Random Sample

  • Hometown: Irvine, Calif.

  • APA member since: 2003.

  • Occupation: Assistant professor in the University of California, Irvine, department of pediatrics, where she directs research programs in early childhood psychology, with an emphasis on the development of behavioral disorders.

  • First foray into working with children:From age 2 to 11, Lakes lived with her family in Manzini, Swaziland, where her parents did missionary work. At age 8, she and a friend started "Children for Children," a group that raised money for youth at the local hospital. "We'd go there after school, do activities with the kids, give them books." She was particularly struck by an abandoned 5-year-old boy who was hospitalized for malnourishment. "He was in a constant fetal position and died after about a week," she remembers. She's been working to improve care for children ever since.

  • Most important research finding: The Mind Science Foundation, where Ingmundson serves as vice chair. The group supports research and scientific conferences focused on human consciousness. Founded in 1958, the foundation provides more than $100,000 a year to scientists to study how consciousness arises in human beings.

  • Greatest sources of career satisfaction : Lakes enjoys the diversity that psychology offers, allowing her to conduct research, mentor and write, all while helping people in need. "We provide services to 800 low-income families each year. That is very rewarding."

  • Greatest frustration: "It takes a long time to make a difference," she says. In her fight to secure more services for children, she has met with resistance, "and I often think, we don't have time for this. The children need intervention now."

  • Latest experiment in early childhood psychology: In March, Lakes, her pediatrician husband James Kay, and 2-year-old daughter Emma welcomed a new addition to their family, son Micah. "They put everything in perspective. They remind me every day of what is most important and what is not."

--A. Novotney

Each month, "Random Sample" profiles a randomly selected APA member. You might be next.