Whoever's hauling mail to the University of Wisconsin's psychology department is either strong or exhausted: No fewer than five of the department's faculty are currently APA journal editors, with scores of bulky manuscripts arriving daily.

The five are: Timothy Baker, PhD, editor of the Journal of Abnormal Psychology; James Dannemiller, PhD, editor of Developmental Psychology; Richie Davidson, PhD, co-editor of Emotion; Patricia Devine, PhD, editor of JPSP: Attitudes and Social Cognition; and Chuck Snowdon, PhD, editor of the Journal of Comparative Psychology. In addition, the department has a sixth faculty member, Morton Gernsbacher, PhD, who edits the non-APA journal, Memory and Cognition.

"The Wisconsin Department of Psychology is enormously proud of having six journal editorships," says department chair Janet Hyde, PhD. "It provides such tangible evidence of the excellence of our scientific research and our leadership in the field, and it speaks volumes about the generosity of spirit of our faculty--journal editors donate thousands of hours to the scientific enterprise and are remarkable in that regard."

When Thomas Joiner, PhD, accepts the 2000 Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology at this year's APA Annual Convention in Washington, D.C., he'll be keeping the award in the family, so to speak.

That's because Joiner's "academic grandmother," University of Wisconsin psychology professor Lyn Abramson, PhD, earned the honor in 1981, and her academic mentor, former APA president Martin E.P. Seligman, PhD, won in 1976.

Abramson was Seligman's graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania. Once she earned her doctorate she taught at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where she began mentoring budding psychologist Jerry Metalsky, PhD. Metalsky transferred to the University of Wisconsin to continue working with Abramson when she accepted a position there.

And when Metalsky earned his doctorate, he taught at the University of Texas at Austin, where one of his first mentees was Joiner, now associate professor of psychology at Florida State University.

The four "academic relatives" keep in touch through regular e-mail and conferences and meetings.

While Metalsky didn't win the early career award, Joiner credits his mentor with helping him win it.

"My success stems in large measure from Jerry's constant and patient instilling in me of what he learned from Lyn and Marty," Joiner says.

Carol Magai, PhD, is launching an ethnogerontology center in Brooklyn, thanks to the $540,000 Career Leadership Award she won from the National Institute on Aging.

Magai, a professor of psychology and dean of research at the Brooklyn campus of Long Island University (LIU), will co-direct the interdisciplinary center with Carl Cohen, MD, a psychiatrist at the State University of New York Health Science Center, who specializes in geriatrics.

The purpose of the center, which will be based at the Brooklyn campus of LIU, is to encourage research on human development and aging and enhance gerontology training for faculty at each school, says Magai. The center will fund research on the impact of emotion on older people's health and the effect dementia has on older people and their families. The center will offer fellowships, and prepare master's-level students to enter doctoral programs in gerontology. The center especially hopes to attract minority students, "To help meet the needs of and understand America's increasingly diverse older population," says Magai.

The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) has named Kim J. Nickerson, PhD, to its National Advisory Council. Nickerson is the second psychologist ever to serve on the council, whose members are mostly cell biologists and geneticists.

Nickerson, assistant director of APA's Minority Fellowship Program, will assist in the review process of grant proposals, appraise ongoing research projects and get updates on the Human Genome Project, the international research program that is constructing detailed genetic and physical maps of the human genome. He and other advisory council members also serve as advisors to NHGRI director Francis Collins, MD, PhD.

The council selected Nickerson for his expertise in minority health and his interest in genetic research, says Elke Jordan, PhD, deputy director of the NHGRI. For two years, Nickerson has reviewed grants for the NHGRI's Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) Research program and has recently served as an ad hoc member of the NHGRI advisory council.

Before working at APA, Nickerson was assistant professor in the department of mental hygiene in the School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. His seat on the NHGRI advisory council is not affiliated with his role at APA.

Richard W. Pew, PhD, has won the Arnold M. Small President's Distinguished Service Award from the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, for his outstanding contributions to the teaching, research and application of human factors engineering.

For 25 years, Pew has worked for BBN Technologies, now a unit of GTE, an information technology company that conducts research and development on computer and communications systems for government, education and industry. There, Pew developed methodologies for human-centered systems design and conducted research on human performance and decision-making.

Pew was also a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan for 11 years, where he taught engineering psychology and human performance. For 35 years, he has served as the course chairman for the University of Michigan Engineering Summer Conference on Human Factors Engineering.

Col. Carl E. Settles, PhD, has been elected to the board of directors of the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology, the largest credentialing organization for psychologists.

Settles is a former APA Congressional Fellow to Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-Texas), and currently serves as the deputy chief for the department of mental health at William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas.

Settles has served the U.S. Army as a counseling and clinical psychologist for 18 years. His four-year term on the National Register board of directors began in January.

In October, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) expert Victoria Tichenor, PhD, traveled to Taiwan to counsel victims, families, volunteers and health-care professionals who were affected by the earthquake that hit the country Sept. 21.

Tichenor, a staff psychologist and director of training for PTSD at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, met with students and teachers at schools in areas that had been hit hardest by the earthquake, and debriefed physicians, nurses, social workers and rescue workers who were providing disaster relief.

"What was so impressive was how much people wanted to help one another--the amount of caring for one another was amazing," says Tichenor. "It was almost overwhelming how grateful they were that we came."

At the end of the week, Tichenor appeared on several television and radio shows to give educational talks about PTSD, depression and sleep disorders.

Tichenor and her colleagues plan to provide ongoing support to the Taiwan relief effort through the Internet and by conducting a follow-up visit within the next six months.


National centers for school mental health continue to grow

Five years ago, two national resource centers for school mental health opened their doors when psychologists Howard Adelman, PhD, and Mark Weist, PhD, earned a $1.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Maternal and Child Health Bureau.

So where are those centers today? Going strong, report Weist and Adelman, the centers' founders and directors. "Each center has just exploded in these five years," says Adelman.

With a stock of research-based resource materials and their consulting and training services, the UCLA Center for Mental Health in Schools and the Center for School Mental Health Assistance at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, have helped hundreds of schools handle problems such as violence, drug abuse and suicide. Weist and Adelman, who plan to reapply for funding this year, have educated and trained school mental health professionals and have assisted schools in restructuring their mental health resources or launching new programs. Both directors have also played a key role in promoting national dialogue on critical issues in school mental health.

Adelman directs the UCLA center, which includes a focus on developing policies and strategies that help schools strengthen their approach to addressing external and internal barriers to learning. One of the center's most notable contributions, he says, is helping the Memphis City School District reinvent its approach to student support services. In doing so, Memphis is expanding the nature and scope of school reform so that efforts to address barriers to student learning are neither fragmented nor marginalized. From now on, each school will use a special, resource-oriented team to evolve a comprehensive approach, he says, noting that the Detroit school system is starting to work toward this model as well.

The Center for School Mental Health Assistance at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, directed by Weist, focuses mainly on national education and training of school mental health professionals and building mental health programs in schools that are family centered, community oriented and culturally sensitive. The center's main project is the annual conference "Advancing school-based mental health programs." The conference covers new and innovative approaches to providing and funding school mental health services, and has grown in scope and attendance each year, says Weist. The center is initiating a number of new training programs this year, including one on enhancing the mental health training of school nurses and two teleconference events in Maryland.