2020 Speaker Bios

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Roxane Cohen Silver is Professor in the Department of Psychological Science, the Department of Medicine, and the Program in Public Health, and Associate Director of the ADVANCE Program for Faculty and Graduate Student Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in the Office of Inclusive Excellence at the University of California, Irvine, where she has been actively involved in research, teaching, and administration since 1989. An international expert in the field of stress and coping, Silver has spent over four decades studying acute and long-term psychological and physical reactions to stressful life experiences, including personal traumas such as loss, physical disability, and childhood sexual victimization, as well as larger collective events such as terror attacks, war, and natural disasters across the world (e.g., U.S., Indonesia, Chile, Israel). Her research has been funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Public Health Service. She has guided governments in the U.S. and abroad in the aftermath of terrorist attacks and earthquakes and served on numerous senior advisory committees and task forces for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, providing advice to the Department and its component agencies on the psychological impact of disasters and terrorism. She has also testified at the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Science, Space and Technology on two occasions and given several briefings to policymakers at the White House and on Capitol Hill on the role of social and behavioral science research in disaster preparedness and response and the impact of the media following disasters.

Silver is the President of the Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences (FABBS) and was the 2016 President of the Society of Experimental Social Psychology. She was also a founding Director and Chair of the Board of Directors of Psychology Beyond Borders, an international nonprofit organization that facilitated research, intervention, and policy development in the prevention, preparedness, and response to terror attacks, conflict, or natural disasters across the world. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (in 4 Divisions), the Association for Psychological Science, the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research, and the Society of Experimental Social Psychology. Silver has received a number of awards for her scholarship and service, including the 2007 American Psychological Association’s Award for Distinguished Service to Psychological Science, the 2010 Public Advocacy Award from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (for “outstanding and fundamental contributions to advancing social understanding of trauma”), the American Psychological Association’s 2011 Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest (Senior Career), the 2011 Award for Outstanding Service to the Field of Trauma Psychology, the 2014 International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies’ Frank Ochberg Award for Media and Trauma Study, the 2016 Social Responsibility Award from the Western Psychological Association, the 2018 Robert S. Laufer Memorial Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, the 2019 Application of Personality and Social Psychology Senior Career Contribution Award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, and the 2020 Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Field of Trauma Psychology from Division 56 (Trauma Psychology) of the American Psychological Association.

Silver is also a dedicated teacher and active mentor of predoctoral and postdoctoral students. In recognition of her efforts toward graduate and undergraduate education, she has received almost two dozen teaching/mentoring awards over her career, including the 2012 Distinguished Mentorship Award from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, UC Irvine’s 2001 Distinguished Faculty Lectureship Award for Teaching (the 16th recipient in UCI’s history), and UCI’s inaugural Tom Angell Fellowship Faculty Award for Mentoring in 2015. Silver received her Ph.D. in social psychology from Northwestern University.

Kellina Craig-Henderson is a former Professor of Psychology who currently serves as the Deputy Assistant Director for the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate of the National Science Foundation (NSF). She previously served as the Deputy Division Director of the Social and Economic Sciences Division of SBE before transitioning into the role of Director for NSF’s Tokyo Regional Office. Before undertaking full-time Federal service at NSF, she was promoted to the rank of Full Professor in the Department of Psychology at Howard University.

Dr. Craig-Henderson graduated from Wesleyan University in Connecticut before attending the Master’s Program in the Social Sciences at the University of Chicago where she earned a M.A. Immediately following that she attended Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana and earned an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Psychology. She served on the faculty in the Department of Psychology as well as the Afro-American Studies and Research program at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. This was followed by an appointment in the Psychology Department of California State University in Long Beach.

Dr. Craig-Henderson is passionate about broadening the participation of underrepresented groups, and has been involved in a number of national and international activities that share this focus. She has taken on a leadership role at the National Science Foundation to promote the establishment of a new social science funding mechanism that supports evidence-based research on the Science of Broadening Participation. Her efforts have resulted in federal support for research examining issues related to gender parity in STEM, minority participation in work settings as well as a number of other areas.

