Category Archives: Features

Our WWII Mothers & Sisters in the Military

by Rodney R. Baker, PhD
VA Psychology Historian

The reference to WWII mothers and sisters in the military in this commentary is quite accurate.  Many do not realize that women did in fact directly serve military positions during WWII and have been doing so since the Revolutionary War. I began my VA psychology historian role in the 1980s while still a chief of psychology at the VA Medical Center in San Antonio. In that historian role, I first became interested in collecting stories about women in the military while working on a research project I published with two Vietnam nurses about the military nurse experience in Vietnam. My collection of stories continued when I retired in 2004 and have grown in number. The stories have impressed me with the diversity and impact of women in the military in our nation’s wars as well as their courage and sacrifice. In my historian role I am convinced that history is all about what happened and what happened is a story. I have many stories about women in the military from our nation’s early beginning, and I am pleased to share some of them with you from WWII in this narrative.

Those of you who are reading this and have seen my letter to the editor know that I referred to the WWII Fathers’ articles in the November 2023 Psychology Times as inspiring. The photos in those stories added to their impact, and I would like to start my sharing of stories of WWII women in the military with two photos of exhibits from the Nimitz National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas. The first photo notes that nurses were among the first women to arrive at the Normandy beachhead after D-Day and assisted in the operating theater. The second photo shows a woman who served in the Women’s Air Force Service Pilots (WASPs) who ferried aircraft from the factories to air bases, served as test pilots and flight instructors, shuttled officers around, and towed targets for artillery practice.

It is estimated that 350,000 American women joined the military during World War II. They served roles as nurses, drove trucks, repaired airplanes, and performed clerical work. Some were killed in combat or captured as prisoners of war. Over 1600 female nurses received various decorations for courage under fire. As many as 543 women died in war-related incidents, including 16 nurses who were killed from enemy fire. Although U.S. political and military leaders had decided not to use women in combat because they believed that public opinion would not accept such roles, nurses were needed to provide care to soldiers in combat zones and they ignored any technical distinction between serving in combat or serving in combat zones.

The Army established the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) in 1942, with WAACs serving overseas in North Africa. The WAAC was converted to the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) in 1943. Recognized as an official part of the regular army, more than 150,000 women served as WACs during the war with thousands sent to the European and Pacific theaters. In 1944, WACs landed in Normandy after D-Day with WACs also serving in
Australia, New Guinea, and the Philippines in the Pacific.

The National Archives and Records Administration reports that in September 1942, the Army Air Force (AAF) created the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS) and recruited highly skilled and experienced female pilots who were sent on noncombat missions ferrying planes between factories and AAF installations. Eventually, over one thousand women completed flight training in the program. As the ranks of women pilots serving the AAF swelled, the value of their contribution began to be recognized, and the Air Force took steps to militarize them. As a first step the Air Force changed their unit name from WAFS to Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). Thirty-eight WASPS died in accidents in their assigned duties. Women were finally recognized as a permanent part of the U.S. armed forces with the passage of the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act of 1948. However, they were not granted veteran status until 1977, and finally only became eligible for the Congressional Gold Medal in 2009.

Records at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans note that among the more than 27,000 American military personnel held as POWs in the Pacific were 77 US military nurses. The women, members of the Army Nurse and Navy Nurse Corps, would come to be known as the “Angels of Bataan and Corregidor.” Taken prisoner in the Philippines, the nurses were held with POWs in the Santo Tomas and Los Banos Internment Camps. In those critically undersupplied internment camps, they were able to provide vital professional care to all Allied POWs held there. Santo Tomas became a POW city of roughly 6,000 people The nurses helped to establish the Santa Catalina Hospital on the grounds of that camp and did their best to help stem epidemics in the overcrowded camp as well as organized a public health campaign in the most unsanitary conditions. They treated patients with minimal supplies in spartan conditions for accidents, disease, and malnutrition. The weight loss due to starvation in the camps averaged around 32 percent of an individual’s body weight. The American nurse POWs were not just waiting to be liberated, they were fighting to survive and to ensure the survival of others for whom they were proving care.

Miraculously, all 77 of the nurse POWs survived the almost three-year long imprisonment from May 1942 to February 1945, The Army nurses were liberated from Santo Tomas in early February of 1945. I have added a photo from the National WWII Museum in New Orleans that shows that the Navy Nurses, who had been moved to the Los Banos Internment Camp, were liberated three weeks later. After liberation, the Angels of Bataan and Corregidor received little recognition as military prisoners of war. But most of the nurses said that they did not do anything extraordinary, they were just doing their jobs.

I will finally note that the Military Women’s Memorial (described at was established by a grateful nation to honor women who have served in or with the United States Armed Forces. It is unique in inviting military women to register and submit their stories, thus preserving those stories for future generations. The memorial is located at the gateway to Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, USA. Dedicated in 1997, it is the only major U.S. national memorial that recognizes the courage and patriotism of an estimated three million women who have defended their country throughout history starting with the Revolutionary War.

An Ounce of Prevention

The third reason for death in the U.S. is unintended outcomes of medical treatment. A study by Martin Makary, MD, then a professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, found that medical errors–comprise the third leading cause of death in the U.S.

“It boils down to people dying from the care that they receive rather than the disease for which they are seeking care,” Makary said to The Washington Post.

We know about some of these problems. When the specialists go on vacation the mortality drops. For the one out of 1,000 women saved by mammography, up to 10 healthy women will be treated needlessly. A third of FDA approved drugs have been found to later have safety issues.

However, in a comparison of age-adjusted deaths from all causes, the World Health
Organization ranks the United States last in similar countries. At the same time, Louisiana
ranks 50 of all the states.

For this report, we look at the barriers to providing prevention, rather than the expensive and dangerous treatments now provided by the medical and pharmaceutical industries.

Consider an example from mental health. Imagine that a patient with psychosis is given nutrients. She improves her quality of life to such a degree that she no longer needs yearly hospitalizations, which, along with other expenses, amounted to $500,000 of costs over a five-year period.

Dr. Bonnie Kaplan, Professor Emerita in the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary, in and expert in the field of nutritional mental health, thinks this type of prevention might save lives and money. Kaplan publishes widely on the biological basis of developmental
disorders and mental health – particularly, the contribution of nutrition to brain development and brain function. 

In her “Hospitalization cost of conventional psychiatric care compared to broad-spectrum micronutrient treatment,” in International Journal of Mental Health Systems, Kaplan points to
dramatic savings for those patients that respond to nutritional interventions. Nutrition is one of the innovations in illness prevention that has been neglected for decades. Other basic approaches include behavioral and psychological treatments for lifestyle based illnesses, equally as costeffective.

Prevention requires tools that are often unfamiliar because educational, behavioral, and social interventions, not usually considered to be part of medicine, may be most effective for many diseases,” said Hamilton Moses and co-authors in, “The Anatomy of Health Care in the United States,” in an article of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

While medical costs are driven by chronic disease, it is not due to an aging population, even though age is often cited as the cause. Moses shows that about 80 percent of the total health care cost is accounted for by those under 65, and relate to psychological, social and behavioral elements. The CDC estimates that three lifestyle factors––poor diet, inactivity, and smoking–– account for 80 percent of heart disease and stroke, 80 percent of type 2 diabetes, and 40 percent of cancer.

“Behavioral intervention is the foundation for lifestyle medicine,” writes Dr. John Caccavale, author of Medical Psychology Practice and Policy Perspectives. “Of the top four classes of medical problems in America – metabolic disorders, respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, and mental disorders – physicians will have great difficulty demonstrating that they are improving patient health by utilizing medications as a first-line treatment for these classes of disorders,” writes Caccavale.

“I think wellness/prevention are areas where there is tremendous need in primary care,” said health psychologist Dr. Michelle Larzalere.

“For both physical and mental health, the need to work on active problems is often so high that wellness/prevention get shorted on attention,” Larzalere said.

“The health habits that most reduce the preventable component of the most prominent causes of morbidity and mortality in the US, –for example, refraining from smoking, eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and limiting alcohol consumption– are behaviors that psychologists can really impact positively. Unfortunately, at least in my experience, other needs are so great that it is hard to make time for wellness/prevention initiatives unless there is a specific plan put in place.”

Author of Health Psychology, Dr. Linda Brannon said, “The division of health into mental and physical health is a false dichotomy that we need to get over. I think that many providers address the presenting problem to the extent that they do not look beyond it.”

For decades now, psychological scientists have known that behavior is the key to costs.  Larzelere explained that psychological scientists have agreed that those using an integrated care model can expect a 30 to 60 percent reduction in medical use costs.

Quality care and cost savings dovetail at the primary care level. To put this in perspective, a 10 percent reduction in medical/surgery costs nationwide –by treating the mental or behavioral
component– would exceed the entire current national mental health budget, she explained.

She is correct. Prior to Covid, CMS and The National Health Expenditure Accounts reported that healthcare spending reached $3.5 trillion in both public and private sources. This is $10,739 per person. And accounts for 17.9 percent of the Gross Domestic Product.

A ten percent savings, as Larzelere suggests, is $350 billion. Estimating savings at 30 percent could mean a savings of $1 trillion dollars.

Is all this spending doing anyone any good?

A pattern of poor health outcomes and high costs reflects the country as a whole. The United States ranks 50th out of 55 industrialized countries in a measure of life expectancy and medical care spending, according to Bloomberg, who concluded the U.S. is the “least-efficient” health-care system in the world.

Louisiana is always at the bottom. In the most recent report from America’s Health Rankings, an annual analysis of the United Health Foundation, Louisiana ranks No. 50.

The state has its challenges. Nearly 21% of the population of the state is at the poverty level or below, when only 12 1/2% of the citizens nationwide fall at this level of economic status. Over 41% of the citizens a Louisiana fall at 200% of the poverty level or below. Compare this to 29.75 percent nationwide.

Health is woven into a complex set of social and psychological behaviors, not a single cause. “Socioeconomic status is one of the most powerful predictors of all cause mortality,” says Dr. Chris Leonhard, health psychologist and Professor at the Chicago Professional School at Xavier. “New Orleans is a startling example of this,” Leonhard said. “Life expectancy at birth in the Tremé where the average household income in 2010 was about $26,000 is 55 years, while in Lakeview, the average 2010 household income $75,000, and life expectancy at birth is 80 years.”

Pre-Covid, Louisiana paid $10.7 billion on behalf of about 1.9 million Medicaid recipients, averaging about $5,694 per recipient, according to the Louisiana Department of Health.
During the fiscal year 2017–2018, about 39.6 percent of Louisiana’s population were enrolled in the Medicaid program and payments were made on behalf of 1,876,908 recipients.

However, according to an analysis by Blake Kruger and Jeremiah Brown, Louisiana spends the most on Medicare beneficiaries per capita than any other state. At the same time, we reports greater disparities in health status and death rates than other states.

Kruger and Brown investigated the associations between healthcare intensity, healthcare spending, and mortality in Louisianan Medicare beneficiaries. They defined healthcare intensity to be synonymous with the hospital care intensity index, a combination of inpatient days and physicians’ services.

The researchers found no association between healthcare intensity and spending. Nor did they find any association between spending and mortality, noting, “We also observed no association between health-care spending and age, sex, and race-adjusted mortality.” And, when they compared healthcare intensity to age, sex, and race-adjusted mortality, they could find no meaningful associations. Nor did they find than more spending made any difference in survival when adjust for smoking, inactivity, or obesity.

They concluded, “We found that no associations exist between healthcare intensity and spending, spending and mortality, as well as healthcare intensity and mortality. The lack of an
association between healthcare intensity and spending may indicate that outpatient care in Louisiana is becoming more highly utilized and thus our measure of inpatient care intensity
is becoming less sensitive. These findings may also reflect that spending more on healthcare in Louisiana may not improve rates of survival and should prompt reflection as to the role social programs play in producing more auspicious health outcomes for Louisianans.”

Healthcare is Designed by Special Interests

The sheer size and complexity of the healthcare industry would suggest that innovations would be challenging, but change may be even more unlikely because of the political power yielded by the industry. Over the last years the pharmaceutical industry, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, the American Hospital Association, and the American Medical Association were the some of the highest contributors to Congress.

Psychology and other groups have not been able to garner a place at the medical table. California Attorney David Ries of Human Capital Specialists tried to persuade federal Rule makers to include psychologists in the bonus plan for Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) but failed. He told the Times that the final Rules were very disappointing, and said, “The broad recognition of the importance of behavioral health to overall wellness indicates that ACOs are unlikely to achieve their treatment objectives …”.

These special interests exert themselves not only through direct lobbying, but the medical-pharmaceutical-hospitalinsurance industrial complex has a firm hold on the prices and services through the “CPT Codes” and the “Relative Value Scale Update Committee” or RUC. These special interest groups decide what services are allowed and how much they are reimbursed.

The CPT codes, short for Current Procedural Terminology, control what services are allowed and reimbursed. The codes are created by three hundred “Advisors and Experts,” primarily from the American Medical Association’s House of Delegates, representing medical specialties, who attempt to influence an “Editorial Panel,” composed of representatives from medical societies, insurance companies and the government. This panel conducts secret meetings and decides on what healthcare services are paid for, and which are not.

Dr. Tony Puente, Past-President of APA, was one of the two outsiders allowed to participate in the CPT process. “Essentially,” he said, “the CPT tries to divvy it up in a way that is theoretically and empirically, and diplomatically and politically, correct.” Participants must sign a strict AMA (American Medical Association) confidentiality agreement and declare, “I will not disclose, distribute or publish confidential Information to any party in any manner whatsoever.”

To decide on reimbursement, 28 voting members on RUC, representing medicine specialties such as anesthesiology, cardiology, neurology, neurosurgery, obstetrics, oncology, psychiatry, and so on, meet and decide how much each service is worth, and how much is to be paid.

The CPT system is dominated by organized medicine. “Every seat at the table has a vested interest, mostly not supporting your proposed code,” said Dr. Travis Thompson, professor, psychologist, and leader in the Association for Behavior Analysis International. He was speaking after it took him and colleagues three years to muscle through codes for the treatment of autism.

While the CPT approval is a first leg of a long journey, another element of this behind-the-scenes influence is the panel known as AMA/ Specialty Relative Value Scale Update Committee, or RUC. Since 1991 members of the RUC establish the value or price for the CPT codes.  Somehow this is not considered price-fixing.

Control of the CPT and RUC have helped shaped health care toward high technology and high prices, less primary care, and no prevention.

A dramatic example of flawed decisions in the medical/pharma industrial complex is the opioid crisis. Twenty years after a marketing blitz aimed at convincing physicians that opioids were safe and effective, the overprescribing of this heroine-type drug has catapulted overdose deaths to the highest rate in modern times.

Despite the flood of legal opioids into the society, the CDC reported no change in pain that would meaningfully drive the prescribing: “…there had not been an overall change in the amount of pain that Americans reported.”

In contrast, the CDC did find that psychological and physical treatments for pain were beneficial (“CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain”). This despite the fact that these non-medical approaches are rarely integrated into
treatment programs.

And, they were often the more appropriate treatment. “It is now widely accepted that pain is a biopsychosocial phenomenon,” clinical health psychologist and Past-President of the Southern Pain Society, Dr. Geralyn Datz said, and that must be treated as such.


Dramatic changes are needed in the structure and function of the healthcare institutions currently used for the state and the nation. Individuals will need to be treated for root causes,
which will be more behavioral and psychological in nature than the current methods or models.

Louisiana may have the most to gain from prevention and innovations of any state in the nation. But there is a long way to go.

“A bright new future of understanding, preventing, and treating mental disorders awaits us,” writes Bonnie Kaplan.

But just how long is that wait going to be?



Ψ We Remember Dr. Tommy Stigall

Dr. Tommy T. Stigall passed away on October 15, 2023, after struggling with cardiovascular problems for several years. He was 89.

A licensed clinical psychologist, he was born in Kentucky but was a 64- year resident of Baton Rouge, where he enjoyed a complex career in psychology that included state employment, private practice, and consulting activities.

Dr. Stigall is best known for his unflinching dedication and comprehensive leadership in advancing the profession of psychology at both the state and national levels. He was there when Louisiana psychology was still a fledgling profession, he was there when it sought independence, and he was there to nurture its development for a span of fifty years.

A past president of the Louisiana Psychological Association (LPA), Dr. Kim VanGeffen, said, “Tommy was a great leader and supporter of the Louisiana Psychological Association and also of the American Psychological Association. He had great wisdom. Tommy also took the time to reach out to me and offer me guidance when I was president of LPA in 2000 and I will forever remember his kindness and support.

Current LPA president, Dr. Jesse Lambert, said, “Dr. Stigall’s passing is a tremendous loss for the psychology community. As a newly licensed psychologist, I had the privilege of meeting with Dr. Stigall to discuss the legislative history of psychology in Louisiana. His dedication and energy ultimately led to groundbreaking advances for psychology as a profession.”

