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In response to the escalating drive for prescription privileges for psychologists, Illinois has hired Linda Behrendt, PhD, as a consultant to organize state efforts. Behrendt, a private practitioner in Chicago, will coordinate legislative activities for Illinois psychologists and keep her colleagues informed of the latest developments. Behrendt says she will follow a three-year plan, which includes educating Illinois psychologists regarding prescription privileges and coordinating Illinois legislative efforts to work together on the issue. Behrendt also has plans to develop a grassroots movement by using psychologists already active in legislative committees in each voting district to help secure legislative votes for the passage of the prescription privileges bill.

In addition, she would like to contact graduate students to see what their interests are and to see where they stand on securing prescription privileges. And her strategy includes media outreach to the public, fund raising and forming coalitions with interested mental health systems or with other state associations of nonphysician subscribers (i.e., advanced nurse practitioners, optometrists and podiatrists).

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has selected Randy L. Buckner, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at Washington University in St. Louis, as one of its newest investigators. HHMI, a medical research organization, enters into long-term research collaboration agreements with universities and other academic research organizations. As an investigator, Buckner plans to expand HHMI studies of aging and dementia, building from the extensive body of work conducted on young, healthy adults.

"We want to know how the functional anatomy of memory changes with aging and whether these changes can be used to predict dementia," he says.

Buckner's research interests include the use of neuroimaging to study memory and other brain functions. He is currently working with the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center in St. Louis to explore how brain imaging can be used to understand the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

Harold B. Crasilneck, PhD, received the Arthur M. Griffin Award for Outstanding Contribution to Medical Student Education by the department of psychiatry at Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. Crasilneck has taught at the medical school for 40 years and holds the rank of clinical professor of psychiatry, anesthesiology and psychology.

At the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS), Arthur C. Evans, PhD, will juggle several responsibilities as the new deputy commissioner. Evans, a clinical psychologist and previously director of managed care, will oversee major agency initiatives, such as implementing the recommendations from a recent Governor's Blue Ribbon Commission on Mental Health. Evans' primary responsibility involves coordinating the projects of the senior executives within DMHAS and ensuring that key agency leaders work together. He will also coordinate the projects of senior executives within DMHAS, lead research to practice efforts and represent DMHAS in interagency collaborations.

James A. Griffin, PhD, has been named assistant director for Social and Behavioral Sciences at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Griffin comes from the National Institute on Early Childhood Development and Education at the U.S. Department of Education, where he collaborated with the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development on the development and implementation of the Interagency Education Research Initiative. Griffin also has worked extensively on research related to early childhood education, including evaluation work with the Head Start program for five years while he was with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He was a postdoctoral fellow in psychiatric epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University and received a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Rochester.

In his new post, Griffin will work in all areas relating to U.S. national social and behavioral science policy. Current priorities include increasing funding for social and behavioral science research; identifying and implementing effective educational practices and technologies; and supporting the use of research knowledge to improve health, educational attainment and social well-being.

Jack McArdle, PhD, has a position on the Monitoring Committee of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). The study, sponsored by the National Institute on Aging, is a collection of data on retirement issues and health insurance for policy-makers and researchers to access. As a member of the Monitoring Committee, McArdle will assist in making sure the data collected represent the best interests of the public. The committee decides on the age of the participants and ensures an accurate representation of socioeconomic levels and a large sampling of underrepresented minorities. HRS also takes a look at people who cannot make easy transitions to retirement and the health of those individuals. The committee constantly investigates what variables should be added, including cognitive variables.

"Since there haven't been many psychologists participating in HRS, the other researchers have a simpler idea of what cognition means," says McArdle. "A lot of the surveys started as sociological/epidemiological studies. It's our own fault that we got involved so late in the game. Psychologists have an opportunity to get involved in a large-scale survey."

McArdle will analyze the changes in cognition that can lead to retirement such as the ability to cope with job and life issues.

The National Coalition for Health Professional Education in Genetics (NCHPEG), a collaboration of the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association and the National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health, has named Joseph McInerney as its first permanent executive director.

