OIBR Newsletter – Spring 2021

From the Director''s Desk

Spring 2021

 Hello friends & colleagues. 

How great is it that summer is almost here? As we all wrap up our academic year on Zoom it is so nice to think that things may be more “normal” when we return in the fall. I am cautiously optimistic that we can resume many of our in-person activities at the Institute and am looking forward to seeing many of you outside my Zoom camera. I also hope that everyone can use part of the summer to re-charge and re-group, whether that involves visiting family and friends, traveling, or just taking some much-deserved time off. I will be going to our “sacred place” – a tiny island in Maine for my psychological re-charge; visiting lifelong friends, boating, hiking, swimming, and enjoying nature (and eating lots of lobster, of course). And don’t forget – OIBR’s (delayed) 50th anniversary celebration will occur in late October, 2021. I hope that this gives everyone a little something to look forward to when thinking about coming back to campus in the fall. 

Have a great summer and stay safe. 

Director's Signature

Spring 2021

SPOTLIGHT: Kristen Shockley, Associate Professor, Psychology
Interviewed by Andrea Horsman

Owens Institute Distinguished Scholar Dr. Kristen Shockley, PhD, an Associate Professor of Psychology at UGA, was awarded $149k for a rapid response grant from the National Science Foundation for her research entitled, “Collaborative Research: Adjustment and Effectiveness of Rapid Transition to Remote Work.” Grant Timeline- May 15, 2020 – April 31, 2021. 

Kristen is a University of Georgia alumni (Psychology, 2004). She received her Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of South Florida in 2010 and she has been a member of the UGA faculty since 2016.

We recently caught up with Kristen and asked her to share some information about her research.

How did you first get involved with this project?
A colleague alerted me of the special call for RAPID grants in response to the pandemic in mid-March 2020 – actually the day that UGA announced it would close for two weeks. I started brainstorming the idea with my Co-PI, Tammy Allen at the University of South Florida, shortly thereafter. We submitted our proposal by the end of March and heard that we were going to be funded 8 days later!

Tell me about this project and why it is important.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced much of the country’s workforce into remote work arrangements. With the need for social distancing, the ability to continue essential business functions through effective remote work arrangements has been a key means for addressing the global health crisis. However, many organizations were unprepared to accommodate a remote workforce and likewise lack insight into best practices as to how to promote continued productivity and well-being of the workforce in such arrangements. Our study was designed to address this need; the overarching goal was to provide evidence-based recommendations to organizations so that they can function optimally in times where remote work is necessary. We did this by obtaining data from an occupationally-diverse set of 498 participants who were not working remotely before the pandemic but had transitioned to full-time remote work as a result. We collected baseline data to get a sense of stable organizational and individual factors and overall adjustment and then asked the participants to respond to a survey every day for four weeks so we could track changes over time and more precisely model how daily experiences impact daily wellbeing and performance.

What has surprised you most about working on this this type of project?
I am continually amazed at the willingness of our participants to provide daily data. It’s a lot to ask. I am also surprised to hear their comments about participating in studies – namely how they value the introspection that it forces in thinking about their day and the way they manage work and family.

What do you find most challenging about this research?
Recruiting participants is often a challenge. Most of my research focuses on work-family issues and necessitates dual-earner couples with children. Those seem to be the busiest people who don’t always have time to participate.

What have you found most rewarding about this research project?
Research finds that managing work and family is a very prominent stressor in our society. Knowing that I can in some way contribute to the knowledge base to help alleviate those struggles is really rewarding.

Tell me about someone who has influenced your decision to work in Psychology.
I completed my undergraduate degree at UGA and was influenced by OIBR’s very own Lillian Eby (Psychology) as well as Janet Frick (Psychology) who taught me Introduction to Psychology as a first semester Freshman.

What is your personal philosophy on what should be done in regards to further advancing your research?
My current philosophy is to try and do research that will have clear applied implications and answers basic questions that we still don’t know the answer to. For instance, people always ask what can they do to facilitate work-life balance, and I think most of the existing research relies on what organizations can do rather than specific strategies individuals can use. I’d like to move more in the direction of doing meaningful research that is also meaningful to people outside of academia.

