VPA Service Award and President's Award Winners
On October 25, 2018, VPA held its Annual Meeting in Burlington. For those of you who missed it, it was a wonderful event full of energy and enthusiasm! Two awards were presented at the meeting by the VPA Board President, Gus Jordan.
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Good news for psychologist-masters! The APA is taking another step toward full recognition of masters-level psychologists by establishing a task force to develop a blueprint for APA to accredit master’s programs in health service psychology. Read the full press release here.
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The 2018 VPA President's Award went to Dr. Rick Barnett for his exemplary dedication, commitment and service to VPA and the advancement of mental health in Vermont. Dr. Barnett has served on the VPA board since 2009, where he started as public education coordinator. He served two terms as VPA president from 2011 to 2014 and is currently chair of the legislative committee. Rick serves as VPA's lobbyist and advocates for legislation that promotes mental health care generally and the field of psychology specifically. He devotes countless hours to this role and to advocating for the role of mental health care in our broader health system. Rick currently serves, or has served, on the Vermont Alcohol and Drug Abuse Certification board; Health Care Advisory Group for the Green Mountain Care Board; the Blueprint for Health--Mental Health and Substance Abuse Advisory Committee; Governor’s Health Care Workforce work group; Clinical Advisory Group to Vermont Information Technology Leaders (VITL); and the Vermont Health Commissioner’s Unified Pain Management System Advisory Council.
News & Information
BIGGER HUMAN BRAIN PRIORITIZES THINKING HUB – AT A COST; NIH STUDY FINDS INFORMATION INTEGRATION TRUMPS EMOTIONAL, SENSORY, MOTOR FUNCTIONS
Some human brains are nearly twice the size of others – but how might that matter? NIMH researchers and their NIH grant-funded colleagues have discovered that these differences in size are related to the brain’s shape and the way it is organized. The bigger the brain, the more its additional area is accounted for by growth in thinking areas of the cortex, or outer mantle – at the expense of relatively slower growth in lower order emotional, sensory, and motor areas. Click here to read more.
INHERITED VARIATIONS IN NON-CODING SECTIONS OF DNA ASSOCIATED WITH AUTISM; STUDY SHEDS LIGHT ON PATERNALLY-INHERITED GENETIC RISK FACTORS
A new study has identified an association between paternally-inherited rare structural variants in noncoding segments of genes and the development of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The study adds to a growing body of research describing genetic contributors to ASD. Click here to read more.
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NEW MODEL FOR PREDICTING SUICIDE ATTEMPTS & DEATHS
Researchers have developed a new suicide prediction model that substantially outperforms existing self-report tools. The study was published online on May 24, 2018, in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
From the NIMH Outreach Partnership Program Update
The 2018 VPA Service Award was presented to Gina C. Mireault, Ph.D., of Northern Vermont University for her significant contribution to the field of psychology. For more than 25 years, Dr. Mireault’s research has focused on various aspects of emotional development in childhood, including childhood grief from parental loss and temper tantrums as a manifestation of childhood anxiety. Dr. Mireault has presented her work at major peer-reviewed conferences, including The Society for Research in Child Development, the International Conference on Infant Studies, the European Conference on Developmental Psychology, and the Jean Piaget Society. She has been an invited lecturer for the International Summer School for the psychology of humor and the British Psychological Society, and she is first author on the 2016 monograph Infant Humor: Developmental & Psychological Perspectives (Springer). Her research has been published in a variety of peer-reviewed journals and has been cited in multiple national and international news outlets and magazines, including the Wall Street Journal, Science Daily, CNN.com, Webmd, The Daily Telegraph, and Parenting. Her work has also appeared on NPR’s The Takeaway, PBS' Nova Science Now, and NBC Nightly News. Her work on infant humor was recently filmed for a documentary on infant development produced by the Canadian Broadcasting Company’s The Nature of Things, due to air in early 2019.
The VPA Board of Directors selected Gina for this award not only because of her significant and well-received research, but also because she has shown innovation in the area of behavioral science education Gina designed a course for NVU this fall in which students would first read relevant materials and then attend each of the four VPA fall continuing education conferences. The NVU students have the advantage of receiving instruction from a wider variety of speakers on a wider variety of topics than in a normal course, which results in a richer experience for the student. In addition, it gives students the opportunity to make professional connections and see the types of issues that arise in the practice of psychology and other mental health care.
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