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Aug. 25: Carnegie Mellon Reappoints Michael Scheier Head of its Psychology Department


Kelli McElhinny                     

Carnegie Mellon Reappoints Michael Scheier
Head of its Psychology Department

Michael ScheierPITTSBURGH—Psychology Professor Michael F. Scheier, a leading researcher in the field of health psychology, particularly in the exploration of optimism's influence on health outcomes, has been appointed to a second five-year term as head of the Department of Psychology in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (H&SS) at Carnegie Mellon University.
Scheier has been on the university's faculty since 1975, and has been head of the Department of Psychology since 2003. In addition to expanding in terms of faculty and research projects under Scheier's leadership, the department established an infant research cluster that explores variations in critical early childhood development milestones, including speech perception and the development of categorization.
The department includes 27 full-time faculty members, a number of research centers and an early childhood education center. U.S. News and World Report magazine ranked the department's graduate program ninth in the nation and deemed the cognitive psychology program the second-best in the country.
"Under Mike Scheier's leadership, the Department of Psychology has strengthened its national reputation in cognitive science, health psychology and developmental psychology," said H&SS Dean John Lehoczky. "He has been instrumental in recruiting outstanding new faculty, ensuring that it will be a premier department for years to come.  I am very pleased that the department will benefit from his excellent leadership for five more years."
In addition to Scheier's work on optimism's influence on health, he has explored the psychological factors of coping with serious illnesses. He and his wife, University of Pittsburgh Professor of Psychiatry Karen Matthews, are co-directors of the Pittsburgh Mind-Body Center.
In 2007, he was a co-recipient of the Donald T. Campbell Award for distinguished contributions to social psychology presented by Division 8 (Personality and Social Psychology) of the American Psychological Association (APA). He also is a past president of Division 38 (Health Psychology) of the APA as well as a past recipient of the Division 38 award for outstanding contributions to health psychology.
Scheier earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of California at Berkeley, and his doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin.
"I'm honored that my colleagues in psychology and the administration at the university have trusted me again to oversee the activities of the department. Without the help and support of those folks, this job would truly be impossible," Scheier said.