Dr. Stigall accomplished a bridge between the national and the state organizations. In the American Psychological Association (APA) Dr. Stigall served on the Board of Professional Affairs, on the Board of Educational Affairs, and on the Committee for the Advancement of Professional Practice (CAPP). He served on the APA Council of Representatives for over ten years, representing Louisiana during times of change and challenge.

He was also a Fellow in APA and served as President of Division 29 (Psychotherapy) and on the division’s Board of Directors.

He served on the Board of Directors and Member-At-Large for Division 42 (Independent Practice). And he was a member of the Society of Clinical Psychology (Div 12), the Division of State Psychological Association Affairs (Div 31), and the American Society for the Advancement of Pharmacotherapy (Div 55).

Dr. Stigall served on the APA Committee on State Legislation from 1974 to 1979, and as Chair in 1977, on the Oversight Committee on Public Policy and Legislation, on the Joint Council on Professional Education in Psychology, and on the Interim Board of Education Affairs.

He served as Chair for the APA Panel on Education Standards, Quality Assurance and Enhancement for the Board of Educational Affairs, the Task Force on Marketing and Promotion of Psychological Services, as a member of the Steering Committee for the National Conference on Postdoctoral Training in Professional Psychology, and as Chair and member of the Commission for the Recognition of Specialties and Proficiencies in Professional Psychology.

He was President of the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB), served on its Executive Committee, and he was a Fellow of ASPPB.

“In all of these,” Dr. Stigall once said in a 2011 Times interview, “and in other roles as well, there were many satisfactions. But the greatest pleasure came from the personal contacts and relationships that grew out of working with colleagues across a wide range of roles and settings.

“I got to know and work with people like Ray Fowler, Mattie Cantor, Ron Fox, Pat DeLeon, Arthur Kovacs, …” and many others he explained. “Their wise counsel and dedication to advancing psychology as a profession has been an inspiration to me.”

Dr. Pat DeLeon, former APA President, said “Tommy Stigall was an extraordinarily sensitive individual who cared so much for the future of psychology and ultimately its patients and communities. Often purposefully the individual ‘behind the scenes,’ he worked tirelessly to facilitate the efforts of others in fulfilling his vision for an expanded profession. He appreciated the critical importance of state association generated efforts and often shared Louisiana’s Lessons Learned with colleagues across the nation. He was active at the national level, where he would generously educate the next generation of psychology’s leaders, while most importantly installing trust in their efforts for meaningful social change.

“It was a pleasure and distinct honor to be able to call Tommy a colleague and close personal friend. We will miss him greatly. Aloha,” said Dr. DeLeon. Dr. Stigall’s concurrent service at the state level was extensive.

He served as Chair of the Legislative and Social Issues Committee for the Louisiana Psychological Association for 14 years, from 1974 to 1988, a time that included repeal of the statutory requirement for consultation and collaboration with a physician. He served as President, Secretary-Treasurer, and as committee chair for Psychological Evaluations. He served as APA Council Delegate for eleven years, from 1990 to 2001. And, he was the Editor and Associate Editor of the Louisiana Psychologist from 1993 to 2000. His wife Connie served along side him as Executive Director during much of this time.

Dr. Stigall served as Chair, Vice-Chair, and member for the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists, from 1972 to 1975. And he was President of the local regional group, Baton Rouge Area Society of Psychologists.

Colleague and head of psychology at the Louisiana University Monroe, Dr. Bill McCown said, “Tommy’s passing is truly sad. Tommy worked tirelessly for Psychology in Louisiana and beyond. Our profession was his passion.

“I remember Tommy saying once that psychologists underestimate their ability to help change lives. ‘We simply underestimate our skills and what our research shows we can do. We can probably do it better than most professions.’ Tommy never stopped telling that to colleagues, legislators or professionals with different training than our own. ‘That’s a task that a Psychologist should do,’ he was fond of saying,” Dr. McCown said. “That was a long time ago. Our profession has come a long way, partly thanks to his efforts and advocacy.”

Over the years, Dr. Stigall’s efforts have been acknowledged by his colleagues in both national and state organizations.

He was awarded the Outstanding Advocate for Psychology by the Association for the Advancement of Psychology. He received the Karl F. Heiser Presidential Award from APA, an honor to those who have given their time to help define and advance psychology through state and federal legislation.

The Louisiana Psychological Association honored Dr. Stigall with the award for Contributions to the Profession of Psychology in Louisiana in 1982, and again in 1984 with the Continuing Contributions to Psychology Award.

In 2012, LPA created the Tommy Stigall Louisiana Psychology Award, named in honor of lifetime contributions of Dr. Stigall to psychology in Louisiana.

He has been honored with the Award for Special Achievement, and also the award in Recognition of Outstanding Contributions to State Psychological Affairs, by the APA Division of State Psychological Association Affairs.

The National Academies of Practice named him as Distinguished Practitioner in 1991. He was awarded for Distinguished Services and Valued Contributions in 1989 and the Distinguished Psychologist Award in 1990 by the APA Division of Psychotherapy.

Dr. Stigall earned his undergraduate in Speech – Radio Journalism from Baylor University in 1956 and his masters in Counseling Psychology in 1958. Shortly after, he joined the United States Air Force. He attained the rank of Captain upon leaving the Reserves. In 1966 he earned a PhD from Louisiana State University (LSU) in Clinical Psychology.

In 2011 we asked him how it happened that he became a psychologist?

“There is a little story that goes with this answer,” he told the Times. He majored in Speech, Radio, and Journalism as an undergraduate at Baylor. But he needed a way to delay his entry into the military from his ROTC training––because of romance.

“In my senior year,” he said, “I started dating my future wife, a freshman co-ed named Connie Bankston.” He entered the Baylor masters program in counseling psychology, which gave him time to court Connie. By time for graduation, both he and Connie had their respective degrees and he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the USAF. “We married in the summer of ’58 and I was ordered to report soon thereafter for active duty.”

After fulfilling three years in the military, he decided to apply to LSU’s doctoral program in clinical psychology, his stipend requiring that he work for the state after graduation. This led to Dr. Stigall being employed as a staff psychologist at the Baton Rouge Mental Health Center, and then he was appointed Chief Psychologist. He subsequently was appointed Manager of Psychology and Training in the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Louisiana Department of Health and Human Services.

He opened his private practice in 1983, The Psychology Group, in Baton Rouge providing services to individuals, hospitals, federal groups, and the Social Security Administration. He also served as a complaints investigator for the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists. He also served as Medical Expert for the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review of the Social Security Administration.

He published twice in American Psychologist. For “Behavioral Science and social conscience,” he wrote, “If behavioral science, as science, is to contribute to the solution of man’s social and psychological distress, it can best achieve this objective by a technology of control which is scrupulously noncoercive, thoroughly public, and exceedingly patient.”

Dr. Stigall was suggesting caution in answer to then APA President Kenneth Clark’s proposal for a program of biochemical intervention to curb aggression in both criminals and world leaders. He was respectfully pointing out to the national psychology community the paradox and moral danger in such a viewpoint.

He also coauthored the 1993 article on “National Conference on Postdoctoral Training in Professional Psychology.” Other articles include “The evolving profession of psychology: Comment on Lowe Hays-Thomas’ (2000) “The Silent Conversation,” in Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, and “Masters vs. doctorate debate,” in The Independent Practitioner.

His book chapters include “The struggle in the states,” in M. T. Sammons, Prescriptive Authority for Psychologists: A History and Guide, and “The impact of accreditation on the professional practice of psychology,” in E. M. Altmaier’s, Setting Standards in Graduate Education: Psychology’s Commitment to Excellence in Accreditation.

With Dr. Wayne Greenleaf he authored, “Psychology and Public Law,” in The Clinical Psychologist, 1978, and also in The Clinical Psychologist, “Sunset on licensure: Are professional ethics enough?” in 1981.

Dr. Stigall retired from clinical practice in 2004 and engaged in what he called his “lifelong serious interest in photography.” He additionally served as President of the Louisiana Photographic Society. His work was accepted in juried competitions and he won two first places in the Louisiana Press Association for photos in the Psychology Times.

About the man himself, Dr. McCown said, “On a personal level, he was always there for colleagues, available for questions, consultation, or simply if you needed advice or to vent. He was thoroughly professional but also profoundly kind and empathetic. Tommy believed that people could get better and do better. He believed that Psychology offers a unique opportunity to help people be their best selves. That belief is how I will remember him.”

Dr. Tommy Stigall is survived by his wife of 65 years, Constance Carolyn (Bankston) Stigall. He is also survived by his two children Lisa Edmunds and Stuart Stigall and their spouses John and Lisa, and grandchildren Hannah and Gregory Edmunds and Matthew Stigall.



For Veterans Day: Our WWII Fathers

They were young and they were green. Two-thirds of them had never even fired a rifle. They marched off, 16 million of them, half of all the young men in the country, to the deadliest and most widespread war in history.

They went to stop the Axis powers from carving up the world. And they did it.  They were our fathers. As the last of the WWII Veterans fade from life’s stage, we honor all our Veterans this month by sharing three stories, by psychologists, about their WWII fathers.

With some saying that we are on the brink of war, the realities of world war must not be forgotten.

In this special feature, Dr. Susan Andrews, Dr. Julie Nelson, and Dr. John Magee will share some of what they remember about those in the Greatest Generation.

Kenneth A. Ring, Jr.
Battle of the Bulge, defense of Alsace, France
Awarded Silver Star, two Bronze Stars
by Susan Andrews, PhD

My father, Kenneth A. Ring, Jr., was one of the thousands of veterans who served our country in the last days of WWII in France, Austria, and Germany. My memories of my father have always pictured him as “larger than life.” I knew he was multiply decorated (Silver Star, 2 Bronze Stars) and I guess I knew that meant that he was a hero but I don’t think the meaning really sunk in until recently. My son was telling me what he had learned about how his grandfather had earned the Silver Star, and wondered if I knew how my father earned the Bronze Stars.

Dad never talked about the war to me–or in mixed company, in general.  Unfortunately, he died in 1978 at age 53 from a brain tumor. However, my brother knew a lot of his stories from years of hunting and fishing trips with dad and other men, some veterans. In the evenings, they would sit around and trade stories. My brother has an amazing memory and shared some of what I am now sharing with you. Some of it comes from details of two books about the 42nd “Rainbow” Infantry Division (I.D.) published immediately after the war.  The first book tells the story of the 42nd I.D. while the second book details the 222nd Regiment of the 42nd I.D., which was dad’s regiment.

The 222nd was part of the Rainbow Infantry Division under the command of Major General Harry J. Collins, and shipped from Fort Bragg to Camp Gruber to Camp Kilmer to Marseilles in November 1944, and in 1945 took part in the Battle of the Bulge.

My father was a leader even before he was pressed into his role in history. He was the Cadet Commander of the ROTC at Texas A&M, in his junior year in petroleum engineering when he was called to active duty. He reported to Camp Gruber with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant.

My mom, newly married, tagged along and rented a room in a house in the little Oklahoma town of Muskogee just to be near dad until he shipped out, sometime before September 1944. I did not meet my father until the war was over and he shipped home. Mother and I lived in Dallas, Texas, where both of my parents were born and grew up a block apart.

My father was on the front lines in heavy combat for 114 days in the thick of those last days of the war in Europe. He was awarded his Silver Star for his heroic defense of Alsace France on January 24, 1945. At that point he would have been in Europe for only 2 or 3 months. Only a few months before he had been a petroleum engineer junior year student at Texas A&M.

As a 21-year-old, green, 2nd lieutenant, he was instrumental in turning the tide in the Battle of the Little Bulge, important in the defense of Alsace, France, for which he earned the Silver Star. He also earned two Bronze Stars in the short 3 or 4 months after that. Dad and his Company made raids behind enemy lines.  He found and arrested Hitler’s secretary, and many other high-ranking Nazis, who were trying to hide in the Bavarian Alps, including the infamous Butcher of Paris, SS General Von Oberg, who was posing as a private.

As the Commander of his Company in the 222nd Regiment of the 42nd I.D., they advanced 450 miles from the Hardt Mountains of France to the border of Austria, along the way capturing the towns of Wurzburg, Schweinfurt, and Furth. His was the first unit to successfully cross the Siegfried Line. Dad said that they knew the fighting was going to be intense when the men were given a steak dinner and a new pair of socks the night before. The Rainbow Division captured 51,000 German prisoners. When they were finally in the Tyrol and quartered in fancy hotels, Dad’s men found a cache of $300 million in gold and art (just like the Monument Men). He also served as the Occupational Mayor of Achensee, Austria, in the Tyrolian alps. Finally, his unit was among those who captured Munich.

One of the highest profile things my father did was to command the forces that liberated Dachau through the front gates. I never heard the stories of those days from my father. But, I accidently––at age 14 while looking for something in the attic–– found the pictures my father had taken inside Dachau. Members of my family and myself have occasionally seen captured news footage of my father that was taken during the liberation. I know I had nightmares as a teen and young adult from the photographs. In fact, I can still see the pictures as if they are burned on my brain. I feel sure that my father had more than nightmares from that experience. The concentration camps were among the true horrors of that war. However, that kind of emotional reaction was handled differently by most WWII veterans.

Finally, my father moved to Vienna and became the Aide and bodyguard for General Mark Clark, the general over Austria. Among other things, dad organized and ran the Officer’s Club in Vienna for the General until he was discharged and returned home to mom and me.

In trying to imagine what veterans like my father must have gone through, I have tried to gather as much information as I could find about what my father lived through in the first few months after landing in Europe, the events that led to his Silver Star.

His unit landed in Marseilles in November 1944. It was called the worst winter in Europe in 100 years. The temperature dropped to 20 degrees below. Our troops were not prepared for the extreme cold. The bitter cold of that winter is one reason why the Russians defeated the Germans.

The landing and deployment of the Rainbow Division into the Western Front was supposed to be kept a big secret but somehow the Germans found out they were coming and were ready, waiting and actually taunting our young, totally green troops when the Battle of the Bulge started Christmas eve 1944.

The Germans were planning the last major offensive campaign on the Western Front in Europe, called Operation North Wind (Unternehmen Nordwind). It began on December 31,1944 in Alsace Lorraine and ended on January 25, 1945. Hitler, himself, briefed his military command on December 28, 1944, three days prior to the launch of Operation North Wind. Hitler told his command that the goal of the offensive was to break through the lines of the US 7th Army and the French 1st Army in the Vosges mountains and destroy them. He wanted to liberate Alsace but more he wanted to “exterminate the enemy forces wherever we find them…destroy their manpower.” This last Battle of the Little Bulge, as some called it, was a month of some of the bloodiest fighting by the Americans in Europe. Winston Churchill called World War II’s Battle of the Bulge “the greatest American battle of the war.” Steven Spielberg impressed the 6-week ordeal on the popular imagination with the movie, Band of Brothers, which dramatized the attack on the village of Foy by three companies of the 101st Airborne Division, the Screaming Eagles. The 222nd I.D. fought alongside of the 101st.

Imagine the stress these young men were under. They have never faced combat and now they are facing two very experienced German army groups; one group was commanded by Reichsfuhrer-SS Heinrich Himmler, himself. Our young men sat in their foxholes, wet and freezing, close enough to the Germans that they could hear them being whipped up to a battle frenzy with drugs, mostly crystal meth, while waiting for dawn.

The fighting, which started on December 31,1944 was intense and our line had bulged as we retreated. The 222nd had been forced, because of casualties and the delay of reinforcements, to pull back up north from Strasbourg toward  Haguenau to the French town of Neubourg where my father set up a defensive position on the south bank of the Moder River on January 21, 1945. Thus, at age 21 my father found himself the leader of Company M (heavy machine gun platoon) of the 222nd Regiment of the 42nd I.D. He was a Company Commander because of field promotion after the death of Company M’s commander in the earlier battle.

I have seen it written about the events of those days: “Further withdrawal was being planned; had it not been for the brilliant defenses of the 222nd.”

My father was a crack shot and he had taken up a defensive position in a farmhouse basement, where he was lying on the snowy steps coming out of the basement, surrounded by sandbags with several carbines and several of his men behind him, reloading the carbine rifles and passing them up to him. It was night, about 20 degrees below; the roads were so covered with ice that men could not walk without slipping and falling.

My father ordered his men to hold their positions when the Germans penetrated the main line of resistance with a large force. The 222nd had no artillery support or tanks or tank destroyers. It was riflemen against self-propelled guns and armor. They were trapped in the basement with only turnips and schnaps to eat or drink for three days. Dad had blown three bridges that the tanks could cross on the Moder toward the Rhine. All night he lay in the snow and shot moving targets in the snowstorm. In the morning light, they saw that the enemy casualties were enormous; the Germans had withdrawn and were never able to capture the town of Neubourg.

In the final analysis, my father spearheaded a defense of what later proved to be the last offensive action ever launched by the German army on the western front in Europe.

For my father, as for so many others, he saw horrors and lived through things that we can only imagine today with the help of movies. He rarely spoke of it.  He never went to therapy or claimed any mental or emotional disorder. Most of the true heroes I have met do not ever talk about what they did to be known by others as heroes. Maybe they don’t even think of themselves as a hero. I don’t know.

