Molfese named Kentucky psychologist of the year
The Kentucky Psychological Association (KPA) recently named University of Louisville professor Dennis Molfese, PhD, its 2006 Psychologist of the Year. Molfese, who uses brain electrical recording techniques to study the emerging relationship between brain development and cognitive processes, has helped the association build close ties with psychology faculty and students at colleges and universities throughout the state, say his award nominators.
Molfese served as chair of the university's psychological and brain sciences department from 1999 until last June and headed KPA's Academic Research Committee for three years. He also led "Heads Up Kentucky," a public education campaign in which 41 head sculptures by local artists were placed around Louisville to remind people of the importance of psychology.
KPA also praised Molfese and his wife, University of Louisville education professor Victoria Molfese, PhD, for raising the profile of the association's annual conference and supporting a KPA summer scholarship for minority students.
In December, psychologist Kerby T. Alvy, PhD, executive director and founder of the Center for the Improvement of Child Caring in Los Angeles, and other Advisory Board members of the National Effective Parenting Initiative (NEPI) conducted a White House briefing on the initiative. NEPI aims to make effective parenting and parenting education national priorities. The briefing, at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy in Washington, D.C., educated White House and administration officials about NEPI's proposal for such an initiative, which includes the creation of a Department of Effective Parenting, a National Council on Effective Parenting composed of all government departments with parenting projects and private sector parenting groups, as well as a clearinghouse, research institute and instructor training center.
NEPI is based on an appreciation of the central roles that effective parenting and parenting education play in promoting the healthy growth of American children, and in preventing child abuse, drug abuse, school failure and juvenile delinquency. The White House briefing and related advocacy work has already spurred the heads of various federal agencies to begin forming an Interagency Council on Effective Parenting, says Alvy. The intention is to make the council a permanent structure and to involve private sector groups like NEPI in setting its priorities.
"The federal government leaders who attended the briefing are also in the process of conducting an audit of all departments and agencies regarding their current parenting projects, as well as an audit about federal departments and agencies who have legislative authority to conduct such projects but are not currently doing so," says Alvy. A National Effective Parenting Conference is also under consideration. For more information on NEPI, or to become involved with parenting initiatives, visit www.effectiveparentingusa.org.
In December, Garrett H. Yanagi, PhD, and Thomas A. Glass, PhD, received 2006 Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Hawaii Psychological Association.
Yanagi has pioneered psychology for the past five decades in Hawaii, primarily as a psychologist within the state's Department of Health.
Glass, who holds adjunct faculty positions at Argosy University, the University of Hawaii and Chaminade University, was honored for his roles as practitioner, teacher and in public service. He conducts community-based programs for nonprofit organizations, the state and hospitals.
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) recently appointed Barry A. Hong, PhD, as advisor to Faculty Vitae, a Web-based publication that AAMC's faculty development and leadership section hosts. Faculty Vitae provides information about faculty development in U.S. medical schools and academic health centers. Hong is a psychology professor and vice chairman for clinical affairs in the psychiatry department of the Washington University St. Louis School of Medicine. He conducts clinical studies of chronic medical illnesses, such as kidney and liver disorders and HIV, and the prevalence of psychiatric disorders. He is also interested in the differences between medical and psychiatric patients who are depressed, and he is now studying live organ donors, organ procurement professionals and the circumstances of donation.
As a Faculty Vitae advisor, Hong will ensure that the publication meets the needs of medical school faculty members and addresses important issues in a sensitive and timely manner, he says.
"For instance, we have to address how to support people in a difficult time when National Institutes' funding will not expand, and a lot of well-trained junior faculty and postdocs have no real ability to get grants or push their careers ahead," says Hong, who is an APA Council of Representatives member for Div. 12 (Society of Clinical Psychology) and is particularly active in Div. 12's Section 8 (Association of Psychologists in Academic Health Centers: APAHC). APAHC is a member organization of the Faculty Council of the AAMC and APA's most formal link to academic medicine. Faculty Vitae is available at http://www.aamc.org/facultyvitae.
- E. Packard