Since 1959, APA has recognized outstanding and unusual contributions or performance among its members by making them fellows-status that reflects prominence in the field. APA divisions identify and nominate fellow candidates, who APA's Membership Committee reviews for recommendation for action by the Council of Representatives at APA's Annual Convention.
However, until recently, divisional nominations to APA's Membership Committee tended to limit the recognition to psychologists in the middle or late stages of their careers, says former APA President Richard Suinn, PhD, who is past-chair of the committee. But by doing so, the nominations neglected to honor a significant, actively contributing portion of APA's membership, he says.
"A person who qualifies as a fellow…has accomplished something not necessarily tied into age or experience," says Suinn. "It is entirely tied into their contributions to the field."
To enact the philosophy that fellowship is independent of seniority, the Membership Committee has called on APA divisions to also consider nominating members who are already making significant contributions to psychology early in their careers and this year selected seven early-career fellows out of 115 total new fellows. They are:
Div. 17 (Society of Counseling Psychology) Fellow Dorothy Espelage, PhD, a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign counseling psychology associate professor, studies eating disorders in young women and violence in schools, particularly bullying behavior. She has published 23 articles and book chapters on bullying and aggression in children and adolescents, as well as 13 articles in journals such as the Journal of Counseling Psychology and Psychological Assessment on eating disorders. That level of output places her in the 95th percentile in productivity compared with others at a similar stage in their careers, according to the ISI Web of Science. Espelage earned her doctorate from Indiana University in 1997.
"It's a little overwhelming to be named a fellow so early in my career," she says. "Now I have to re-energize for the next step."
Div. 20 (Adult Development and Aging) Fellow Lynn Martire, PhD, a University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine assistant psychiatry professor and associate director of gerontology, studies the interface between late-life chronic illness and family relationships. In addition to publishing her work in journals such as Psychology and Aging, the Journal of Gerontology, Health Psychology and the Journal of the American Medical Association, she is also working as a co-investigator or consultant for research studies evaluating family-oriented psychosocial interventions for older adults with spinal cord injuries or heart disease. Martire earned her doctorate from Kent State University in 1997.
"[Fellowship] has been something I've been aiming for," she says. "It's nice to be at the point of my career where I've achieved some things that I set out to accomplish."
Div. 21 (Applied Experimental and Engineering) Fellow Regina Colonia-Willner, PhD, is an international consultant with both theoretical and applied research interests. As president and chief scientist of Practical Intelligence at Work, in Boca Raton, Fla., she studies real-life applications of cognitive psychology, such as aging, the concept of expertise and making new technologies user-friendly. For example, she recently used her own newly developed methodology to help several banks make their ATMs easier to use. She captured relevant data from electronic self-delivery systems to investigate customers' ATM-use patterns. She has also published numerous articles in journals such as Psychology and Aging, the International Journal of Behavioral Development and Computers in Human Behavior. Colonia-Willner earned her doctorate from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1996.
"Practical intelligence stays with you," she says. "If you have it, you don't lose it when you get older."
Div. 26 (Society for the History of Psychology) Fellow Ian A. Nicholson, PhD, a St. Thomas University associate psychology professor, has published numerous articles in the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, History of Psychology, Journal of Humanistic Psychology and the American Psychologist. In 1998, he edited a special historical volume of the Journal of Social Issues to commemorate the 60th anniversary of APA's Div. 9 (Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues). He also wrote "Inventing Personality: Gordon Allport and the Science of Selfhood" (APA, 2003), which drew on historical and archival literature to explore Allport's early career as well as his work to develop personality as a research area. Nicholson earned his doctorate from York University in Toronto in 1996.
"When I look at the lists of Div. 26 fellows, I see people whose work I looked up to in graduate school," he says. "It's a great honor to be included on that list."
Div. 28 (Psychopharmacology and Substance Abuse) Fellow Hendree Jones, PhD, a Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine associate professor of behavior biology, has published 47 peer-reviewed articles, five book chapters and more than 75 research abstracts on topics such as drug and alcohol dependence and addictive disorders. She is currently principal investigator on four National Institute on Drug Abuse grants, and she has served on numerous Center for Substance Abuse Treatment advisory committees and has contributed internationally to addiction research. For example, in 2002, she reviewed the Australian guidelines for methadone and buprenorphine maintenance during pregnancy. Jones earned her doctorate from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1997.
"[Receiving fellowship recognition] is a stepping stone that will help me move from a junior to a senior person in the field," she says.
Div. 35 (Society for the Psychology of Women) Fellow Ann Fischer, PhD, a Southern Illinois University assistant psychology professor, conducts research on gender and diversity issues in such contexts as ethnicity, race and sexual orientation, with a particular emphasis on social identities and mental health. She has served on the editorial boards of Psychology of Women Quarterly, Psychology of Men and Masculinity, the Journal of Counseling Psychology and The Counseling Psychologist. Fischer earned her doctorate from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1995.
"As I have been so positively mentored as a student and junior colleague by people that I respect within my field, I hope that I've been able to give some of that back to the community by mentoring students and new psychologists," she says.
Div. 40 (Clinical Neuropsychology) Fellow Shane Bush, PhD, a Long Island, N.Y., neuropsychologist, has edited and co-edited what he says are the only ethics books specific to neuropsychology, including "Ethical Issues in Clinical Neuropsychology" (Swets & Zeitlinger Publishers, 2002) and "A Casebook of Ethical Challenges in Neuropsychology" (Psychology Press, 2005). Bush also has published reviews and position papers on neuropsychological ethical considerations in journals such as The Clinical Neuropsychologist, the Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology and the Journal of Forensic Neuropsychology.
"Because I don't work in an academic setting or have a salaried position that supports writing or service to professional organizations, these activities are done on my own time and take away from other important activities such as billable services, family and leisure activities-not to mention sleep," says Bush, who earned his doctorate from the California School of Professional Psychology in 1995. "Because of these sacrifices, being recognized is very rewarding."