American Psychological Foundation

Foundation honors lifetime achievement

The American Psychological Foundation (APF) is honoring four psychologists for longtime service to the field at APA's 2003 Annual Convention in Toronto, Aug. 7-10. The 2003 Gold Medal Awards for Life Achievement recognize distinguished and enduring contributions in the application, practice and science of psychology, and promotion of psychology in the public interest. APF President Dorothy W. Cantor, PsyD, will present the honors at the APA/APF awards ceremony on Friday, Aug. 8, in the ballroom of the Fairmont Royal York Hotel.

Meet the winners:

Practice Award
Nicholas A. Cummings, PhD

Former APA President Nicholas A. Cummings, PhD, is a member of the legendary "Dirty Dozen," a group of practitioners that fought for professionalism, licensure and third-party reimbursement. He implemented the first comprehensive psychotherapy insurance, and pushed for the freedom of choice legislation that led to the reimbursement of psychologists. Cummings founded the National Council of Schools of Professional Psychology, the National Academies of Practice and the American Managed Behavioral Healthcare Association--three institutions that shaped the professional school movement, the industrialization of health care and the psychologist as behavioral primary-care physician.

His commitment to social justice has characterized his professional life; and as APA president he appointed the first Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs and the first Task Force on Lesbian and Gay Issues. He co-founded the California Psychological Association, the San Francisco Bay Area Psychological Association and the San Joaquin County Psychological Association. He is a past-president of APA Divs. 12 (Society of Clinical Psychology) and 29 (Psychotherapy) and the California Psychological Association.

Cummings is a distinguished professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, president of the Foundation for Behavioral Health, and chair of the boards of The Cummings Foundation and the University Alliance for Behavioral Care Inc. Cummings was born in Salinas, Calif., in 1924 and earned his PhD in clinical psychology from Adelphi University.                                                                                                                               

Science Award
Robert Rosenthal, PhD

Scientist, teacher, mentor and author Robert Rosenthal, PhD, has had a profound influence on psychology research methods, empirical investigations, theory and applications. His seminal research on interpersonal expectancy inspired hundreds of studies with applications within and beyond psychology. Rosenthal's amplification of experimenter- and subject-related artifacts and his ethical insights have improved the way psychologists do research. His classic statistical contributions include his work on meta-analysis and contrast analysis and his formulation of binomial effect-size display and counter-null statistics.

Rosenthal was born in Giessen, Germany in 1933 and fled the country with his parents at age six. In 1956, he earned his PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles, and completed the Veterans Affairs clinical training program in 1957. He started his academic career at the University of North Dakota, where he developed and directed a clinical psychology doctoral program. He went on to be a lecturer, professor of social psychology and psychology department chair at Harvard University. He retired from Harvard in 1999 and accepted a full-time faculty position at the University of California, Riverside. His current empirical research is on dyadic interaction, nonverbal communication and interpersonal expectancy effects. 

Application Award
Charles D. Spielberger, PhD

APA's 100th president, Charles D. Spielberger, PhD, has developed measures for assessing emotions, personality and occupational stress that are used around the world. He has made valuable contributions to theory and research on stress, anxiety, anger, depression and curiosity, and the effects of these emotional states and personality traits on learning, academic performance and cardiovascular disorders.

His professional achievements include diplomates in clinical and assessment psychology, and recognition as a distinguished practitioner of the National Academies of Practice. He was also president of the International Association of Applied Psychology, the Society for Personality Assessment, and the Stress and Anxiety Research Society, and chair of the National Council of Scientific Society Presidents.

Spielberger was born in Atlanta, Ga., in 1927 and earned his PhD in psychology from the State University of Iowa in 1954. In 1955, Spielberger launched his academic career at Duke University, where he served as chief psychologist of the psychiatric outpatient clinic for three years. There he developed the Duke Check List, which provided the foundation for his subsequent development of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory.

