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PsychLink Newsletter Fall 1999

Volume 3, Issue 2, Fall 1999
Links to the Articles

From the College Director | From the Center Director | Clinical News | I/O News | Rehab News | From the Board Chair | Faculty News | Alumni Notes | Publications |

Editorial Director: M. Ellen Mitchell, Ph.D.; Editor: Elizabeth King; Consultants: Olivia Anderson, Angeles Anaya, Michael Gravitt

PsychLink is published by the Illinois Institute of Technology's College of Psychology twice a year and follows the academic calendar.

From the College Director

Greetings to All! There continues to be many accomplishments and activities occurring within the College of Psychology that are a source of excitement and optimism. The professional stature and success of our faculty as scholars is growing as evidenced by all the achievements noted on the subsequent pages. Our greatest pride rests with the grant obtained by Tammy Sher which represents the single largest grant to an individual faculty member at IIT. Congratulations Tammy! The presentations, publications, and community service work of other faculty are no less important or noteworthy; all are to be recognized for their hard work and attainment.

Shortly after the College of Psychology was formed, the faculty drafted a vision statement as follows: Distinctive for its unique combination of Clinical, Industrial/Organizational, and Rehabilitation Psychology programs, the College of Psychology will continue to be a national leader in training Rehabilitation Counselors who provide exemplary services to persons with disabilities, and Industrial/Organizational Psychologists who specialize in the management of rapid change in complex work environments. The Clinical Training Program, one of the best examples of scientist-practitioner training in the country, will achieve national recognition. As a nexus of information and services, the Center for Research and Service will forge a partnership linking the science of psychology with industry and the community. We are now in a process of articulating this vision so that we can formulate the appropriate strategic and business plans that will bring the College to the next level. The faculty and Board have been focused on this task; we invite your input as well. As part of the next phase of growth we will be implementing a lecture series and a program of short courses. Ideas, suggestions, and volunteer speakers are also welcome. I know that there is a wealth of talent among our alumni and it is my hope to bring those talents to bear on developing Psychology as an College.

One very exciting endeavor has been the launching of our undergraduate program. Led by the efforts of Jamal Scott, we are recruiting students to psychology. You can help by telling others of our undergraduate program. If you would like a brochure, please let us know.

On a sad note, we mark the death of Kevin Hartigan, Ph.D. and Susan Berkowitz, Ph.D. Kevin was on the faculty of the Counseling/Clinical Program from 1976 until 1982. His work at IIT spanned multiple areas including stress among women executives, obesity, and attributional theory. It has been impressive to me how many alumni have expressed admiration for his work and sadness for his passing. Susan (Rotman-Feldman) Berkowitz was a student of the Counseling/Clinical Program and graduated in 1979. She died this month after a five-year battle with cancer. She maintained a private practice in Chicago that served mostly children. She is survived by her daughter Adriana and husband Steven. Our condolences go to their families.

As the year draws to a close, I would ask each of you to consider a gift to Psychology at IIT. We are working hard to increase the involvement of our alumni to assist us in funding faculty, students, research, and the growth of Psychology. While most everyone was under funded while here, it is also the case that most of our alumni have achieved phenomenal success with their IIT degrees. It would be wonderful to strengthen the training programs so that others will not have to struggle quite so hard. Your gifts all make a difference, regardless of the amount. This is an especially important time as we can match your dollars in accordance with the parameters outlined in this newsletter. Please help us to increase the proportion of alumni participating in this important endeavor as we build the College of Psychology. Have a great new Millennium.

--M. Ellen Mitchell, Ph.D.

Progress at the Center for Research and Service

We have initiated the Corporate Sponsors' Program to establish stronger partnerships between the College and the corporate community. The Corporate Sponsors' Program leverages the research capabilities of the College in support of companies' strategic human resources agendas.

We have commenced our inaugural research project for Corporate Sponsors: The Top Organizational Performers Study (TOPs). In partnership with Burke Strategic Consulting Group, the Center is working with many market-leading companies to explore the organizational, job, and personal factors that are most influential in the turnover/retention of top performers. Some of the companies participating in TOPs include: Bank of Montreal, Duchossois Industries, Frito Lay, The Hartford, Unitech Systems, and United Airlines. We are still seeking additional participating organizations and would welcome referrals or inquiries.

