People

Watson receives TRIO Achiever’s Award

In October, Rebecca J. Watson, PhD, received the Region 8 TRIO Achiever's Award in Salt Lake City.

The federal TRIO Program assists first-generation college students from low socioeconomic backgrounds. Watson, the third of nine children, began college at the University of South Dakota at the age of 35 and earned a bachelor's in criminal justice and psychology before entering the university's clinical psychology doctoral program. She obtained her master's degree in 1997 and her doctoral degree in 2002.

Watson accepted her award during the TRIO conference, in Salt Lake City, where she met with Larry Oxendine, the director of the Office of Federal TRIO Programs of the U.S. Department of Education, to discuss budget cuts in education.

"I stressed the importance of education and pointed out that if we educate one, we educate many," she says.

Watson joined the St. Croix Regional Medical Center as a staff psychologist in 2004.

Dworkin receives Ross Award

In August, the American Dental Association Board of Trustees presented psychologist and dentist Samuel F. Dworkin, DDS, PhD, with the 2005 Norton M. Ross Award for Excellence in Clinical Research for his work addressing the diagnosis and treatment of temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) and chronic orofacial pain. TMDs are a variety of conditions that cause tenderness and pain in the masticatory muscles of the jaws and the hinge joints where the lower jawbone joins the temporal bone of the skull.

Dworkin is the first researcher in the behavioral, social or public health sciences to win the $5,000 award, which recognizes scientists whose clinical research has had a meaningful impact on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of craniofacial, oral and dental diseases.

Dworkin is a professor emeritus of oral medicine at the University of Washington (UW) Health Sciences School of Dentistry and a professor emeritus in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the UW School of Medicine.

As a practicing dentist, he became interested in the behavioral issues of acute dental pain and the anxiety many people associate with dental treatment. He completed a doctorate in clinical psychology at New York University through a special fellowship from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

Dworkin served as a dental educator, researcher and licensed attending clinical psychologist at UW University Hospital. He was associate dean of academic affairs for the UW dental school and director of the psychophysiological disorders clinic in the psychiatry and behavioral sciences department.

Dworkin's clinical and research interests now focus on how chronic pain, nonspecific physical and clinical signs affect the emotions and behavior of pain patients and the role that biobehaviorally based treatments may play in chronic pain management.

Rosenthal receives Distinguished Faculty Award from Emerson College

Emerson College awarded social psychologist Lori Rosenthal, PhD, a Mann Stearns Distinguished Faculty Award and $3,000 in November for her research on "pro-anorexia" Internet discussion boards. Rosenthal, a professor at the college, studies the way that people communicate about their health on the Internet.

Rosenthal has found the pro-anorexia sites cater mostly to teenage girls and college-aged women conflicted about or uninterested in recovering from their eating disorders. Although some critics deride the sites as encouraging anorexic behavior, Rosenthal found that they offer a sense of social support to people who are experiencing a socially isolating disease.

"We can use what we learn about the pro-anorexia discussions to create better treatment-oriented Web sites," she said.

Holden joins RTI International

Research and clinical psychologist E. Wayne Holden, PhD, joined RTI International in November as executive vice president of Social and Statistical Sciences. Holden, an APA fellow, had previously served as president of the research company ORC Macro, where he oversaw federal and commercial contract research.

Prior to joining ORC Macro, Holden spent 10 years at the University of Maryland's School of Medicine, serving as director of pediatric psychology and project director of the Families in Transition program, in addition to being a tenured associate professor. During that period, Holden also maintained a private clinical pediatric psychology practice.

Holden received a doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of South Carolina at Columbia. He completed postdoctoral training in the School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University.

-E. Packard

Scientists noted for mental mapping win international psychology prize

The Grawemeyer Foundation at the University of Louisville awarded the 2006 Grawemeyer Award for Psychology to John O'Keefe, PhD, and Lynn Nadel, PhD, for their work to identify the brain's mapping system. In December, the pair was selected from among 37 nominees from seven countries to receive the $200,000 award.

O'Keefe and Nadel, who explained their theory in a 1978 book, "The Hippocampus as a Cognitive Map" (Oxford University Press) and in later journal articles, are both university researchers. O'Keefe is professor of cognitive neuroscience in the anatomy and developmental biology department at University College London. Nadel directs the cognition and neural systems program in the psychology department at the University of Arizona. They found that the hippocampus section of the brain's temporal lobe acts as an internal global positioning system. Powering the system are "place cells," neurons that use data about distance and directions to pinpoint locations.

In later studies, O'Keefe unraveled how place cells form memories, while Nadel used the theory to study Down syndrome, amnesia, phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Grawemeyer Awards, which annually award $1 million-$200,000 each for works in music composition, education, ideas improving world order, religion and psychology-were founded by Charles Grawemeyer, an industrialist, entrepreneur and University of Louisiana graduate who wanted to reward powerful ideas or creative works in the sciences, arts and humanities.

-E. Packard

Further Reading

For more information, go to www.grawemeyer.org.