My father probably had what was called “combat fatigue” when he returned home. I really do not think he had PTSD. WWII vets did not react in the same way as veterans with PTSD do now. They came home from war, drank a bit too much, had an occasional nightmare but with family support and knowing they won and saved the world, they tried to put it behind them.

They typically did not talk about it much and did not even seek out other veteran groups. They felt that people did not want to hear about it. They did not want people to feel sorry for them. They did not want to be the hero who came back troubled by what he did over there and the people that he had bombed or killed.

Only in recent years have I realized that in my growing up years, I was often afraid of my father. He would become fiercely protective when his family was in danger and I can remember him spanking me when I came home crying that some kid had hit me. He spanked me and made me go back out and stand up for myself to the bully. He later explained and apologized saying that he saw many European children not know how to protect themselves and that he never wanted to see that happen to us if some foreign power were to invade our country. In those days, late 1940’s and 1950’s, people thought it was possible that America might be invaded.

I lost my father at his young age of 53. Many of those brave men died young.  Some blame their early deaths on the amazing stress and horrors they endured and then mostly buried when they returned from the war. Although it is not easy to “re-member” the events of those days, it is with great love and honor that I remember my father; he was a great influence in my life.

Gordon Nelson
Master Sergeant Army Air Corps, 20th Air Force,
XX Bomber Command, HQ
by Julie Nelson, PhD

I don’t think my father, Gordon Nelson, had any romantic ideas about war. Like all true Irishmen he told amusing stories about his experiences, which seemed to lighten what I always thought was a more melancholy undertone. But maybe that’s just true of the Irish in general.

Dad (Gordon) was 19 when he signed up for the Mississippi National Guard. Coming from a poor, single mother family (his own father had taken off when he was small), his options for college were nil. He enlisted in November of 1940, probably knowing that peacetime draft would pull him in, because this was before Pearl Harbor in ’41. Gordon was a strategic thinker, so he might have signed up so he could change from the Army Infantry to the Air Corps (later renamed Air Force).

This now seems logical. My kid brother, Kevin, said that Gordon realized that 2nd Lieutenants and Sergeants in the Army Infantry “… were all being shipped to Europe battlefields and killed within two weeks on average. He said he was in line for that, so he switched to U.S. Army Air Corps which later was known as the Army Air Forces.”

Gordon’s letters home to his mother were significant. “Those letters,” Kevin said, “were poignant and fascinating to read. Very telling. I started seeing a change in tone in GN’s letters…something along the lines of grim acceptance that he was doomed and there wasn’t a damned thing he could do about it.”
Gordon had bomber training at MacDill Field in Tampa, Florida, and then went on to Smoky Hill Army Air Field in Salina, Kansas where he had his first experiences in B-29s. The subtext which was to color his war experiences.

In a letter home from Smoky Hill, Gordon said that he and his buddies “were all a little droopy” because of a recent crash. A crewmember had come to his office and inquired about a fellow and Gordon said, “Who, that little Dago kid? He was killed in the crash.” Gordon wrote that the crewmember “… just slumped in shock and grief because they had become quick friends and poof, he was gone, dead.”

The dangerousness of the B-29s would follow him to the other side of the world.

B-29s were the very heavy bombers that were pushed into production by Roosevelt. While considered the most advanced bombers in the world at that time, they were not fully tested by the time they were put into service. Because of their size and heavy loads, they were hard for pilots to handle. Takeoffs were risky. Boeing had rushed development and the B-29s had mechanical problems, including engines with a tendency to overheat.

Gordon served with the 20th Air Force, XX Bomber Command, at the Kharagpur Air Field, West Bengal, India. From Kharagpur, the bombers would double as transports and carry their own fuel and cargo, over the Himalayan Mountains, known as “the Hump.” There were so many crashes between India and the China air bases that pilots called it “The Aluminum Trail.”

But President Roosevelt wanted to bomb Japan and had promised Chiang Kai Shek that the U.S. would bolster the Chinese war efforts, and the B-29s were the best chance to reach the Japanese islands.

So, my father’s war stories included the occasional mission with him as a tail gunner, the highjinks of young men, living as best they could in the moment, and dealing with whose plane would be going down next. Toasting their dead and “turning down the cup” of the friend they’d all lost. The imagery Gordon could paint (he was a poet at heart) of India was, I think, part of how he coped, and also the irony he saw in things that happened.

The Japanese would strafe the airfield at Kharagpur and the men would dive into the ditches on either side of the runway, Gordon told Kevin. But, it was considered almost as dangerous to jump into a ditch because of the poisonous krait snakes and cobras that were often in the ditches.

The cobras were everywhere. They were so bad that tent members would hire a local “coolee” to bring his pet mongoose in and clear the tents before everyone went to bed.

In the latter part of the war, General Curtis LeMay took command and turned a failing B 29 program into a successful one, by flying low altitude missions that had more bombing accuracy, albeit even more risky.

My father liked and respected LeMay, and was part of the group that attended when LeMay inspected the facilities. During one inspection of the cafeteria, the General singled out my father and abruptly asked, “Sergeant! What do you think of this mess?” Gordon, confused about of what LeMay was asking but not wanting to appear inattentive, fudged and answered, “Well, Sir, I guess it’s not too good?”

LeMay cursed and said, “I knew it! Get this damn mess up to snuff for these men.” And then LeMay walked off in disgust, thinking that Gordon had confirmed that the food, “the mess,” was substandard.

At a 1986 Christmas party we held in Baton Rouge, my father came face-to-face with a piece of his past. As the young Sergeant in India, he had spent his money collecting some “stones” that he bought from Indian jewelers. He had sent one, a star sapphire, home as a gift for his baby nephew. Forty years later it had found its way into a dinner ring for that nephew’s wife.

Recounting the events, Gordon said that the other stones had “disappeared,” which he thought was due to retaliation by a tent member. Gordon had taken the tent member’s beer (he had left him “Rupees 18”). He and his buddies had needed the beer––they had drunk all of theirs–– because Baldy Van Buren was in the base hospital with the flu and they went to visit him and would never go empty handed (without liquor) to see Baldy.

“In those days we thought we would live forever,” Gordon wrote to us. “But now it seems so long ago and far away that the little stone and the lives it touched has a strange poignancy about it. After thinking about it I’m reminded of the verse from the Rubaiyat that goes: “And not a drop that from our Cups we throw/ For Earth to drink of, but may steal below/ To quench the fire of Anguish in some eye/ There hidden––far beneath and long ago./”

“Can’t you hear temple bells, Indian children calling ‘Bakaheesh, Sahib.’ I can. Haven’t thought of it for 40 years, but I can see Baldy the practical joker, in the rick-shaw race we had in Calcutta flinging handfuls of appes at the hundreds of kids running behind to bottle up the rest of us.”

“The war was winding down––or sort of,” Gordon wrote. “Some of us were being rotated back stateside to form a new 21st Air Corps and go West to Guam. Others were preparing to be flown across occupied China. To do this they flew long, long missions in the B-29s and on one of them to Mukden, Manchuria, Baldy’s plane had engine trouble and crashed.”

It was this tone, where the story ends in a minor key, that I always noticed. I do think my father was affected by the war, whether it was PTSD or Moral Injury or just the way that a young man would be affected when people around him keep dying.

He was not in regular combat like some–I believe he worked to avoid that. I think that my father flew only the required number of combat missions.
But one night, late, while he was drinking too much, he began to talk about an event I’d never heard him talk about before. While guarding a prisoner, the man escaped. Dad shot at the man’s legs to stop him, but missed, and killed him. My dad began to cry, and then he started to sob, and he didn’t stop. I was stunned and felt helpless. I said something lame like, “It was an accident.” After a while, he finally stopped, wiped his eyes and, embarrassed, told me to ignore him, that he was being “silly.” The next day he refused to talk about it and acted as if nothing had happened.

Gordon was not any sort of hero, and would candidly say that he spent most of the war scared out of his wits. He came home in April 1945 and went to college on the G.I. bill and studied journalism and Shakespeare. He married my mother and contributed four children to the baby boom and was normal, for him. He lived to 91, and was happy.

As far as I know, once he returned to the U.S., he refused ever to fly again. When my kid brother visited Ireland, Dad “treasured the vial of Irish dirt” Kevin brought back for him from Killarney, his hereditary home. Dad always wanted to see Ireland for himself, but he never did.

Warren Magee
Second Lieut., Marine Corps
“Soldier’s Heart”
by John W. Magee, Jr. PhD

My Father, Warren Magee, never once talked to me about his combat experiences in World War II as a Marine Corps bomber pilot. Not once.
Warren Magee was the third of four boys born to Johnny and Vina Magee. His father, “Dr. Johnny,” was a true country veterinarian, and, during the Depression, often took payment in fruits and vegetables, and sometimes a chicken. Vina once told me the family history was one of “country folk.” It was not an apology.

Warren wanted to be a veterinarian like his father, and a farmer like his Uncle Lamar. After high school, he started college in Pre-Veterinary and Agricultural Studies at Mississippi State University.

Warren was 20 years old, a full-time, sophomore-level, undergraduate student on December 7, 1941—the “date which will live in infamy”—when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. He learned of the bombing that Sunday in the small country store of his uncle in Caseyville, Mississippi, less than 100 yards from Uncle Lamar’s 400-acre farm.

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Warren left college and joined the Marine Corps. The course of his life changed forever, as it did for most everyone in his generation, including his three brothers—one of whom joined the Army Air Corps, another who was a glider pilot involved in the fighting of Europe in 1944, and another who joined the Merchant Marines.

My uncle, W.O., was a child during World War II, but later joined the military, and served in Vietnam as a navigator on B-52 bombers during the Vietnam War. Uncle W.O. recalls my Father, Warren, as one of a group of young officers in World War II who were called “90-Day Wonders.” After Pearl Harbor, because of urgent need for officers, some were put through an intensive, condensed training period of 3 months. The term was sometimes used as derogatory, but by others with affection. Of the 90-day training, W.O. says “if you survived it, you went on.”

Warren did survive the training, and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant, and then sent to train at Corpus Christi Naval Base, where he became a pilot. Information from “The Slipstream,” published by the Corpus Christi Naval Base after the war, indicates Warren was part of Squadron 5A, one of the earlier squadrons to go through Corpus Christi. According to W.O, Lieutenant Magee, at 5 feet, 8 inches tall was the ideal height for a pilot in the smaller bomber cockpits.

Warren was sent to the Marine Corps Air Station at Cherry, Point North Carolina, with Marine Air Craft Group 11 (“MAG 11”), 2nd Marine Air Craft Wing (“MAW”), under the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force. Cherry Point had an auxiliary pilot training station at Edenton, North Carolina, a small, picturesque town on a natural harbor from the Atlantic Ocean. Warren was a flight instructor there on B-25 Mitchell Bombers for Marines who would serve in the Pacific.

It was at Edenton that Warren met my Mother, Sarah Russell, who reportedly broke a date with a Major to go out with Warren. Uncle W.O., who grew up in Edenton, said “Warren got the prettiest girl in town.” Sarah used to say she first spotted Warren in church. Although Warren probably attended her church, and she may have spotted him there, they actually first met at the USO Club. “He was so good looking,” she said of my Father, “and a good dancer.”

Sarah also told a story that Warren had said that on a specific day and time he’d fly over her family’s house. Sarah waited outside, until his bomber appeared and he dipped each wing as his “wave” to her. Warren was a young man preparing for war, but there had still been a little room for romance.
Only months after their wedding, Warren was sent overseas to Okinawa for the remainder of the war. It was from Okinawa that he and his crew flew bombing missions until the war’s end.

My Father only told me one story that had occurred while he was in the Pacific. It was a typical Warren story, and not a combat story.

Warren was leaving his plane when he saw a group of indigenous people in a circle, just off the runway. Curious, Warren walked over. The group had circled around a snake and one of them was trying to kill it with a long pole.

In college, Warren had earned extra money by catching snakes for the biology department. He had been taught that the only poisonous snake with round pupils was the coral snake. This snake was clearly not a coral snake, so Warren moved inside the circle and grabbed the snake just behind the head. The people in the circle began yelling, which Warren interpreted as undeserved congratulations.

Then, still holding the snake, he began to think more about that rule. Realizing he wasn’t sure if this was the rule for “all” snakes, or just for snakes in the U.S., he walked outside of the circle and tossed the snake into the brush. He continued to receive congratulations, and, of course, later learned the snake was indeed quite poisonous. He said he never engaged in snake-catching on the island again.

Warren separated from the Marine Corps as a Captain after the end of the war in February 1946. Uncle W.O. and other family members indicate that Warren did not talk about his combat experiences, so the number of combat missions he flew, or specific events he experienced, are unclear.

After his military service Warren intended to return to college to become a veterinarian. But Mississippi did not have a Veterinary school and out-of state admissions were very rare. An individual at a school in Alabama reportedly asked Warren for $500 as a bribe for admission, but Warren refused. He never got into veterinary school.

In 1946, he started in the oilfield business, where he worked for 39 years. After his death, I learned he quit one job when they wanted to transfer him to Morgan City because he was concerned that my sister and I would not get a good education there.

Warren grew up Methodist, and Sarah, Baptist, but my father did not believe that only one religion had it “all figured out.” When we first moved to Shreveport, my parents visited different churches, looking for the right fit. Eventually, they joined the First Presbyterian Church, and more importantly, they became part of a Sunday School Class. For years, I witnessed the importance of that class to my parents. Besides attending Sunday school, they ate together, played bridge, fished, and took trips. I still recall laughter as a regular feature of those times, even as I wondered how religious people could laugh so much.

It was some 30 to 40 years later, ten years after my father died, that I learned more about the “Sunday School Class.” In the late 1990s, I recognized one of the men from the Class and learned he was a former POW from World War II. His wife told me something that I had never known—every man in the class was a World War II veteran.

The class was like a family, and I’ve often wondered about the combat experiences of all of those other men in the class. The laughter that I heard as a child, and their obvious love for one another, means much more now, after learning about PTSD, and my 29 years of clinical experience treating combat veterans. Ironically, I know more about the combat experiences of that ex-POW than I know about my own father’s experiences in the war.

My father died unexpectedly of a heart attack at age 64, one month before his retirement, and before I had earned my PhD.

It was only after his death that my Mother told me the one combat-related story she knew, of a time when Warren and his crew almost had to ditch his B-25 Bomber into the Pacific Ocean when returning to Okinawa after a mission. She had no details other than they almost did not make it back. I think Warren would have been the same person, regardless of his circumstances. I never heard him curse, ever. He never spoke ill of others because of race, age, sex, or religion. He was honest and ethical in all his relationships.

Warren never became a veterinarian, and never had a farm. Despite many reversals of fortune, I never heard my father complain about the unfairness of life, even though his early goals in life were not realized, and even with numerous major stressors and losses involving family and finances.
I don’t think my Father had PTSD, but he had a strong sense of doing what was right and facing things directly. He transmitted to me an awareness of his expectations, whether these came from the Marines or the war, or just my Father. These included standing up for what was right, even against bullies, and even at the cost of a fight.

My father softened over the years, though he could still be tough. Somewhere along the way, the tough Marine country boy seemed different. He read poetry books I gave him, even though I know he much preferred other offerings. He did not judge me through my various phases (long hair, beard, leaving school, living with a girlfriend). He was amenable to change, even in himself.

A couple of years before his death, my father and I went fishing. I asked him about his life—it had turned out so differently from the one he had planned before World War II. He told me he was happy and had been happy, and believed things had turned out the way they were supposed to. He talked of the important things of his life—family, friends, the Sunday School Class, daily choices in life. He wondered if my sister and I would have received a good education if we had been living on a farm deep in rural Mississippi. He had once told me that you can “lose” almost anything you get in life, but not education.

After my father’s death, my Uncle Mac told me a story about Warren’s last trip to Mississippi. While squirrel hunting somewhere deep in woods unfamiliar to my Father, he and Uncle Mac separated to hunt alone. Later in the day, Mac realized he hadn’t heard Warren fire a shot all morning, and he went to find him.

Mac found Warren sitting on the ground with his back against a tree, looking up at the tall canopy of trees above, his rifle some distance away. Warren said that he had been so struck by the beauty around him that he just sat down to enjoy it, and he didn’t want to spoil it by hunting. Warren told Mac “If heaven’s supposed to be better than this, it must be some place.”

Two months later my Father passed away.

That day when we went fishing, when I asked about his earlier dreams, as he explained how he had been happy, even though he never got to be a country veterinarian or farmer, my Father also said, “Besides, try and picture your mom living way back in the woods.” I realize that Warren had his priorities right—he didn’t want to lose the prettiest girl in Edenton.

I’m sure my Father was grateful for the life he had, even if it wasn’t the life he planned. As a school boy, he chose his grandmother’s farm for the summers. As a young man, he chose to join the Marines, instead of continuing his studies. He chose not to pay a bribe to get into veterinary school. He made the choices he wanted to live with. I know he wouldn’t use the words I’m using, but I’d say he figured out what was important. Warren got the big things right, even if others wouldn’t see them as the big things.