Other substantial projects over the past few months include:

  • Several organizational surveys, including one that utilized IIT's new web-based survey administration and response system
  • Design and implementation of an assessment center for selection and development of accountants and accounting managers who are transitioning to a newly re-designed teamwork structure
  • Team building for a cross-functional work group
  • Two market research projects involving one survey methodology
  • Two customer satisfaction surveys
  • A study of the convergent validity associated with a career aptitude battery and the GATB
  • A cooperative study with national Easter Seals investigating the impact of precision teaching methods on skill acquisition by autistic children

Finally, leveraging new capital investments in a high speed optical scanner, a color printer, and new computers, we have developed and implemented an integrated processing and reporting system for custom 360-degree feedback systems. This system can be readily adapted to support the various competency models used by companies and consulting firms. We believe this capacity represents a best practice and would welcome inquiries regarding this 360-degree feedback processing and reporting system.

Throughout the course of the Center's projects, we have relied heavily on graduate student and faculty contributions. In turn, we have been able to offer many applied developmental experiences to our graduate students in the Clinical, Rehabilitation, and Industrial/Organizational Psychology Programs. In the process, these students have made a strong contribution to the development of the Center.

In closing, thanks to our faculty, students, board members, administration, and corporate partners for your ongoing support and encouragement.

Bruce Fisher, Ph.D., Director, Center for Research and Service

The Center is now located in Room 136 of the Life Sciences Building. Please direct all correspondence to Center for Research and Service, College of Psychology, Illinois Institute of Technology, 3101 S. Dearborn, Chicago, IL, 60616-3793. Phone: 312.567.6472. Web site:

Clinical News

Congratulations to students who have recently defended their dissertations:

Allison Cromey

The impact of multi-age programming on social competency in 5-7 year old children.

Robert Daniels

Psychosocial predictors of symptom severity in adults with bipolar disorder: A three-month prospective study.

D. Jeremy John

The Wender Utah Rating Scale: Retrospective diagnosis of childhood ADHD.

Shari Neul

Perceived self-competence and social competence in the 5- to 7-year shift: Cognitive developmental level.

Gregory Petersen

Interaction between the direction and valence of attention as related to walking performance in chronic low back pain.

Karla Rennhofer

Consistent and inconsistent verbal and nonverbal communication and its relationship to group cohesion and problem solving.

Lorenzo Azzi

Lorenzo Azzi finished his Master's thesis "Further investigation of direction of attention and valence as related to a standardized fitness evaluation." It is currently being reviewed by the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology for publication.

Sandra Kuperman

Sandra Kuperman finished her master's thesis and submitted it to the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology titled "Differences in peer acceptance ratings as a function of gender." She started the Performing Arts Psychophysiology Section within the organization, Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. She has also begun the process of introducing it as a liaison with the Performing Arts Medicine Association. She has been appointed to the nominating committee at the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback to begin in 2000. She is running for the board in the Illinois Biofeedback Society.

Marcie Zinn

In other clinical news, student Marcie Zinn gave a short course on the Essentials of Performing Arts Psychophysiology at the 30th annual meeting of the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, April 7-11, Vancouver, BC. She was also invited to present the following at the Biofeedback Society 1. Panel to explore different uses of biofeedback in performing arts; 2. Short course: Clinical protocol for transfer of deep muscle relaxation into instrumental playing; 3. Short course: Essentials of Performing Arts Psychophysiology.

Welcome to the new class of clinical Ph.D. students:

Rishi Bhalla, Audrey DiFrancesco, Nichole Horton, Sarah Landsberger, Allison Lerman, Tina Nikolopoulos, MaryAnn Pec, Julia Rissinger, Rhonda Sherrod, Reema Singla, Tracy Tilton, Gila Wallach, Joseph Wallach, and Stephen Weinland.