Spielberger became professor of psychology at Vanderbilt University in 1962, where he studied verbal conditioning and anxiety. In 1972, he found a permanent home at the University of South Florida (USF), where as professor and director of clinical training he facilitated the APA accreditation process for the school's clinical psychology program. He developed the USF Center for Research in Behavioral Medicine and Health Psychology in 1977, served as its director for 25 years, and retired in 2003 as professor emeritus.

Public Interest Award
Ethel Tobach, PhD

 With more than 50 years of distinguished service as a researcher, teacher and social activist, Ethel Tobach, PhD, has made major contributions to genetics and comparative and evolutionary psychology through her work at such institutions as the American Museum of Natural History, the City University of New York and the New York University School of Medicine.

According to her Gold Medal citation, Tobach "has exposed the unsound science and social damage of genetic determinism institutionalized as racism and sexism. She has been a leader in psychology activist groups seeking constructive public policies, nuclear disarmament, peace-building--all necessary to nurture life and science. She is a socially responsible scientist."

Tobach's family fled Miaskovka, Ukraine, relocating to the United States to escape persecution by the Russian White Army. Tobach majored in psychology at Hunter College, where instructor Bernard F. Riess, PhD, introduced Tobach to the controversy in comparative psychology around the famous ethologist Konrad Lorenz, who then accepted her as a doctoral student in 1950. Her doctoral work led to a long career at the American Museum of Natural History.

Tobach was a founder of Psychologists for Social Action (PSA) and serves on the steering committee for Psychologists for Social Responsibility. She was a member of the precursor of APA's Board for Social and Ethical Responsibility.

A complete list of APF-sponsored convention lectures and symposia begins below.

APF honors Benassi for teaching excellence

The American Psychological Foundation (APF) will honor Victor A. Benassi, PhD, with its 2003 Distinguished Teaching of Psychology Award at the APA/APF awards ceremony on Friday, Aug. 8, in the ballroom of the Fairmont Royal York Hotel.

Benassi is well-known for preparing psychologists to be good teachers and researchers. He began his teaching career at California State University, Long Beach, as a lecturer and then as director of the school's applied psychology center. In 1982, Benassi accepted a faculty position at the University of New Hampshire (UNH), where he worked to prepare doctoral students for research and teaching roles. As a national future faculty initiative was taking hold in the 1990s, the UNH program gained national recognition from Benassi's publications and presentations at meetings.

Benassi played a key role in developing and publicizing the training benefits of the UNH Academic Program in College Teaching along with two of his UNH colleagues--Lee F. Seidel, PhD, and Harry J. Richards, PhD. In 2002, the university won TIAA-CREF's Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Faculty Development to Enhance Undergraduate Teaching.

Benassi served as department chair at UNH from 1989 to 1998, followed by a stint in the Office of Academic Affairs as vice provost for undergraduate studies. In 2003, he returned to the UNH department of psychology.

Benassi earned his doctorate from Queens College of the City University of New York in 1975. He will give the Distinguished Teaching of Psychology Address on "College students' beliefs about paranormal phenomena: implications for teaching and faculty development," at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, in meeting rooms 201E and F, Friday, Aug. 8 at noon.

Foundation awards two neuropsychology scholarships

APF has awarded $2,500 scholarships to two neuropsychology graduate students with promising early research careers:

  • Adam Brickman, a doctoral student in the clinical track of the neuropsychology doctoral subprogram at Queens College and The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, has won the Manfred Meier Research Scholarship for 2002.

  • Elizabeth Leritz, a fifth-year doctoral student in the department of clinical and health psychology at the University of Florida, has won the Henry Hécaen Scholarship for 2002.

Brickman's dissertation work focuses on frontal-striatal-thalamic circuitry abnormalities in good- and poor-outcome schizophrenic patients, with emphasis on white matter volume and anisotropy of the internal capsules. He is conducting his research at the department of psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Leritz's dissertation research focuses on explicit and implicit memory in aging and in individuals with mild cognitive impairment. Specifically, she is investigating how memory performance correlates with such brain structures as the hippocampus. Leritz plans to continue to conduct neurological research in aging patients and those with neurological disorders after she earns her doctorate.

