Taylor awarded inaugural Clifton Strengths Prize

In October, the Clifton Strengths Institute awarded Shelley E. Taylor, PhD, the first biannual $250,000 Clifton Strengths Prize at the International Positive Psychology Summit in Washington, D.C.

The institute is co-sponsored by The Gallup Organization, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and the Society of Psychologists in Management, and the prize honors individuals who influence the field of positive psychology through groundbreaking theory, research and practice.

Taylor, who received her doctorate from Yale University in 1972, is a psychology professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her primary research program concerns beliefs that affect the course of an illness and a person's adjustment to it.

For example, she observed patterns of self-serving “positive illusions” in cancer patients that fostered both mental and physical health. The patients' beliefs in personal control, their unrealistic optimism and ability to find personal meaning in the illness led to beneficial psychological adjustment. With colleagues, she also found that, for example, such positive beliefs are associated with a slower progression of HIV infection in asymptomatic HIV seropositive men and men diagnosed with AIDS.

Taylor's current work explores how social relationships regulate biological stress responses. She is the architect of the “tend-and-befriend” model of women's responses to stress, finding that women commonly respond to stress through social means, influenced in part by oxytocin and endogenous opioid peptides.

The Clifton Strengths Prize memorializes psychologist and former Gallup Organization Chair Donald O. Clifton, PhD, who established the strengths-based psychology movement.

—E. Packard

Early-career psychologist Miguel Gallardo, PsyD, was elected president-elect of the California Psychological Association (CPA) in October. His term begins in January. Gallardo previously served as CPA Diversity Task Force chair.

Gallardo is an assistant professor in the Graduate School of Education and Psychology at Pepperdine University. He received his PsyD in 2001.

As CPA president, Gallardo hopes to unify California psychologists by developing more collaborative relationships within CPA and its chapters and divisions. He also aims to further educate the public about psychologists' roles, make the association more accessible and relevant to diverse populations in California and continue CPA's advocacy and legislative efforts.

Gallardo is a community and social activist for the Chicano/Latino community in California and nationally. He is one of the founders and past-president of the California Latino Psychological Association, and chair of the Chapter Development Committee for the National Latina/o Psychological Association. His research interests include Chicano/Latino psychology; skill development in therapy with Latina/os; culture and disability; and recruitment and retention of Latina/os in higher education.

CPA is the largest of the state psychological associations, with one of the largest memberships of psychological associations in the world.

In October, the National Latino Psychological Association (NLPA) conferred the 2006 Star Vega Distinguished Service Award on Eduardo Morales, PhD, at its biannual convention in Milwaukee, Wis. Morales is interim director of the doctoral clinical psychology program at the California School of Professional Psychology in San Francisco.

NLPA gives this award to psychologists whose contributions have furthered NLPA's mission. "[Morales] has made significant contributions on local, state and national levels that center around social justice issues and issues related to diversity and the Latino community," says Esteban Cardemil, PhD, chair of NLPA's awards committee.

Morales organized the first symposium on Latino gay and lesbian issues at a professional conference at the second National Coalition of Hispanic Health and Human Services Organizations conference held in 1978. He also organized the first symposium on gay and lesbian people of color at the 1983 APA convention.

His current research areas include interventions with drug-exposed infants and their mothers, HIV prevention interventions with Latino and African-American gay/bisexual men and interventions with high-risk ethnic minority juvenile offenders.

Morales's areas of research include health prevention and promotion, HIV, substance abuse, community interventions, program evaluation research, and strategic planning and policy development in communities and organizations.

Paul L. Craig, PhD, was selected for appointment to the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services of the Department of Health and Human Services, effective July 2006. His term runs through June 2010.

The secretary of Health and Human Services chartered the 21-member committee in 1987 to advise the department on ways to address health-care problems in rural America. Chaired by former South Carolina Gov. David Beasley, the committee's private- and public-sector members reflect wide-ranging, first-hand experience with rural issues in medicine, nursing, administration, finance, law, research, business and public health.

Since 1985, Craig has been a practicing neuropsychologist in Anchorage, Alaska, where he has provided outpatient services as well as inpatient care at Providence Medical Center, Alaska Regional Hospital and other inpatient facilities. Craig has also provided outreach services in Fairbanks and Juneau as well as in a variety of Alaskan villages. During the early 1980s, Craig provided psychological services in Ketchikan and Homer through Alaska's community mental health system. Craig served on the APA Board of Directors from 2003 to 2005.

-E. Packard

A deputy consultant Zeiss receives CONA award

APA's Committee on Aging (CONA) recently presented Antonette Zeiss, PhD, with the 2006 Award for the Advancement of Psychology and Aging. CONA members chose Zeiss in recognition of her work to further CONA's mission of expanded scientific understanding of adult development and aging and delivery of appropriate psychological services to older persons.

Zeiss's areas of research expertise include older adult depression and sexuality, and she has been a leading proponent of interdisciplinary health care for older adults, says Toni C. Antonucci, PhD, CONA chair.

Since September 2005, Zeiss has been deputy chief consultant for mental health in the Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Mental Health Services in Washington, D.C. In this position, she provides leadership for mental health-care providers and delivers evidence-based practice throughout the VA.

Previously, she trained clinical geropsychologists at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Palo Alto, Calif.

"As director of psychology training, [Zeiss] has been an extraordinary mentor whose students have been profoundly affected by her remarkable strength of character, personal values, superb clinical skills, exceptional intellect and personal warmth," says Antonucci.

Zeiss served as CONA chair in 2002, and she is currently co-chair of APA President Sharon Stephens Brehm's Presidential Task Force on Integrative Health Care for an Aging Population ("New president looks ahead"). She received the CONA award at APA's Annual Convention in August.

-E. Packard