2010 APA Meritorious Research Service Commendations awarded

Psychologists in federal and private organizations are honored for promoting research

By Suzanne Wandersman

Four psychologists have been awarded Meritorious Research Service Commendations for 2010. These commendations, which are given by the American Psychological Association’s Board of Scientific Affairs, recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to psychological science through their service as employees of the federal government or other organizations.

Psychologists at federal or non-federal research funding, regulatory, or other agencies play a crucial role in the advancement of the discipline, through managing programs that fund psychological science, identifying new research opportunities and directions, formulating research policies, and promoting psychological research within their organizations. The Meritorious Research Service Commendations are a mechanism for honoring psychologists for their efforts and achievements in these areas.

The recipients for 2010 – who were formally presented their commendations on November 13 at the APA Science Leadership Conference in Washington, DC -- are:

W. Rodney HammondW. Rodney Hammond
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Rodney Hammond is recognized for his outstanding contributions to psychological science through his longstanding service as a research and health programs administrator at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Hammond is Director of the Division of Violence Prevention within the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, a position he has held since 1996. The Division oversees prevention research and programs in child maltreatment, youth violence, family and intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and suicide. The Division includes a multi-disciplinary staff with a budget of over $100 million. The Division also funds research and programs through partnerships with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Doris Duke Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, UNICEF, and the United Nations Population Fund. Dr. Hammond has overall responsibility for the Division which includes staff from the behavioral and social sciences, medicine, and public health.  He also represents CDC in areas of international violence prevention at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, and the Pan American Health Organization in Washington, DC.

Dr. Hammond received his Ph.D. in psychology from Florida State University and completed post-doctoral training at Harvard University.

C. Tracy OrleansC. Tracy Orleans
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Tracy Orleans is recognized for her outstanding contributions to psychological science through her work with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in advancing psychological research and its applications to health. 

As the Senior Scientist for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), Dr. Orleans has led many national efforts to identify and spread effective clinical, public health, and health care systems-based  approaches to health promotion, disease prevention, and chronic disease management. In this position, she has designed and managed numerous RWJF national research initiatives (e.g., Smoke-Free Families, Addressing Tobacco in Managed Care, Helping Young Smokers Quit, Bridging the Gap/ImpacTeen, Improving Chronic Illness Care, Active Living Research, and Healthy Eating Research), and organized and co-directed four national research funding collaboratives: the National Partnership to Help Pregnant Smokers Quit, the Youth Tobacco Cessation Collaborative, the National Tobacco Cessation Collaborative/Consumer Demand Roundtable, and, most recently, the National Collaborative for  Childhood Obesity Research (CDC, NIH, RWJF, USDA). Much of her current work is focused on accelerating efforts to identify and disseminate effective policy and environmental strategies for childhood obesity prevention, especially in high-risk populations. 

Dr. Orleans obtained her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Maryland, with a clinical internship at Duke University Medical Center.

Nancy M. OstroveNancy M. Ostrove
Food and Drug Administration

Nancy Ostrove is recognized for her outstanding contributions to psychological science through her advancement of effective health communication policies at the Food and Drug Administration.

Dr. Ostrove is currently Director of the Risk Communication Staff in the Office of Planning in the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Office of the Commissioner. Since 2003, she has been FDA’s lead official in developing and assessing the FDA’s science-based risk communication programs.  Between 2007 and 2008, Dr. Ostrove led the establishment of FDA’s external Risk Communication Advisory Committee (RCAC), internal Risk Communication Staff Office in the Office of Planning, and internal Communications Council. She also led the development of FDA’s Strategic Plan for Risk Communication, and her staff continues to coordinate implementation of the Plan and identification of risk communication issues for consideration by the RCAC.
Dr. Ostrove has spent most of her career since 1989 with the FDA .  She was with the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research from 1989 until 2002, where she was Deputy Director and Branch Chief in the Division of Drug Marketing, Advertising, and Communications. Her work there included research, consulting, and policy development related to communicating prescription drug information to health care professionals and consumers. Dr. Ostrove led the development of FDA’s “direct-to-consumer” (DTC) promotion of prescription drug policies. She also conducted focus group and survey research and developed the initial prototypes that were the basis for revisions to FDA regulations to make the format and content of prescription drug labeling more useful for prescribers. She was a key member of the team that developed FDA’s regulations requiring specific patient information (called Medication Guides) for especially risky prescription drugs and that designed research assessing the private sector’s efforts to ensure that patients getting new prescription medicines receive useful written information about their medicines.

Dr. Ostrove received her Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Maryland and received postdoctoral training at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

Philip E. RubinPhilip E. Rubin
Haskins Laboratory

Philip Rubin is recognized for his outstanding contributions to psychological science through his service as a leader in research management and policy development at the national level.

Dr. Rubin is Chief Executive Officer and a senior scientist at Haskins Laboratories in New Haven, Connecticut. Haskins is a private, non-profit research institute affiliated with Yale University and the University of Connecticut that has a primary focus on the science of the spoken and written word, including speech, language, and reading, and their biological basis.

Dr. Rubin is the Chair of the National Academies Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences, which focuses on the intersection of cognitive science and public policy. He is also the Chair of the National Research Council (NRC) Committee on Field Evaluation of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences-Based Methods and Tools for Intelligence and Counter-Intelligence, and a member of the NRC Committee on Developing Metrics for Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Research. 

From 2000 through 2003 Dr. Rubin served as the Director of the Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences at the National Science Foundation (NSF), where he was responsible for administering a wide variety of fields including archaeology, cultural and physical anthropology, geography and regional science, environmental social and behavioral sciences, child development, linguistics, and psychology. While there he helped launch the Children’s Research Initiative, the Human Origins emphasis (HOMINID), and the Cognitive Neuroscience, Developmental and Learning Sciences, and Perception, Action and Cognition programs. Other NSF activities included membership on the Science and Technology Centers coordinating committee and the chairmanship of the Human and Social Dynamics priority area. Dr. Rubin served as the NSF ex officio representative to the National Human Research Protection Advisory Committee and the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Human Research Protections, established to provide advice to the Secretary of Health and Human Services. He was also the co-chair of the interagency Human Subjects Research Subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council’s Committee on Science, under the auspices of the Executive Office of the President.  In addition, he was a member of the NSTC Interagency Working Group on Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Task Force on Anti-Terrorism Research and Development.

Dr. Rubin received his Ph.D. in experimental psychology from the University of Connecticut.

Nominations for the 2011 awards are being accepted now until March 1, 2011.  For additional information, see the Meritorious Research Service Commendations website or contact Suzanne Wandersman.




Suzanne Wandersman is Director of Governance Affairs in the APA Science Directorate.