One of the old terms for PTSD was “Soldier’s Heart.” In that time, some believed that the afflicted soldier was suffering from a form of heart-sickness for his home and family. I don’t think my Father had PTSD, but I think he had to overcome more body-blows than the average boxer, and he did so with quiet grace. Maybe for him, the term “Soldier’s Heart” would have meant more about the internal and external resources that helped him overcome life’s “slings and arrows” so he did not succumb to them.

After my father’s death, my sister Susan said that, even though our Father was often quiet, “You always knew he loved you.” I think there may be no greater inheritance to have from anyone.

Dr. Joy D. Osofsky Acknowledged for Scientific Contributions

Dr. Joy Osofsky’s achievements were recently acknowledged by the Louisiana Psychological Association when they named her the recipient of the Award for Contributions in Psychological Science.

Dr. Osofsky, clinical and develop-mental psychologist, is the Ramsay Endowed Chair and Barbara Lemann Professor of Child Welfare at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans where she is director of the Harris Center for Infant Mental Health.

She has published widely and authored or edited numerous books on trauma in the lives of children. She has established an international reputation has an expert
in this area and recently testified at a congressional panel. Currently, with three  colleagues, she is editing the WAIMH Handbook of Infant and Early Childhood  Development.

Dr. Osofsky is also Past President of Zero to Three and of the World Association  for Infant Mental Health. She currently serves on the Board of Zero to Three. She  has served as Co-Principal Investigator of four Centers within the National Child  Traumatic Stress Network since 2003. She is currently President Elect of Division 7(Developmental) for American Psychological Association.

The Louisiana Association spokesperson, Dr. Amanda Raines, said, “Dr. Osofsky is  a Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry with the LSU Health Sciences Center and  the Paul J. Ramsay Chair. She is an internationally recognized expert in infant and  child mental health. Dr. Osofsky has published hundreds of peer-reviewed manuscripts, books, and book chapters and received support for her work  through various agencies.”

The nominating individual said, “Dr. Osofsky’s decades-long career embodies the  heart of excellence in bringing the science of psychology to the benefit of others,  through applications, education, writing and scientific investigation. She is a clinical psychologist, professor, author, researcher, and she brings her integrative thinking to the education of tomorrow’s leaders and innovators. She exemplifies what it means to advance psychology for the benefit of the larger society.”

In 2007, Dr. Osofsky received the Sarah Haley Award for Clinical Excellence in work
with trauma by the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. In 2010 she  was recognized with the Lourie Award for leadership and outstanding contributions to the health and welfare of children and families. In 2020, she was awarded the Translational Research Award from the International Congress on  Infant Studies and in 2021 she received the Zero To Three Lifetime Achievement  Award. Dr. Osofsky has been recognized many other times for her contributions.  These include Honorary President Distinction, World Association for Infant Mental  Health; Presidential Commendation from the American Psychiatric Association for leadership in mental health recovery following Hurricane Katrina; the Nicholas Hobbs Award by Division 37 of the American Psychological Association for contributions to public policy; the Medal of Honor by the Mayor of New Orleans;  the 2000 Role Model by Young Leadership Council, New Orleans; Best social  science reference text, American Publishers Association for the WAIMH Handbook of Infant Mental Health (four volumes), as just a few examples.

Dr. Osofsky serves as Clinical Consultant, Safe Babies Court Teams, Zero to Three, in Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia,Arkansas, Connecticut, Nebraska, Iowa, New York, Cherokee, NC. She is the Past-President, Zero to Three: National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families and Member of Executive Committee of Zero to Three (2000-2007); Member of Board of Directors (1986-present); Member Committee on the Board (2006-present); Program Chair, National Training   Institute (2009-present).

The Times asked her what she feels are her most significant contributions.

“I have  contributed over many years to recognizing the importance of understanding of  the effects of trauma on children and on their families, and says to help them recover and gain resilience,” she said. This includes  contributing to an understanding of preparation, response and recovery following  major  disasters including recently the intersection and inequities related to the  COVID-19 pandemic, she explained.

“I have developed one of the few programs in the country offering training to psychology interns and postdoctoral fellows and child psychiatry fellows in infant  and early childhood mental health including training in evidence based clinical practice for young children under the age of six years,” Dr. Osofsky said.

Her work has been acknowledged through numerous grants including:

Louisiana Association of United Ways/Red Cross funding for Family Resiliency Project, Co-Project Director with Howard J. Osofsky, M.D., Ph.D., 2008-2009, $554,246;

Louisiana Rural Trauma Services Center Substance Abuse Mental Health Administration. Principal Investigator, Center in National Child Traumatic Stress  Network, 2008-2012, $1,999,000 (50% time);

Mental and Behavioral Health Capacity Project for the Gulf Region Health  Outreach Program, Funded as part of the Medical Settlement following the  Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, Co-Director, 2012-2017, $14,400,00 (80% time);

Terrorism and Disaster Coalition for Child and Family Resilience, National Child Traumatic Stress Network, Co-Principal Investigator, 2016-2022, $1999,000 (50%  time); and

Harris Foundation funding for Prenatal and Perinatal Behavioral Support for  Maternal and Infant Well-Being, (MIST Program). CoPrincipal Investigator, 2017- 2024. $630,000, 20% time.

Examples of her extensive publications include:

Osofsky, H.J., Osofsky, J.D., Hansel, T.C., Lawrason, B., & Speier, A. (2018). “Building
resilience after disasters through the Youth Leadership Program: The importance  of community and academic partnerships on youth outcomes.” Progress in  Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action, 12. Special  Issue, 11-21.

Weems, C. F., Osofsky, J. D., Osofsky, H. J., King, L. S., Hansel, T. C., &  Russell, J. D. (2018). Three-year longitudinal study of perceptions of competence and well-being among youth exposed to disasters.” Applied Developmental Science, 22(1), 29–42.

Osofsky, J.D. & Osofsky, H.J. (2018). “Challenges in building child and family  resilience after disasters.” Family Social Work, 21,115-128.

Osofsky, J.D. and Osofsky, H.J. (2020). “Hurricane Katrina and the Gulf Oil Spill:  Lessons Learned about Short and Long-term Effects.” International Journal of  Psychology.

Osofsky, J.D., Osofsky, H.D., Mamon, L.Y. (2020). “Psychological and social impact  of COVID-19.” Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy.

Osofsky, J.D. & Osofsky, H.J. (October 2022, in preparation). “The importance of  building regional coalitions to support resilience for children and families in  response to disasters and violence.”

Osofsky, J.D., Osofsky, H.J., Frazer, A., Olivieri, M., Many, M., Selby, M., Holman, S.,  & Conrad, E. (February-March, 2021). “The importance of ACEs in an intervention  program during the perinatal period.” American Psychologist, 76.

She has produced over 70 books and book chapters and hundreds of scientific  presentations, invited presentations and seminars. Her works include:

Osofsky, J.D. (Ed) (2011) Clinical Work with Traumatized Young Children. New York: Guilford Publishers.

Thomas, K. & Osofsky, J.D (Eds) (2012). Emerging Issues in Infant Mental Health.  Zero to Three Journal., Washington, DC.

Osofsky, J.D., Cohen, C., Huddleston, J., Hudson, L., Zavora, K., Lewis, M. (March,  2017). Questions Every Judge and Lawyer Should Ask About Infants and Toddlers in the Child Welfare System (Update). Reno, NV: National Council of Juvenile and  Family Court Judges.

Osofsky, J.D., Stepka, P., & King, L.C. (2017). Treating Infants and Young Children  Impacted by Trauma: Interventions That Promote Healthy Development. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Osofsky, J.D., Fitzgerald, H., Keren, M., Puura, K. (Eds) (2021, in preparation).  WAIMH Handbook of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health, Two Volumes,  Springer Publishers.

Invited Plenary, “Lessons learned from children exposed to trauma.” Early Intervention and Education Meeting, St. Petersburg, Russia, July,  2013

Invited  Conference, “Trauma through the Eyes of a Young Child,” Hong Kong  Infant Mental Health Association, Hong Kong, March 2017.

Invited Master Lecture: “Recognizing the Effects of Trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences during the Perinatal Period,” World Association for Infant Mental  Health, Brisbane Australia Virtual June 2021

Legacy Interview: “How to Heal Childhood Trauma,” MindinMind, UK, October 2022

What are her plans for the future?

“Currently, I continue to provide training and supervision in infant and early childhood mental health,” Dr. Osofsky said. “I initiated 4 years ago and am director of a support program with several excellent LSUHSC faculty that also has an evaluation component – Mother-Infant Support Team (MIST) for high-risk pregnant mothers at University Medical Center.”

She said she will continue to do presentations, virtually and in person, on the  effects of trauma on children and families and ways to support resilience,  including components related to inequities, in the United States and  internationally.

“I also do presentations on the impact of vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue when working with trauma and how to provide support for providers,” she said.

“I am working as lead editor with three colleagues, two of whom are international,  on the two volume World Association for Infant Mental Health Handbook on  Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health which will go to press at the end of September 2023.”

We Remember Dr. Alvin Burstein

Dr. Alvin G. Burstein passed away suddenly andunexpectedly near his home in Knoxville,  Tennessee on June 27 after his morning walk. He was 92 years old.

After what most would consider a full career, and one with ample, rightly deserved prestige, Dr. Alvin Burstein relocated to Louisiana to serve as the head of psychology at Southeastern. He  embraced our community, including engaging with those in the psychoanalytic discipline. He brought with him considerable wisdom and knowledge, and graced us with it freely.

He had the soul of a poet, a finely honed sense of morality,  and the enviable delight of a  person who truly enjoyed whatever he was doing.

Current Department Head at Southeastern, Dr. Paula Varnado-Sullivan, said, “Although Al was  a member of our department and our department head for a relatively short time in his career, he left an indelible mark on our department and my career. He shaped how I define my role as  a faculty member and department head. He was passionate about academia and fiercely  advocated for his students,” she said. “He truly defined the role of mentor in his relationship  with his students. His impact has lasted long after he taught his last class here at Southeastern. I know that he will be greatly missed by his family, friends, colleagues and former students.”

Dr. Matt Rossano, a past Chair at Southeastern, said, “I’ll always remember Al as a kind soul  who threw himself into his work with joy and dedication. My sincere condolences to his family  and close friends.”

In his work at Southeastern Dr. Burstein touched many lives. Current President of the Louisiana Psychological Association (LPA), Dr. Jesse Lambert, said, “Dr. Burstein was the  Department Chair when I was a graduate student at SELU. I received my first training on the  Rorschach under Dr. Burstein. He was a brilliant psychologist and an enthusiastic teacher.”

Dr. Erin Tarcza Reuther, past president of LPA, said, “Dr. Burstein was my thesis mentor when I  was at Southeastern as a grad student. I have very fond memories of him. He was a great  contributor to the field, and, more personally, had a positive influence on my career. […] He  was a brilliant and kind mentor who challenged his students and colleagues to think deeply  and grow from reflection.”

Dr. Burstein engaged with those in the Louisiana psychoanalytic discipline through New  Orleans-Birmingham Psychoanalytic Center, where he served as a faculty member.

“The  psychoanalytic community suffers at the death of Al Burstein who brought such energy,  inspiration, and fervor for consciousness in those who were fortunate to know him,” said  friend and colleague, Dr. Del McNeely. “His stimulating discussion groups, book and movie  reviews, and incitement to seek depth from each of us personally will echo in us, our dear  mentor and friend.”

Dr. Randy Harper said, “He wore his many accomplishments gracefully as he contributed to  our Center and the psychoanalytic community in New Orleans. I have very appreciative and congenial memories of his reorganizing our psychoanalytic library; teaching with him; and  being enriched by one of his discussions of a creative artist. It would be impossible to have a  conversation with him that wouldn’t be interesting and engaging. Certainly a life well and fully lived. Thank you Al.”

Colleague from the Center, Dr. Kathy Nathan, said, “I always was impressed by his intellectual,  eternal curiosity, love of teaching, and ability to apply psychoanalysis to film and literature. What a force…. and what a loss to psychology.”

Dr. Burstein grew up in Omaha, Nebraska and attended University of Chicago, Chicago (UCC)  on a scholarship. He later earned his PhD in Clinical Psychology from UCC in 1959. After  consulting at the Chicago State Hospital, he went on to be Acting Director of Clinical Training  and Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. During this time, he was  also a Consultant at the VA Hospital and Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychology for the  University of Illinois in Chicago.

By 1963, Dr. Burstein took on the role of the Director of Psychology Training, Acting Director  Division of Psychology, at the Neuropsychiatric Institute, University of Chicago, Chicago.

In 1970, he became Professor and Chief of Psychology, at the University of Texas Health  Science Center, San Antonio, Texas.

Dr. John Worsham, friend and colleague, said that when Al came to San Antonio, “He  immediately began to develop an APA approved clinical psychology internship which attracted trainees from across the US and several foreign countries, and brought in outstanding young  psychologists …” he said. “As Al and his energetic young psychologists reached out into the  community they transformed psychology in San Antonio and South Texas.

“Al brought the  group together to create an active Bexar County Psychological Association, and that group  moved to further energize the Texas Psychological Association, […] Ultimately Al and one of his  faculty became presidents of TPA, while several others held key positions in the TPA  organization,” he said.

Another Texas colleague, Dr. Lawrence Schoenfeld, said, “He firmly believed in the scientist- practitioner model and guided the new faculty to be involved in research, training and clinical  practice.

The Division in the Department of Psychiatry grew rapidly under his leadership. He also helped  many medical departments recruit psychologists for their Departments and arranged for them to have joint appointments with the Division. […] He was an ethical role model and loyal friend  to those who had the privilege of calling him a friend.”

In 1982, Dr. Burstein was appointed Professor and Director of the Clinical Psychology Program,  at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK). During this time, he served as Convenor of  Colloquy on Psychoanalysis and the Humanities, the Director of the Social Science Research  Institute, and Associate Department Head, Department of Psychology, all at UTK.

He retired with the title of Professor Emeritus in 2000 from UTK, and relocated to serve as  Professor and Head, Dept. of Psychology at Southeastern Louisiana University.

During these years he also served as a faculty member of the New Orleans-Birmingham  Psychoanalytic Center.

Dr. Burstein was President of the Louisiana Conference of the American Association of  University Professors (AAUP) from 2006-2010, and remained actively involved.

AAUP colleague Tulane Professor Emerita, Italian, Dr. Linda Carroll said she “… had been  thinking of his phone call to me some months ago about assisting him in a possible pending editorship of a journal concerned with professional ethics. An undertaking at the heart of his  concerns. […] Al was a true intellectual, a true professional, and a warm and caring person.”

Throughout his years in academic service, Dr. Burstein provided psychotherapy, psychological  testing, and psychoanalysis in his part-time private practice.

He earned the Diplomate from the American Board of Professional Psychology in 1965.

He was an active member of the professional community and was an active contributor to the  American Psychological Association (APA), He was a fellow in APA Divisions 2, 12, 27, and 39. He  served as Chairman for Division 12, the Membership Committee; for Corresponding Committee of Division 5; as Liaison to Education & Training Board; in the Visiting Psychologist  Program; and in the Task Force to Revise Accreditation Criteria.

He served as chair of the Education and Training Board, on the APA Council of Representatives,  and on the Committee on Employment and Human Resources where he also served as Chair.

He was president of the Southwestern Psychological Association, president of the Texas  Psychological Association, and president of the Louisiana Conference, American Association of  University Professors. He earned the American Board of Professional Psychology Award for  Meritorious Service, the UTK Chancellor’s Teacher Scholar, the UTK Psi Chi Outstanding  Undergraduate Teacher Award, the UTK PanHellenic Council Outstanding Teacher Award, and  the UTK University Studies Award for Contributions to Interdisciplinary Scholarship.

Dr. Burstein served as Consulting Editor for the Journal of Abnormal Psychology and as  Advisory Editor for Contemporary Psychology.

He served as Editorial Consultant for American  Psychologist, the InterAmerican Journal of Psychology, the International Journal of Psychiatry  in Medicine, and Professional Psychology. He was on the Editorial Board of Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal.

He co-authored two books, Psychosocial Basis of Health Care (3rd  edition) and Rorschach’s Test: Scoring and Interpretation, the latter co-authored with wife and  colleague, Dr. Sandra Loucks.

Dr. Burstein authored or co-authored a range of book chapters including, “Group  psychotherapy and group dynamics enter the 1970s,” in Vol. 26, and “Group Psychotherapy,”  in Vol. 28, of Progress in Neurology and Psychiatry.

He authored, “Psychotherapy for the poor,” in Successful Psychotherapy, “Social and moral  values in the health sciences,” in, Human Values Teaching Programs for Health Professionals  and “Program evaluation: Defining and evaluating quality,” in Evaluation and Accountability in  Clinical Training.

Dr. Burstein also authored, “Core elements in doctoral education: A minimalist view,” in  Preparing Psychologists for the 21st Century: Proceedings of the National Conference on Graduate Education in Psychology and “What’s Wrong with Psychology: A Freudian Interpretation,” in Psychology: Themes and Variations.

