Personalities

  • The National Institutes of Health has given Pacific University’s Michael Christopher, PhD, a $179,600 grant to study mindfulness, the ability to become completely aware of and in touch with the present moment. Mindfulness can help reduce stress and anxiety, prevent depressive relapses and help treat addiction, but assessments developed by Western scientists may not measure it accurately. Working with a colleague in Thailand, Christopher will interview more than 50 Theravada, Tibetan and Zen Buddhist clergy who practice mindfulness through meditation, to better understand the practice and develop ways for psychologists to improve mindfulness assessment and treatment.

  • The Mortar Board National Foundation has awarded APA student affiliate Mike Finn with its $2,500 Mary Elizabeth Ramier Fellowship in recognition of his scholarly achievements, which include his work with Finding Voice, an organization dedicated to improving the campus environment for students with psychological disorders and promoting mental health education.

  • The University of Maryland has selected psychologist Wallace D. Loh, PhD, JD, as its new university president. Loh, who began serving as president on Nov. 1, had been the provost at the University of Iowa since 2008. He brings more than 30 years of administrative experience to his new position.

  • The Maine-Dartmouth Family Medicine Residency has given APA member Jeff Matranga, PhD, a teacher-of-the-year award for his work with family practice residents at the program. Matranga was recognized for his dedication to teaching the residents about behavioral medicine and psychopharmocology.

  • Chris E. Stout, PsyD, a psychologist and director for the Center for Global Initiatives, is climbing the world’s tallest peaks to raise money for people with AIDS and malaria in Tanzania. Last summer, Stout climbed Half Dome in Yosemite National Park to raise $1,000. In past efforts, which include ascents of three of the seven tallest summits, Stout has raised a total of $10,000 from climbing alone. To track Stout’s adventures, visit http://SummitsForOthers.org.

  • The University of Utah has selected psychology professor Donald Strassberg, PhD, as the recipient of the 2010 Calvin S. and JeNeal N. Hatch Prize in Teaching. The university honored Strassberg for his unwavering dedication to students and learning, and his innovations and creativity in the classroom, such as the use of technology to engage students in and outside of class.

  • The Prince of Asturias Foundation, a Spanish organization that recognizes people and organizations worldwide for their contributions to science, humanities or public affairs, has named Linda Watkins, PhD, as a winner of the Prince of Asturias Award for Science and Technology. Watkins, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Colorado, Boulder, was recognized for her contributions to understanding how pain is produced and perceived, and for spearheading the research to better understand the central importance of non-neuronal cells called glia in the dysregulation of pain and opioid actions.

—J. Clark