressing social questions and to translate research for the social good.

David Scherer

David SchererDavid Scherer has been a faculty member in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences' Clinical Psychology Program since 2005. His research and clinical work focused on adolescents and their families. He studies how adolescents develop autonomy in the family context, as well as innovative models of psychotherapy for troubled and substance abusing adolescents. Dr. Scherer published extensively on how adolescents and parents make important medical and research participation decisions in the American Journal of Bioethics, Pediatrics, Journal of Pediatrics, Journal of Adolescent Health, and American Psychologist. He is a licensed psychologist and serves on the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Psychologists.

Dr. Scherer serves as a member of the Rudd Adoption Research Program advisory board and has been a primary faculty advisor for several graduate students affiliated with the Rudd program. Classes he taught included Using Psychological Science to Inform Public Policy, Adolescent Psychology, and Psychopathology.  Dr. Scherer was tirelessly devoted to his students and advisees, the voice of reason and wisdom in faculty meetings, and a source of good cheer and friendliness to all his colleagues.