With his colleague and wife, Dr. Sandra Loucks. he coauthored the chapter, “Psychologist as a  health care clinician,” in The Handbook of Clinical Health Psychology.

He had a voice from early in his career. In 1971, Dr. Burstein and J. C. Kobos authored,  Psychological testing as a device to foster social mobility,” for American Psychologist. He and  his co-authors also wrote, “The changing face of American psychology,” in 1986 for American  Psychologist.

And in 1987, he authored, “The virtue machine,” for American Psychologist. In this article, Dr.  Burstein discussed the origins and status of institutional review boards (described as virtue machines) and argued that they tended to dampen curiosity and trivialize bioethical concerns.

He and Dr. Loucks and co-authors produced numerous works including, “Psychological  characteristics of medical students and residents,” in Journal of Medical Education; “Sex related
psychological characteristics of medical students,” in Journal of Psychology; and “The real cost  of psychology intern services: Are they a good buy?” in Professional Psychology.

He and Dr. Loucks authored, “A comprehensive scoring manual for Rorschach’s test,” in British  Journal of Projective Psychology and Personality Study.

Dr. Burstein did not shy away from weighty subjects. For example, he took on the topic, “The  doctor as ethicist,” in Health Science Center Mission, and he authored, “Distinctions meaningful,” a position paper prepared for the 1987 National Conference on Graduate  Education in Psychology, in APA Monitor.

With his Renaissance-man mind and his love of science and literature, he began doing reviews  early in his career.

For Contemporary Psychology, he authored, “None there embrace,” A review of The Suicidal  Patient: Recognition and Management; “The road to Camelot,” A review of Community  Psychology in Transition; and “Out of the past, thundering hoofbeats,” A review of The  Anatomy of Change: A Menninger Foundation Report on Testing the Effects of Psychotherapy

In 1980, he authored, “Review of Psychology and medicine: Psychological dimensions of health  and illness,” for General Hospital Psychiatry, and also “Taking the fall,” A review of Tragic Posture and Tragic Vision: Against the Modern Failure of Nerve,” for Soundings.

He also authored, “Review of Bioethics, Culture and Identity: A Philosophical Disease, “Review  of Education in the Marketplace,” and “Review of Psychoanalysis at the Margins,” all for Soundings.

Strongly engaged in the community, he was a frequent presenter at conferences and conventions. Dr. Burstein presented at the American Psychological Association, Southeastern  Psychology Association, Society for Values in Higher Education, and the International Federation for Psychoanalytic Education Annual Conference.

Examples include: “The future of psychotherapy: Fiscal and legal issues,” for Proceedings of the  American Institute of Oral Biology, in Palm Springs, California; “Psychoanalysis and Academic  Psychology,” at the International Federation for Psychoanalytic Education Sixth Annual  Conference, in Toronto, Canada; “Perversion in Higher Education,” at the 1997 Conference on  Values in Higher Education in Knoxville, Tennessee; and “Against the Grain: The Natural History of an Inter-disciplinary Faculty Development Program,” at the 1999 AAHE Conference on  Faculty Roles and Rewards, in San Diego, California.

He and Dr. Loucks presented, “Burstein-Loucks scoring system (BLRSS): Introduction and  overview,” in 1984 at International Rorschach Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The two presented  again in 1986 with, “Sense and nonsense on Rorschach scoring,” at the American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C.

In retirement, he turned his interest to literary and creative publications. He was a member of  Inklings, a writers’ critique group in Mandeville, Louisiana, and a reader for Silver Blade, a  fiction quarterly. He published fiction with Flash Fiction Press including, “A Dog’s Tale,” “The Smokers,” “Bonehead,” and “Mimicry.” He wrote a novella, The Owl, available on Amazon.

He contributed a monthly film review, A Shrink at the Flicks, for The Psychology Times, and  won an award for Best Column from the Louisiana Press Association.

Dr. Alvin Burstein is survived by wife, Dr. Sandra Loucks, two children from a previous  marriage––Daniel and Jessica, four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

He is preceded in death by his parents and a young son. Dr. Loucks wrote, “We married in 1978 and were married 45 years. Al and I came from very different backgrounds, yet we found  commonality in our love for psychology, teaching, the application of psychoanalytic technique, and other shared values such as hard work and speaking truth to power. We ultimately both  became full professors and were both ABPPs.”

Dr. Loucks was born in New Orleans, and received her undergraduate degree in psychology  from what was then LSUNO. She is accomplished in her own right––she has served on state  boards, in associations, and has numerous professional publications. She has served as the  head of continuing education at the New Orleans–Birmingham Psychoanalytic Center.

“Al and I have been described by friends as ‘joined at the hip.’ During our years of retirement  we were inseparable. We were devoted to each other through many professional battles and  accomplishments. I’ll never feel truly whole without him though he’ll always be part of me.”

A celebration of Dr. Alvin Burstein’s life will be held 10:00 AM Saturday, November 11, 2023 at  Rose-Mann Funeral Home in Knoxville, Tennessee.

[Editor’s Note: We thank Dr. Loucks for her assistance with this article and wish her and the  family our most sincere condolences.]

Dr. Calamia Named for Early Career Honors

Dr. Matthew Calamia, Associate Professor of Psychology at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, has been named for the Early Career Psychologist Award by the Louisiana  Psychological Association (LPA) for 2023.

LPA spokesperson, Dr. Amanda Raines said, “This year we are recognizing Dr. Matthew  Calamia. Dr. Calamia is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Director of the  Psychological Services Center at LSU. He is also an adjunct faculty member at the Institute for Dementia Research and Prevention at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center and has been affiliated with the Jefferson Neurobehavioral Group in New Orleans,” she said.

“Dr. Calamia has published over 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts, books, and book chapters  and presented his work at local, regional, and national conferences. He is a licensed clinical  psychologist with a designation in clinical neuropsychology providing direct patient care as  well as training to graduate students,” Raines said.

Dr. Calamia said, “I have spent the majority of my life in Louisiana. It was my dream to come  back and work at LSU and I have been beyond lucky to have the timing work out for that to  happen. It has been incredibly fulfilling to do training, research, and provide clinical services in my own community. I’m thankful to LPA for acknowledging my work with this award.”

As well as authoring peer-reviewed publications, Dr. Calamia has completed projects such  as the Keller-Lamar Health Foundation Validation of a Novel Web-Based Assessment of Cognitive and Emotional Functioning, as well as the Pennington Biomedical Center Nutrition  and Obesity Research Center Apathy, Unintentional Weight Loss, and Cognitive Decline in Late Life, with co-investigators, Drs. Owen Carmichael and Corby Martin.

Dr. Calamia provides direct patient care as well as training and supervising graduate  students with the neuropsychology emphasis.

Dr. Calamia’s contributions include several areas. In partnership with the Institute for  Dementia Research & Prevention at Pennington Biomedical Research Center, he and his team have explored predictors of cognitive change in cognitively healthy older adults and individuals with mild cognitive impairment. He also collaborates with the Adult Development and Aging Laboratory led by Dr. Katie Cherry at LSU.

Some of Dr. Calamia’s most innovative applications and research efforts involve technology.  He and his team are working on creating and validating computerized tools for use within a  variety of clinical populations. Currently they are looking at the effectiveness of incorporating a non-immersive virtual reality paradigm into functional rehabilitation for older adults with moderate cognitive impairment.

Dr. Calamia and his team have piloted virtual reality as a quality of life intervention for older adults in assisted living facilities. At Francois Bend Senior Living in Gonzales he and his team have residents participate in enjoyable activities using virtual reality headsets.

“There is one resident there who is not from this area originally,” Dr. Calamia previously aid,  “who cried from being able to go and ‘visit’ her hometown––in what is basically VR Google  Maps––and each week she ‘visits other places she has lived and traveled. This is such a neat  technology for reminiscence and also escape given how people have been limited in that  due to the pandemic. We are planning to expand to other senior living communities,” he  said.

Dr. Calamia’s projects also look at using specific memory scores on list-learning tasks to  predict future cognitive decline. His team is examining the impact of natural disaster on health, well-being, and cognition in adults and older adults.

Among other goals, Dr. Calamia and his group are examining the benefit of a brief memory  screening program to community dwelling older adults.

“I have conducted studies examining predictors of cognition functioning and decline in older adults,” he explained previously. “These studies have sought to carefully unpack associations by moving beyond global measures of cognition or other variables and using  multiple measures as well as statistical techniques such as structural equation modeling to address gaps in prior research.”

Along with co-authors, Calamia has published numerous articles including, “Serial Position Effects on List Learning Tasks in Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s Disease,” in  Neuropsychology, and “Social factors that predict cognitive decline in older African American adults,” in International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

Dr. Calamia is also involved in the study of the psychometrics for neuropsychological tests.  Some of this research involves using archival clinical data from the Psychological Services  Center and Jefferson Neurobehavioral Group and data collection at the Baton Rouge Clinic.

Current projects in this area include examining associations between measures of  noncredible performance and selfreport in clinical and forensic settings. He and his team  are also examining practice effects on neuropsychological tests of attention, the validity of  existing neuropsychological measures in diverse clinical samples, comparing the predictive  validity of multiple measures of everyday function in older adults with and without cognitive  impairment, and examining psychometric properties of self-report measures across the  lifespan.

“A major emphasis of my research,” he said, “has been on examining the validity of  psychological or neuropsychological measures including the validity of measures in terms of  their hypothesized brain-behavior relationships, examining the validity of new scores  derived from existing measures or new measures being used in the field, and examining the degree to which different measures of related constructs yield different associations with  cognitive functioning,” he said.

He and his team members have authored, “The Incremental Validity of Primacy as a  Predictor of Everyday Functioning,” which is in press at Neuropsychology. “Psychometric  Properties of the Expanded Version of the Inventory of Depression and Anxiety Symptoms  (IDAS-II) in a Sample of Older Adults,” is another example of his team’s contribution, this one for Aging & Mental Health. Advance Online Publication.

Dr. Calamia has conducted meta-analyses on practice effects and test-reliability for a  number of popular neuropsychological measures. “Both of these projects involved the  integration of a large amount of published literature. The practice effects publication  included nearly 1600 individual effect sizes,” Dr. Calamia explained.

Findings were published in a prestigious journal read by neuropsychological researchers  and clinicians, The Clinical Neuropsychologist, and designated for CE credit.

Other examples of his work include, “Test-Retest Reliability and Practice Effects of the Virtual Environment  Grocery Store (VEGS),” in Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology; “Practical  Considerations for Evaluating Reliability in Ambulatory Assessment Studies,” in Psychological Assessment, and “The Robust Reliability of Neuropsychological Measures: Meta- Analyses of Test-Retest Correlations,” in The Clinical Neuropsychologist.

Dr. Calamia and his team are also conducting studies examining ethnic and racial disparities in cognitive aging. Collaborators in this area include Dr. Robert Newton at Pennington  Biomedical Research Center. Current projects include examining racial differences in the  association between trauma symptoms and their impact on cognitive and everyday function. They are also evaluating the utility of a novel cognitive screening measure in a diverse  sample of older adults and minority representation in neuropsychological research.

Dr. Calamia has led or been involved in neuroimaging studies using either the lesion  method or functional magnetic resonance imaging to study brain-behavior relationships in  patient populations. This research has focused on clinical populations with the aim of  improving understanding of the neural correlates of emotional and cognitive functioning.  “Examining the Neural Correlates of Psychopathology Using a Lesion-Based Approach,” in Neuropsychologia, is an example.

Throughout the variety of his work, Dr. Calamia is committed to issues around diversity  within neuropsychology. He participates in the Society for Black Neuropsychology mentorship program and is on the executive board of the recently formed Queer Neuropsychological Society. He has recruited graduate students from diverse backgrounds  into his lab. One of his students led a lab publication in the special issue on “Black Lives  Matter to Clinical Neuropsychologists” in The Clinical Neuropsychologist focused on  reporting practices and representation in neuropsychology studies.

In 2021, the National Academy of Neuropsychology named Dr. Calamia as the recipient of  their prestigious Early Career Award. The National Academy of Neuropsychology is the professional association for experts in the assessment and treatment of brain injuries and  disorders, and its members are at the forefront of cutting-edge research and rehabilitation  in the field of brain behavior relationships.

“I was excited,” Dr. Calamia said about the honor. “I worked in a neuropsychology lab at LSU  as an undergraduate. When that professor retired, I was lucky enough to be able to come  back home and start my own lab. Over the years, I’ve managed to recruit an amazing group  of graduate student mentees into my lab,” he said. “The work coming out of my lab is all a  shared effort and so this award is really theirs as much as it is mine. It’s nice to be  recognized and I hope this little boost in visibility makes future graduate applicants consider LSU.”

What are some of his future plans?

“As part of my sabbatical last fall, I learned more about the healthcare industry from  Covenant Health Network,” said Dr. Calamia. “The long-term care industry is facing immense
challenges with a large number of workers leaving the field. To support those workers, out of that partnership, we have recently received a grant with a colleague of mine in I/O  Psychology, Dr. Rebecca Brossoit,” he said.

“Dr. Brossoit and I will be developing an intervention for employees and organizational  leadership in long-term care facilities with the goal of reducing employee burnout and turnover.”



Dr. Paula Zeanah Named 2023 Distinguished Psychologist by LPA


Dr. Paula Zeanah, who has worked as a pediatric nurse and clinical psychologist in
a variety of settings, serving children and their families for more than 40 years, has been named the 2023 Distinguished Psychologist by the Louisiana Psychological Association (LPA).

Spokesperson for the LPA Awards Committee, Dr. Amanda Raines said, “Dr. Zeanah is the Lafayette General Medical Center/Our Lady of Lourdes Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair in Nursing and Professor of Nursing at the University of Louisiana Lafayette. She has over 200 peerreviewed publications and presentations and has served as the PI on over a dozen grant-funded projects,” Raines said.

“Dr. Zeanah has a long-standing role as a teacher, trainer, and supervisor at various academic institutions and medical centers and frequently serves as an advisor and consultant on numerous state, national, and international partnerships. Further, she frequently gives back to the field by serving as a committee member of various university and department organization and, most recently, as our esteemed president of LPA,” said Raines.

Dr. Zeanah serves as the Research Director at the Cecil J. Picard Center for Child Development & Lifelong Learning at The University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Her expertise includes physical and mental health; perinatal, infant, and early childhood mental health; adolescent and early adulthood sexuality; and chronic illness in children and adolescents.

She has served as Associate and Full Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and  Behavioral Sciences at Tulane School of Medicine from 1998 to 2015. Before becoming a psychologist, Dr. Zeanah worked in a variety of primary care and tertiary health care settings as a pediatric nurse, educator, and administrator.

“I am deeply honored and proud to be identified as a distinguished psychologist, Dr. Zeanah told the Times. “And, given that Louisiana benefits from the contributions of many deserving psychologists, I am also quite humbled,” she added.

“As a young professional, my work/career was important to me,” Dr. Zeanah said. “But other than 11 years of pursuing education in nursing and psychology, I did not envision a specific endpoint. I have had opportunities that enabled me to integrate nursing and psychology in ways that have been gratifying and are still interesting to me!” she said.

“For example, my dissertation, the development of a measure of sexual self-esteem for women, evolved from my experiences working as a pediatric nurse practitioner with vulnerable teenagers for whom sexuality was insufficiently addressed. The measure has been used in studies examining various aspects of sexuality in many countries around the world—that’s cool! I believe being a nurse and a clinical psychologist has given me a certain credibility when focusing on the interface of health and mental health,” Dr. Zeanah said.

She has held many positions over the years, including:

Advisory Committee, New Families: Innovation and Development of the Child Health Services in Oslo, Norway; a collaborative project, City of Oslo and University of Oslo, 2021- 2022;

Consultant, Development of Culture of Wellness Framework for Nurse Family Partnership, National Service Office, Denver, CO, 2021;

Consultant, Supporting the Child to Thrive course development, Nurse Family Partnership, National Service Office, 2020-2021;

Advisory Group, Promoting Mental Health in NFP Educational Development (PI: L. Beeber, UNC). A project of the national NFP/University of Colorado Prevention Research Center for
Family and Child Health, under the direction of D. Olds, 2012-2021; and

Innovations Advisory Committee, Mental Health Subcommittee Nurse Family Partnership, Denver, Colorado, 2017-2019.

Dr. Zeanah went on to say, “Today, that’s a huge focus of psychology, but it was not always so. I’ve been lucky to hold positions that allowed me to work ‘inter-professionally’ in
nursing, psychology, and public health, which has been exciting, fun, and enabled the development of innovative strategies to address the mental health needs of vulnerable populations including pregnant women, infants, young children, and chronically ill children and families. Currently, I am collaborating with colleagues to increase attention to ethical dilemmas in the multidisciplinary field of infant mental health.”

Dr. Zeanah further explained, “Compelling research on the importance of early experience for brain development and later health and social functioning means the needs of infants are better recognized and prioritized-yet sometimes what is beneficial to the infant may be harmful or hurtful to the parent/caregiver, and vice-versa. Figuring out how to make
appropriate clinical decisions, within the contexts of limited resources, social and cultural pressures, and personal and professional values is the challenge. Any achievements have
not occurred in a vacuum—I’ve greatly benefitted from working in some of the country’s best medical centers and universities, having inspiring and encouraging colleagues, and of course, the unwavering support of my husband, family, and friends.”

Her numerous publications include:

Zeanah, P., Korfmacher, J., Lim, I. & Zeanah, C. (in press). Introduction to special section: Doing the ‘right’ thing: Ethical issues in infant and early childhood mental health. Infant Mental Health Journal;

Zeanah, P., Steier, A., Lim, I., Korfmacher, J., & Zeanah, C. (in press). Current approaches and future directions for addressing ethics in infant and early childhood mental health. Infant Mental Health Journal;

Lim, I., Korfmacher, J. Steier, A., Zeanah, C. & Zeanah, P. (2023). The ethics of infant and early childhood mental health practice. Infant Mental Health Journal;

Zeanah, C.H., Korfmacher, J., Lim, I., Steier, A., & Zeanah, P. (2023). Ethical dilemmas in infant mental health: Examples from child protection, home visiting, and medical contexts. Infant Mental Health Journal; and

Beeber, L., Gasbarro, M., Knudtson, M., Ledford, A., Sprinkle, S., Leeman, J., McMichael, G., Zeanah, P., Mosqueda, A. (under review). A mental health innovation for nurse home
visiting program shows effectiveness in reducing depressive symptoms, Prevention Science.

The American Academy of Nursing added her to its 2021 Class of Fellows. Dr. Zeanah was the only Fellow from Louisiana selected for the 2021 class. “The Academy’s Fellows embody our values of equity, diversity and inclusivity, inquiry, integrity, and courage, which enable us to achieve new heights of impact that advance health policy across the globe,” noted Dr. Eileen Sullivan-Marx, the organization’s president. Dr. Zeanah joins an elite group that now comprises more than 2,900 experts in policy, research, administration, practice, and academia who champion health and wellness.

“Nursing is a profession that values and relies upon research to inform practice,” Dr. Zeanah explained. “There’s never been more expertise in the field, or as comprehensive a commitment to health and wellness, which makes it an exceptionally good time to be a nurse.”

Dr. Zeanah’s grants, contracts, and development activities include:

Zeanah, P. (PI; Co-PI’s L. Asare, C. Suire). Clinical Decision-Making in Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting: Does implicit Bias Play a Role? New Horizons Grant, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation, $18,690 February 2023-January 2024;

Zeanah, P. (PI). The Culture of Nurse Wellness in the Nurse-Family Partnership, Nurse-Family Partnership National Service Office, $7840.00, March –September 2021. The purpose of this contract was to develop wellness education and resources for the national Nurse-Family Partnership program; and

Zeanah, P. (Local PI, Co-Investigator; L. Beeber, UNC, PI). Mental Health Integration to Nurse- Family Partnership, Rita and Alex Hillman Foundation, $74,188, January 2018-July 2021. Supports the development, implementation, and evaluation of the maternal mental health educational program for the national Nurse Family Partnership program.

Dr. Zeanah told the Times, “I truly appreciate the opportunities I’ve had through the years as a member of LPA to meet and work with so many strong psychologists, and to learn and grow professionally. This past year, I had the honor to serve as LPA’s President. More than ever, I am impressed by the myriad ways Louisiana psychologists are ‘advancing psychology as a science, as a profession, and as means of promoting human welfare.’ ”

What does she hope to accomplish in the future? “Sometimes I laugh about wanting to be a People’s Health Champion,” Dr. Zeanah said. “I’ve always been so impressed and energized by the accomplishments of those over 65! But truthfully, I do not have a list of specific things I want to accomplish. I do want to stay involved and to be useful—by that I mean I want to continue to contribute in meaningful ways to our profession through clinical service, scholarly activities, and involvement in professional activities,” she said.

“With a healthy balance of spending more time with my most important accomplishments—my children and grandchildren!” 

Ψ We Remember Dr. John Bolter

Dr. John F. Bolter died May 10, 2023, at the age of 72. He suffered
from Alzheimer’s disease.

A respected Clinical Neuropsychologist and Medical Psychologist, Dr. Bolter served as the Director of the Department of Clinical Neuropsychology at The NeuroMedical Center in Baton Rouge. He was one of the leaders of the movement to provide specially trained psychologists with “prescriptive authority” also called RxP. In 2004, he helped accomplish what many believed was an almost impossible achievement––the political maneuvering that gave Louisiana medical psychologists the right to prescribe medication, and the state psychology board the right to regulate that authority.

Dr. Bolter earned the distinction of being the first civilian psychologist in the United States to write a prescription for medication to treat emotional and behavioral health disorders. He was also a key figure in the education efforts of medical psychologists having developed a psychopharmacology education program for postdoctoral psychologists in 1998. He served as Senior Lecturer for the International Psychopharmacology Program, Alliant University, College of Professional Psychology, San Francisco, California.

Fellow medical and neuropsychologist, Dr. Darlyne Nemeth wrote, “Dr. John Bolter was a kind, loving, and multi-talented pioneer who changed the course of psychology forever. Along with Dr. James Quillin and their amazing colleagues, this small group of individuals sought to obtain prescription privileges for Louisiana Psychologists. Over many years, political forays, and monetary efforts, John, “Q,” and company prevailed. I was privileged to play a small part. John orchestrated that process,” she said, and “wrote the first prescription. Throughout, John remained a humble, soft-spoken man who never lost sight of the goal.”

In 2009, Dr. Bolter was part of a second and successful effort to give medical psychologists more autonomy by moving them under the medical board, known as Act 251. While controversial, the move was praised by many as a way of accelerating medical psychologists’ independent practice.

Dr. Warren Lowe, a colleague and also a leader in the medical psychologist community, wrote, “Medical psychologists stand on the shoulders of giants, none greater in stature than John Bolter and Jim Quillin. John was a visionary. His curriculum for post doctoral training in psychopharmacology has become the standard for universities across the country,” he said.

“John was intelligent, kind, and considerate, always willing to help a colleague. It was not his style to place himself in the limelight. What a privilege it has been for us to know him and to benefit from his counsel, wisdom, encouragement and determination. What a gift he has left us. God bless him,” Dr. Lowe said.

Dr. Bolter received multiple awards for his service to the field. In 2004 he and colleagues were named with the Karl F. Heiser APA Presidential Award for Advocacy, an award honoring those psychologists who have given voluntarily of their time to define the discipline of psychology statutorily by state and federal laws through advocacy.

His efforts were also recognized by the American Psychological Association Division 55’s Leadership Award and the Special Recognition Award in Leadership by Louisiana Academy of Medical Psychologists.

During his extensive career he served as Consulting Neuropsychologist at the Sage Rehabilitation Hospital, the NeuroMedical Center Surgical Hospital, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Social Security Administration, the Medical Center of Baton Rouge, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, and the South Louisiana Rehabilitation Hospital and Outpatient Center.

He was a Medical Expert Witness for the Office of Hearing and Approvals, Department of Health and Human Services, and Social Security Administration. He was Clinical Assistant Professor for the Department of Family Medicine, Louisiana State University Medical Center, in Baton Rouge,

Dr. Joseph Comaty, colleague and medical psychologist, wrote for the Tributes Page, “I have so many memories of John there is too little space to share them. My memories of John are as a dynamic individual who was thoroughly engaged with his patients, his profession, his family, and his colleagues. You could not help feeling energized anytime you were in his company,” he said.

“I was fortunate to be in the first cohort of psychologists who trained to be prescribing psychologists in Louisiana and had the opportunity to observe first-hand John’s brilliance in the areas of clinical psychopharmacology, politics, academics, professional regulation, and organization. I remember our first class of instruction enroute to our MSCP degree. It was Neuroscience taught by John and two other colleagues. John was clearly one of the most intellectual thinkers I have known,” he said. “His service to his country and his profession will be honored continuously.”

Dr. Bolter was a member of the International Neuropsychology Society, National Academy of Neuropsychology American Psychological Association, APA Divisions 55 (Psychopharmacology), 40 (Neuropsychology), and 42 (Independent Practice). He was also a member of the Louisiana Psychological Association, the Southeastern Psychological Association, the Louisiana Academy of Medical Psychologists, and the Academy of Medical Psychology.

He served as President of Louisiana Psychological Association and as Treasurer of Louisiana Academy of Medical Psychologists. He served on the Advisory Council of Spinal Cord and Head Injury Trust Fund of  Louisiana, on the APA Psychopharmacology Task Force, and on the APA Model Practice Act Committee.

He served twice on the Board of Examiners of Psychologists, in 1995 as well as in 2007. 

Mr. Lloyd Lunceford, posting a Tribute, wrote, “As legal counsel for the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychology for twenty years, I had many occasions to work with dozens of outstanding board members — and John stood out as the best of the best. He was wise, kind, conscientious, hardworking, articulate, gracious, and humble. He was  devoted to his profession and to protecting the public health, a trusted leader who had the respect of his peers. I was blessed to know him, and will miss him. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”

Throughout his long career Dr. Bolter assessed and treated thousands of people and published widely in the areas of brain trauma, seizure disorder, and dementia.

Just a few examples include: “The Relationship Between an Alternative Scoring System for the Halstead Category Test and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test,” in Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology; “Item Error Frequencies for the Halstead Category Test: A Cross Validation Study for a Performance Validity Check,” in Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology; “Frequency of occurrence of WAIS dementia profile in head trauma patient,” in Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology; “Epilepsy in Children:  Neuropsychological Effects,” in J. E. Orbzut & G. W. Hynd (Eds.), Child  Neuropsychology Vol. II. Clinical Practice; and “Lateralized Cerebral Dysfunction in Early and Late Stage Alcoholics,” in Journal of Studies on Alcohol, and he published the “Multidigit Memory Test,” through Wang Neuropsychological Laboratories.

“We all knew Dr. Bolter as a pioneer in many areas of Psychology/Neuropsychology/Medical Psychology,” wrote a fellow  Neuropsychologist, “but I also wanted to share his pioneering efforts in the nascent development of embedded validity indicators in the 1980s (way before this was a regular thing in forensic neuropsychology).” Dr. Bolter and colleagues made use of embedded validity indicators to identify 18 items rarely missed by neurological patients, resulting in the “Bolter items.”

Dr. John Bolter made it a practice to train and share his information with others. He presented over 75 professional workshops, seminars and talks. Examples include: “PEP Review Course, Neurology and Neuroscience, Differential Diagnosis, and Integrating Psychopharmacology into Clinical Practice,” for The American Society for the Advancement of  Pharmacotherapy Mid-Winter Meeting, San Diego, California; “Workshop: Essential Laboratory Tests with Psychotropic Medications.,” for the Louisiana Academy of Medical Psychologists Semi-Annual Meeting, Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Symposium Chair: “From Law to Practice, Prescription Privileges in Louisiana,” for American Psychological Association Annual  Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana; “Rosecrans SEPA Invited Address:  Prescribing Activities of A Medical Psychologist,” for South Eastern  Psychological Association Annual Convention, New Orleans, Louisiana; and “Workshop: A Review of Antidepressant Psychopharmacology,” for the Mississippi Psychological Annual Meeting, Biloxi, Mississippi.

A native of San Francisco, and longtime resident of Baton Rouge, he was born in 1950 in San Francisco, California, to Oila Larsen Bolter and Bernard John Bolter. He was a Vietnam era veteran, serving as a corpsman for the U.S. Navy from 1968 to 1974, at Balboa Hospital in San Diego, California and on the USS Ticonderoga. He served in the Army Reserves until 2001, at the rank of Major.

He attended the University of California, Berkeley where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa, with a BA degree in psychology. He obtained a master’s degree in experimental psychology from the University of the Pacific, and his PhD in clinical and neuropsychology from University of Memphis in 1983. He reentered the military for his clinical neuropsychology internship at Walter Reed Army Hospital in 1983. He obtained a postdoctoral Master’s degree in psychopharmacology in 1999.

His family noted that his “side gig” was as a drummer for the classic rock band Blu Rouge. He is survived by his wife Dr. Brenda L. Dawson, also a psychologist, currently in Wilmington, NC, his son Brian John Bolter (Lisa) and grandchildren Bailey and Barrett Bolter, Annapolis, MD, and his daughter Caroline Janice Bolter, Culver City, CA. Also surviving him are his brothers George B. Bolter (Barbara) in Janesville, WI, Bernard J. Bolter (Kay) in San Francisco, CA and James A. Bolter (Susan) also in San Francisco, CA. He was preceded in death by his infant son Patrick John Bolter, his parents and his stepparents.







Dr. Susan Tucker Returns to Shreveport

After a year in Mississippi as Mental Health Director for Mississippi Department of 
Corrections, Dr. Susan Tucker, innovative program designer, has returned to Louisiana to serve as Chief Operating Officer at Whole Health Treatment Center in Shreveport.

Dr. Tucker has been at the forefront of innovations for Louisiana for over two decades decades. She has earned state and national recognition for these achievements, including from the Vera Institute of Justice. She was also commended by Louisiana legislators for her work and the related cost savings of $15 million by earned “good time credits” through participation in the psychological programs designed by Tucker.

“I am so happy to announce I am the COO for Whole Health Treatment Center in Shreveport, Louisiana,” said Dr. Tucker. “It is a part of Intensive Specialty Hospital. I am so thrilled about this IOP/OP program for offering offenders re-entering the community, substance use disorders, and dual diagnosis, and alternatives to prison programs.”

North Louisiana Whole Health Treatment Center is committed to holistic care brings together an experienced multidisciplinary team to offer the most innovative and impactful treatment options possible.

Dr. Susan Tucker was the Assistant Warden at Forcht Wade Correctional Center-Clinical Substance Abuse Treatment Facility in Keithville, Louisiana, near Shreveport. She also served as clinical psychologist and the Assistant Warden at the Bossier Parish Medium Security Facility. 

She and her team used innovative approaches, modern communication technology, community coordination, and a keen awareness for doing what works, to improve lives, families, and
community safety.

Having worked in Mississippi this past year, Dr. Tucker said, “I am extremely proud of Louisiana as I see them as successfully being on cutting edge of prison reform.”

In late 2022, the Governor’s office pointed to a Pew news report highlighting the positive impacts of criminal justice reforms have had on Louisiana. Reporting for PEW, Michelle Russell wrote, “The state’s prison population has fallen 24%, driven entirely by a decline in people convicted of nonviolent offenses. Louisiana’s reforms sought to steer people convicted of less serious crimes away from prison and shorten the time incarcerated for those who could be safely supervised in the community. In the summer of 2017, before the new laws took effect, there were about 35,500 people under the Louisiana Department of Corrections’ jurisdiction held in prisons or local jails throughout the state. By the summer of 2022, that number had fallen nearly a quarter to about 27,000.”

Dr. Tucker has focused on treatment and research innovations that reduce recidivism. Her work is based in the fact that most inmates have a substance abuse problem, and few get the right kind of treatment. Due to her continuous efforts to work with inmates and provide services, and overall reforms, Louisiana no longer holds the title as “Incarceration Capital of Nation.”

The Times asked Dr. Tucker to tell us what her thoughts about the improvements.

“So, to a large degree,” Dr. Tucker said, “I believe the Louisiana Justice Reform Package is a broad move in the right direction. The legislation is reducing prison populations in the state and developing community partnerships to reduce recidivism. It is a logical and effective way to address an all-time high incarceration rate that was costly and offered little benefit. This bi-partisan reform package has seen a reduction in property and violent crimes. The reform of sentencing laws was long overdue for 1st or 2nd time drug offenses with no violent or sex crimes. This allowed shorter sentences and early release of thousands of offenders,” she said.

“The pandemic offered some additional challenges which slowed, if not impeded some of the progress of this reform movement,” Dr. Tucker explained. “With the decrease in community Mental Health centers and outpatient substance abuse treatment subsequently in our communities due to the pandemic, community resources were limited and sometimes void.
Probation and Parole offices had an increase in their caseloads of early releases and increase in probation cases as opposed to Innovator and Program Designer, Dr. Susan Tucker, incarceration. With the pandemic, the supervision of the probation and parole cases and the lack of community resources created a lag in our initial goal of justice reform,” Dr. Tucker explained.

“However,” she said, “the legislation for reform is in place, new P/P officers are being hired to manage new community supervision cases and resources have increased in the communities. If, in fact, the pandemic has helped our goal, it is the increase in telehealth. We are now able to reach those offenders in rural areas and those low-income communities that often did not receive services.”

“As so many agencies struggled through the pandemic, “Dr. Tucker said, “so did Louisiana Department of Corrections. We are now seeing a ‘return to our new normal’. We have ‘regrouped’ and are headed in the right direction again.”

How does this relate to the programs that she initiated and promoted in Louisiana?

