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Department of Psychology


Our whole Psychology community is mourning the tragic death of a member of our departmental family, Nikki Elias.

Nikki was an incredibly valued and dedicated staff member in the Psychology Department and had many friends and colleagues across the University. She brought a sense of humor and a sense of calm to the constant activity in the Psychology Department office, and she cared deeply about her work.

To honor Nikki's commitment to caring for others, and to give her beloved daughters another legacy to remember her by, the Psychology Department intends to create a scholarship fund in her memory. For colleagues and friends who wish to contribute toward this scholarship, checks can be made payable to "PSU Foundation" with a note that your gift is in memory of Nikki Elias. These can be brought to the department in Cramer Hall 317 or mailed to:

Psychology Department
Attn: Julie Bilski
PO Box 751
Portland, OR 97207-0751

We thank the PSU community for their outpourings of kindness and support.

Our Mission

Applied psychology creates understanding and solutions to enhance lives and address societal problems. In our research, we use science to generate knowledge that guides action and frames policy in the contexts and settings of daily life. We take our questions to neighborhoods, businesses and non-profits, schools and families who are diverse in ethnicity, class, gender, culture, age, and disability status. This makes ours a science that is often collaborative not only with other researchers nationally and internationally, but also with people in the settings where they live and work. Through collaboration, we endeavor for our community collaborators to use and sustain what we have learned together.

We educate both undergraduates and graduates about human behavior, about the theories in which research is rooted, and about how to actively critique the assumptions, methods, and ethics that are a part of generating and using psychological knowledge. Along with our research, our work with students reflects our commitment to realizing human and organizational possibilities to their fullest.