Psychology alum wins research award — and has a Binghamton love story
Alumnus Matthew Price ‘04 was recently named the inaugural holder of the George W. Albee Green & Gold Professorship of Psychological Science in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Vermont.
The George W. Albee Green & Gold Professorship is granted to a University of Vermont faculty member who conducts research that aligns with George Albee’s commitment to social justice and mental health care.
Price’s research is centered around trauma. His work determines how best to use different strategies to improve trauma-focused mental health care, including technology-based methods such as mobile applications and websites.
“My research is on helping individuals who have been through traumatic events. The main focus of my work is to help people recover faster after the experience of trauma,” he said.
A primary motivator in Price’s research is promoting equitable treatment to marginalized communities.
“I often think about how to address more of these societal and systemic inequities, as related to mental health,” he said. “Pieces of technology are a great equalizer in that many individuals have mobile devices that can access the internet. So, you can provide a lot of direct care and services to these hard-to-reach individuals, all through these devices.”
This past semester, Price taught two courses, including an upper-level undergraduate class on the science of traumatic stress, as well as a graduate course aimed at educating students on the mental health outcomes of trauma, and how to treat them.
Price feels grateful for attending Binghamton University, which he says has prepared him well for his research and teaching. In particular, Psychology Professor Matthew D. Johnson’s marital research lab allowed him to learn about the fundamentals of managing a research laboratory, including best practices for collecting data, maintaining records and leading a team.
Price also met his wife in this marital research lab, which he says prepared him for fostering a successful marriage.
“My wife Peggy (’05) and I worked in Matthew Johnson’s lab, which explored different factors that led to successful marriages as people transitioned from being engaged to newlyweds,” he said. “One of our many jobs in the lab was to code the affect of the couples during conversations (specific affect coding or SPAFF). This allowed us to study the emotional reactions of the couples while they spoke about conflict in their marriage. That was the best preparation for being a good partner that I’ve ever gotten.”
The two went on to take a handful of classes together at Binghamton and fell in love. They have been together for 18 years.
Peggy Price, who is the director of the Orton-Gillingham Institute at the Stern Center for Language and Learning in Williston, Vermont, is also thankful for attending Binghamton.
“It was certainly an honor and privilege to meet with the couples who participated in the Binghamton Transition to Marriage Project,” she said. “I think the biggest a-ha moment I learned as an undergraduate working in Dr. Johnson’s lab was that all marriages will have conflict, but it is how you approach the problem and how you communicate that matters. I actually cited research from my honor’s thesis in my wedding vows!”
Peggy Price says that Binghamton University provided her with exposure to diversity, fostered her critical thinking and allowed her to graduate from a top-tier research program with minimal debt.
“I feel incredibly lucky to have attended Binghamton University personally, professionally and financially. I made lifelong friends who remain a strong source of social support in my life, and I met Matt, my husband and the love of my life. I am incredibly proud of his passion for trauma research and his love for mentoring students,” she said.
Next, Matthew Price hopes to advance telehealth care for trauma victims living in rural areas. He aims to close the gap in services that are available in these rural regions with this work.