Event Information

PsychFest is an all day event held the last Friday of Spring quarter.

Information about the 2018 PsychFest Keynote Presentation:

Title of Presentation: Understanding and Addressing Trauma in a Cultural Framework

Presenter: Melissa Tehee, J.D., Ph.D.

About the Presenter: Dr. Tehee discussed her journey through academics, including her time as a student in the Psychology master's program at Western Washington University. Dr. Tehee’s unique worldview and interdisciplinary training have driven her research concerning trauma across the lifespan of diverse populations. She discussed multiple research projects, including defining domestic violence from American Indian and White women’s’ perspectives, jurisdictional issues associated with addressing domestic violence on tribal lands, and a study examining traumatic stress symptoms among older American Indians. Dr. Tehee highlighted the importance of relationships, mentoring, statistical knowledge, and cultural grounding in working with American Indian populations.

Presentation Overview: Dr. Melissa Tehee is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. She is an assistant professor at Utah State University in the Department of Psychology and Director of the American Indian Support Project. Dr. Tehee’s clinical and research interests are in addressing trauma across the lifespan. Her research has focused on bias/prejudice/racism, health disparities, and domestic violence and other trauma experienced by ethnic and racial minorities, especially American Indians. She earned dual degrees in Clinical Psychology, Policy, and Law (Ph.D./J.D.) with a certificate in Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy at the University of Arizona. Dr. Tehee has a Master of Science in Psychology from Western Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Nebraska. Her interdisciplinary training allows her to consider the convergence of these topics with law and policy. Her other interests include multicultural competence and mentoring ethnic minority students in higher education.


We are grateful to the PsychFest 2018 Sponsors!

  • Dean's Office, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Department of Psychology, Western Washington University
  • Center for Cross-Cultural Research, Western Washington University
  • Western Associated Students Bookstore
  • And the following publishers:



For more information, please consult with your faculty research mentor. You also may contact a member of the PsychFest Committee:

Jennifer Devenport, Committee Chair
Jeff Carroll
Todd Haskell
David Sattler
Christie Scollon
Larry Symons

Post Event Information

5:30 pm - Apres PsychFest Soiree
Location: Boundary Bay Brewery and Bistro
1107 West Railroad Avenue, Bellingham


PsychFest Keynote Speakers

2018 - Dr. Melissa Tehee, Utah State University. Title: Understanding and Addressing Trauma in a Cultural Framework

2017 – Dr. Jessica Tracy, University of British Columbia. Area: Social/Personality. Title: The Nature of Pride: The Emotional Origins of Social Rank

2016 – Dr. Ryan Reese, Oregon State University, Cascades. Area: Counseling. Title: From Western to Faculty Member:  Key Learnings on Becoming a Researcher-Practitioner 

2015 – Dr. Andrea Stocco, University of Washington. Area: Cognitive/Neuropsychology. Title: Manipulation and Representation of Symbolic Knowledge in the Human Brain

2014 – Dr. Kevin Haggerty, University of Washington. Area: Developmental/Clinical. Title: Power of Family to Promote Well Being: Results from the Family Connection Studies

2013 – Dr. Izabella Schultz, University of British Columbia. Area: Clinical. Title: Mental Disorders and Work

2012 – Dr. Eric Eich, University of British Columbia. Area: Cognitive/Neuropsychology. Title: Remembering the Personal Past from Field and Observer Perspectives

2011 – Dr. Edith Chen, University of British Columbia. Area: Health/Developmental/Neuropsychology. Title: Psychobiological Pathways linking SES to Childhood Asthma

2010 – Dr. Cheryl Kaiser, University of Washington. Area: Social/Cross-cultural. Title: Group Identity and Experiencing Discrimination

2009 – Dr. Ross Thompson, University of California, Davis. Area: Developmental. Title: Parent-Child Conversation and Psychological Understanding