Spring 2019

From the Director''s Desk

Spring 2019

RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT:  Dr. Gregory Strauss (Psychology)
Interviewed by Andrea Horsman

OIBR Fellow Dr. Gregory P. Strauss, is an Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at UGA. He directs the Clinical Affective Neuroscience Lab (CAN) and Georgia Psychiatric Risk Evaluation Program (G-PREP). Dr. Strauss received his B.S. in Psychology from UGA (2002) and PhD in clinical psychology from UNLV after completing his clinical internship at the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC), Department of Psychiatry (2008). He then completed a two year National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) funded postdoctoral fellowship at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center.

Dr. Strauss’ interest in psychology and neuroscience began when he was an undergraduate at UGA. He felt very fortunate to work in the laboratory of Dr. Paula Schwanenflugel a professor of Educational Psychology, who supervised his undergraduate honors thesis and made him believe he could pursue a career in research. He was also very fortunate to have worked in the laboratory of Dr. L. Stephen Miller who helped him develop an interest in what has become his passion and the focus of his research: examining the neural basis of schizophrenia using neuroscience based methods.

He was fortunate to have some very supportive mentors in his career in Drs. Daniel Allen, Martin Harrow, Jim Gold, and Will Carpenter. They helped him to see the importance of clinically oriented research and taught him to develop skills in neuroscience that are needed to answer questions about the mechanisms underlying schizophrenia. Most importantly, they imparted a scientific philosophy of doing careful research, taking the extra time to get the details right, making his research translational in nature, and caring deeply about helping the participants in his studies. Collaborators from a number of disciplines have also been integral in allowing him to adopt new methods and theoretical approaches, which has been critical for addressing a number of scientific questions that he could not have pursued alone.

We recently had an opportunity to catch up with Greg and asked him to share some information about his research projects. Read more about Dr. Gregory Strauss’ research here.

Fellows, Affiliates and GDP’s

Congratulations to a new Fellow of the Institute:

Tessa Andrews, (Genetics), Associate Professor
Dr. Andrews received a NSF CAREER award for her project, “CAREER:Investigating teacher knowledge for effective active-learning instruction in large undergraduate biology courses and how this knowledge develops.”

Research Interests:  STEM education, Culture change, Teacher knowledge and Evidence-based teaching

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

Rachel Cagliani, (Communication Sciences & Special Education), Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Communication, Behavior analysis

Melissa Robertson, (Postdoctoral Research Associate), Psychology
Research Interests: Occupational health, Relationships, Mentoring, Work-Life interface, Research methods

Kudos for Interdisciplinary Research

OIBR Fellows and Co-Directors, Dr. Gene Brody and Dr. Steve Beach with Center for Family Research, were awarded the inaugural Presidents’ Award of Distinction for Team Science from the Georgia CTSA! This honor is bestowed upon a multi-disciplinary research team in recognition of its innovative, high-functioning teamwork and synergy. Teams competed across Georgia CTSA institutions (UGA, Emory, Georgia Tech, Morehouse School of Medicine) and only one winner emerged – our own Center for Family Research. They were recognized at the Georgia CTSA Statewide Conference in February.

Let’s celebrate the accomplishments of these Fellows and Affiliates of the Institute:

Nathan T. Carter, (Psychology), OIBR Fellow, Associate Professor
Creative Research Medal in Social and Behavioral Sciences, Clarifying the relation of personality to work and life outcomes

Kelly E. Happe, (Communication Studies), OIBR Affiliate, Associate Professor
Creative Research Medal in Humanities and Arts, Implications of race and gender in genomic science

Justin A. Lavner, OIBR Fellow and 2015 GDP, Associate Professor, Psychology
Charles B. Knapp Early Career Scholar Award

Emilie Phillips Smith, (Human Development and Family Science) OIBR Fellow, Professor
William A. Owens Creative Research Award

Caree Cotwright, (Foods and Nutrition), OIBR Affiliate, Assistant Professor
Service-Learning Excellence Award

Sarah Shannon, (Sociology), OIBR Affiliate, Associate Professor
Richard B. Russell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and the Creative Teaching Award

Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn, (Advertising), OIBR Affiliate, Associate Professor
First-Year Odyssey Teaching Award

OIBR Fellows, Jay A. Mancini (HDFS) and K.A.S. Wickrama (HDFS) received the Excellence in Research on Military and Veteran Families Award for 2018

Tessa Andrews, (Genetics), OIBR Fellow, Associate Professor
USG Regents’ Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award

Ron Simons, (Sociology) OIBR Fellow, Distinguished Research Professor and Co-Director of the Center on the Biological Embedding of Social Events and Relationships
2019 Southeastern Conference Faculty Achievement Award

Katie Ehrlich, (Psychology), OIBR Fellow and 2016 GDP, Assistant Professor
2019 Association for Psychological Science Janet Taylor Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Contributions, and the Jacobs Foundation Early Career Research Fellowship

