How to Be More Productive

CNBC quotes our own Alejandro Lleras in a blog post on boosting productivity. Good advice!

According to a study in the journal Cognition, even brief diversions can dramatically      improve a person’s ability to focus on a task for prolonged periods of time.

‘From a practical standpoint, our research suggests that, when faced with long
tasks (such as studying before a final exam or doing your taxes), it is best to impose brief breaks on yourself. Brief mental breaks will actually help you stay focused on your task.’

Google Values Soft Skills

“The seven top characteristics of success at Google are all soft skills: being a good coach; communicating and listening well; possessing insights into others (including others different values and points of view); having empathy toward and being supportive of one’s colleagues; being a good critical thinker and problem solver; and being able to make connections across complex ideas.”

Sounds a lot like the skill set you develop in Psychology and LAS.

(STEM expertise is #8, and you get that with our major, as well!)

Read the article in today’s Washington Post.


Illinois Summit on Diversity in Psychological Science

The Department of Psychology is sponsoring the Illinois Summit on Diversity in Psychological Science, March 26-28, 2018. The Summit aims to set a new agenda for research in psychological science that will transform the way we think about diversity and its context in the academy and in society more broadly.

Registration will begin on November 13 at: The website will not be available until November 13.

Student registration is limited to 50 undergraduates–first-come-first-serve basis & registration fees will be waived for those attending the conference.

Questions? Contact:

How My LAS Degree Prepared Me for Graduate School

Check out this blog post (directed at prospective students, but still good info for students already studying at Illinois) by a Psychology alum (class of 2015). She is currently studying clinical mental health counseling and forensic and legal psychology at Marymount University in Virginia.

“The value of obtaining a degree from the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences is that it gives you a dynamic education. With a degree in LAS, you are exposed to a variety of skills that make you valuable in the workplace. You will learn how to think critically about abstract topics in psychology, biology, communication, history, and many more areas. Most importantly, you will have the freedom to choose classes from various disciplines that will enhance your primary area of study.”

Daytime/Flashlight Vigil Against Acts of Intolerance

Thursday, May 5 – 3:30 pm, Atrium, Psychology Building

The Diversity Committee with the support from Department leadership and administration is hosting this event. As many of you know, there have been multiple incidents of ntolerance on campus recently: swastikas, the noose, anti-immigrant chalking, white student union website, and offensive party costumes.

Current Action:
In order to show solidarity with those directly targeted by these actions; in order to express our strong belief that acts of intolerance and structural violence deeply affect and hurt all of us; in order to end the semester on a note of witnessing and honoring inclusivity.

Bring your flashlights and phones to light up the atrium. If you have a poem, song or a brief message you would like to share at the Vigil, email Elaine Shpungin as soon as possible:

If you have friends, family, or colleagues who are not in the Psychology Department please feel free to bring then along. All are welcome. If you have questions, concerns or comments about the Vigil, please email Elaine Shpungin, current chair of the Diversity Committee (address above).