AAC&U appoints Nelson as senior fellow

The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) in Washington, D.C. has named Paul Nelson, PhD, APA's former director of the Office of Graduate and Postgraduate Education, as its senior fellow. AAC&U is the leading national association concerned with the quality, vitality and public standing of undergraduate liberal education.

In his role, Nelson will work with AAC&U staff on initiatives related to the role of faculty as architects of the curriculum, cultivators of their disciplines and institutional citizens.

Nelson received his doctoral degree in psychology from the University of Chicago. Following a career in the U.S. Navy as a research psychologist, he served APA in several positions and has been a member since 1958. His research interests of recent years focused on issues of quality assessment in higher education.

New dean at UVa's Curry School of Education

The University of Virginia Curry School of Education named longtime faculty member Robert C. Pianta, PhD, as its eighth dean. Pianta, who joined the faculty in 1986, succeeds David W.Breneman, PhD, who stepped down in June after 12 years.

Known for his teaching and research on early childhood education and teacher quality, Pianta also heads several interdisciplinary research and training efforts with more than $25 million in funding, including the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL), which he founded in 2005. CASTL seeks to improve the educational outcomes of the nation's children from preschool through grade 12 through scientific study on teaching and classroom learning.

The outgoing editor of the Journal of School Psychology, Pianta published more than 300 scholarly papers and is the lead author of several books, including "School Readiness and the Transition to Kindergarten in the Age of Accountability" (Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co, 1999).

Pianta earned his doctorate from the University of Minnesota and his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Connecticut.

Ellis elected to AACC board

Lee College President Martha Ellis, PhD, is one of six community college presidents elected to a three-year term for the American Association of Community Colleges Board of Directors.

Ellis became president of Lee College in 2002. Lee College is located in Baytown, Texas. Before coming to Lee College, Ellis was president of Texas State Technical College in Waco from 2000 to 2002. Previously, she held leadership positions for 14 years at Collin County Community College District in Plano, Texas, including provost of the Spring Creek Campus, professor of psychology and director of information technology. She earned her doctorate in higher education administration from the University of North Texas and her master's in developmental cognitive psychology from the University of Texas at Dallas.

APA member joins policy-makers to support hate-crime legislation

Working with the National Hate Crimes Coalition, APA member James J. Nolan, III, PhD, of West Virginia University, briefed U.S. House of Representatives staff on his bias-motivated crime research and urged support for the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007 (H.R. 1592).

Nolan also joined Senators Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore) at a press conference to introduce their Senate companion legislation, the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007 (S.1105). The two bills would expand the law to recognize crimes motivated by religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.

For more information on APA'swork on hate crimes, visit

Gottesman is chair of Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Ruth L. Gottesman, EdD, professor emerita of Pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, has been unanimously elected chair of the medical school's Board of Overseers.

Gottesman is the first woman and first faculty member to hold the office. She will succeed Ira M. Millstein, who has served for three years and will now become chairperson emeritus.

Gottesman began her academic career at the medical school in 1968 when she joined Einstein's Children's Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center (CERC) to develop a program for children with dyslexia and other learning disabilities. She went on to serve as CERC's director of psychoeducational services and later as director of the adult literacy program.

Since 2003, Gottesman has served as vice chair of the Board of Overseers where she has been a determined advocate for Einstein students. Her support led the college to name a student member of the board and its Educational Affairs Committee, which she chairs.

Gottesman is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Teachers College, Columbia University, where she received her EdD degree in 1968.

--D. Schwartz