In this section we highlight news, events, and activities of our psychology faculty, students, and department.

Students and Alumni: We want to hear from you! Let us know about your recent accomplishments, awards, or honors. For suggestions, questions, or concerns, please email the editor at

In the News...

► Feb 26, 2016: Psychology students presented at this year's RSCA Student Research Symposium.

► Psychology graduate student, Mariela Rivas, was recognized as the NSS Outstanding Graduate Student at the annual Honors Convocation held April 24, 2015.

► In April 2015, Dr. Munyi Shea was inducted as an Honorary Member of the Golden Key International Honour Society.

Dr. Heidi Riggio was selected as the 2015 recipient of the WPA Outstanding Service Award (March 2015).

Dr. Munyi Shea was awarded a Mini-Grant in December 2014 to develop and implement a support program for Young University Mothers (YUM group).

► Dr. Senqi Hu visited Jiangxi, China in September as an invited speaker at the Annual Conference of Ji'an Psychological Association.

Senqi Hu China visit

Dr. Senqi Hu is pictured, eight from left, with the faculty of Jinggangshan University.

► Dr. Pamela Regan was interviewed on the UK radio show London at Large (hosted by Alan Coombs, Newstalk 1290 CJBK, August 13, 2014) about her research on close relationships here in Cal State LA's Dept. of Psychology.  The interview focused on the evolutionary (adaptive) significance of physical contact for normal human development, as well as the important role played by touch in the emotional, social, and physical well-being of humans across the lifespan.

Dr. Kaveri Subrahmanyam traveled to Wuhan, China in July as an invited speaker. She gave a talk at Central China Normal University on July 9.

Subrahmanyam China 2014

Her talk was on Understanding the role of digital media in development: what we have learnt and what we still don't know.

Dr. Ramani Durvasula was interviewed for the article, "LA's Psychologists Prepare For An Explosion Of New Jobs," published by CBS Los Angeles. The article has also been picked up by USA Today. In the article, Dr. Durvasula discusses how Cal State LA's Psychology Department is preparing its students to meet the projected demand for industrial-organizational psychologists.

Dr. Kaveri Subrahmanyam gave a talk on June 26 at the National Association of Latino Elected Officials in San Diego. Her talk was titled, Technology in the early years: Implications for Latino children and families

► On May 20, Dr. Kaveri Subrahmanyam participated in a RAND Education forum on Bridging the Digital Divide: A Forum on Using Technology in Early Childhood Education. You can check out a video of the forum and get more information by going here:

► On Friday, May 9, William A Covino was invested as Cal State L.A.'s seventhinvesititure pic president. The formal investiture ceremony was held at the Luckman Theatre and included delegates from other academic institutions, as well as Cal State L.A. faculty dressed in full regalia. Several psychology faculty were on hand to welcome President Covino!

Pictured, from l to r: Drs. Ramani Durvasula, Pamela Regan, and Kaveri Subrahmanyam.

Darin Brown (MA in Psychology) placed second at this year's 28th Annual CSU Student Research Competition held at Cal State East Bay on May 2-3. Darin was one of ten students chosen to represent Cal State L.A. at the statewide research competition. The competition consists of ten dicipline categories in the undergraduate and graduate levels. Each student has 10 minutes to present an oral presentation to an audience and a jury, who then have a few minutes to ask questions. Darin's presentation was on his thesis, "Multimodal Emotion Enhanced Memory: Congruent vs. Incongruent Cross Processing Effects on Recall," and his presentation was the only win for Cal State L.A.! Way to go, Darin!  Darin's faculty mentor is Dr. Joel Ellwanger.

► On April 17, it was announced that Dr. Jessica Dennis and Dr. Heidi Riggio were selected as the recipients of the 2014 NSS Oustanding Faculty Advisor Award. The goal of the award is to encourage wider support and recognition for academic advisement at CSULA and within the College of Natural and Social Sciences. Drs. Dennis and Riggio were both lauded for their strong interpersonal skills, their caring, helpful attitude toward advisees, and their guidance regarding student progress towards academic and career goals.

Recent faculty publications

► Michikyan, M., & Suárez-Orozco, C. (2017). Enacted Identities of immigrant-origin emerging adult women in online contexts: Capturing multiple and intersecting identities using qualitative strategies. Identity, 17(3), 138-155.

► Suárez-Orozco, M., & Michikyan, M. (2016). Education for citizenship in the age of globalization and mass migration [Introduction]. In J. A. Banks, M. Suárez-Orozco, & M. Ben-Peretz (Eds.), Global migration, diversity, and civic education (pp. 1-25). New York, NY: Teacher College Press.

