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50th Anniversary Psychology Conference Brings Together Top Alumni, Faculty Scholars to Highlight Research and Honor Achievements

Villanova University’s Department of Psychology Celebrates 50th Anniversary with two-day conference, April 8-9

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University’s Department of Psychology will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a two-day conference bringing back to campus Villanova Psychology alumni who are now top scholars in the field to discuss research in areas from family mealtimes to interpersonal understanding to adolescent development. Also during the April 8-9 event, Villanova Psychology alumni working in non-academic careers will speak about important issues and workplace experiences in a panel presentation. All sessions will take place in Bartley Hall on the Villanova University campus and are free and open to the public.

“Over the last 50 years, Villanova’s Department of Psychology has awarded over 2700 undergraduate degrees and more than 500 M.S. degrees,” said Thomas Toppino, chairperson of Villanova University’s Department of Psychology. “Many of our distinguished graduates are returning for our 50th anniversary celebration to discuss research and careers, and to be recognized for their outstanding accomplishments.  This group is representative of the tremendous success that students of the department have had as academic and professional psychologists and in a wide range of other professions and careers.”

The conference kicks off April 8 at 1 p.m. with keynote speaker Barbara Fiese (Villanova University, M.S. ’81), Ph.D., from the University of Illinois, discussing the “ABC’s of Family Mealtimes: Opportunities to Promote Health and Well-Being through Evidence, Practice and Policy.” From 4-5 p.m., Villanova Psychology alumni in fields such as law, school psychology, management consulting, marketing research, firefighting, counseling and human resources will speak about how a psychology degree can be put to use in non-academic careers.

On April 9 from 1-2 p.m., George Rebec (Villanova University, B.A. ’71), Ph.D., from Indiana University, will give a keynote speech, “From Oranges to Brains: What We’ve Learned about Vitamin C is leading to New Therapeutic Targets for Huntington’s Disease.” Other April 9 speakers include:

David Penn (Villanova University, M.S. ’86), Ph.D., “Social Cognition and Interaction Training for Schizophrenia”

Patricia May Ververs (Villanova University, B.A. ’91), Ph.D., “Using Psychology for Avionics Design”

Michael Furr (Villanova University, M.S. ’95), Ph.D., Psychology and Politics – “Obama, O’Reilly and the Office: On Understanding Ourselves, Understanding Others and Being Understood”

Russell Romeo (Villanova University, M.S. ’95), Ph.D., “Adolescent Development and the Sculpting of the Stress Response”

To close the two-day event, a private banquet honoring the achievements of Psychology students and alumni will be held the evening of April 9. 

Click here for more information on Psychology’s 50th Anniversary Conference.

Villanova University’s Department of Psychology was founded during the 1959-60 academic year, with the master’s program launching in 1961. It has nearly 200 majors in the undergraduate program and 35 full-time graduate students in the master’s program. The 15 full-time faculty members in the department include experimental, clinical, developmental, and individual-differences psychologists, and have active research programs in many areas of psychological science including attention and performance, behavioral and computational neuroscience, child development, cognitive aging, cognitive neuroscience, human factors, learning, memory, personality, social psychology, visual perception, and both human and comparative cognition.