Industrial Organizational News

The Industrial Organization Program is proud to announce the following graduates:

Larry J. Laffitte, Ph.D.

Measurement equivalence of a 360-degree feedback assessment with confirmatory factor analysis and item response theory. Advisor: Dr. Raju.

Amy Larmore, Ph.D.

The relationship between leader match, direct report perceptions of transformational leadership and CEO effectiveness. Advisor: Dr. Ayman.

Joseph A. Jones, Ph.D.

Differential functioning and cutoff scores in personnel decision making. Advisor: Dr. Raju.

Jennifer Runkle, Ph.D.

Development and initial validation of a measure of race schematicity. Advisor: Dr. Morris.

Michael Barr, M.S.

The moderating effect of goal orientation on self-efficacy. Advisor: Dr. Roch.

Mark Frame, M.S.

Executive level multi-rater performance ratings: Measurement equivalence across source and gender. Advisor: Dr. Ayman.

Sandra Lewis, M.S.
Marina Magid, M.S.
Jana Szostek, M.S.

New students in the Industrial/Organizational Psychology Program:

Dana Brotman, Andrew Day, Erica Hartman, Illiana Hevia, M.S., Sebastian Laube, Maneesh Sharma, and Chris Thompson.

New students in the Personnel & Human Resource Development program:

Garth Davidson, Amy Deno, and Shetal Desai.

Rehabilitation News

James Emmett received a $20,000 grant for the Illinois Association for Persons in Supported Employment from the Illinois Planning Counsel and Iowa CEO.

Mia A. Bergman, clinical/rehabilitation student was awarded a 1999 dissertation grant from the Ax:son Johnson Foundation, Stockholm, Sweden. She also received a grant from the American Association of Spinal Cord Injured Psychologist and Social Workers.

From the Board Chair

As we look back, 1999 marks a significant year for IIT and Psychology. As reported at the IIT Board of Trustees meeting in November, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and IIT have come to an agreement regarding the "tube" that will encompass a portion of the CTA tracks over the new Campus Center designed by renowned architect, Rem Koolhaas. This important development will enable IIT to begin site preparation for the new 100,000 square foot Campus Center in December, break ground in January, with building construction scheduled to begin in the fall of 2000. Also, if you've been to campus recently, you may have noticed earth moving equipment on the south side of 33rd and State streets. This is the first phase of the landscaping plan made possible by generous donors, Irving and Sylvia Footlik. As you know, many of these projects are a direct result of the success of the IIT Challenge Campaign. To date the university has raised over $173 million of the $250 million dollar goal. For up-to-date progress reports on IIT activities, please take a look at IIT's web site:

Closer to home, the College of Psychology Board and volunteers have been very productive throughout the year. The Cultivation/Recognition committee was instrumental in hosting four Information Breakfasts with University President Lew Collens and College Director, M. Ellen Mitchell to further share the revitalization of IIT and the College's mission and vision for the future. This same committee has done preliminary work in developing an alumni directory specific for psychology as they continue to strive to build an alumni professional network. They have also made significant strides in developing a recognition program for psychology donors, ensuring donor listings in this newsletter, university publications and at special events. Under the leadership of both the Cultivation/Recognition and Events committees, the first reception recognizing over thirty major donors was held in November. The event was hosted by President Lew Collens and his wife Marge at their home in Chicago.

Those of you in attendance, won't soon forget the first annual PsychNite event at The Second City e.t.c. held in May honoring two 30-year faculty members, Margaret Huyck and Allen Wolach. Please look for information soon about PsychNite 2000. The College also sponsored alumni receptions at the IPA, SIOP and APA conferences this year. As always, we were happy to renew relationships with those in attendance.

The Campaign committee conducted its first volunteer solicitor training with the challenge of reaching over sixty new prospects for giving. To date funds raised for Psychology have exceeded $830,000 (with the Pritzker/Galvin matching fund). None of this could have been possible without the volunteer support of many‹we thank you gratefully. Let us not forget, these activities and many more like them have enabled the College to increase student funding, provide additional faculty support and encourage special projects that help us to further the mission of the College.