► Michikyan, M., Subrahmanyam, K., & Dennis, J. (2015). A picture is worth a thousand words: A mixed-methods study of online self-presentation in a multiethnic sample of emerging adults. Identity, 15(4), 287-308.

► Suárez-Orozco, C., Katsiaficas, D., Birchall, O., Alcantar, C.M., Hernandez, E., Garcia, Y. Michikyan, M., Cerda, J., & Teranishi, R.T. (2015). Undocumented undergraduates on college campuses: Understanding their challenges, assets, and what it takes to make an undocufriendly campus. Harvard Educational Review 85(3), 427-463.

► Michikyan, M., Lozada, F. T., Weidenbenner, J. V., & Tynes, B. M. (2015). Adolescent coping strategies in the face of their “worst online experience”.  International Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations (IJGCMS), 4, 1-16.

► Michikyan, M., Subrahmanyam, K., & Dennis, J. (2015). A mixed-methods study of Facebook use and academic performance in a multi-ethnic U.S.-based college sample. Computers in Human Behavior, 45, 265-272.

► Uhls, Y. T., Michikyan, M., Morris, J., Garcia, D., Small, G. W., Zgourou, E., Greenfield, P. M. (2014). Five days at outdoor education camp without screens improves preteen skills with nonverbal emotion cues. Computers in Human Behavior, 39,  387-392.

In this study, researchers found positive effects of non-media use (for five days) on emotional recognition. Findings indicate that time away from digital media use, combined with social face-to-face interaction, may improve preteens' understanding of nonverbal emotional cues. 

► L.  Yuan, R. Zhou, & S. Hu (2014). Cognitive reappraisal of facial expression: Electrophysiological evidence of social anxiety. Neuroscience Letters, 577: 45-50.

► J. Huang, R. Zhou, & S. Hu (2013). Effects on automatic attention due to exposure to pictures of emotional faces while performing Chinese word judgment tasks. PLOS ONE (October 2013 | Volume 8 | Issue 10 | e75386).

Michikyan, M., Dennis, J., & Subrahmanyam, K. (2014). Can you guess who I am? Real, ideal and false self-presentation on Facebook among emerging adults. Emerging Adulthood.

Using a multiple self-presentation framework, this study found that emerging adults (ages 18-30) presented their real self, ideal self, and false self on Facebook, and that identity state and psychosocial well-being predicted different aspects of such online self-presentation. Results suggest that those with a more coherent sense of the self tended to present their real self on Facebook to a greater extent, whereas those with a less coherent identity and lower psychosocial well-being (e.g., self-esteem) tended to present their false self on the site to a greater extent. 

Subrahmanyam, K., Michikyan, M., Clemmons, C., Carrillo, R., Uhls, Y. T.  & Greenfield, P. M. (2014). Learning from paper, learning from Screens: Impact of screen reading and multitasking conditions on reading and writing among college students. International Journal of Cyber Behavior, Psychology and Learning, 3(4), 1-27.

Two experimental studies with college students explored the effect of medium and opportunities to multitask on reading (Study 1) and report writing (Study 2). Results from Study 1 showed that neither multitasking nor medium impacted reading comprehension, but those who multitasked took longer to read both passages, indicating loss of efficiency with multitasking. Study 2 found no differences in report quality or efficiency between those whose source materials were paper or computer. However, global report quality was significantly better when participants read source texts on a computer screen without Internet or printer access, compared with when they had Internet and printer access. Active use of paper for note-taking greatly reduced the negative impact of Internet and printer access.

Minas Michikyan has published an article in the scholarly journal, Computers in Human Behavior. The article, "Can you tell who I am? Neuroticism, extraversion, and online self-presentation among young adults," was co-authored with CSULA psychology faculty members Kaveri Subrahmanyam and Jessica Dennis.

This is one of the first studies to show that personality traits - including neuroticism and extraversion predict presentation of multiple facets of the self on Facebook. Specifically, young adults who may have general tendency to be moody or experience greater emotional instability (markers of neuroticism) may present the self on Facebook in ways so as to deceive, compare to, and impress others (false self), and present aspects of who they want/hope to be (ideal self).  Furthermore, those young adults who may have general trendency to be shy or experience self-doubt (markers of lower extraversion) may engage in greater self-exploratory behaviors on Facebook.

Minas Michikyan, pictured on the right, is a lecturer in the Department of Minas MichikyanPsychology and teaches courses on sex and gender, developmental psychology, and multicultural psychology. He is also a researcher at the Children's Digital Media Center @Los Angeles (CSULA/UCLA), the Multicultural Research Center (CSULA), and the Digital Learning and Development Lab (University of Southern California).