Women in Psychology: Changemakers on the Frontlines

The Psychology Department at UC Berkeley is delighted to share this recorded session (April 7, 2021) entitled “Women in Psychology: Change Makers on the Front Lines.”  It features two exemplary psychology Ph.D. alumnae from the late 1990’s, who work for the public good at a time of rampant misinformation and shocking disparities. This session illustrates the diverse and powerful ways an education in psychology can be used.


Laura Helmuth (Editor in Chief of Scientific American) and Sybil Madison (Deputy Mayor for Education and Human Services in Chicago) reflect on lessons learned from psychology that inform the reporting of science and city governance to promote equity. They also speak about their experiences as women in graduate school and in the forging of novel career pathways.


Helmuth, whose dissertation centered on the neuroscience of Parkinson’s disease, has been described by the Washington Post as “one of the most respected science journalists in the country.” Madison, whose dissertation explored the impact of school closings following Brown v. Board of Education (winning two American Psychological Association awards), is a systems change leader, who has worked to reduce the opportunity gap for ethnic minority and under-resourced youth.


Helmuth and Madison are welcomed back to their home department, via zoom, by Psychology Chair Serena Chen. After their presentations, the Q&A is moderated by Jennifer Pearlstein, Ph.D. Candidate in Clinical Science, and Arianne Eason, Assistant Professor of Developmental and Social Psychology, and as we close, our speakers are toasted by their former mentors, Professors Rich Ivry and Rhona Weinstein.


This celebration of women psychologists is part a campus-wide commemoration of women, their untold stories and accomplishments, to mark the 150th anniversary on October 3, 2020 of the UC Regents’ unanimous approval of a resolution by Regent Samuel F. Butterworth: “That young ladies be admitted into the University on equal terms in all respects with young men.” See https://150w.berkeley.edu


Professors Rhona Weinstein, Sheri Johnson, and Ozlem Ayduk


Event: Women in Psychology: Changemakers on the Frontlines