Paul B. Baltes, PhD, director at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development Center for Lifespan Psychology, has been elected as a new member of the Pour le mèrite, an order for sciences and arts. Acceptance into the order is one of the highest honors that can be bestowed on a scientist or artist in Germany.

In the order's history, Baltes is the second psychologist elected; the first was Wilhelm Wundt in 1912. Founded in 1842 by the Prussian king Friedrich Wilhelm IV, the order was reinitiated by the German Federal President Theodor Heuss.

The American Evaluation Association presented its Outstanding Evaluation of 2000 Award to Leonard Bickman, PhD, for two studies on mental health care effectiveness for children. One study followed 984 children and their families in Fort Bragg, N.C., for five years in a continuum of care mental health system. He found that, in addition to being more expensive, the continuum of care system was no more effective than the comparison system.

"The findings have laid the foundation for a major re-evaluation of how we should attempt to provide quality mental health care for our nation's children and families," noted APA President Pat DeLeon, PhD, JD, in a nomination letter.

Bickman, who is a professor as well as the director of the Center for Mental Health Policy at Vanderbilt University, followed the Fort Bragg study with a similar examination of the Stark County, Ohio, system of care, which found essentially the same results.

The Society for Medical Decision Making awarded Gretchen Chapman, PhD, its 2000 Outstanding Paper by a Young Investigator award for her paper, "Familiarity and time preferences: Decision-making about treatments for migraine headaches and Crohn's disease," which was published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology (JEP): Applied (Vol. 5, No. 1). Her paper tested whether individuals familiar with a medical scenario (migraine headaches or irritable bowel syndrome) would make decisions that correlated with a money-managing scenario (presumably also familiar). The study found that individuals' decisions about medical care, regardless of whether it was a familiar ailment, correlated more strongly with each other than decisions about money, indicating that health and money are treated as different domains and assigned different discount rates, and that the effect is not an artifact of familiarity.

Chapman is a member of the JEP: Applied editorial board and assistant professor of psychology at Rutgers University's Busch Campus.

F. Richard Ferraro, PhD, is pulling double duty as the executive editor of the Journal of General Psychology and the co-executive editor of the Journal of Psychology, two journals published by Heldref Publications. As executive editor, Ferraro's duties include overseeing the editorial policies and scope of the journals and assisting the publisher in promoting them. Ferraro's term as executive editor began in May 2000 and will last until May 2003.

Leonard Jason, PhD, and Joseph Ferrari, PhD, of De Paul University are the recipients of a five-year, $2.5 million grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to study Oxford Houses, an organization of more than 700 nationwide recovery homes for drug and alcohol abusers. Each house is independently run by its residents: They pay their own rent, elect house officers and operate by majority rule. Oxford Houses report that 80 percent of participants are drug free. Jason and Ferrari will track 150 recovering alcoholics, half in Oxford Houses and half in conventional treatment, over two years and compare the progress and results of the two groups.

At De Paul, Ferrari is an associate professor of psychology. Jason, professor of clinical-community psychology, was recently appointed to the Department of Health and Human Services' Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Coordinating Committee. The only psychologist on the committee, he will work with others to better coordinate the work of several federal agencies on chronic fatigue syndrome.

The Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif., has named Winston E. Gooden, PhD, as dean of the Graduate School of Psychology. Established in 1965 as the first seminary-based clinical psychology program in the nation, Fuller's School of Psychology is also the first clinical program outside of a university to receive accreditation from APA.

Gooden, whose research interests focus on midlife transitions, shame and the spiritual and emotional development of African-American men, plans to continue the Fuller School of Psychology's commitment to studying the role of faith in emotional and physical health and to the ministry of reconciliation.

The Society for Neuroscience's Young Investigator Award went to Earl K. Miller, PhD, an associate professor at the department of brain and cognitive sciences at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Miller's research focuses on the neural basis of learning, attention, memory and cognition needed for voluntary, goal-directed behavior. The prize gives $5,000 to an outstanding neuroscientist who has received an advanced professional degree within the past 10 years.

After 40 years of service, Stuart Oskamp, PhD, a retiring professor of psychology from Claremont Graduate University in California, has bequeathed a $1 million gift to establish an endowed chair of psychology at the university's School of Organizational and Behavioral Sciences.

A leader in social psychology, Oskamp co-wrote "Applied Social Psychology" (Prentice Hall, Second edition, 1997) with P. Wesley Schultz, served as president of APA's Divs. 9 (Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues) and 34 (Population and Environmental Psychology) and editor of Div. 9's Journal of Social Issues. More recently, his research interests have led him to focus on environmental issues, such as what interventions are likely to increase the effectiveness of recycling programs.

In recognition for his contributions to distance education and Web site development, the University of Toronto has honored psychologist David Patrick Ryan, C.Psych, with the Fred Fallis Award. Ryan has developed several Web sites, such as the university's Regional Geriatric Program (, an education outreach service that contains a collection of online resources on aging and health, dementia and pharmacology.

The award honors Fred Fallis, MD, the first assistant dean of continuing education at the University of Toronto and founder of Telemedicine Canada. The Fred Fallis Award bestows $500 to a person or group that demonstrates excellence in site coordination, course organization and teaching in distance education.

Ryan is an assistant professor in the faculties of physical therapy and medicine (geriatrics) at the University of Toronto.


'Ask the Expert'

Once a week at 9:30 a.m., television viewers in New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts can watch psychologist Michael Phillips, PhD, answer clinical mental health questions, talk about current issues in psychology or discuss legislation that affects managed care. As part of the "Ask the Expert" segment on ABC-affiliate WMUR's morning news program, Phillips, a private practitioner in New Hampshire, takes part in the 30-minute series, where each day an expert in law, accounting or psychology discusses current trends.

Since January, Phillips has used this time to talk about parity, managed care and confidentiality or to promote a number of topics consistent with APA's agenda.

"I try to pick topics that have a psychological theme that are nontraditional, so that it expands people's notions of what kinds of things psychologists are involved with," says Phillips. "It lets people know what kind of services we provide and breaks the mold of the image of psychologists sitting in their office who don't reach out."

In addition, Phillips fields calls from viewers who want to voice their opinion on a particular topic or ask clinical questions about themselves or a family member. At times, this can prove to be interesting when callers ask questions that have nothing to do with Phillips' selected topic.

"I've been on the air talking about attention deficit disorder, and I'll get someone calling about bipolar disorder," he says.

Phillips has referred many callers who want to see a psychologist in their area to the New Hampshire Psychological Association, which reports increased referrals for practitioners. He has also used the time to promote the Speakers Bureau, a collection of New Hampshire psychologists willing to go out to different venues in the state to give talks on mental health issues.

"Something I think we need to do as a profession is expand our scope," adds Phillips.