She has published reports detailing her own empirical research in peerreviewed journals as well as two books on interracial relationships. Her research program includes studies of groups, cross-cultural, gender and race issues, as well as aggression, and expatriation processes. Her work has been supported by a variety of public and private sources including NSF, the Ford Foundation and the American Psychological Association, and she has presented findings from her research activities at a variety of regional, national and international research and pedagogical meetings.

Sandra Graham is a Professor in the Human Development and Psychology division in the Department of Education at UCLA and the University of California Presidential Chair in Education and Diversity. Her major research interests include the study of academic motivation and social development in children of color, particularly in school contexts that vary in racial/ethnic diversity. She is Principal Investigator on grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). Professor Graham has published widely in developmental, social, and educational psychology journals and received many awards. Among her awards, she is a 2011 recipient of the Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Child Development Award from the Society for Research on Child Development and the 2014 E. L. Thorndike Career Award for Distinguished Contributions to Educational Psychology, Division 15 of the American Psychological Association. Most recently, in 2015 she was elected to the National Academy of Education. She is currently serving on the FABBS Board as a Member-At-Large.

Arthur “Skip” Lupia studies decision making and learning. He uses this information to explain to convey complex ideas to diverse audiences. His work clarifies how information and institutions affect policy and politics and how people make decisions when they lack information.  He draws from multiple scientific and philosophical disciplines and uses multiple research methods. His topics of expertise include information processing, persuasion, strategic communication, and civic competence.

He works with many groups to improve decision-making and the communication of scientific facts. He is Chair of the National Research Council’s Roundtable on the Application of Social and Behavioral Science Research. He serves on the boards of organizations dedicated to increasing the social value of scientific research including the Center for Open Science, the National Academies’ Advisory Board on the Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Leshner Leadership Institute. He has served as Chair of the AAAS Section on Social, Economic, and Political Sciences, President of the Midwest Political Science Association, and a range of leadership positions at the American Political Science Association including Treasurer and Chair of the Task Force on Public Engagement.

Dr. Lupia also has developed new means for researchers to better serve science and society.  As a founder of TESS (Time-Sharing Experiments in the Social Sciences), he has helped hundreds of scientists from many disciplines run innovative experiments on opinion formation and change using nationally representative subject pools.  As a Principal Investigator of the Principal Investigator of the American National Election Studies, he brought many methodological innovations to the study that increased its usefulness and credibility. He helped to design the EITM Summer Institutes and currently serves as its lead PI.

He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has been a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow, a fellow at the Center for the Study of Behavioral and Social Sciences, and is one of the inaugural Andrew Carnegie Fellows. His awards include the American Political Science Association’s Ithiel de Sola Pool Award, the American Association for Public Opinion Research’s Mitovsky Innovator’s Award, and the National Academy of Sciences’ Initiatives in Research Award.

His articles appear in political science, economics, and law journals, and his editorials are published in leading newspapers. His research has been supported by a wide range of groups including the World Bank, the Public Policy Institute of California, the Markle Foundation, and the National Science Foundation. In 2016, Oxford University Press released his latest book, Uninformed: Why People Know So Little About Politics and What We Can Do About It.

Nora Newcombe is a Laura H. Carnell Professor of Psychology at Temple University. Dr. Newcombe was educated at Antioch College, where she graduated with a major in psychology in 1972 and at Harvard University, where she received her Ph.D. in Psychology and Social Relations in 1976. She taught previously at Penn State University. Dr. Newcombe currently serves as President of the International Mind Brain Education Society (IMBES), as Past President of the Federation of Associations in Brain and Behavioral Sciences (FABBS), as Editor of Psychological Science in the Public Interest and as Associate Editor of Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications. Honors include the Distinguished Scientific Contributions Award from the Society for Research in Child Development, the William James Fellow Award from APS, the Howard Crosby Warren Medal from the Society of Experimental Psychologists, the George Miller Award and the G. Stanley Hall Awards from APA, the Award for Distinguished Service to Psychological Science, also from APA, and the Women in Cognitive Science Mentor Award. She is a fellow of four divisions of the American Psychological Association (General, Experimental, Developmental, and Psychology of Women), of the Association for Psychological Science, and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin and the University of Otago. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Society of Experimental Psychologists. She served as the PI of the Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center (SILC) from 2006-2018, headquartered at Temple and involving Northwestern, the University of Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania as primary partners.