Joon Choi, (Social Work), OIBR Fellow and 2014 GDP, Associate Professor
2018-19 Class of Women’s Leadership Fellows

Yan Jin, (Public Relations), OIBR Affiliate and 2016 GDP, Professor
Georgia Athletic Association Professor in Grady College


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

Faculty Name OIBR Fellow/AffiliateGDP StatusSpring 2019 PromotionDepartment
Coverdell, JimAffiliateProfessorSociology
Futris, TedAffiliateProfessorHuman Development & Family Science
Seock, Yoo-KyoungAffiliateProfessorTextiles, Merchandising & Interiors
Abraham, AmandaFellow2014 GDPAssociate ProfessorPublic Adminstration & Policy
Andrews, TessaFellowAssociate ProfessorGenetics
Arroyo, AnalisaAffiliate2015 GDPAssociate ProfessorCommunication Studies
Cacciatore, MichaelGDP2018 GDPAssociate ProfessorPublic Relations
Caplan, MaryAffiliateAssociate ProfessorSocial Work
Clark, MalissaAffiliate2014 GDPAssociate ProfessorPsychology I/O
Harrison, AshleyAffiliate2015 GDPAssociate ProfessorEducational Psychology
Lavner, JustinFellow2015 GDPAssociate ProfessorPsychology
Lewis Ellison, TishaAffiliateAssociate ProfessorLanguage and Literacy Education
Means, DarrisAffiliate2015 GDPAssociate ProfessorCounseling & Human Development
Shannon, SarahAffiliateAssociate ProfessorSociology
Shockley, KristenGDP2017 GDPAssociate ProfessorPsychology
So, JiyeonAffiliate2015 GDPAssociate ProfessorCommunication Studies
Washington, TiffanyAffiliate2015 GDPAssociate ProfessorSocial Work
Wojdynski, BartAffiliateAssociate ProfessorJournalism
Thompson, Jennifer JoAffiliateAssoc. Research ScientistCrop & Soil Sciences

Policy Regulations & Compliance News

  1. Research integrity and safety training now available through UGA’s Professional Education Portal (PEP): https://research.uga.edu/compliance-training/


  1. New automated compliance checking in effect for NIH and NSF
    1. NIH increases system enforcement of 50 characters for filenames as of February 28, 2019 (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/ElectronicReceipt/esub_items_interest_02282019.htm)
    2. NSF issues new compliance checks for Fastlane and Research.gov effective February 25, 2019 (https://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/autocompliance.jsp)


  1. NIH requests stakeholder input on creation of an administrative data enclave by May 30, 2019 (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/rfi/rfi.cfm?ID=86)


  1. NIH updated clinical trials registration as of February 28, 2019. Study records can now be exported as an XML file from the eRA Human Subjects System and uploaded into ClincalTrials.gov. (https://nexus.od.nih.gov/all/2019/03/07/uploading-studies-to-clinicaltrials-gov-just-got-easier/)


  1. The new NIH Data Book was launched in January (https://report.nih.gov/nihdatabook/).


Contact OIBR grants staff Joanna Wilford, Grants Coordinator, or Kim Cherewick, Assistant Director, with questions.

Institute News

  • We are excited that Dr. Jody Clay-Warner will be assuming the role of Associate Director of OIBR, effective August, 2019. We are very pleased to have her join the management team and know she will bring tremendous value to our mission. Not only is Jody an accomplished scholar, she has been actively involved in the Institute throughout her careeer – as a Fellow, NSF workshop leader, director of our Violence Work Group and in countless volunteer roles. Dr. Clay-Warner brings common sense, integrity, strong leadership skills, and a genuine interest in faculty development to our team. Please join us in welcoming Jody aboard!
  • We say goodbye to JJ Bau, OIBR Statistician. Dr. Bau retired from the university in February 2019 after serving the Institute for 28 years. He will be spending his free time with family and volunteering with his church.
  • Successful OIBR Events:

Our 2018 Owens Institute for Behavioral Research Annual Meeting was held at the end of November. We enjoyed the beautifully renovated event space at The Georgian and welcomed many fellows and affiliates for our FY18 highlights. There was time for some speed networking, mingling with old and new friends and good food and drink. We always enjoy this time to share the successes of the institute and seeing everyone.

In January, the Early Life Stress & Adversity (ELSA) Work Group hosted Dr. Christine Wekerle, PhD, of McMaster University as she presented her lecture “Trauma, Resilience and E-Solutions” from CIHERTeamSV Research.

Another guest of ELSA Work Group, Dr. Jelena Obradovic from Stanford University, presented a lecture entitled “Self-regulation: Implications for Adaptation and Resilience in Childhood,” in February to a packed room. Guests enjoyed lunch and open Q & A after the talk.

