Department News Archive
The Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis has named Dr. Andy Lattal as the recipient of its Distinguished Service to Behavior Analysis Award. The award is given to an individual who has demonstrated a sustained, valuable contribution to behavior analysis over several years in teaching, research, or practice.
Dr. Michael Perone is the new President-Elect for the Association of Behavior Analysis International (ABAI).
Darcey Powell is the recipient of the 2011-12 Eberly College Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant in Psychology Award
Doctoral students Tara Karns and Cara Palmer have been named as Blaney Fellows for Summer 2012. The awards from the Carolyn and Gerald Blaney Graduate Fellowship Fund provide for dedicated time to be spent toward dissertation projects over the summer. Congratulations Tara and Cara.
Alumnae Laura Carstensen has been awarded an honory doctorate from KU Leuven for outstanding research on aging.Carstensen’s research has been supported for over 20 years by the National Institute on Aging. Of her many awards and distinctions, the Guggenheim Fellowship (2003) and MERIT Award (2005) are especially notable. “She has made a fundamental contribution to the understanding of the psychological mechanisms behind aging,” said nominators Mathieu Vandenbulcke and Ralf Krampe.”Traditionally, aging has been seen as a process of loss and decay, but Carstensen changed that perception. She tells a positive story and shows that aging is paired with an improvement in social and emotional skills. These skills benefit not only the individual but also a much wider social network. Her insights can lead to a more active role for elderly people in our society.”
Dr. Andy Lattal, Centennial Professor of Psychology, has received a prestigious fellowship from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science that will allow him to spend five weeks at Osaka-Kyoiku University in Osaka, Japan working on collaborative research projects. In addition to his research activities, he will be giving a series of lectures on the experimental analysis of behavior at five universities around the country.
Doctoral student Darcey Powell speaks about her role as an academic advisor to undergraduate Psychology majors on WVUToday. Click here to view the video
Professor Dan McNeil has been named a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, through Division 12, the Society of Clinical Psychology.
Work by alumnus Eric Grady has been highlighted on Oprah.com
Research by Assistant Professor Natalie Shook has been highlighted in Scientific American http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-ideology-of-no
Associate Professor Amy Fiske has been named president-elect of the Society for Clinical Geropsychology
Doctoral student Christine Gould has received a Division 20 Dissertation Award
WVU’s Psi Chi chapter was one of three chapters internationally to win an award for its website in 2010-2011.
Assistant Professor Amy Gentzler’s research on how college students use social networking has appeared on WVNPR http://www.wvpubcast.org/newsarticle.aspx?id=20272
Alumnus Patrick Davies is a recipient of a 2011-2012 James McKeen Cattell Fund Fellowship
Doctoral Student Allison Schenk and Professor Bill Fremouw have conducted the second survey in the world to date about college students who are bullied by someone via technology:
Doctoral student Mike Nadorff was interviewed for a news story on nightmares for EMS World, a magazine for emergency medical service responders:
WVU’s chapter of Psi Chi, the international honor society in psychology, has been awarded this year’s outstanding regional chapter award. Only one such award is given annually to a chapter in each of the regions in the nation. Congratulations to the officers, committee chairs, and members of the Department’s Psi Chi and Psychology Club.
Alumnus Tom Critchfield was the recipient of the 2010 recipient of the Don Hake Award, given by the Division for Behavior Analysis (Division 25) of the American Psychological Association. The award recognizes achievement in the integration of basic and applied research in behavior analysis.
Doctoral students Lisa DiDonato, Aimee Giles, Cara Palmer, Sacha Pence, and Allison Tetreault have been selected as research grant recipients from the WVU Center for Excellence in Disabilities.
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching recognized the scope and success of WVU’s impact by selecting the University for the 2010 Community Engagement Classification, putting WVU in the 6 percent of higher education institutions that Carnegie recognizes for engagement out of all U.S. institutions.
Professor Michael Perone has accepted an appointment to serve as Chair of the WVU Animal Care and Use Committee (ACUC) effective August 2011.
