Development & Alumni Relations Office 

Psychology Alumni Newsletter 

December 2019  


Welcome to our inaugural Psychology Alumni Newsletter!

We have a lot of good news to share with you for our first Alumni Newsletter 2019/20 edition. We have recruited some fantastic new staff to our School Community and have been celebrating our Investors in People Silver accreditation.

We have also refurbished parts of the School building in order to make it a better place to study and work. Our placement scheme that allows undergraduate and MSc students to gain valuable workplace experience goes from strength to strength, and next year, we are introducing two new MSc Programmes that we hope will help enhance the employability of our students.

We hope that you enjoy this newsletter, and please let us know if you have news that you would like to share with your School and Alumni friends.

For more on the activities of the School of Psychology, please click on the link below.

Yours sincerely 


Professor Teresa McCormack
Head of School of Psychology, Queen’s University Belfast

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Hello and Goodbye

This year, we were delighted to welcome a number of new faces to our School Community.

Professor Cherie Armour has joined us from the University of Ulster and Professor Kevin Vowles from the University of New Mexico. Together these new Chairs will lead our Health and Clinical Psychology Group.

Chris Brown is our new IT Manager and will be supporting us with various IT upgrades and the computer lab refurbishment.

Dr Elida Cena joins as Lecturer (Education). Elida’s research interests are interdisciplinary, crossing the fields of migration studies and psychology. She is interested in studying migrant children and adults, their adjustment processes, practices of inclusion and exclusion, identity and wellbeing.

Dr Agnieszka Jaroslawska is our newly appointed Lecturer in Applied Developmental Psychology and joins us following her post-doctoral research at the University of Edinburgh. Agnieszka is particularly interested in understanding what limits memory for the immediate past, and how those limits change as people grow older.

Dr Aideen McParland is our latest Lecturer (Education). Aideen's research interests are predominantly in the fields of behavioural, experimental and developmental psychology.

Dr Magdalena Rychlowska’s research focuses on expressions of emotions, their effects, and the mechanisms underlying their perception and interpretation. She joins as Lecturer in Experimental Social Psychology.

Finally, we wish Dr Lesley Storey good luck in her new position at the Birmingham City University and a fond farewell and best wishes to Dr Eugene O’Hare on his retirement. Some of you will have great memories of Lesley and Eugene, who were both very popular teachers and we are sorry to see them go.

To meet some more of our staff and students use the Read More link below. 

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What’s your master plan?

If you are considering pursuing a postgraduate qualification, please get in touch with us and discuss the next step on your master plan.

We currently offer:

As wells as: 


And next year we will be offering two new MSc programmes (watch out for details). 

For more information about Psychology Postgraduate Open Days please visit our website via this link. 

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Every year, we offer approximately 50 final year BSc Psychology students a modular placement opportunity in organisations drawn from across the public, private and third sector, which we call our Insight Programme.

In 2017, we introduced a one-year placement that leads to a BSc Psychology with Professional Placement degree.

To learn more about how you could contribute through coaching, mentoring or placements, click below or contact Patricia Castle at

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Congratulations to Dr Susan O'Neill who has won this year's School Teaching Award.

Students at the School said: “Susan explains concepts clearly and has a relaxed teaching style”; “She is passionate about the topic and this makes her lectures enjoyable” and that Susan is: “Approachable, informative, enthusiastic; made lecture enjoyable as she engaged everyone in the topic”.

Keep up with all the latest news from the School of Psychology by clicking on the link.

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Queen's receives £500k to improve gender equality within STEM 

Queen’s University has received over £500,000 funding for research that aims to improve gender equality within STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). 

Dr Ioana Latu from Psychology said: “Although gender equality initiatives exist in Engineering and Physical Sciences Schools across the UK, there may be ways that they could be more effective.

Our vision is that in order to improve diversity and inclusion within engineering and physical sciences rapidly, we need to understand academics’ attitudes towards gender equality initiatives.

We hope that by addressing how gender equality initiatives are received on the ground, it will have long term effects by accelerating diversity and culture change within engineering and physical sciences, ultimately creating a more inclusive environment for women who study and work in STEM fields.”

Click below for full story. 

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Around the DKB

During the Spring and Summer we have undergone extensive refurbishment of our lower levels.

Our new state-of-the-art teaching and learning lab now has a capacity of 80.

We were also very excited to unveil a new look to our entrance and ground floor areas, where there are now specially-commissioned murals that illustrate our education and research activities.

Our final addition is a Nurture Room which will accommodate returning mothers, who may need a space for breastfeeding or expressing milk.

Silver Status in Investors in People 

In June the School of Psychology was awarded a Silver Investors in People Award. We are the only School within Queen’s to hold this award, as well as a Gold Athena SWAN Award.

Congratulations to all the team on this wonderful double achievement.

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Our alumni

You are part of an 180,000-strong family of Queen’s alumni around the world!

We would love to be able to share stories of your success with your fellow alumni.

To keep up-to-date with alumni services and news, please check your details with us at:

And if you’d like to be featured in our next Psychology Alumni Newsletter or have news to share about your international experience, please contact Patricia Castle within our School (


Dr Alissa Lange - Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education: East Tennessee  

'I still tell colleagues and students here in the United States about how the structure of the program at Queen's University Belfast prepared me well for a career in academia.'

Dr Kai Ruggeri - Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

'It has been over 13 years since I drove 300 miles to my mother’s home in Missouri to surprise her with the news that I had been admitted to the PhD in Psychology at Queen’s.' 

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Photo Photo

Caoimhe Keogan - Chief People Officer, Money Supermarket Group

'I graduated in 2000, and it was then a case of looking for a graduate placement and, to my surprise, it was great timing because employers were really beginning to open themselves up to the influence of occupational psychology, so my choice of subject proved well-founded.'

Christopher Broome - People & Change Consultan, PwC

'Many of the skills that I use within my day to day working life have a large part of their foundations within the experiences I had whilst studying Psychology at Queen’s.'


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How to do research as a Clinical Psychologist in NI: Panel and discussion

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BPS NI Branch Annual Conference 

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Division of Academics, Researchers and Teachers in Psychology Annual Conference 2020

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Stay in touch

Stay in touch
Connect with former classmates and keep up with what's happening at the School of Psychology via social media.

Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, develop your professional networks via LinkedIn and check out our website

Issued by the Development and Alumni Relations Office on behalf of the School of Psychology.

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