“As you might guess, it’s hard to just walk away from the rehabilitation program I developed and ran for 23 years in LADOC. Rather than simply ‘warehousing offenders’ who will eventually be released into our communities,” Dr. Tucker said. “We are focusing on offering intensive treatment, skill development, and educational opportunities, as well as post release support and care.”

Dr. Tucker explained, “The philosophical approach to our treatment includes focusing on the thinking patterns, emotional reactions, and behavioral events that often lead to self-defeating patterns and eventually to criminal activity. We utilize psychological assessment instruments to illuminate areas of concern, including low cognitive ability, personality disorders or features, mood disorders, and thought disorders. We individualize a treatment program for that offender, and he works closely with his assigned counselor to meet the goals that treatment plan.”

Dr. Tucker said she is thrilled to be part of the reform here in Louisiana, as the COO for Whole Health Treatment Center in Shreveport, part of Intensive Specialty Hospital system. “The continuum of care is as ‘whole’ as it can get,” she said. “We can take a homeless person, male or female, directly off the street and treat them medically, physically, mentally, substance use, detox, and we can get them on Medicaid, Disability, or in Vocational Training through LRS.”

“We also provide transportation and housing! We treat substance use disorders with CBT, Risk Management, and Medication Assisted Treatment. This hospital has spared no expense in allowing us to develop a full continuum of care in a beautiful setting with professional counselors and an effective administrator,” Dr. Tucker said.

“The Clinical Director is Karen Baird, a well-established clinician and administrator. We are lucky to have such a dedicated and knowledgeable director. The entire group is enthusiastic, creative, and on the cutting edge of effective treatment. I am proud to be affiliated with such a treatment-oriented agency.”

What are her current major goals and programs?

“My goal for the rest of my public service life will focus on pre-trial alternative programs and re-entry programs exactly like what Whole Health Treatment center is doing,” she said. “It is imperative to continue to help the justice reform movement of removing the punitive aspect of incarceration and offer solutions for change in the pursuit of justice.

“There is a need for the implementation of fitness for duty assessments for correctional officers and police officers. To ensure the capability of new hires is reflective of a solid officer with the ability to stay calm and manage a difficult situation successfully with the least amount of force,” Dr. Tucker said.

“In addition, reaching mentally ill and substance users in rural areas is an important piece of this where minimal to no treatment access is available,” she said. “Obviously, more resources are needed in our schools for training on mental health, violence, and substance use disorders. The increase in the Seriously Mental Ill in prisons and jails is a direct reflection of our lack of community access to appropriate care.”

From her perspective, in terms of public health, what are the most important things that psychologists should be aware?

“Much work is needed from psychologists regarding how the mentally ill are managed with regard to the criminal justice system. We need more training of police/correctional staff about how to engage with mentally ill on the streets or while in custody.”

In 2015, Harvard honored Dr. Tucker’s Work the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University named Dr. Tucker and her treatment programs as one of this year’s recipients of the prestigious Bright Ideas awards for innovation. In the article, Stephen Goldsmith, director of the Innovations in
American Government Program at the Ash Center said, “The Bright Ideas program  demonstrates that often seemingly intractable problems can be creatively and capably tackled by small groups of dedicated, civic-minded individuals.”

Dr. Tucker’s programs have earned state and national recognition for results. The group received The Residential Substance Abuse Treatment grant for eight years. In 2010 they
were awarded the governor’s grant for prevention. Also, in 2010 the Vera Institute of Justice, an organization dedicated to improving justice systems through research and innovation, noted that Forcht Wade Correctional Center’s family program, should be a model for the nation.








Dr. Ledet’s Innovations Aim to Reach Women Experiencing Stress

Dr. Sumer Ledet, licensed clinical and medical psychologist, and expert in anxiety disorders, is using innovative, psycho-educational methods to reach women who struggle with being overwhelmed due to their responsibilities as mothers, partners, and breadwinners.

Dr. Ledet’s education and experience has provided her with extensive evidence-based training  in a variety of anxiety disorders including PTSD, OCD, Panic Disorder, and Generalized Anxiety  Disorder. She has depth training in Prolonged Exposure and Cognitive Processing Therapy. Following years of training and experience in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy methods she has immersed herself in the theory and practice of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

Dr. Sumer Ledet’s psycho-educational training is a comprehensive, multi–method program for women stressed by their responsibilities as mothers, partners, and breadwinners. Her “Get  Present System,” a virtual group program for overwhelmed working mothers, helps with psychological issues and at the same time is reducing stigma associated with reaching out for  help, making psychology more accessible to more people.

Dr. Ledet has focused on treating anxiety disorders in private practice since 2012 and has  directed her efforts more specifically toward women, including women who do not meet full  criteria for any diagnosable condition.

“Many women feel tired, drained, invisible, anxious, and generally unhealthy,” said Ledet. “Many women are distracted and struggling with insomnia. Many women feel guilty and irritable. Most  of the same women are highly educated, successful in their chosen career, have healthy well  cared for children and happy partners, but they are ––often privately–– suffering and struggling,” she said.

“The culture demands so much of working mothers and the pressure is immense. Women feel  like they aren’t measuring up, and then label themselves failures. This is extremely common  and frankly heart-wrenching,” she said.

Her class includes five pillars that Dr. Ledet teaches to increase the individual’s ability to remain  in the present moment and to focus attention on valued actions. “The pillars also cover self-care and self-compassion,” she said, “as many overwhelmed women that I have worked with tend to overlook their own basic needs and to treat themselves harshly when they make mistakes.”

“I transitioned my business 100% online since COVID and plan to stay the course,” she said,  continuing to share high-quality, evidence-based, and often free content. “In my opinion, my strength is simplifying the ‘psychobabble’ so it is easily understandable and usable for real  women living busy lives,” she said.

Get Present, her eight-week independent study class, is a comprehensive, deep dive into  fostering self-care, self-compassion, and values-based action.

Dr. Ledet’s Innovations Aim to Reach Women Experiencing Stress and Anxiety, continued Dr. Ledet began teaching overwhelmed women online and began making educational Facebook videos on her Dr. Sumer Ledet Psychological Services Facebook page [@drsumerledet]. Then, toward the end of 2020, she started an ‘Insiders Community’ where she sends free weekly exclusive email content to this same group of women.

“I really want to reach a broader audience and teach the skills that have helped hundreds of my  clients, without the high price tag,” she said. “I no longer take insurance and it would cost  thousands in individual therapy to acquire this skill set…”

Back in 2012, Dr. Ledet started listening to a podcast all about holistic nutrition called Balanced  Bites. “I got really into it, learned a ton, and began to wonder how the two young women  hosting the podcast had grown such a large audience and successful business online,” she said. “Several years later, I found free education from successful online entrepreneurs like Amy Porterfield and Jenna Kutcher. Their work set a fire inside me to impact a larger audience, not  restricted to the closed doors of a therapy room.”

By 2019, she purchased an inexpensive microphone and started recording educational videos  for Facebook. “I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to create, but I knew I wanted to begin to build  an audience for spreading education about managing and healing from anxiety,” she said.

“Because I had run a private practice since 2012 as an anxiety disorder expert, I knew there were tons of women who didn’t necessarily meet criteria for an anxiety disorder, but were nonetheless wracked by overwhelm, confusion, and dysphoria about how to manage all of the  demands of life,” she said. “I desperately wanted to normalize this phenomena and provide resources to find a path toward peace and fulfillment. Having become a busy mom of two  myself by 2019, I felt a deep compassion for the ever-present but under-discussed struggles of these women.”

She kept creating videos and learning about how to improve the quality and clarity of her message online. “In September 2020, I made my first investment into my online business and  purchased Digital Course Academy, which taught me the process for how to create and market  my first digital course. I followed the steps, and it was so much more work that I had bargained  for. It was really draining, and by the time I launched the program, I was exhausted,” she said.

“Even still, it was a successful first launch. I enrolled 37 women into my digital course, The Get Present System (GPS), by early 2021. Originally, GPS was an 8-week program for busy moms who were struggling with overwhelm and anxiety but wanted a step-by-step path toward peace and fulfillment.”

She continued to spread the message with free content via email and social media marketing. “But,” she explained, “I knew I would need a slightly different approach to make the online course world a sustainable part of my business.” That was around the time she made a second investment into online course business, purchasing a program by @katieandfloyd about creating an automated system to market and sell online courses and programs.

“At the end of 2021, I experienced a significant spiritual transformation in my own life,” she said, “and I felt called to incorporate a Christian, faith-based aspect to my online programs. I followed the steps I had learned with @katieandfloyd, and the process was, once again, much more tedious and time-consuming than anticipated

In early 2022, I launched my second program, created specifically for Catholic moms desiring more peace and fulfillment, called the Break Free Blueprint (BFB). It was similar to GPS, but BFB had a strong faith component that shaped the evidence-based frameworks. It paired Catholic wisdom and tools with science-backed strategies to help Catholic moms break free from anxiety,” Dr. Ledet said.

For this launch, she increased the price, the length of the program, and the intimacy of the experience using question & answer sessions, audits of the work participants completed, prizes in the mail as they made their way through the program, and a community forum for support. The women had great results, and it was a truly enriching experience for all of us,” she said.

“I have continued to share free education with my online community, and it has been such a fulfilling and rewarding experience for me. I get messages all the time from people who feel inspired by the free education I provide. I love to learn, love to write, and love to share content to encourage and inspire others. It is definitely a calling and a passion project,” Dr. Ledet said.

This year, as a next step, she plans to update her website to create a “store-front” where moms can purchase self-study versions of the programs. “I am considering options such as sponsored social media ads and podcasting for continued marketing. I have created several free resources to help overwhelmed moms get connected to my content,” she said.

“So, I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I am continuing to learn and explore strategies for how to impact more overwhelmed Catholic moms without the intimidating and often cost and time prohibitive experience of private therapy.

“As you can imagine, there are so many ethical and legal questions to consider. I’ve consulted with many colleagues as I navigate these murky waters. I have also become part of a small group of psychologists with online businesses, and we meet, ‘mastermind style,’ to problem solve dilemmas unique to psychologists in the online business world,” Dr. Ledet said.

She warns anyone considering this path that it is more work that the gurus make it out to be, but if you can align the work to what you deeply value, it will be worth it, she explained. “I am learning to ride the wave of trial-and-error without getting discouraged. My predictable income comes from other sources so that I don’t feel a large degree of pressure around this work.  When I do make money with my content, it feels like such a gift.”

She still does not feel like she has found a complete system that is sustainable for her business and health. “I prioritize practicing what I preach, and with two little kids at home, this continues to be tricky. In addition, I have struggled with my own health and chronic pain condition for many years. In a way, this is a gift because I can truly empathize with my students and share what is working in my own life,” she said.

“I’m happy to share my wins and lessons learned so far on this journey with you,” said Dr. Ledet. “I’m also happy to share details about the ethical and legal aspects that I’ve considered and addressed through informed consent, LLC creation, documentation, and consultation.”

Those interested in starting an online component of their business can reach out to her at







Dr. Murray Weighs In on the Behavioral Immune System

Tulane’s Dr. Damian Murray co-authored the Association for Psychological Science
lead article, Psychological Science in the Wake of COVID-19 Social, Methodological, and  Metascientific Considerations.

The premier article was published in Perspectives on Psychological Science in March 2022.

Dr. Murray explained the importance of the behavioral immune system and along with national and international contributors, noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has extensively changed the landscape of psychological science, and it is continuing to raise important questions about the conduct of research.

How did Dr. Murray become involved as a resource for the article?

“I was simply approached by the lead author, as he was familiar with my work and my being among a (formerly much smaller) group of researchers studying the implications of disease threat for cognition, behavior, and culture,” explained Dr. Murray.

The article considers how the psychology of pathogen threat may elucidate many social
phenomena in the wake of COVID-19. One question of concern brought up about this was, “Why should psychological scientists care about COVID-19 and the day-to-day research?”

Dr. Murray explains that, complementary to our immune systems, people focus on avoiding disease-causing objects, including other people whenever possible, which is referred to as a type of “behavioral immune system.” This concept is explained by Murray & Schaller in their 2016 chapter for Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, titled, “The Behavioral Immune System: Implications for Social Cognition, Social Interaction, and Social Influence.”

“Broadly, the behavioral immune system,” said Dr. Murray, “is a set of cognitive, motivational, and behavioral mechanisms that help to minimize the possibility of getting sick in the face of recurrent infectious disease threats.” As an historical note he added, “This may have been more aptly termed the Psychological Immune System, but that had already been claimed.”

Dr. Murray and co-authors explain that a fundamental goal of any organism is to protect itself from threat, and humans must navigate both realistic such as biological threats to health and symbolic threats such as those to group identity, moral values, and worldviews. Because they pose both realistic and symbolic threats, pandemics have high potential to influence many cognitions and behaviors, explained Dr. Murray.

Until recently psychologists have mostly dismissed the implications of pathogen threat for social cognition and behavior. In general, disease avoidance does not involve a great deal of deliberative thought, given that it is motivated by disgust or embedded cultural norms, reported Dr. Murray and co-authors in a 2017 research article.

However, viewed from the functional perspective, most social phenomena have disease-related causes and/or consequences which include relationships, motivations, moral cognition, and even cultural systems and political institutions, explain Murray & Schaller.

What are some of the most interesting research findings in this area?

“I used to answer this question by saying that disease influences the fundamental ways in which we socialize,” said Dr. Murray, “but now that we’ve all been through a world-altering pandemic that seems like common knowledge. I guess now I would say that I consider the most interesting findings to be those outcomes in the areas that people don’t intuitively link to disease, like conformity or moral judgment,” he said. “Are you more likely to condemn someone who morally transgresses when you’re worried about disease? Are you more likely to conform to even the tritest of social norms when you’re more concerned about disease? The research says ‘yes’ to both of these questions,” said Dr. Murray.

When it detects threat, the behavioral immune system activates anti-infection behavior, such as by eliciting disgust and promoting social avoidance, according to Murray & Schaller. The authors state that when this happens, COVID-19 alerts psychologists to uncertain conditions of infection risk that, to date, have been underappreciated and understudied.

What are some of the most practical applications, or main takeaways, regarding the behavioral system that readers might need to know?

“It’s hard to overstate just how important a factor disease has been in how and why we are the humans we are today,” said Dr. Murray. “With access to remarkable modern medicine, it’s easy to forget that throughout human history, infectious disease has been the biggest
threat to our well-being and thriving…it’s been the source of more deaths than all famines, wars, and natural disasters combined,” he said.

“So, in the lab our work is showing that yes—when people are temporarily made aware of a disease threat, they are more likely to vote with the majority, are more likely to condemn those that violate moral norms, and more likely to say that they would prefer fewer sexual partners in the next 5 years (and/or in their lifetimes),” said Dr. Murray.

“I think the bigger takeaways are that we see these effects play out at the societal level as well,” he said. “People living in countries or regions that have had historically higher levels of disease are (on average, of course) more likely to conform to the majority, more likely to
condemn moral-violators, and prefer fewer sexual partners. And even most importantly we see these psychological effects manifest in how countries and societies operate: more disease is associated with less trust of your neighbors, more authoritarian governance, and more restrictions on personal freedoms,” said Dr. Murray.

“We’ve found this when looking at both samples of contemporary nation states and samples of more traditional societies. Another huge downstream effect of disease threat (via its effects on less creative thinking) is less cultural innovation. You see this manifest in pretty much any innovation metric available…Nobel prizes, patents, global innovation scores, whatever.”

What are some of the other interesting findings in Dr. Murray’s publications?

“We’ve been doing a bunch of work over the past few years looking at how becoming a parent influences our political attitudes,” said Dr. Murray. “Most of this work has been led by Nick Kerry, a fantastic former grad student of the lab. As we know, motivations shift when one becomes a parent…as a parent you’re all of a sudden responsible for a very vulnerable other human, and you will be for many years.

“When we started this work,” said Dr. Murray, “we reckoned that maybe you’d see that motivational shift reflected in political attitudes, specifically in attitudes in the domain of social conservatism. Given that socially conservative attitudes emphasize group cohesion, familial stability, and more punitive punishments for people who might pose threats, we
predicted that parenthood is associated with higher political conservatism. This is exactly the pattern we find study after study—not just in America but all around the world. And this pattern is exclusive to social (and not economic) conservatism,” Dr. Murray said. “I think that this is fascinating work because so much work on parenting focuses on the other causal
arrow of how parents influence their children’s attitudes and behaviors. Our work shows how effects work in the opposite direction too; children influence their parents’ psychology simply by virtue of being children.”

How did he become involved in evolutionary psychology?

“I find ‘evolutionary psychology’ to be a term so fraught with baggage and misunderstanding that I don’t use it to categorize research programs or areas,” Dr. Murray said.

“Coming from early training in the biological sciences it never made sense to me why so many branches of psychology were uninterested in human origins, history, development, and culture. An evolutionarily-informed approach to the study of human cognition and behavior is complimentary to—not mutually exclusive of—the more proximal or situational
perspectives we see in the psychological sciences. It simply addresses our most fascinating ‘why’ questions at a different level of analysis,” said Dr. Murray.

