ASU Department of Psychology names scientist Tamera Schneider as new chair

Milestone appointment makes Schneider first female chair of the department

July 17, 2023

Arizona State University has named Tamera Schneider as the new chair of the Department of Psychology.

An experienced transdisciplinary scientist who values collaboration, a diversity of perspectives and public impact, Schneider’s appointment marks a milestone in being the first woman to serve as the Department of Psychology chair. She joins a stellar natural sciences leadership team who all happen to be women. Portrait of Tamera Schneider, chair of the ASU Department of Psychology. Tamera Schneider earned her PhD in social and health psychology from Stony Brook University and has served institutions including the City University of New York, the U.S. National Science Foundation and Wright State University. Her broad area of scholarly expertise is in stress and emotions, and she appreciates the ability to engage in mindful activities, including singing in the philharmonic choir. Download Full Image

“I’m thrilled to be joining ASU, and I look forward to enhancing the culture and capacity for collaboration in the Department of Psychology,” Schneider said. “The faculty and staff are engaged in such innovative and impactful work to understand the mind, brain and behavior, and they include students in immersive research experiences so they can collectively improve people’s lives and communities. It’s humbling to be a part of it.”

Established in 1932, the Department of Psychology, housed within The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, has flourished into a vibrant academic powerhouse boasting an impressive faculty roster and a student body of nearly 4,000. The department continues to grow, adding new programs like the launch of the MS in addiction psychology in 2022 and the BS in neuroscience in 2021. It’s regarded as one of the nation’s top psychology programs and maintains a steadfast dedication to research, consistently securing external funding each year, making the department well-poised to deeply contribute to ASU’s launching of a new medical school and public health technology initiatives. 

“As a public institution, ASU has this tremendous focus on transdisciplinary innovation and a service orientation that excites me. Why be incremental when you can be transformative? I’m focused on building upon the greatness of the department and taking us not just to the next step, but beyond that,” Schneider said.

Having previously served as the associate vice chancellor and university vice provost of research at the City University of New York (CUNY), Schneider is well-equipped to propel ASU’s Department of Psychology to new heights. While at CUNY, Schneider oversaw research integrity and compliance, research development and seed programs, and innovation and entrepreneurship. Before CUNY, she was the deputy director of the division of behavioral and cognitive sciences at the U.S. National Science Foundation, where she forged collaborations with philanthropic partners to address national priorities and led a cross-directorate executive community for the Future of Work at the Human Technology Frontier. 

“Tamera brings a high level of leadership and research experience to ASU as the chair of the Department of Psychology,” said Kenro Kusumi, dean of natural sciences at The College. “Her experience in leading national research initiatives in psychology provides valuable insight that will help the department grow and educate the next generation of scientists and clinicians.”

Schneider’s scholarly expertise lies in emotions and psychophysiological stress resilience, the science of persuasion to promote behavior change, and the science of broadening participation, particularly in STEM disciplines. She takes pride in her history training diverse and excellent scientists and practitioners, and she’s committed to advancing a growth-oriented inclusive and empowering learning environment for students, faculty and staff.

“When you see students learning and gaining confidence in their own abilities to learn, it’s priceless,” Schneider said. “I’m eager to be teaching in the classroom and working with students in my research lab again. It’s magic when students want to learn, claim their power, grow and run with it.”

Laura Fields

Marketing and communication manager, Department of Psychology

4 in 5 Arizona voters in ASU survey favor nonpartisan primary system

Study finds broad support for election security measures combined with the need for reforms

July 17, 2023

Arizona voters strongly support requiring high-ranking state and local elections officials to be elected in a nonpartisan manner and take an oath to perform their duties in a nonpartisan fashion, according to a new Arizona State University study.

In addition, more than 80% of respondents – including majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents – said they want Arizona to adapt a nonpartisan primary system. However, a bare majority backed ranked-choice voting. Stickers on a table that read "I voted." Photo courtesy Unsplash Download Full Image

Voters surveyed took a dim view of election officials overseeing decisions that might impact their own elections, along with publicly endorsing and fundraising for other candidates for office, the study from ASU’s Center for an Independent and Sustainable Democracy revealed.

Moreover, respondents strongly approve of voting by mail and broadly support measures to ensure election integrity, including publicly testing voting machines, enacting stricter requirements for voter identification and auditing election results.

The survey of 1,063 Arizona registered voters was proportionally divided among Republicans, Democrats and independents, and reflected the state’s ethnic, education and age makeup. It was conducted by telephone May 17–26, and the results have a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.1%.

The survey, funded by the Arizona Clean Elections Commission and Greater Phoenix Leadership, was initiated to better understand which changes and adjustments might increase voter confidence in Arizona’s election system.

The study found significant areas of agreement among respondents, despite heated and polarizing rhetoric from both ends of the political spectrum, said Thom Reilly, co-director of the ASU center and a professor in the School of Public Affairs.

“We found there is a considerable amount of common ground regarding our election system, and voters’ views align more than partisan politics would suggest,” Reilly said.

Center Co-Director Jacqueline Salit said the study represented a “deeper dive into these questions, trying to get past the standard partisan cues and assumptions. Voters responded with a keen sense of needing a new framework and a belief that it’s possible to paint a bright line between partisan actors and nonpartisan administration. So, now we have a roadmap to build upon.”

The study asked voters to weigh in on two major reform initiatives:

  • Nonpartisan primary elections: a notion that drew broad and deep support, including from independents, who are now a third of the state’s electorate.
  • Ranked choice voting: a practice which involves voters ranking candidates in order of their preference, e.g., first, second, third and so on. Democrats and nonvoting independents comprised the bare majority of respondents in support of ranked choice voting. Republicans who voted in 2022 are strongly opposed to the practice, with non-voting Republicans split on the idea.

The survey’s other findings include:

  • 65% of voters surveyed said they are either somewhat or very confident in the outcome of Arizona’s elections, while the same percentage expressed that they believe political interference in elections has increased recently.
  • 73% of voters approve of voting by mail.
  • Respondents have low levels of trust in all sources of information about elections. In fact, no institutions were trusted by a majority of respondents.

Friends and family, universities and outside election observers were the only groups that were more trusted than mistrusted in the study. Television, radio and print media, social media, clergy, political leaders and business leaders were widely distrusted.

The Center for an Independent and Sustainable Democracy and the School of Public Affairs are part of ASU’s Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions.

Mark J. Scarp

Media Relations Officer, Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions