Koven, Kroepsch Award recipient, to discuss stories of mental illnesses

Nancy Koven and Katelyn Gilardi '11

Nancy Koven, assistant professor of psychology, gives a talk titled Irreducible Stories of Mental Illness at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, in Pettengill Hall’s Keck Classroom ( G52), 4 Andrews Road (Alumni Walk).

Koven is one of this year’s two recipients of the Ruth M. and Robert H. Kroepsch Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the lecture opportunity (originally scheduled for last spring) is one aspect of the award. Koven, a clinical neuropsychologist who studies connections between brain regions and cognitive and emotional functions, shares the award with Sonja Pieck, assistant professor of environmental studies.  Pieck offers her Kroepsch lecture later in the fall.

Students and recent alumni nominate faculty for the Kroepsch award, and a committee of previous faculty Kroepsch recipients selects the honoree.

Koven researches the anatomical roots of such cognitive functions as working memory or self-evaluation, and affective functions like attention to one’s own emotions. Her particular focus is how these regions and processes are interrelated in people suffering from mental illness, such as bipolar disorder.

Koven, who joined the Bates faculty in 2006, teaches courses in abnormal psychology, cognitive neuroscience and affective neuroscience, among others.

Her students praise her ability to clearly convey complicated information, her humor and her generosity with time and counsel.

Koven earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Swarthmore College, and a master’s and doctorate in clinical psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She held a clinical internship at Eastern Virginia Medical School in 2003-04 and a postdoctoral fellowship at Dartmouth Medical School from 2004 to 2006.

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