Psychology Major and Minor luncheon


Students and faculty gathered in the Mary Sue Cushman Room at 12:30 on Tuesday, April 22, to reflect on the accomplishments of the academic year and to celebrate the 50th year of the Psychology Department.

Associate Professor and Chair Helen Bateman welcomed everyone to the luncheon, particularly the newly declared majors in the class of 2016.  She noted that the 117 majors and 12 minors constitute the largest number to date, that the senior class at 38 is the most majors in a single class.

Professor Charles Peyser then remarked on the history of psychology at Sewanee.  In the first year in which college-level work was offered (1870-71), psychology was among the offerings … taught by Robert Dabney (doctorate in law from the University of Virginia) who was known for his classes in Shakespeare and in psychology.  He died of broncho-pneumonia at age 43, in the sixth year of the College … and became the first Sewanee ghost.  Following 94 years of courses offered by those whose primary credentials lay elsewhere, Robert Lundin arrived in 1964 to found The Department – whose 50th year we are celebrating.  Three full-time members 1968–1988—with transition to six full-time psychologists as of fall 1993—and a seventh to arrive August 2014.  Reminiscences from alumni – classes of 1969 through 2012 – revealed the personalities of student and faculty alike.

Dr. Bateman described the future plans of a number of seniors, including graduate school acceptances.

Professor Karen Yu then named the psychology majors who have been admitted to the 2014 Yale Summer Internship Program.  She briefly described the Sewanee-At-Yale Directed Research Program, which includes one semester and one summer in New Haven.

Dr. Yu also described the psychology collaborative seminar Child, Family, and Community Development in Rural Appalachia … co-taught with Distinguished Visiting Professor of Psychology Linda Mayes '73.  Some fifteen scholars, each affiliated in some way with the Yale School of Medicine’s Child Study Center, and a dozen Sewanee faculty (from Anthropology, the Babson Center, Biology, English, History, Philosophy, Psychology, Religion) are involved in this year's sessions.  [The Events Calendar on this site gives the schedule of visitors.]  Now in its second year, we hope the seminar will be offered each year.

Assistant Professor Jessica Siegel, the faculty advisor, presented membership certificates to eleven new members of Psi Chi—the International Honor Society in Psychology.

Dr. Peyser then recognized the seniors whose Comprehensive Examination essay was evaluated, independently by two full-time faculty members, as meriting the grade of Distinction.

  • Hope Faulk
  • Virginia Flowers
  • Kayla Pelfrey

Unlike the College-wide honors of cum Laude, Magna cum Laude, and Summa cum Laude, which are based solely on an individual’s cumulative eight-semester grade-point-average, departmental honors are based on distinguished performance on all work in psychology during one’s time as an undergraduate.  Dr. Peyser had the privilege of announcing the members of the class of 2014 who will receive their degrees with honors in Psychology:

  • Kayla Pelfrey
  • Mallory Macrostie
  • Campbell Frank
  • Virginia Flowers
  • Hope Faulk
  • Chris Daniell
  • Brent Blalock

That the degree is awarded with honors in psychology appears on the diploma—encrypted in Latin, on the Commencement program, and on the transcript.