Also in this issue...

Council Elects New CIRP Members

Each year three members of the Committee on International Relations in Psychology (CIRP) end their term and three new members join the committee, elected by APA’s Council of Representatives.

Each year three members of the Committee on International Relations in Psychology (CIRP) end their term and three new members join the committee, elected by APA’s Council of Representatives. For 2008, Guerda Nicolas, PhD, Boston College, Laura R. Johnson, PhD, University of Mississippi  and Pamela E. Flattau, PhD., Defense Analysis Institute, Washington DC, will join CIRP’s remaining 6 members. The following provide short biographies of these colleagues. Please look for more detailed interviews with them in the 2008 issues of Psychology International.

Dr. Guerda Nicolas, is a licensed clinical psychologist and the Assistant Director of the Institute for the Study and Promotion of Race and Culture (ISPRC) along with Dr. Janet E. Helms. She is also an Assistant professor at Boston College in the Lynch School of Education, Department of Counseling, Developmental, and Educational Psychology. She obtained her doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Boston University. She completed her predoctoral training at Columbia University Medical Center and her postdoctoral training at the New York State Psychiatric Institute/Columbia University, Department of Child Psychiatry. As a multicultural (Haitian American) and multilingual psychologist (Spanish, French, and Haitian Creole), her research is reflective of her background and interests.

Her current research projects focus on developing culturally effective mental health intervention for ethnic minority adolescents, with a specific focus on immigrant children, adolescents, and families. In addition, she conducts research on social support networks of Caribbeans with a specific focus on Haitians. She has published several articles and book chapters and delivered numerous invited presentations at the national and international conferences in the areas of women issues, depression and intervention among Haitians, social support networks of ethnic minorities, and spirituality. 

Dr. Pamela Flattau earned degrees in experimental psychology from the University of Leeds (B.Sc. Hons.) and from the University of Georgia (MS and PhD). In 1974, the American Psychological Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) selected Dr. Flattau as the first psychologist to hold a Congressional Science Fellowship during which time she served with the US Senate Labor and Public Welfare Committee, Subcommittee on Children and Youth. Subsequently, Dr. Flattau joined the staff of the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council, managing a wide variety of studies addressing federal programs and policies affecting the social and behavioral sciences. 

Later, Dr. Flattau worked as a policy analyst with the Science Indicators Unit of the National Science Foundation, and also managed her own research consulting firm. Dr. Flattau’s primary professional interests include the development and effective use of quantitative and qualitative measures for science and technology policy. She recently authored a report for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy describing the educational and professional outcomes following the enactment of the National Defense Education Act of 1958 (available at: ). She joined the Institute for Defense Analyses Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI) in December 2003 as the Senior Analyst in the Social and Behavioral Sciences and Education. Dr. Flattau participated in the first (Palermo, 2004) and then the second (Istanbul, 2007) World Forum on Statistics, Knowledge and Policy planned by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) as a member of the US delegation.

Dr. Laura Johnson is an assistant professor at the University of Mississippi where she teaches multicultural psychology, intercultural communication, statistics and psychotherapy theories. She also supervises outreach to the international community and conducts research on multiculturalism and minority mental health. Along with her sister, Dr. Julie Johnson-Pynn, she studies youth involvement in environmental programs and how it impacts their personal and social development in different cultural contexts. Since 2000, they have studied at the Jane Goodall Institute’s Roots & Shoots global environmental program for youth and have published articles on programs in China and East Africa.

Dr. Johnson has also written a number of book chapters focusing on culture in clinical practice. She recently returned from a National Geographic Society Conservation Trust funded trip to Uganda where she conducted intervention research with youth members of Wildlife Clubs of Uganda. Dr. Johnson graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1991 with majors in psychology and anthropology. She studied at Kenyatta University in Kenya and served in the U.S. Peace Corps in Papua New Guinea, where she lived in a remote rainforest and taught health, nutrition and environmental sustainability. In 2001, she won a Fulbright grant to conduct her dissertation research on cultural aspects of depression in Uganda. She received her PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Louisville in 2003 and she completed an internship at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and the Asian Pacific Development Center, where she specialized in refugee mental health.