What direction would you like to see your research take in the next five years?
I think the personal philosophy answer overlaps with this one. But in terms of specifics, I am very interested in studying women’s unique experiences in the workplace that are related to the transition to motherhood, such as fertility and breastfeeding. I am also interested in studying populations that have historically been under-researched, such as military spouses, given the challenges in maintaining a meaningful career due to the demands of military life.

Where can people go if they want to learn more about your research?
We have produced a few different reports from this data which are available on my website: https://iwillugaresearch.wixsite.com/website/publications

Distinguished Scholars, Affiliates and GDPs

We would like to welcome the following new faculty Affiliates of the Institute:

Dr. Deborah Barany, (Kinesiology), Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Motor control; fMRI; Sensorimotor decision-making; Neurostimulation; Neurorehabilitation

Dr. Richard Blissett, (Lifelong Education, Administration, and Policy), Assistant Professor Research
Interests: Education policymaking; Political psychology; Sociopolitical attitudes; Racial justice; Social movements

Dr. Jessica Knight, (Epidemiology and Biostatistics), Assistant Professor Research
Interests: Chronic conditions that originate in early childhood; Cognitive development and mental health; Adverse early life environment

Dr. Heather Padilla, (Health Promotion and Behavior), Assistant Professor Research
Interests: Workplace health; Obesity; Chronic disease prevention and management; Nutrition

Dr. Juliet Sekandi, (Epidemiology and Biostatistics), Assistant Professor Research
Interests: Infectious diseases; Global health; Mobile health; Artificial intelligence; College students

Let’s celebrate these 2021 accomplishments of these Distinguished Scholars and Affiliates of the institute: 

Dr. Amanda Abraham, (Public Administration and Policy) was awarded the Creative Research Medal

Dr. Steven Beach, (Psychology) was named UGA Regents Professor

Dr. Katherine Ehrlich, (Psychology) received an award for the Distinguished Scientific Early Career Contributions to Psychology from the American Psychological Association

Dr. Katherine Ehrlich, (Psychology) was awarded the Charles B. Knapp Early Career Scholar Award

Dr. Logan Fiorella (Educational Psychology) received the OIBR Rising Star award. This special award is in honor of Bill “Doc” Owens. This inaugural award recognizes the scholarly achievements and future potential of an OIBR Distinguished Scholar or Affiliate who is within 8 years of his or her Ph.D. It is focused on exceptional and sustained research contribution and future promise, as evidenced by publications, grant submissions, funded grants, major works-in-progress and other discipline-relevant evidence of past and likely future scholarly impact. Rising Star honorable mentions were awarded to Dr. Dorothy Carter (Psychology) and Dr. Ewan Cobran (Clinical & Administrative Pharmacy)

Dr. Kristina Jaskyte-Bahr, (School of Social Work) was awarded the First-Year Odyssey Teaching Award

Dr. Ping Ma, (Statistics) was awarded the Distinguished Research Professor Award

Dr. Lawrence Sweet, (Psychology) was awarded the William A. Owens Creative Research Award

Dr. Robert Vandenberg, (Management) was inducted as a Fellow of the Academy of Management

More congratulations to OIBR Distinguished Scholars & Affiliates on their recent faculty Promotions: 

Faculty NameSpring 2021 PromotionDepartment
Dr. Thomas BakerProfessorKinesiology
Dr. Kristen BubProfessorEducational Psychology
Dr. Laura GermanProfessorAnthropology
Dr. Kristina Jaskyte-BahrProfessorSchool of Social Work
Dr. Don NelsonProfessorAnthropology
Dr. David OkechProfessorSchool of Social Work
Dr. Andrew OwsiakProfessorInternational Affairs
Dr. Cynthia SuvegProfessorPsychology
Dr. Dorothy CarterAssociate ProfessorPsychology
Dr. Caree CotwrightAssociate ProfessorFood and Nutrition
Dr. Katherine EhrlichAssociate ProfessorPsychology
Dr. Logan FiorellaAssociate ProfessorEducational Psychology
Dr. Sycarah FisherAssociate ProfessorEducational Psychology
Dr. Caleb HanAssociate ProfessorLifelong Education, Administration & Policy
Dr. Rebecca MatthewAssociate ProfessorSchool of Social Work
Dr. Jane McPhersonAssociate ProfessorSchool of Social Work
Dr. Shannon QuinnAssociate ProfessorComputer Sciences
Dr. Gregory StraussAssociate ProfessorPsychology
Dr. Janani ThapaAssociate ProfessorHealth Policy and Management
Dr. Shiyu WangAssociate ProfessorEducational Psychology
Dr. Michael CotterellSenior LecturerComputer Sciences

Policy Regulations, Compliance & Research News

1) There are upcoming changes to Biosketch and Other Support document for all NIH applications and RPPRs due after May 25, 2021. Updated Requirements for Recipients (NOT-OD-21-073). 