NCHPEG, an interdisciplinary group of leaders from more than 100 health professional organizations, consumer and voluntary groups, government agencies, private industry, managed-care organizations and genetics professional societies, was formed to promote health professional education and access to information about advances in human genetics.

McInerney, who has been in genetics education for 25 years, was trained as a genetics counselor and served as director of the Foundation for Genetic Education and Counseling in Baltimore before joining NCHPEG in September. He was also director of the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study in Colorado Springs, Colo., for 14 years.

As executive director, McInerney will work closely with the NCHPEG executive committee, steering committee and working groups to improve and develop new coalition programs.

On Sept. 23, George A. Miller, PhD, and seven other distinguished scientists received honorary degrees at the Fall Convocation of Williams College in Williamstown, Mass. Miller, the only psychologist to receive an honorary degree at the convocation, is a James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of Psychology, Emeritus, at Princeton University. A leader in the field of cognitive psychology, he was awarded the National Medal of Science from former U.S. President George Bush in 1991.

The Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences Division of the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate at the National Science Foundation has named Phillip Rubin, PhD, as its new director. Steve Breckler, PhD, social psychology program officer, served as acting director over the last year.

Before accepting his new position, Rubin was the chief operating officer at Haskins Laboratories in New Haven, Conn. He has also held positions as adjunct professor in the department of surgery at the Yale University School of Medicine and as a research affiliate at Yale University's psychology department.

Neuropsychologist Gary S. Solomon, PhD, of Psychiatric Consultants, Nashville, Tenn., has received a grant from the Aricept Medical Grants Committee of Pfizer, Inc., and Eisai, Inc., to do further studies on the Pocket Smell Test (PST), a convenient screening tool that Solomon and his co-investigators have found helps separate patients with depression from those with Alzheimer's. According to research, a loss of smell occurs early in Alzheimer's disease. The test would be used in conjunction with other tests to diagnose Alzheimer's. The PST is a scaled-down version of a study entitled "The utility of olfactory assessment and the mini-mental state examination in differentiating Alzheimer's disease from vascular dementia." Neuropsychologist Robert J. McCaffrey, PhD, professor of psychology at the University of Albany, and Kevin Duff, a doctoral student of McCaffrey's, are co-investigators.

Judith S. Tellerman, PhD, has received a presidential appointment to the National Advisory Council of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a member of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. There, Tellerman, a clinical psychologist from Chicago, and her colleagues will help set policy, make program recommendations and analyze the latest research on mental health and substance abuse.

The department of psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago has appointed Patrick H. Tolan, PhD, as director of the Institute for Juvenile Research. Tolan has served as acting director of the institute since July 1999 and as director of research for the last nine years. He has been involved in many National Institutes of Health research studies and public-university partnerships regarding children and family mental health, including a reorganization of juvenile court clinical services and collaborating on the development and direction of the Chicago Project to Prevent Violence. Tolan is also a member of the Illinois state task force on Futures for Children. He is a Fellow of the APA and the International Society for the Study of Aggression.

Five APA members are among those being recognized by the Interagency Education Research Initiative, which supports research aimed at improving education in reading, math and science from preschool through high school.

The new awards, totaling $28 million, are funded by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The five APA members are:

  • John Guthrie, PhD, of the University of Maryland, College Park, who received $3.41 million for "Increasing reading comprehension, motivation and science knowledge through concept-oriented reading instruction in a district-wide experiment."
  • Kevin Miller, PhD, who received $1.82 million for his work at the University of Illinois, Urbana­Champaign, on "Representing and learning from classroom processes."
  • Michael Cole, PhD, of the University of California, San Diego, who received more than $118,000 for "Coordinating educational institutions for sustained academic success."
  • Walter Kintsch, PhD, at the University of Colorado, Boulder, who received $107,000 for "Scalable and sustainable technologies for reading instruction and assessment."
  • Barbara Means, PhD, of SRI International in Menlo Park, Calif., who received $111,000 for "Planning for a system of principled assessment designs of inquiry."

--D. SMITH AND M. WATERS