Leo Schlosnagle has been awarded an APA Dissertation Research Award for his dissertation entitled “Following Advice Because it’s Been Paid For: Age, the Sunk-Cost Fallacy, and Loss Aversion”. The APA Dissertation Research Award is sponsored by the Science Directorate of the APA and is given to students whose dissertation research reflects excellence in scientific psychology.
Brian Gardner, a sophomore majoring in psychology from Keyser helped build a library in Ghana.
WVU STUDENTS RAISE $1,500 TO HELP BUILD LIBRARY: During West Virginia University’s winter break, two university students traveled to Ghana to help build the nation’s second library. The students were so moved by the people and the experience that they helped raise an additional $1,500 while in rural Ghana to help complete the library. “What’s so amazing is that the students were able to request donations from friends and family back in the U.S. while they were in country with very limited Internet access,” said Anna Phillips, Amizade outreach coordinator. http://www.journal-news.net/page/content.detail/id/536925.html
Frank Collins, former Psychology Department faculty member from 1979 to 1985, died suddenly on Saturday, December 19 at the age of 58. See video tribute to Frank at the following address:
Claire St. Peter Pipkin’s program to train area teachers to become board-certified behavior analysts is described here:
Alumna Jamie French: Lead Grants and Agreement Specialist at the National Science Foundation
Alumna Darnell Lattal: President and CEO of Aubrey Daniels International
Grad students receive Grand from WVU’s Center for Excellence in Disabilities
Leo Schlosnagle and Tara Karns, graduate students in the Life-span Developmental program, received a $1,200 grant from the WVU Center for Excellence in Disabilities (CED) to conduct a study to evaluate the Green Thumbs, Healthy Joints program. The CED’s innovative Green Thumbs, Healthy Joints program facilitates older adults’ physical activity in the form of gardening using specially-designed flower beds to offset physical limitations. The program aims to promote older adults’ physical and psychological well-being while benefiting the community. The goal of Schlosnagle and Karn’s study is to identify components of the program that could be adjusted to make the program more efficient and advantageous for older adults. Existing data collected by the CED on the Green Thumbs, Healthy Joints program will be analyzed. The award will be used to facilitate further research and to disseminate the results of the study. The project will take 6 months to complete, and findings will be presented to the CED in May 2010.
Lauren Penwell reviews link between social support and chronic illness
What’s social support got to do with it? In terms of dealing with chronic illnesses, maybe a lot. A recent review of the social support and health literature by Lauren Penwell, a doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology Program, examined the link between social support and inflammation in cardiovascular disease and cancer. Previous research has indicated that better social support is associated with more favorable health outcomes, but just how that happens remains unanswered. There is now some evidence that the immune system’s response, particularly with respect to markers of inflammation, may be affected by the social support received by patients, leading to a better or worse prognosis. These results should be interpreted cautiously, though, as there are many limitations in the studies in this area of research (Nov. 2009)
Teachers Go to “BAT” for Effective Behavior-Management Skills
Teachers Go to “BAT” for Effective Behavior-Management Skills
Three-quarters of teachers report that their training did not adequately prepare them to deal with challenging behavior in the classroom. Thus, teachers are left wondering how to handle behavioral challenges, and often rely on trial-and-error to develop effective behavior management strategies. Despite federal mandates regarding the use of empirically based practices, teachers often implement programs that have little or no empirical support.
This unfortunate scenario doesn’t have to be the case. Teachers trained in evidence-based behavior management strategies report more success with their students and greater job satisfaction. Applied Behavior Analysis provides empirically supported behavior management strategies, but most teachers do not have easy access to instruction in these techniques.
The Behavior Analysis for Teachers (BAT) program is a collaborative project between Monongalia County Schools and West Virginia University (WVU), aimed at providing teachers with a solid foundation in behavior management principles and strategies. Teachers who complete the program are eligible for national certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) or Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA). The BCBA certification is a nationally recognized credential that is highly esteemed in the educational and behavioral communities. Caron Vilasuso, BAT teacher, noted, “I am glad to work for a school board that recognizes that ABA is cutting edge… It is a powerful tool that can turn a student’s future around.”