On this note, I would like to share a special incentive for alumni between now and the end of the school's fiscal year, June 30. Trustees, Robert Pritzker and Robert Galvin have enhanced the matching terms for new and increased gifts made by all alumni. Recently Psychology program directors mailed a letter outlining this opportunity. See table for a review.

--Bryan R. Dunn, President & CEO, Kinship Corp. Chair, College of Psychology Board of Overseers

Faculty News

Tamara Sher

Tamara Sher, faculty member of the Clinical Program, was awarded a $2,460,098 grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health. It is a four-year grant for her research project titled "A Couples Intervention for Cardiac Risk Reduction." The study's objective is to determine if a short-term intervention to alter a long-term relationship can result in sustained health behavior change, improve quality of life, and bestow health benefits. Using a couples intervention designed to optimize the relationships and reduce interpersonal stress, Sher's team will target three areas of change for cardiac patients in which the long-term adherence is problematic: exercise, weight management, and compliance with lipid-lowering medication. The study will provide insight into how family dynamics affect treatment outcomes.

Chow Lam, Director of the Rehabilitation Program, returned from his June trip to China with great success. He visited the Sun Yat-Sen University of Medical Sciences (SUMS) to discuss the possibility of integrating rehabilitation psychology in physical rehabilitation medical practice.

During the visit, Professor Lam and Professor Dahong Zhuo, M.D., agreed to pursue the following four areas of collaboration:

  1. Staff Exchange for investigation, lectureship, or advanced study: two physicians from SUMS are interested in pursuing graduate studies with the IIT's Rehabilitation Psychology Program.
  2. Jointly sponsored workshops or seminars held in China: it was agreed that IIT's Rehabilitation Psychology Program will provide three-module short courses in the summer of 2000. The short courses will be open to professionals nationwide in China.
  3. Formalization of agreement between SUMS and IIT: it was agreed that down the road, the two institutions may want to formalize an agreement in offering distant learning courses and continuing education certificates.
  4. Joint Research Project of Common Interests: some possible research projects include psychological rehabilitation for patients with stroke, community-based psychosocial rehabilitation for elderly patients, and integrated approach to stress control by both western and eastern methods.

In addition to the meeting in China, Dr. Lam was invited to present a workshop at the Department of Social Work and Administration of the University of Hong Kong, and another workshop at the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. During his lecture at the Hong Kong University, Dr. Lam visited Professor David Ho, father of Clinical Psychology in Hong Kong, an IIT Psychology alumnus. Dr. Ho was updated on the current development of the College of Psychology and its development campaign.

Margaret Huyck

Margaret Huyck, was awarded a $107,989, one-year grant from the National Institutes of Health for a project entitled "Behavioral Science, Engineering and Assistive Technology." The project is a short-term intensive educational workshop designed to add value to biomedicial and rehabilitation engineering research by adding social-behavioral perspectives. The project is an interdisciplinary training workshop developed by an IIT team which includes three members of the Institute. The workshop is designed to inform biomedical engineers developing assistive technologies about perspectives and methods in behavioral sciences and ethics which would enhance the development of such technologies. Professor Margaret Huyck is the Principal Investigator; Professor Robert Arzbaecher of the Pritzker Institute for Medical Engineering is the Co-Investigator. Other members of the planning committee include Nancy Hansen and Charles Merbitz from the Institute, Kevin Meade from Mechanical Engineering, and Vivian Weil from the Ethics Center. The workshop will be held May 31-June 4, 2000. Fellowships to cover travel and accommodations will be available on a competitive basis to rehabilitation engineers and others professionals involved in developing assistive technologies.

Charles Merbitz

Charles Merbitz, who is currently on sabbatical, was awarded $10,000 in research funding for his proposal on Precisely Measured Teaching Strategies for Children with Autism. Co-Investigators are James Emmett and N. Liga-Cantory. The award is funded by National Easter Seals, Chicago, IL 1999. It is a five-year pilot study, through the Center for Research and Service within the College of Psychology.

In October, Charles Merbitz was also awarded a one-year $63,396 contract for, funded by North Central Regional Educational Laboratory.

