American Psychological Foundation

Lebowitz wins the $5,000 Violet and Cyril Franks Scholarship

Matthew Lebowitz, a fourth-year psychology graduate student at Yale University, is the recipient of the 2013 APF Violet and Cyril Franks Scholarship.

Lebowitz studies changing conceptualizations of mental illness, with a focus on viewing mental disorders as biomedical illnesses. His research examines how this conceptual shift may be affecting attitudes and beliefs about psychopathology, and increasing stigmatization, among people with mental illness, clinicians and the general public. Decreased empathy has long been understood as a contributing factor to social stigma, and Lebowitz will use the funding to study strategies for mitigating these decreases in clinician empathy.

The Franks Scholarship supports the work of promising graduate students and promotes the application of psychology toward the mitigation of the stigma of mental illness.

MacLean honored with F.J. McGuigan Award

APF has given its 2013 F.J. McGuigan Dissertation Award to Robert Ross MacLean, a fifth-year graduate student in clinical psychology at Pennsylvania State University. MacLean will use his $1,500 McGuigan scholarship to investigate neurocognitive mechanisms associated with personality and smoking maintenance in nondaily/intermittent young adult smokers.

The award supports research oriented toward advancing a unified conception of brain and behavior, primarily — but not exclusively — in the psychophysiological area, through empirical and/or theoretical research. The award also encourages promising young researchers to pursue careers in related fields.

Two awarded with Benton-Meier Neuropsychology Scholarships

APF has awarded its two $2,500 Benton-Meier Scholarships to Tanya Nguyen and Erica Weber of the San Diego State University/University of California, San Diego, joint doctoral program in clinical psychology. The scholarships support talented graduate researchers who are pioneering the future of brain and behavioral sciences.

Nguyen will investigate whether supplementing choline — an essential nutrient critical for healthy brain and cognitive development — can lessen the severity of deficits in learning, attention, executive function and memory among children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

Weber will study cognitive deficits in HIV-infected methamphetamine users, an understudied topic. HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders result in significant problems in everyday functioning, particularly with medication adherence. Weber hopes to find ways to make it easier for methamphetamine users with HIV to remember to take medications.

Since 1953, APF has been supporting innovative research and programs that launch careers and seed the knowledge base on critical issues around the globe. For more information, go to APF.

Congratulations to our winners

APF presented awards to eight psychologists during APA's Annual Convention in Honolulu for outstanding achievements in research, practice, teaching and applied psychology. The recipients are:

  • Gold Medal Award for Life Achievement in the Application of Psychology: Frank Schmidt, PhD.
  • Gold Medal Award for Life Achievement in the Science of Psychology: Elizabeth Loftus, PhD.
  • Gold Medal Award for Life Achievement in Psychology in the Public Interest: Jacquelynne S. Eccles, PhD.
  • Gold Medal Award for Life Achievement in the Practice of Psychology: Patrick H. DeLeon, PhD, JD.
  • Charles L. Brewer Distinguished Teaching of Psychology Award: Dana S. Dunn, PhD.
  • Theodore Blau Early Career Award: Adrienne Juarascio, PhD.
  • Div. 29 Early-Career Award: James Boswell, PhD.
  • Theodore Millon Award in Personality Psychology: Steven K. Huprich, PhD.

Ensuring psychology's future: Florence Denmark

Former APF Board of Trustees President Florence Denmark, PhD, has never forgotten what first drew her to an academic career: The opportunity to nurture the next generation of psychologists. Since 1988, Denmark has been the Robert Scott Pace Distinguished Research Professor at Pace University in New York City. With a $50,000 gift, she established the $1,000 Florence L. Denmark, PhD, and Robert W. Wesner Scholarship through APF to help young psychologists launch their careers.

The annual scholarship also honors the memory of her late husband Bob, who supported Denmark's career and was committed to teaching and serving APF.

Denmark serves on the APF Campaign Leadership Cabinet, which is working to raise at least $5 million as part of the Transforming the Future capital campaign.

She hopes that others see APF's value the way she does. "APF is transformative in jump-starting the careers of talented graduate students and early career psychologists," she says. "It provides scholarships to students when funding is so scarce otherwise."

When asked what advice she would give to someone considering a gift to APF, Denmark did not hesitate: "Don't think, just do."