Some exciting federal news: 

2) Biden’s first budget request goes big on science 

3) Center for Scientific Reviews Commitment to Advancing Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Peer Review 

Contact Kim Cherewick, Assistant Director, with any questions you may have. 

COSSA News & Notes

According to Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA), in FY2019 (most updated data released March, 2021), Georgia colleges and universities received $40.5 million in annual federal investment in Social & Behavioral Science Research (a decrease of 1.5% over FY2018). These funds include grants from Dept. of Health & Human Services (incl. NIH), National Science Foundation, Dept. of Agriculture, Dept. of Defense, and Other Federal Departments & Agencies. University of Georgia was nationally ranked 22nd (up from 25th) overall and was the highest supported institution supported by these funds ($18.2M – a 2.2% increase from FY18), followed by Georgia State University ($10.8M), Georgia Tech ($5.1M), Emory University ($4.9M), Spelman College ($569K), Middle Georgia State University ($173K), Savannah State University ($167K), Georgia College & State University ($138K), Berry College ($130K), University of West Georgia ($37K), University of North Georgia ($30K), Georgia Southern ($21K), Kennesaw State University ($11K), and Georgia Gwinnett College ($2K).

Sign up for the COSSA Washington update here.

Georgia CTSA Corner

Owens Institute for Behavioral Research Distinguished Scholars Katherine Ehrlich, Psychology, and Bradley Phillips, Clinical & Administrative Pharmacy, along with Ted Ross, Infectious Diseases at UGA, were recently awarded the Presidents’ Award of Distinction for Team Science- “Immune Responses to Influenza Vaccination” by the Georgia Clinical & Translational Science Alliance. This honor is bestowed upon their multi-disciplinary research team in recognition for their innovative, high-functioning teamwork and synergy. Together they have built a diverse, multidisciplinary team of collaborators, each contributing to their success. Since 2017, their team has done amazing work to develop new tools and processes for quality-driven research focused on immune responses to influenza vaccination.

The Georgia CTSA TEAMS is now recruiting mentors and mentees to start in September 2021 and needs your help. It’s important that UGA be well-represented and there are a lot offered by this program. Don’t be scared off by the “clinical and translational” focus here – if your work touches on human or animal physical, mental and/or cognitive health in any way (basic or applied; lab, field or intervention/prevention research) you can help with this program! Please consider volunteering to participate as a mentor or join the program as a mentee. The application deadline is May 31, 2021. The time commitment is not large and it’s a great networking opportunity and a chance to give back. For more information and to sign-up to be a mentor go here. If you have questions, please reach out to Lillian Eby.

For more information on Georgia CTSA, please visit their website.

Funding News

The institute has several new research proposals that have been funded since last fall:

Dr. Amanda Abraham (Public Administration & Policy), Distinguished Scholar, received an award from University of Chicago (NIH) for “Mapping Federal Opioid Investments,” with a total award of $144,420. Dr. Abraham will be analyzing funding from all federal agencies working toward the HEAL Initiative as well as those that have related substance use interventions. Project period: 9/1/2020-8/31/2021.

Dr. Brett Clementz (Psychology), Distinguished Scholar, received an anticipated award of $1,550,690 for an R01 from NIH, “5/5: Selective Antipsychotic Response to Clozapine in B-SNIP Biotype-1 (CLOZAPINE).” The aim of this 5-year multi-site application is to investigate the effects of clozapine treatment on a biomarker previously associated with psychosis in a subset of patients and assess treatment outcomes. Project period: 5/1/2021 – 4/30/2026.

Dr. Ryon Cobb (Sociology), an OIBR Grants Development Program participant, received an award from NYU PRIDE (NIH Pilot) entitled “Childhood stressors, cardiometabolic risk, and kidney function decline among older whites, blacks and Latinos.” Total Anticipated Award: $10,400 with a goal to examine how and why childhood adversities are associated with age-related decline in kidney function among older Whites, Blacks, and Latinos in the United States. 1/1/2021 – 11/30/2022.

