Robert S. Stephens of Blacksburg, professor of psychology at Virginia Tech since 1989, has been named chair of the psychology department in the university’s College of Science. Stephens replaces former department chair Jack W. Finney who became an associate dean in the college earlier this year.

Stephens, whose expertise is in the treatment and etiology of substance abuse and dependence, is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He earned his masters and doctorate degrees from Florida State University and completed postdoctoral training at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Stephens has authored more than 100 research papers, journal articles, and other scholarly works on substance abuse and dependence and has presented his research at conferences across the United States and Canada. Stephens is a licensed clinical psychologist, a member of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy and the American Psychological Society.

“Bob has assumed a vital leadership position in psychology at a time when the department is recruiting new faculty and expanding its research efforts in developmental science and health psychology,” said Lay Nam Chang, dean of the College of Science. “His research on addictive behaviors is widely recognized, and I am delighted to have him join the leadership team in the College of Science.”

The College of Science at Virginia Tech gives students a comprehensive foundation in the scientific method. Outstanding faculty members teach courses and conduct research in biology, chemistry, economics, geosciences, mathematics, physics, psychology, and statistics. The college is dedicated to fostering a research intensive environment and offers programs in many cutting edge areas, including those in nanotechnology, biological sciences, information theory and science, and supports the university’s research initiatives through the Institute for Critical Technologies and Applied Sciences, and the Institute for Biomedical and Public Health Sciences. The College of Science also houses programs in intellectual property law and pre-medicine.