Department of Psychology

University of Mississippi


  • Tue
    6:00 pmLusa Pastry Cafe

    UM psychologist Todd Smitherman to share research on neurological illness at March 24, 2015 public science forum

    Cover art for Todd Smitherman’s ‘Advances in Psychotheraphy’ textbook

    Cover art for Todd Smitherman’s ‘Advances in Psychotherapy’ textbook

    The causes and treatments for migraine headaches is the next topic for a monthly public science forum organized by the University of Mississippi Department of Physics and Astronomy.

    The spring semester’s second meeting of the Oxford Science Cafe is set for 6 p.m. March 24 at Lusa Pastry Cafe, 2305 West Jackson Ave. Todd Smitherman, associate professor of psychology, will discuss “Migraine: Knowns and Unknowns.” Admission is free.

    “Migraine is a neurological disorder characterized by recurrent attacks of severe head pain accompanied by nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound,” Smitherman said. “This talk will review recent scientific progress in migraine across these and other areas, differentiating between what is well-established from empirical research – the ‘knowns’ – and what remains to be understood – the ‘unknowns.'”

    Smitherman’s 30-minute presentation is geared toward everyone, including both people who suffer from migraines and those who don’t.

    “Data from the World Health Organization indicate that migraine is the third most common medical condition and eighth leading cause of disability on the planet,” he said. “Despite its high prevalence and impact, migraine remains underdiagnosed and inadequately treated, though recent scientific advances offer new hope for combatting this chronic condition.”

    In the last two decades, substantial progress has been made in understanding migraine pathophysiology, headache triggers and the role of common co-occurring conditions, as well as in establishing effective treatments.

    Smitherman earned his master’s and doctoral degrees from Auburn University and his bachelor’s degree from Samford University. His research areas include migraine and psychiatric comorbidity, behavioral interventions for headache, health psychology/behavioral medicine, and anxiety and depression in pain patients.

    At UM, he teaches undergraduate courses in General Psychology, Learning, Abnormal Psychology and Health Psychology. His graduate classes include Seminar: Assessment and Treatment of Anxiety Disorders, Clinical Practicum and Issues and Ethics in Human Research and Professional Psychology.


  • Sat
    9:00 amThe Ford Center

    Engagement Is the Answer! Cross-Cultural Lessons in Life and Psychology, a TedxUM talk Laura R. Johnson, associate professor of psychology, recently gave.

  • Mon
    5:00 pmPeabody Lounge

    Join two time Fulbright Scholar and national Geographic Conservation trust explorer, Laura Johnson, associate professor of psychology, for a study abroad like no other. This year, students have the chance to participate in Dr. Johnson's National Geographic grant to promote and study new methods of conservation action around Mt. Kilimanjaro. Information and Sign up sessions Monday February 1 and 15th at 5 in Peabody Lounge. There are opportunities to work as an undergraduate research or teaching assistant under Dr. Johnson afterwards to continue your experience. If you’re a graduating senior, this trip makes a wonderful graduation gift and will still count as hours even if you have already walked in graduation.

    PSY 475 draws from environmental, cultural, developmental, and educational psychology to reflect interdisciplinary interests in positive youth development and sustainable community development in an international context. Schedule: Northern Tanzania Safari (Days 1-6) - See all the best of African safaris –we will bike, hike, and drive though Taranagire, Lake Manyara and the Ngoro Ngoro crater to see elephants, lions, and zebras and explore Maasai culture. Mt. Kilimanjaro/Moshi (Days 6-16) - partner with Tanzanian youth and the Mweka community (associated with Jane Goodall) to get hands-on learning about the ice-covered “roof top of Africa” , we will plant trees, build fuel efficient stoves, take part in Chaaga dances, and swim in a waterfall! Island of Zanzibar (Days 16-24) – Swim the azure Indian Ocean, visit a spice farm, tour Stonetown’s ancient sites, learn about Swahili culture, and relax on the Beach while getting henna and discussing how are experiences and academic articles are related. We will be there during ZIFF (Zanzibar International Film Festival), an incredibly exciting opportunity! There are also chances to extend your trip afterwards to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro or go on a Rwanda excursion, if you’re interested in either of these options let me know right away.

    Cost: is $4750, plus air (includes international health insurance, all safaris, activities and tours, most meals). For financial aid information see Hunter Richardson. There are scholarships available through the Study Abroad Office as well as Environmental Studies Scholarship available for minors. This year’s trip offers the unique opportunity to participate in Dr. Johnson’s project funded by National Geographic. f you have any further questions there will be an informational meeting and sign up session on Monday, February 1st and 15th at 5pm in Peaobody 201 . or contact Dr. Johnson -

  • Fri
    10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.Peabody

    Students and Faculty,

    We are happy to announce that abstracts are now being accepted for our 4th annual UM Conference on Psychological Science, which will be held Friday April 21st from 10-5pm in Peabody Building. Abstracts must be submitted by Monday March 27 at 11:59pm using this weblink:

    This year we are offering multiple formats for presenting your research: poster presentations, 15-min oral presentations, super-brief 5 min “data blitz” presentations, and even the option to submit an entire symposium (3 to 4 15-min oral presentations). Poster presentations are open only to undergraduates, while all other options are open to undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty.

    As in years past we will provide FREE LUNCH, student and faculty awards with support from ORSP, and have a keynote speaker. This year’s speaker is Dr. Pamela Hunt from William and Mary. Dr. Hunt is a neuroscientist who researches development, memory, and alcohol abuse.

    This year we will host 2 educational talks for undergraduates—one on Preparing for Graduate School (What do I need to be doing now to be competitive for graduate school?) and another on What Graduate School is Really Like. These talks will feature perspectives from current undergraduate and graduate students.

    This conference is a great opportunity to help our students boost their CVs, improve their presentation skills, and practice presenting for an upcoming conference, Honors thesis defense, or 3-minute thesis competition. Please encourage those you work with to submit an abstract, and please share this with other faculty and students who work in disciplines related to psychology (neuroscience, psychopharmacology, etc.). This conference is open to all in the UM community.

    Thanks to everyone for your support and participation. We are hoping this year will be our biggest and best conference yet!