Dr. Logan Fiorella (Educational Psychology), Distinguished Scholar, received an award from NSF entitled, “Collaborative Research: Exploring the (Meta)Comprehension Benefits of Learner-Generated Drawings in Science” in the amount of $447,202 for his project. This project proposes the first set of experiments designed to systematically unpack and identify the critical “active ingredients” of learner-generated drawings which will contribute to existing models of self-regulated learning and provide a roadmap for future research investigating precisely how these mechanisms work, including when they work and for whom they work. Project period: 9/1/2020-8/31/2023.

Dr. Anne Shaffer (Psychology), Distinguished Scholar, received an R21 award from NIH entitled, “Validation of the Regulating Emotions in Parenting Scale (REPS) in a National Sample,” in the anticipated amount of $448,543. This research will refine and evaluate a brief self-report measure of parent emotion regulation, the Regulating Emotions in Parenting Scale (REPS) and advance knowledge about a new measure of parenting. Project period: 3/8/2021 – 2/28/2023.

Dr. Sarah Shannon (Sociology), an OIBR Affiliate, was awarded $39,997 from Athens-Clarke County for “Athens-Clarke County Criminal Justice System Data Analysis.” The goal of this project is to better inform the public, criminal justice agencies, partners and stakeholders on interaction between the local population and the Athens-Clarke County Criminal Justice System (CJS). Project period: 1/1/2021-6/30/2021.

Dr. Justine Tinkler (Sociology), Affiliate, received an award through an NSF-funded grant to the University of New Mexico for a project entitled, “New Strategies to Combat Harassment in Engineering.” The total anticipated award is $65,464 and has as its goal the identification of ways to address sexual harassment in engineering. Project period: 9/1/2020-8/31/2023.

Institute News


  • Please join us in welcoming our new Grants Coordinator and DLSA (Decentralized Limited Signatory Authority), Roberta Cooper.  Roberta’s work experience will be a wonderful asset to the institute. Previously, she worked in Sponsored Projects Administration as a Grants Specialist on the Pre-award Proposal Team where she assisted PIs and departments with preparation and submission of proposals and acquired signature authority for a wide variety of sponsors. Roberta also has experience working as a Grants Officer on the Contracting Team where she managed complex awards and became proficient in the awarding aspects of the grant cycle. So glad to have Roberta on our team! As always, please be sure to give your pre-award grants coordinator plenty of lead time if you are planning to submit a proposal. We require at least one month (preferably two months) notice in order to provide our standard high level of service.
  • There is heightened awareness in the academy regarding systemic bias with regard to race and gender. In response, the leadership team at OIBR has made a few changes to remove sexist language.
    The name of our “Grantsmanship Development Program” has been changed to “OIBR Grant Development Program.”
    Although the term “Fellow” has a particular meaning in academic circles (to represent a distinguished individual and merit-based designation) we have changed the title of “OIBR Fellow” to OIBR Distinguished Scholar.We have also been developing guidelines for reducing gender/race bias in the reviewing process for seed grants, GDP selection, OIBR awards etc. For transparency, we will be posting our final set of guidelines on the OIBR website in the coming weeks.
  • As a reminder, OIBR is open for business during this pandemic and ready to serve you. The staff is currently working remotely but can be reached by email during regular business hours.


Who’s ready to mingle in-person with your colleagues at a seriously fun event? How about an in-person party? We are planning to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the institute on Friday, October 22, 2021. We have plans for a symposium with an amazing guest panel, a game show, a very special guest speaker, prizes and more. That evening we will be hosting a masquerade gala that you will not want to miss! Please put this date, October 22, on your calendar now – we will be sharing more details soon.

As part of the mission for OIBR, we strive to provide beneficial networking opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration and we hope that we can bring you our regularly scheduled events this fall. If you have any networking/event ideas, please feel free to share them with Andrea Horsman, OIBR Outreach and Communications Manager.

Have something to share?

Do you have an interesting project that you are working on? Did you recently publish your work? Did you receive an award?  Let us help promote you and your research. We love sharing the accomplishments and successes of our faculty! Please contact Andrea Horsman with anything that you would like to share.