The Manfred Meier scholarship was established through a donation from Arthur Benton, PhD, in honor of Meier, a neuropsychologist whose work has advanced clinical neuropsychology. Benton also established the Henry Hécaen scholarship program through the foundation to honor the eminent French neurologist.

APF features prominent psychologists in Toronto

The American Psychological Foundation (APF) is sponsoring eight invited addresses and two symposia featuring some of psychology's most notable researchers, practitioners and leaders at APA's 2003 Annual Convention in Toronto. All events will be held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Friday, Aug. 8

  • William Bevan Lecture on Psychology and Public Policy. Former APA President Patrick DeLeon, PhD, JD, will speak on "Involvement in public policy: psychology's responsibility," at 10 a.m. in rooms 202C and D.

  • Arthur W. Staats Lecture on the Unification of Psychology. Current APA President and Yale University IBM Professor of Psychology and Education Robert J. Sternberg, PhD, tackles the topic "Psychology: united we stand, divided we fall, so get on the ball," at 11 a.m. in room 713B.

  • Distinguished Teaching of Psychology Address. University of New Hampshire psychology professor Victor A. Benassi, PhD, recipient of the 2003 APF Distinguished Teaching Award, will address "College students' beliefs about paranormal phenomena: implications for teaching and curriculum development," at noon in rooms 201E and F.

  • Esther Katz Rosen Lecture on Gifted Children and Adolescents. Nicholas A. Colangelo, EdD, director of the Connie Belin and Jacqueline N. Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development, will discuss "Gifted education: casualty of the silence about anti-intellectualism," at 1 p.m. in room 202B.

Saturday, Aug. 9

  • Arthur Benton Lecture on Neuropsychology. Edith Kaplan, PhD, professor of psychology at Suffolk University and former president of Div. 40 (Clinical Neuropsychology), will speak on "Clinical neuropsychology assessment: an evolutionary perspective," at 11 a.m. in rooms 206A and B.

  • Lynn Stuart Weiss Lecture on Psychology and Law. Thomas Pettigrew, PhD, research professor of social psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, will discuss "Delayed justice: 49 years after Brown," at 11 a.m. in rooms 202C and D.

  • Esther Katz Rosen Symposium on Gifted Children and Adolescents. Rena Subotnik, PhD, and Janet Soller, PhD, of the APF-funded Center for Gifted Education Policy, will lead a cross-disciplinary symposium titled "Gatekeepers as determiners of taste and success in the arts," 11 a.m.-12:50 p.m. in rooms 203C and D. The symposium is available for continuing-education credit.

  • Charles D. Spielberger Symposium on Emotion, Motivation and Personality. This annual symposium, chaired by Charles D. Spielberger, PhD, features three psychologists' research: Elizabeth Phelps, PhD, of the Emory University department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences Grady Health System, will speak on "Interaction between emotion and cognition: the human amygdala and awareness"; Arie Kruglanski, PhD, of the University of Maryland, will speak on "Motivated closing of the group mind and emergence of group centrism"; and Nadine Kaslow, PhD, of Emory University School of Medicine, will speak on "Effects of domestic violence on children's emotional adjustment." The symposium, 11 a.m.-12:50 p.m., will be in rooms 205A and B.

  • Frank J. McGuigan Lecture on Understanding the Human Mind. Michael Turvey, PhD, professor at the Center for the Ecological Study of Perceptions and Action at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, will speak on "21st century behavioral and brain science: no ghost, no machine," at 1 p.m. in room 203B.

  • Rosalee G. Weiss Lecture on Psychotherapy. University of Scranton psychology professor and former department chair John Norcross, PhD, will discuss "Integrating self-help into psychotherapy: a revolution in mental health practice," at 2 p.m. in reception hall 104C.