Rachel Puffer is the Executive Director at the Society for Personality and Social Psychologists. With more than 7,500 members, SPSP strives to advance the science, teaching, and application of social and personality psychology.

Before joining SPSP in July 2020, Puffer was the Vice President for Membership & Meetings at The Gerontological Society of America (GSA). She was with GSA since 2014. Her major successes included planning the largest conference on aging ever held and implementing a major governance overhaul for the organization launching a new governing body.

Rachel is an association professional and has worked with U.S. and international associations since graduating from Elon University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management.

William T. Riley was appointed Associate Director for Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, and Director of the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in August, 2015. Under his leadership, the OBSSR instituted its third and current strategic plan, which reflects key research challenges that the Office is uniquely positioned to address over the next five years, along with four foundational processes to enhance and support these scientific priorities as well as the OBSSR’s broader mission.

Since joining the NIH in 2005, Dr. Riley has served in extramural leadership positions at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), and the National Cancer Institute (NCI). He has contributed to several trans-NIH initiatives including serving as Chief Science Officer for the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) and as NIH Interim Deputy Director of the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI, now called the All of Us Research Program). He has been the recipient of several NIH Director’s Awards including recognition for his work on the PROMIS and PMI initiatives.

Dr. Riley received his undergraduate degree in Psychology and Sociology from James Madison University, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Florida State University. He interned in Medical Psychology at Baylor College of Medicine. He has served on the faculty of the Medical College of Georgia and Virginia Commonwealth University.  After 15 years in academic medical schools, he became Director of Research at PICS, Inc., a health behavior research and development firm. Dr. Riley holds an appointment as Professorial Lecturer in the School of Public Health at The George Washington University.

Dr. Riley’s research has contributed significantly to the behavioral and social sciences, particularly in the application of digital technologies to behavioral assessment and intervention.  Among his over 130 publications, he published the first application of text messaging for smoking cessation, and a highly cited article on the limitations of current health behavior theories to mobile health (mHealth) interventions.

Robert Sellers is the Vice Provost for Equity and Inclusion, Chief Diversity Officer, and the Charles D. Moody Collegiate Professor of Psychology and Education. As Vice Provost for Equity and Inclusion & Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Sellers works with the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs on matters related to diversity at the university as well as a broad range of academic issues including the budget, faculty tenure and promotions, and student enrollment. He oversees operations of three central administrative units.

A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Dr. Sellers attended Howard University where he earned All-America honors in football. After graduating cum laude with a bachelor’s of science degree in psychology in 1985, he went on to earn a Ph.D. in personality psychology from the University of Michigan in 1990. Following his graduate work, Dr. Sellers served as an Assistant and an Associate professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Virginia. In 1997, Dr. Sellers returned to the University of Michigan to continue his research and teaching efforts. He served four years as the Associate Chair of the Department of Psychology at the University of Michigan before serving as Department Chair from 2011-2014.

Dr. Sellers’ primary research activities have focused on the role of race in the psychological lives of African Americans. He and his students have developed a conceptual and empirical model of African American racial identity. The model has been used by a number of researchers in the field to understand the heterogeneity in the significance and meaning that African Americans place on race in defining themselves. Dr. Sellers and his students have also investigated the processes by which African American parents transmit messages about race to their children. Finally, his research has examined the ways in which African Americans suffer from and often cope with experiences of racial discrimination. Over the years, he and his graduate students have published extensively on the topic. In addition to his research on the role of race in the lives of African Americans, Dr. Sellers has frequently published research examining the life experiences of student-athletes. He is also one of the founders of the Center for the Study of Black Youth in Context. The center conducts state-of-the-art, action-oriented research on the healthy development of African American youth as well as provides an important training ground for future researchers.

Dr. Sellers has received significant recognition for his research and teaching. He is a past President of the Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues (Division 45 of the American Psychological Association). He is a fellow of Division 8 (Society for Personality and Social Psychology) and Division 45 (Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity, and Race) of the American Psychological Association as well as a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science. He also won numerous honors and awards including the Theodore Millon Mid-Career Award in Personality Psychology from the American Psychological Foundation, the American Psychological Association Minority Fellowship Program Research Achievement Award, and the APAGS Kenneth & Mamie Clark Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Professional Development of Ethnic Minority Graduate Students.