The BAT program consists of a series of five graduate-level courses taught through WVU, coupled with a year-long practicum. The first cohort of teachers began the program in the summer of 2009, and will complete the requirements by the summer of 2010. Teachers are learning core principles of behavior, and their coursework specifically focuses on behavioral issues in the classroom. For example, the program includes a course on how to conduct Functional Behavior Assessments and how to use assessment information to develop function-based interventions for students.
Teachers report that the program is rigorous and challenging, but that they have learned a lot. “I have not worked so hard in a long time to learn so much that is so useful. I am learning how to really change children’s behaviors to benefit them and their learning, with an added plus of better classroom management,” said BAT teacher Libby Davis.
For more information on the BAT program, please contact Dr. Claire St. Peter Pipkin at Claire.SPeterPipkin@mail.wvu.edu.
Merrett, F. & Wheldall, K. (1993). How do teachers learn to manage classroom behavior? A study of teacher’s opinions about their initial training with special reference to classroom behavior management. Educational Studies, 19, 91-106.
Burns & Yssledyke (2009). Reported prevalence of evidence-based instructional practices in special education. Journal of Special Education, 43, 3-11.
Dr. McNeil received Award for conducting research in New Zealand
Dr. Dan McNeil has been awarded a Fulbright Senior Scholar Award for research in New Zealand during his sabbatical leave in Spring 2010. The Psychology department congratulates Dr. McNeil on this important recognition of his scholarship (Sept. 2009).
Advancement to doctoral candidacy
Merideth Smith, Ben Weinstein, and Amanda Wheat were advanced to doctoral candidacy on August 26, 2009.
Dr. Scotti testifying before Congress on PTSD
Joseph Scotti recently testified before Congress this July about the impact of service in Iraq and Afghanistan. There is a high rate of PTSD and depression among members of the National Guard and Reserves but few are getting needed help. Read about it at: http://www.wvpubcast.org/newsarticle.aspx?id=3630
Allison Tetreault receives grant from ABA
In May, 2008, Allison Tetrault, a graduate student in the Behavior Analysis Program, received a research grant from the Association for Behavior Analysis’ special interest group on verbal behavior for her research on the use of lag schedules to increase vocal variability of children with autism.
Sam Insana presented paper on the Meeting of the APSS
Sam Insana, a graduate student in the Developmental Program, presented a paper at the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies on the relation between night time tooth grinding, problems at home, and pre-school adjustment among 1,956 pre-schoolers.
Grad students awarded NIH travel stipends
Megan Clegg-Kraynok and Sam Insana, graduate students in the Developmental Program, were each awarded NIH travel stipends to present their work at the November 2008 meeting of the International Society for Developmental Psychobiology.
Meredith Smith selected for NIMH grant
Merideth Smith, a student in the Clinical Psychology Program, was selected for support from the interdisciplinary NIMH-funded T32 Behavioral and Biomedical Sciences Training Grant.
Department affiliates to play in “Suddenly Last Summer”
Two individuals affilated with our Department played the lead roles in a production of Tennessee Williams play “Suddenly Last Summer” at the Monongalia Arts Center. Tammy Hoier, who received her Ph.D. from the department, played Mrs. Violet Venable, and Lauren Weigel, a senior Psychology major, played Catherine Holly. The show was produced by the M. T. Pockets Theater Company.
Students awarded Teaching Awards
Eric Goedereis (Developmental), Clare Mehta (Developmental), and Mirari Elcoro (Behavior Analysis) were awarded the Phillip E. Comer Graduate Student Teaching Awards. Eric was also recognized as the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant by the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences.
Dr. JoNell Strough discussed the meaning of intelligence.
Dr. JoNell Strough discussed her latest research concerning the sunk-cost fallacy and older adults in Science Daily and USA Today.
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