The California Association of School Psychologists named MaryAnn Seng Outstanding School Psychologist for southeast Los Angeles County in February.

The Anaheim native has spent the last seven years working for the Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD). She deals with cases ranging from mental illness to gang involvement to autism in children. In addition, she's the only school psychologist in the district who is fluent in Khmer, says LBUSD Senior Psychologist Tiffany Brown, PhD, who nominated Seng for the award.

Much of Seng's work involves working with Cambodian families--for example, helping them find help for their children with learning disabilities, often an unfamiliar area for Cambodian parents. Seng often acts as a link between parents and school staff, hospitals and even law enforcement.

"My goal is just to help out, educate," she says.

Seng maintains that role even while navigating health challenges of lupus and a seizure disorder. "She's able to share her illness with the students, as a way of encouraging them to overcome adversity," says Brown.

In March, Vanderbilt University Distinguished Professor of Psychology Jon Kaas, PhD, received sponsorship from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to host a research colloquium, "The New Comparative Biology of Human Nature," Nov. 16-18 at the Beckman Center of the National Academies in Irvine, Calif.

The symposium will compare animal research on the brain and behavior to human health, Kaas says.

"As current researchers focus on an ever-shrinking number of animal-model species in trying to understand humans, this colloquium will consider the usefulness of a broader comparative approach that might helps us identify those aspects of the human brain that contribute to our remarkable abilities, and those that make the human brain susceptible to debilitating diseases," says Kaas.

The colloquium is part of the Sackler Colloquia series, comprising four to six two-day events each year on multidisciplinary scientific topics and sponsored by the family of Arthur M. Sackler, a noted physician and philanthropist to the arts and sciences.

Kaas is a Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development investigator and a member of NAS.

In March, the Trinity Western University (TWU) Board of Governors elected Jonathan S. Raymond, PhD, as the institution's third president. Raymond will begin his presidential duties at the Langley, British Columbia, university in July. Raymond has also been named to the faculty of TWU's psychology department.

He will leave his post as president and vice chancellor of William and Catherine Booth College to succeed TWU's retiring president, R. Neil Snider, PhD. Prior to his appointment, he served as provost and vice president for academic affairs of Greenville College in Greenville, Ill., from 1994 to 1999 and dean of the faculty of Gordon College in Wenham, Mass., from 1990 to 1993.

Raymond's scholarly interests are in cross-cultural social psychology and Wesleyan theology.

To view the president's welcome video clip, visit

In April, Russell T. Jones, PhD, professor of psychology in the College of Science at Virginia Tech and a clinical instructor at Yale University's Child Study Center, met with Page Austin, deputy associate director of projects in first lady Laura Bush's Office of Special Projects, in Washington, D.C. Jones, a nationally recognized expert in disaster-related trauma in children, shared aspects of his trauma-related work, including observations from his deployments to the Gulf Coast and research efforts examining the ongoing psychological impact of Hurricane Katrina on individuals from the Gulf.

As a consultant with the Disaster Technical Assistance Center, part of the national Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Jones has made numerous trips to the Gulf Coast to assist in disaster-relief efforts since Katrina struck last August. He has participated in two trauma-related workshops and, most recently, presented at a congressional hearing on disaster relief.

Jones was called upon by the White House to help prepare the first lady before she visited children who were displaced by Hurricane Katrina. He was also asked to join her at the event.

--E. Packard