Personalities

  • The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education have named five psychology professors as state Professor of the Year: Monica McCoy, PhD, of Converse College in Spartanburg, S.C.; James O’Brien, PhD, of Tidewater Community College in Chesapeake, Va.; Christy Price, EdD, of Dalton State College in Dalton, Ga.; Deborah Stearns, PhD, of Montgomery College, in Rockville, Md.; and Alan Swinkels, PhD, of St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas.

  • The Institute of Medicine has selected three psychologists for its national Study on Advancing Pain Research, Care and Treatment: Frank Keefe, PhD, of Duke University; Robert Kerns, PhD, of Yale University; and Dennis Turke, PhD, of the University of Washington. The study, which was requested by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, seeks to assess the current state of pain research, care and education and to explore ways to advance the field.

  • John R. Anderson, PhDCognitive psychologist John R. Anderson, PhD, has won a prestigious Franklin Award from the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia for his ACT-R computational theory of human cognition. Cognitive scientists have long used ACT-R to build computer models to explain how the mind works. Anderson, a professor of psychology and computer science at Carnegie Mellon University, has used it to develop interactive computer tutoring systems for mathematics that have been used by more than half a million U.S. students.

  • Frank Dattilio, PhDFrank Dattilio, PhD, has been elected to Fellowship Status with APA Div. 12 (Society of Clinical Psychology). Dattilio is a clinical and forensic psychologist in private practice and serves on the faculty of psychiatry at both Harvard Medical School and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

  • The NGO Committee on Ageing honored Florence Denmark, PhD, at the 20th International Day of Older Persons Luncheon held Oct. 7 at the United Nations. Denmark was recognized for her significant contributions to the committee, including serving as its immediate past chair.

  • Walter Mischel, PhDWalter Mischel, PhD, is the winner of the 2011 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Psychology for his ideas leading to the demystification of willpower and delay of gratification. Mischel, a psychology professor and Niven professor of humane letters at Columbia University, will receive $100,000 for his work demonstrating that willpower can be learned, and that learning how to delay gratification carries lifelong benefits.

    Mischel’s “marshmallow test” showed that young children can learn to hold back on taking a single marshmallow immediately for the promise of more later. Preschoolers who learned how to hold out longer for a bigger treat later showed higher SAT scores, better coping skills, higher educational achievement and resistance to drug abuse in adolescence. Adults with more willpower experienced lower rates of divorce and marital separations, committed fewer criminal violations and recorded lower body-mass index scores.

  • Enrique W. Neblett Jr., PhDEnrique W. Neblett Jr., PhD, has won a $75,000 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant to study how effective youth mentoring programs are in improving health and social outcomes for African-American and Latino males. Neblett, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, won the two-year grant through the foundation's New Connections program, which works with early and mid-career scholars who are from racial and ethnic minority or low-income communities and/or the first in their family to receive a college degree.

  • U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has appointed Susan D. Phillips, PhD, provost and vice president for academic affairs at the State University of New York at Albany, as a member of the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity. She will chair a subcommittee that will look at ways to improve the nation’s decentralized higher education accreditation system.

  • The FBI’s Salt Lake City Field Office honored clinical child psychologist Earl Sutherland Jr., PhD, with the 2010 Director’s Community Leadership Award for protecting Native American children victimized by sexual abuse and other violent acts.

    Sutherland started the Child and Adolescent Referral and Evaluation Centers on the Crow Indian and Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservations in southeastern Montana in April 2007 and January 2010. At the centers, victims receive immediate counseling and therapists develop a treatment plan to address each child’s psychological and physical well-being.

    Sutherland, who directs behavioral health for the Indian Health Service’s Crow Service Unit in Montana, was nominated by FBI agents stationed at the Billings, Mont., resident agency.

  • Psychologists win million-dollar prize

    Caspi & MoffittHusband-and-wife psychologists Avshalom Caspi, PhD, and Terrie Moffitt, PhD, jointly won the $1 million Klaus J. Jacobs Research Prize from the Jacobs Foundation, which supports child development research and responsible citizenship. Caspi and Moffitt, who hold dual appointments at Duke University and King’s College London, earned the award primarily for their research in three areas: the consequences of antisocial behavior; the childhood origins of adult mental and physical disorders; and the interaction between genes and environment.