Alumni - Department of Psychology

From Our Chair

Dr Richard Petty

It is my pleasure to conclude my second year as chair of the department of psychology at Ohio State. In the last newsletter, we highlighted our 100th Anniversary celebration as a department, the grand opening of our new state-of-the-art building, as well as many faculty and student accomplishments.

Over the past year, the good news for the department continued. Several faculty have won prestigious awards and honors (see insert) and the national reputation of the department continues to increase. For example, for the first time since U.S. News and World Report began ranking psychology departments, our department was named to the Top 10 among all public university departments in the country. And, the social psychology specialty was ranked #2 among all universities.

Perhaps the most exciting new development over the past year was the decision to open a Center for Brain Imaging in the department (see lead story). This cooperative venture with the College of Arts and Sciences will make our department one of the select few in the nation in which brain imaging facilities are housed right in the department. The commitment to purchase the magnet has been made (a Siemens 3 Tesla), an architect is on board (NBBJ), and meetings are in full progress to design the space to house the magnet, behavioral testing rooms, and a generous observation and control room. We anticipate opening the Center for research and educational purposes in January of 2011. We are currently looking for individual and corporate sponsors to provide continuing support for the operation of this wonderful new facility.

In addition to the magnet, this edition of the newsletter also highlights some of the new faculty who have either recently joined us or will be joining the department at the beginning of the next academic year. Despite a rough economy, we are growing the faculty to keep up with our ever expanding number of psychology majors. Indeed in the past five years we have increased the number of psychology majors every year from about 1,300 to 1,700 majors today. Enrollment in psychology courses is also increasing because of interest from non-majors and students choosing to minor in psychology. One of our big challenges going forward is converting from our traditional quarter calendar to semesters. As part of that process we are revamping our major requirements, and I’ll have more to report on that in a future newsletter. In the meantime, best wishes for a happy and productive 2010.