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News of the Psychology and Communication Department!



March, 2013

TAMIU Forensics Forum Success at Debate Tournaments

Three students from TAMIU Forensics Forum broke into the final rounds at the Spring Swing Debate Tournament at Stephen F. Austin University, Nacogdoches, Texas, March 8-10.

Lee College Semi-finalist Stephanie Hernandez , SFASU quarter-finalist Leslie Cortez, and Lee College/SFASU octa-finalist Oscar Cortez are very proud of their teams accomplishments. In the preliminary rounds Oscar finished in third place and Stephanie in fourth place. Albert Soliz finished with a winning record in the Lee College tournament. Kendra Herbst competed in her first IPDA debate tournament. 

February 22-24 the team travelled to Bossier Parish Community College, Bossier City, LA to compete in the Eddy Shell Invitational Debate Tournament. Amanda Rodriguez and Oscar were both octa-finalists. Amada was in eighth place after the preliminary rounds and won fifth place speaker. Stephanie, Albert, Leslie, and Luis Hernandez joined Amanda and Oscar on the trip.

Congratulations to these amazing students!



January, 2013

  • Dr. Gilberto Martinez presented his research on theater program development at an academic conference in Hawaii, and also had his research accepted into the Journal of Arts and Humanities.  Congratulations to Dr. Martinez for his excellent work.
  • Dr. Christopher Ferguson was invited to discuss research on violent video games with Vice President Biden as part of the gun control meetings following the Sandy Hook shooting. These meetings were convened to discuss contributing factors in national gun violence. 

September, 2012

  • Dr. Rudolph has been invited to present data on suicide prevention to United Independent School District.  Dr. Rudolph will be representing the TAMIU stress center, which continues its public health outreach on these important topics.
  • Undergraduate Raul Ramos has had his honor's thesis " Comfortably Numb or Just Yet Another Movie? Media Violence Exposure Does Not Reduce Viewer Empathy for Victims of Real Violence Among Primarily Hispanic Viewers" accepted for publication in Psychology of Popular Media Culture a journal of the American Psychological Association.  Raul is first author on the manuscript along with his mentor Chris Ferguson and criminal justice assistant professor Kelly Frailing.  Former psychology faculty member Maria Romero-Ramirez is also a coauthor.  Congratulations to Raul for a remarkable achievement so early in his career!

August, 2012

  • Drs. Anna Cieslicka and Monica Munoz were awarded a Major Research Instrumentation grant from the National Science Foundation.  Congradulations to them on this very important achievement!
  •  Drs. Anna Cieslicka and Gilberto Martinez were awarded with TAMU system Teaching Excellence awards.  These awards are based on student recognition of the finest faculty members in the system. 
  • This news comes a bit late, but Dr. Gilberto Martinez has been awarded his Ed.D. in Educational Leadership (awarded in December 2011 in fact, apologies for the delay in recognition).  His focus was on theater education in higher ed.

July, 2012

  • A number of psychology and criminal justice students went to London for a month as part of the Forensic Psychology study abroad class.  They enjoyed a month's break from the blasting Laredo heat and had the opportunity to experience the culture of London.  Below are several of the students (left to right: Laura Escobedo, Mariza Galindo, Alejandra Flores, Adriana Gonzalez, Laura Sanchez and Ashley Morales) outside the Tower of London.
  • Tower of London


May, 2012

  • Dr. Bonnie Rudolph and Dr. Anna Cieslicka were awarded the honors of Teacher and Scholar (respectively) of the Year for the University during graduation, Saturday May 12.  This is a great honor that speaks to their exemplary contribution to the university community. 

April, 2012

  • Congratulations to Raul Ramos who won top honors for social/behavioral sciences at the LBV student research conference for his undergraduate honor's thesis project entitled " Desensitization: The effects of exposure to violent and non-violent television episodes on empathic response."  Raul's achievement highlights to excellent work done by our students in our department. 
  • TAMIU students travelled to Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas April 12-15 to compete in the 2012 International Public Debate Association National Convention and Competition. The students competed in the novice division where they debated on topics ranging from international politics, domestic issues, and popular culture. They were joined by their faculty advisors Kina Reed and Megan Smith. These students are part of the TAMIU Forensics Forum on-campus organization, dedicated to the development of skills in the art of speech and debate. This organization was founded in 2009 and members have travelled to multiple competitions in the state to compete in debate and speech events. Pictured students (from left to right starting with the top row) Alberto Soliz, Alvaro Aguirre, Jerry Perez, JP Gallegos, Mario Martinez, Triana Gonzalez, Stephanie Hernandez, Amanda Rodriguez, and Sharon Huntington. debate
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