In November, Charles Merbitz and Nancy Hansen were the recipients of a 1999 IIT Community Recognition Award.

Roya Ayman

Roya Ayman, Sylvia Roch, and Matthew Bauer received an IITRI grant titled "The Role of Internet Communication on Diverse Work Team Decision Accuracy and Credibility of Team Members."

Alumni Notes

Melanie Anderson

Melanie Andersonis working at Peoples Energy as a Performance Measurement Specialist.

Dennis Armstrong

Dennis Armstrongis currently at The Limited in Ohio.

Michael A. Baer, Ph.D.

Michael A. Baer, Ph.D. was re-elected Chairman of the Board of the American Psychological Association (APA). He was also given the APA's 1999 Outstanding Service Award. He has recently been awarded two grants, one federally funded and the other funded by the national Association of Fire Marshals for a juvenile fire setting research project.

IIT Psychology alumni Jot Friedland and Sandy Marcus have made impressive strides in their career counseling consulting firm. They recently published two important selection tests that provide a means for reliable and valid prediction of sales achievement and management performance (respectively). They also have a great web site that can be viewed at:

Robert J. Grassl

Robert J. Grassl has written a 200-page book of guidelines for Medical Staff/Hospital Relationships (AMA); written numerous position papers on the effect of regulatory mechanisms on the practice of medicine (AMA); developed and implemented eight multi-discipline seminars on Medical Staff Organization (AMA); proposed, developed and implemented a two-year $563,000 Federal Grant for accrediting occupational health programs in industry (HEW, HHS); created a project team to study the mission, organization and functions of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals (JCAH), developed a patient billing system (Bio-Services Division, Rush Medial Center); worked with the American Hospital Associate's Center for Health Information Management (CHIM) and the Hospital Research and Education Trust Group (HRET) to develop processes to assist in the selection of the most effective software for an institution's needs. He is currently working as a volunteer with the Chicago Area Committee on Occupations Safety and heath (CACOSH) on a variety of projects regarding injured workers and blood-borne pathogens.

Robert E. Greitzer

Robert E. Greitzeris a consultant with L&B solutions, Inc.

Leah Groehler

Leah Groehler is working at Mediappraise in Raleigh, N.C.

Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson is working at Classified Adventures.

Dan Lezotte

Dan Lezotte is a founding Principal at Organizational Strategies, Inc., here in Chicago. His clientele varies from insurance and financial services to government agencies.

Sandra Lewis

Sandra Lewis is doing project work for Ameritech.

Marina Magid

Marina Magid is working at Arthur Andersen.

Gloria Morales Curtin

Gloria Morales Curtin is the Vice President/Director of El Valor in Chicago.

Douglas Quartetti

Douglas Quartetti is working at Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO) as a Research Scientist. He has done work with the Social Security Administration and the Federal Law Enforcement Agency. Doug has also been very active in presentations and publications.

William A. Schiemann, Ph.D.

William A. Schiemann is the founder and President of Metrus Group, a management consulting firm specializing in strategic measurement and organizational change, with headquarters in Somerville, NJ. He has written extensively for business journals and contributed to several books. He has just published a new book, co-authored with John H. Lingle, Bullseye! Hitting Your Strategic Targets Through High-Impact Measurement. This book outlines the importance of measurement systems for creating, guiding, facilitating, and accelerating change, and it details a conscious approach to tracking performance, based on four defining concepts; change, measurement, alignment, and results. After discussing the importance and difficulties of implementing a well-integrated measurement system, the authors lead readers through the four phases of this process‹developing a strategic template, designing the measures of these goals, cascading the scorecards for these measurements down through the organization, and embedding the scorecard process into procedures.

Jana Szostek

Jana Szostek has launched her own consulting company, Szostek & Associates.

Mark J. Zerwic, Ph.D.

Mark J. Zerwic is with the VA Chicago Health Care System. He manages addictions, Assessment, Program Enhancement, and Dual Diagnosis at the VA Chicago Health Care System. He is also on the board of Directors of the Illinois Chapter of the American Liver Foundation.