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."
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