Also in February, the Violence Work Group, hosted Dr. Sharyn J. Potter, who presented “The Human Capital Costs Attributed to Campus Sexual Assault.” Dr. Potter is a Professor of Sociology with the University of New Hampshire and the co-founder and Executive Director of Research at the Prevention Innovations Research Center: Ending Sexual and Relationship Violence and Stalking.

In conjunction with Georgia CTSA, OIBR hosted Blue Sky Group – Aging. Researchers from UGA, Emory, Morehouse and Georgia Tech convened on our campus to discuss common research areas and identify potential areas of collaboration.

Karen Matthews, Ph.D., a distinguished professor of Psychiatry and Professor of Psychology and Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh was our guest speaker for the 2019 Gene Brody lecture at the end of March. Her lecture entitled “Psychological Perspectives on the Development of Cardiovascular Health Disparities” was held in Correll Hall with over 50 faculty members in attendance.

This spring our Director, Dr. Lillian Eby (Psychology) hosted three Mystery Meet and Greet luncheons with guests from nine different departments on campus. The purpose of these informal luncheons is to meet others around campus with similar research interests in behavioral and social sciences, while enjoying good food and conversation. WHO you will be dining with is the mystery part of the lunch. Some participant feedback that we received about these events:

“I really enjoyed it and would do it again.”
“The mix of guests was great.”
“I thoroughly enjoyed the connections between us both professionally and personally – it made for great conversation.”

These luncheons are by invitation only, so look for your invitation in the fall.

Our third annual Cocktails and Collaboration, a speed networking event, was held in April. Our host, Dr. Lillian Eby (Psychology), welcomed existing members of the Institute as well as a few new faces. Attendees enjoyed good food and drinks and left with new friends and possible collaborators for their research projects. This event is a result of feedback from our faculty as to something that would be helpful in their research endeavors. It is a great way to spend a couple of hours and possibly find new collaborators. A recent speed networking success story comes from Dr. Jennifer Gay (Health Promotion & Behavior). She met Dr. Ping Ma (Statistics) at the 2018 speed networking event and since then they have been working on a research project that will lead to a publication. They also submitted an NSF grant proposal together in March.

As part of the mission for OIBR, we strive to provide beneficial networking opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration and we hope that you enjoyed these events. We realize it is sometimes hard to take time from your busy day to attend an event, but, ask any of your colleagues and I think you’ll find the feedback is consistently positive.  We do our best to ensure our events are well worth your time. Stay tuned for more exciting things planned in the future. If you have any event ideas, please feel free to share them with Andrea Horsman, OIBR Outreach and Communications Manager.

COSSA News & Notes

According to Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA), in FY2017 (most updated data released at this time), Georgia received $41.9 million in federal investment in Social & Behavioral Science Research (an increase of 18.6% over FY2016). These funds include grants from Dept. of Health & Human Services (incl. NIH) ($23.9M), NSF ($4.7M), DoD ($3.5M) and Other Federal Departments & Agencies ($5.7M). University of Georgia was the highest supported institution supported by these funds ($16.3M – a 28% increase from FY16), followed by GSU ($12.0M), Georgia Tech ($8.7M), Emory ($4.2M), Spelman College ($257K) and University of North Georgia ($131K).

COSSA is an advocate for the research community, educating policy makers on the need for federal funding for research in the social and behavioral sciences. To read their bi-monthly update click here.

Funding News

We have several new Research Proposals that have been funded since last fall.

Dr. Dorothy Carter (Psychology), an OIBR Fellow and former GDP, received a NSF SoO Collaborative Research award in the amount of $249,995 for her project “Collaborative Research: Strategic Leadership Systems: How the Networks of Strategic Communication and Informal Influence Arise and Drive Firm Performance.” Project period: 3/1/2019-2/28/2022.

Dr. Gregory Strauss (Psychology), an OIBR Fellow, received a NIH R01 in the amount of $2,969,883 for his project “Prodromal Inventory for Negative Symptoms (PINS): A Development and Validation Study” Project period: 3/1/2019-11/30/2023.  Co-Investigators include OIBR Fellow, Dr. Nathan Carter (Psychology).

Dr. Erin Dolan (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology), an OIBR Fellow, received a NSF IUSE award in the amount of $300,000 for her project, “Measurement of Negative Mentoring in Undergraduate Research.” Project period: 3/15/2019- 2/28/2021. Co-investigator is OIBR Fellow, Dr. Nathan Carter (Psychology).

Dr. Larry Sweet (Psychology), an OIBR Fellow, received a NIH UG3 subcontract award from Butler Hospital for the project, “tDCS to Decrease Opioid Relapse” Project period: 9/30/2018-8/31/2020.

Dr. Tessa Andrews (Genetics), an OIBR Fellow, received a NSF CAREER award in the amount of $1,063,198 for her project, “CAREER:Investigating teacher knowledge for effective active-learning instruction in large undergraduate biology courses and how this knowledge develops.” Project period: 4/1/2019-3/31/2024.


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.