image: Psychology Logo
image: Psychology Logo
image: UW - Madison Logo
image: Psychology Logo


April 20, 2012

Spring 2012 Climate & Diversity Day
This year's event focuses on the achievement gap in our undergraduate program, in particular, why students of color and first-generation college students perform worse on Psychology 202, the enforced-curve, intro-level class that is a gateway to the major and required by many other program across campus. The discussion will be led by lecturers Jeff Henriques, who has compiled data from this course and documented trends across several years, and who works closely with university-level administrators on this problem; and Caton Roberts, who has coordinated with L&S to develop a section of 202 targeting students from at-risk groups, and who has demonstrated impressive success at closing the achievement gap.
April 28th, 2011 Spring 2011 Climate & Diversity Day

This year's event features special guest Dr. Jeanne Tsai, Director of the Stanford Culture and Emotion Laboratory, and Associate Professor of Psychology at Stanford University. The day's events feature the department-wide townhall discussion focused on practical issues related to climate and diversity, and a scholarly talk from Dr. Tsai, entitled "The Cultural Shaping of Affective Ideals". (See Dept. calendar for times and places.)
April 8th, 2010 Spring 2010 Climate & Diversity Day

This year's event featured special guest Dr. Seth Asumah, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor,  Professor of Political Science, and Chair of Africana Studies Dept., State Univ. of New York at Cortland. The day's events included the department-wide roundtable discussion focused on practical issues related to climate and diversity, and a scholarly talk from Dr. Asumah entitled "Infusing diversity, multiculturalism, and social justice into the curriculum: Reaching cultural competence and inclusive excellence."
September 25, 2008 Fall 2008 Climate & Diversity Day

The event featured a department-wide roundtable discussion focused on practical issues related to climate and diversity (12-13:30 pm, room 338). The scholarly talk, by featured guest Dr. Julie A. Washington , was postponed until 5 March 2009, due to an unforeseen change in Dr. Washington's schedule.

Dr. Washington is the Chair of UW-Madison's Department of Communicative Disorders.

September 6, 2007 Fall 2007 Climate & Diversity Day

Our featured guest was Dr. David R. Williams, the Florence Sprague Normal and Laura Smart Norman Professor of Public Health, Dept. of Society, Human Development, and Health, Harvard University.

May 2007 Department celebrates alumnus and honorary degree recipient Dr. Leslie Hicks

Leslie Hicks did his graduate training in the laboratory of Prof. Harry Harlow and received his Ph.D. from the Dept. of Psychology in 1953.  He returned to Madison in May 2007, accompanied by a son and grandson, to receive an Honorary Doctor of Science from the University of Wisconsin.  This accomplishment was feted by the Department at a luncheon held at the Faculty Club.  Pictured with Dr. Hicks in the group photo are, from left to right,  son Steven, grandson Cameron, and Professor Charles Snowdon, who sponsored the honorary degree conferral.

image: Hicks and associates


"Professor Leslie H. Hicks, scientist, educator, graduate mentor, and administrator at Howard University for more than 50 years, was one of the first African-Americans to receive a Ph.D. in behavioral neuroscience.  Professor Hicks initiated the first accredited doctoral program in clinical psychology at an historically black university, and has been an active promoter of Black Studies as a scholarly discipline and of increasing diversity in science. His tireless and unyielding advocacy of progressive ideas have expanded the educational opportunities of generations of African-Americans.  His accomplishments in program development, teaching, and research have made him a legend in his own lifetime."

"LESLIE H. HICKS: In recognition of your leadership and path-breaking service as an educator, your advocacy of progressive ideas, and your scientific contributions, the University of Wisconsin-Madison confers on you the degree Honorary Doctor of Science."

image: Hicks Commencement

September 2006 Fall 2006 Climate & Diversity Day

Our inaugural Climate and Diversity Day featured Dr. Carol Padden, Professor of Communication at UCSD and author of Inside Deaf Culture, book Web page: ; academic Web page: http://communication.ucsd.edut/people/PADDEN/index.html.

"New Sign Languages and the Nature of Human Language"
Carol A. Paden
University of California, San Diego

image: Carol A. Paden

In today's world, it is more common to observe languages dying than new ones being born. We know that as languages die, they lose grammatical features and structures but what about languages in the process of being born? Do they quickly arise in full bloom, or do they slowly acquire grammar over many generations of users? Spoken languages have existed for tens of thousands of years, and we do not know directly how they came into being. But new sign languages can arise under certain specific and unusual conditions and can offer important insights into the nature of human language. Our research group has been studying a new sign language that arose in isolation in a Bedouin village in Israel with a very high proportion of deaf people. This language is used by both deaf and hearing people in the village. We find that in the span of two generations, the new language has acquired consistent word order and the basis of a simple yet robust syntax.
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