Personalities

  • Middle Tennessee State University awarded Mark H. Anshel, PhD, a professor of psychology and health and human performance, the university's Distinguished Researcher Award. Anshel received the award for his extensive research, which has focused on identifying coping styles in human performance settings, such as athletics and law enforcement, and his recently published intervention research on validating his Disconnected Values Model for changing health behaviors.

  • Elizabeth Carll, PhD, a psychologist in private practice in Centerport, N.Y., was selected to serve another four years as the chair of the United Nations Non-Governmental Organization Committee on Mental Health, a group that advocates for mental health awareness and access to services across the world.

  • The National Institutes of Health has awarded University of Kansas child clinical psychology professor Yo Jackson, PhD, a $1.7 million grant to study the mechanisms of resiliency in youth exposed to child maltreatment and other childhood trauma. Jackson hopes her research can better inform interventions for youth and document the process by which youth cope with trauma such as sexual and physical abuse.

  • Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, PhD, honored Hagop S. Pambookian, PhD, at a reception in Cincinnati that recognized first-generation immigrants' contributions to Ohio. Pambookian, a professor emeritus of psychology at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio, was honored for developing and internationalizing the psychology program at Shawnee State, for contributing to better understanding and communication and for promoting the state domestically and globally. Originally from Lebanon, Pambookian is of Armenian heritage.

  • The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation named Elyn Saks, JD, a professor of law, psychology, psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Southern California, as a recipient of the $500,000 MacArthur fellowship for her work on expanding the options for people with serious mental illness through policy, practice and scholarship. Saks was the only person with an appointment in a psychology department among the 13 academics nominated for the award.

  • The Traditional Chinese Medicine World Foundation honored Brother Bernard Seif, EdD, a clinical psychologist and doctor of natural medicine as well as a monk in the Catholic and Salesian traditions, for his work encouraging mutual respect among world religions. He earned the foundation's Building Bridges of Integration award in part for his recent work creating holistic healing centers in Hong Kong and China.

  • The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences has awarded Warren K. Bickel, PhD, the 2008–09 Dean's Distinguished Faculty Lectureship Award. The university chose Bickel, who directs the university's Center for Addiction Research, for his engaging work in the classroom and his research on whether the effects of addiction on decision-making can be reversed.

  • Kim Montgomery, PhD, APA's 2009–10 Executive Branch Science Fellow, will spend the next year working as a special assistant in the National Science Foundation's Office of Legislative and Public Affairs. Montgomery, a neuroscientist, will work on science media issues and serve as a liaison to the National Science Foundation and lawmakers.

  • In Swahili, there are 26 words that mean "respect." The word "murua" represents the highest level of respect. For BraVada Garrett-Akinsanya, PhD, of Brakins Consulting and Psychological Services in Minneapolis, murua has held its own significant meaning. In 2007, Garrett-Akinsanya created Project Murua, a parenting boot camp that combines an African-centered wellness model with behavioral lessons aimed at empowering parents of African-American children in areas with high crime rates. The 10-week course, which admits 15 families at a time, has a boot-camp atmosphere: Garrett-Akinsanya provides the "recruits" with general orders, such as secure your post (home), walk in your post with perfect posture and quit your post only when properly relieved. The recruits march and repeat their orders in cadence, a method Garrett-Akinsanya says works to drive home the course's principles of wellness and modeling. The recruits also attend lectures, video sessions and role-play exercises to learn to model and teach healthy behaviors as well as non-physical methods of punishment, such as talking.

    Garrett-Akinsanya's evaluation data show that 90 percent of parents who participate have improved their parenting skills. "What so many people don't know is when you invest in effective programs like these for poor communities, you give people the environment and space they need to heal themselves."

—J. Clark