“For example, if you were to try to answer the question, ‘Why do people fall in love?’ A common approach could be to look for all of the environmental and social triggers that cause people to fall in love. A complimentary evolutionary perspective could form answers to this question in a different way, by listing the ways in which the tendency to fall in love helped humans survive and thrive throughout history,” he said.

“It takes answers at both levels to best understand why people do what they do. Just as there’s no such thing as ‘non-evolutionary biology,’ neglecting the evolutionary level of analysis in psychology gives us an incomplete understanding of human cognition and behavior,” Dr. Murray said.

“So more basically my involvement/continued interest in evolutionary perspectives on psychology is that it more persistently asks the deeper ‘why’ question. We don’t get satisfactory answers to that ‘why’ question otherwise.”

Some of his current publications include:

Kerry, N., & Murray, D. R. (in press). Politics and parenting. In V. A. Weekes-Shackelford
&T. K. Shackelford (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology and Parenting. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Kerry, N., & Murray, D. R. (2020). Politics and parental care: Experimental and mediational tests of the causal link between parenting motivation and social conservatism. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 11, 284-292.

Murray, D. R., *Prokosch, M., & *Airington, Z. (2019). PsychoBehavioroImmunology:
Connecting the behavioral immune system to its physiological foundations. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 10:200. 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00200

Murray, D. R., Haselton, M. G., Fales, M. R., & Cole, S. W. (2019). Falling in love is associated with immune system gene regulation. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 00, 120- 126.

Damian R. Murray, PhD, is an Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, at Tulane University. He has a PhD in Social Psychology and a PhD in Minor Quantitative Methods, from University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC.

According to his bio at Tulane, Dr. Murray’s research programs follow two themes:

1) The consequences of a disease-avoidance motive for interpersonal relationships, social attitudes, personality, and cultural differences, and

2) The dynamics of new interpersonal relationships—the individual differences that predict formation, stability, and satisfaction in new romantic relationships, and the implications of these relationships for physiology and health.







LSU’s Dr. Todd, Creativity Expert, Named to National Sea Grant Program for La

Dr. Michelle Todd, Assistant Professor in the School of Leadership and Human Resource Development at Louisiana State University (LSU), was named Fellow in the Louisiana Discovery, Integration, and Application program, part of the National Sea Grant Program.

The Louisiana Sea Grant is a non-profit organization that funds coastal and sustainability research and projects in Louisiana. According to officials, the Louisiana Discovery, Integration, and Application program (LaDIA) strives to highlight leadership for the Louisiana coast area and to promote stewardship of the state’s coastal resources through a combination of research, education and outreach.

LaDIA Fellows receive training from national experts in science communication and outreach, as well as broaden their knowledge of coastal concerns, say officials. The Louisiana Sea Grant, based at Louisiana State University, is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Sea Grant Program, a network made up of 34 Sea Grant programs located in each of the coastal and Great Lakes states and Puerto Rico. LSU was designated the nation’s thirteenth Sea Grant College in 1978.

The Times asked Dr. Todd to tell us about the LaDIA Fellows and Louisiana Sea Grant Program.

“From what I have learned,” she said, “traditionally LaDIA Fellows Louisiana Sea Grant’s efforts have mostly come from a hard science (e.g., biology, marine science, engineering) space, but they have begun to value and integrate social sciences like psychology and anthropology,” Dr. Todd said. “A lot of knowledge and expertise about building hurricane-sustainable structures and remaining resilient in Louisiana’s tumultuous weather can be
gained from the coastal Louisiana indigenous communities. Currently, there are projects that include interviewing and learning from indigenous tribes,” she said.

“Additionally, more investment is being placed in Louisiana communities to teach Louisianans how to be weather-aware, prepared, and resilient,” said Dr. Todd. “I am
currently working on a grant proposal that will investigate the most effective methods
for bringing together and leading community groups to solve coastal/environmental
community problems,” she said.

“For example, if a community is interested in bettering its recycling program or its hurricane-preparedness, we will work with them to facilitate those group meetings,
including providing methods for structuring those meetings, communication strategies,
planning tools, leadership development, etc.,” Dr. Todd said. “We plan to do this with multiple communities and to collect data to assess which methods are most effective in solving community coastal problems.”

Training received as part of the program helps support innovative solutions to the 
coastal challenges facing the Mississippi River Delta and coastal systems worldwide, according to officials. The LaDIA Fellows program offers a one-year fellowship to highly talented tenure track faculty from institutions of higher education in Louisiana. A candidate’s selection is based on their innovative research and how it is relevant to Louisiana’s coast.

What other activities is Dr. Todd engaged in currently?

“I met a colleague,” she explained, “Dr. Anurag Mandalika, who I have been working with on Agricultural issues in Louisiana. Most recently, he and Dr. Deborah Goldgaber applied for a grant from LSU’s Center for Collaborative Knowledge to sponsor a Faculty Research Seminar on Ethics of AI, Automation, and Agriculture. The grant was just funded, and the scholars mentioned above, along with me and a few other interdisciplinary researchers across LSU, will begin meeting monthly to discuss the ethical issues that impact the agriculture industry as it becomes more automated, as well as potential solutions to these problems,” Dr. Todd said.

“A major issue is that as the agriculture industry becomes more automated, many Louisianans and migrant workers have lost or will lose their jobs,” she said. “Successful automation requires knowledge capture and transfer from skilled workers, while potentially harming these same workers in the future. Some of the questions we are looking into are,
‘What sorts of policies and procedures ought to be in place for conducting research in these areas? How can experts at LSU inform and affect policy in these areas?  What sort of ethical and professional frameworks ought to guide us in these areas?’”

What are her ideas on how to improve retention of the agricultural industry workers?

“Dr. Anurag Mandalika and I have specifically been discussing potential methods for improving the retention of agricultural workers agricultural industry workers,” Dr. Todd
said. “We are currently outlining a grant proposal on ways to better train leaders of agricultural companies on how to prepare their workers for increased automation, including providing their workers with cross-training of multiple skills so that workers may be better prepared to take on other jobs in the company if their current job becomes obsolete due to automation.”

Along with the LaDIA Fellows Louisiana Sea Grant Program and the ethics seminars, she is also working on her research in creativity. “I have been working with my colleague, Dr. Keith Strasbaugh on a large project investigating the impact that COVID-19 and increased telecommunicating (or complete telework) has had on creativity,” Dr. Todd said. “I am leading a symposium called ‘Novel Approaches to Managing Creativity in Organizations’ at this year’s Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology conference where we discuss some of the findings of this work,” she said.

“The first noteworthy finding is that the extent of telecommuting seems to have no relationship with creative job performance,” Dr. Todd said. “This is good news considering the shift to telecommuting or complete telework environments that are more prevalent in the modern workplace. This result suggests that organizations should not be weary of the CJP [creative job performance] of teleworkers,” she said.

“The next series of findings also seem to support this conclusion. Notably, problem solving, job complexity, and interdependence did not influence the relationship between telecommuting and CJP. This suggests that even with varying levels of problem solving, job
complexity, and dependence on coworkers, varying levels of telecommuting may be just as viable as in-person workplace environments,” said Dr. Todd.

“Social support was the only significant factor impacting telecommuting and CJP, delineating that high social support in increased telecommuting environments is key to increased CJP,” she said.

“When social support is low for people who telecommute more, their CJP appears to suffer. Therefore, organizations and supervisors should provide opportunities for more social support for creative workers who telecommute. Examples may include specified time for
peer-to-peer and subordinate-to-supervisor discussion and developmental feedback.,” she said.

Dr. Todd is currently in the process of publishing this paper, in addition to other work investigating the interaction of emotions, job engagement, and telework on creativity at work, she explained.

“Our first notable finding was that, in general, more positive emotions were reported by participants than negative emotions over the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and these positive emotions predicted greater CJP. Similar to the findings outlined above, this suggests that creativity at work was and is possible despite the stressors induced by the pandemic,” Dr. Todd said.

“However, we also found that negative emotions significantly diminished the relationship between job engagement and creative job performance during the pandemic. These finding stress that positive emotions during the pandemic are key to effective creative work, and
organizations concerned with creativity and innovation may benefit from initiatives to keep spirits high at work,” she said.

“When we examined telework in tandem with emotions and CJP, we found that telework did not significantly affect these relationships. That is, despite different work environments and differing hours of telecommuting, reported emotions were similar. This finding provides further evidence that creativity, along with emotion regulation, may thrive just as well in a telework environment as in a physical office.”

Dr. Todd has published her research in notable peer-reviewed outlets, including The Leadership Quarterly, Accountability in Research, and the Creativity Research Journal, in addition to editing a book, Creativity and Innovation in Organizations, published by Taylor and Francis.

She has conducted research funded by the Army Research Institute, the National Institutes of Health, and the state of Oklahoma. She has also collaborated on research and consulting projects with the U.S. Army, Department of Homeland Security, and U.S. Secret Service.

Dr. Todd’s publications include:

Todd, E. M., Higgs, C., & Mumford, M. D. (2022). Effective strategies for creative idea evaluation and feedback: The customer’s always right. Creativity Research Journal, 1-19.

MacLaren, N. G., Yammarino, F. J., Dionne, S. D., Sayama, H., Mumford, M. D., Connelly, S., Martin, R. W., Mulhearn, T. J., Todd, E. M., Kulkarni, A., Cao, Y., & Ruark, G. (2020). Testing the babble hypothesis: Speaking time predicts leader emergence in small groups. The Leadership Quarterly, 31, 101409.

Todd, E. M., Higgs, C. A., & Mumford, M. D. (2019). Bias and bias remediation in creative problem-solving: Managing biases through forecasting. Creativity Research Journal, 31,
1-14. DOI: 10.1080/10400419.2018.1532268

Mumford, M. D., Todd, E. M., & Higgs, C. A. (2018). Eminence and genius in the real-word:Seven critical skills that make possible eminent achievement. Journal of Genius and Eminence, 3, 13-25.

Dr. Todd received her PhD in Industrial-Organizational Psychology with a minor in Quantitative Psychology from the University of Oklahoma. Her research focuses on creativity, innovation, and leadership in organizations, as well as the development and training of
individuals for creative and leadership roles. She has also published work on ethical decision-making and ethics training.

She is Assistant Professor in the School of Leadership and Human Resource Development, in the College of Human Sciences & Education at Louisiana State University.






No Substantive Changes After Public Feedback on Proposed Rules from Psychology Board

After publishing over 19,000 words of new proposed regulations, the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists conducted a public hearing on December 16. The board dismissed calls from the public for substantive changes.

Proposed rule changes include those for fees, registration and oversight of assistants, continuing education rules, training, credentials and scope of practice for neuropsychology, specialty designations, ethics for school specialists, and the rules for using an Emeritus title.

More than 20 individuals submitted criticism of the proposed rules, the majority of comments had to do with the oversight of assistants to psychologists.

As required by law, the State Board published a “Notice of Intent” of the changes in November 20 issue of the Louisiana Register. According to several sources attending the public meeting, the board members wanted to avoid “substantive” changes brought about by feedback, which would then require a second Notice of Intent.

Dr. Kim VanGeffen from the Public Affairs Committee of the Louisiana Psychological Association, noted, “The Board stated that they will be unlikely to make major changes to the Rules as, to do so, would require reposting the Rules and having another period of commentary. They may make what they would term minor changes.”

The Times asked Dr. Greg Gormanous, current chair of the State Board, to comment and he  agreed to provide individual feedback. ” I am offering my comment as an individual. Also I am stipulating that you include the entire quote,” Dr. Gormanous wrote.

“The public hearing on rule making initiated by LSBEP served its purpose. Written comments  were read into the record. The written comments were from many people who were attending virtually. LSBEP also requested oral comments from a member of the public who attended in person. When the hearing ended, the Board, being sensitive to public attendees, next devoted a substantial amount of time and discussed most of the comments. Those deliberations resulted in several important non-substantive tweaks,” he said.

The board appeared to ignore the requests to show evidence of a need for the new detailed oversight and management regulations for assistants, a problem voiced by many of those commenting.

Public comments also included details of managing assistants. According to VanGeffen, “The  Board explained that the process of registering assistants will require an ‘administrative review’  and not full approval of the Board,” said VanGeffen. “Some people commented that the current wording of the Rules suggests that one would have to employ the person first before submitting the application for registration.” Also, “Currently the Rules require that the supervisor be “on  site” while the assistant is performing services,” she noted. “There were a number of comments  about how this is not consistent with the new Medicare guidelines […]. “There were questions about whether ATAPs who are currently employed would be “grandparented.'”

The new regulations effort stems from the 2021 House Bill 477, legislation put forth by the  Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists, now Act 238.

HB 477, authored by Representative Joe Stagni, was a compromise measure following the downsizing of a 23-page bill introduced by the psychology board in 2020 and then again in 2021. Under pressure from opponents, the board agreed to substitute a fee bill, telling sources that without the increased fees the board would not be able to operate in the future. This  message resonated with the majority of those attending a special meeting of the Louisiana Psychological Association called for by petition of those opposing the measure.

According to the Notice of Intent, the proposed rule changes will increase revenue collections for the LSBEP by $21,000 for FY 23 and $18,050 in FY 24 and FY 25. The estimate is 420 assistants.

Also according to the Notice, the Board claims that benefits include a positive impact for licensed psychologists and also for competition.

“The proposed rule changes will benefit Licensed Psychologists by reducing their risks associated with hiring unqualified individuals to work with vulnerable populations…” And, “The proposed rule changes are anticipated to have a positive effect on competition and employment. Licensed Psychologists who utilize ATAP’s are able to serve a larger client base than if working independently.

Next, the Board is required to respond to all comments and submit a report to legislative oversight committees, House Committee on Health and Welfare and the Senate Committee on Health and Welfare, according to the Administrative Procedures Act.

“The agency shall issue a response to comments and submissions describing the principal reasons for and against adoption of any amendments or changes suggested in the written or oral comments and submissions. In addition to the response to comments and submissions, the agency may prepare a preamble explaining the basis and rationale for the rule, identifying the data and evidence upon which the rule is based, and responding to comments and submissions. Such preamble and response to comments and submissions shall be furnished to the respective legislative oversight subcommittees […]

Also, “Prior to the adoption, amendment, or repeal of any rule or the adoption, increasing, or decreasing of any fee, the agency shall submit a report relative to such proposed rule change or fee adoption, increase, or decrease to the appropriate standing committees of the legislature and the presiding officers of the respective houses as provided in this Section. […]

This review is to include numerous items including: “(3) The specific citation of the enabling legislation purporting to authorize the adoption, amending, or repeal of the rule or purporting to authorize the adoption, increasing, or decreasing of the fee. […] ” (ii) A summary of all comments received by the agency, a copy of the agency’s response to the summarized comments, and a statement of any tentative or proposed action of the agency resulting from oral or written comments received.”

The oversight subcommittees determine among other things, whether the rule change or action on fees is in conformity with the intent and scope of the enabling legislation, and whether the rule change or action on fees is acceptable or unacceptable to the oversight subcommittee.

The public meeting was held December 16 and according to the Administrative Procedures Act was required to be at least 35 days after the notice was published. The Notice was published November 20, 2022. According to the Act, “Any hearing pursuant to the provisions of this Paragraph shall be held no earlier than thirty-five days and no later than forty days after the after the publication of the Louisiana Register in which the notice of the intended action appears.”








UNO’s Dr. Harshaw Studies Tylenol

University of New Orleans psychology professor Dr. Christopher Harshaw is uncovering the  possible link between a common pain reliever and developmental disorders. His findings have  been published in the October issue of Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, as reported  by UNO Campus news.

Dr. Harshaw was awarded a oneyear grant from the Louisiana Board of Regents for the  research, which focused on the developmental reaction that mice have to acetaminophen, best known by its popular brand name version, Tylenol.

In the UNO article, Harshaw said, “Several epidemiological studies have linked the use of acetaminophen in infants and young children to attention deficit and autism spectrum disorder  in humans. Studies in animals have also shown long-term changes in brain in behavior after  exposure to acetaminophen early in life. Most had nevertheless neglected the question of how acetaminophen interacts with inflammation early in life. We emphasize that, though  provocative, our results do not support a simple conclusion regarding the relative danger vs.  safety of (acetaminophen exposure) early in life.”

What are the most important applications of his findings?

“Though our results are provocative, we emphasize the need for caution. That is, the results of  our initial study do not support a simple conclusion regarding the relative danger of APAP  [acetaminophen] early in life for humans. First, our study has a number of limitations. We thus  plan to replicate these results and refine our methods in future experiments. Critically, we also  documented a significantly protective effect of APAP against a novel inflammation-induced morphological change in these same mice (see Harshaw & Warner, 2021). Given that a number  of prior studies have reported neuroprotective effects of APAP in specific contexts and brain cell types,” he explained, “future studies must investigate potential beneficial effects of APAP  against changes in the developing brain induced by early-life inflammation.”

As stated at the conclusion of the paper, “A key implication of our findings is that no simple  conclusion regarding the relative safety vs. danger of APAP early in life is yet possible. In fact, it  may be that inflammation and APAP constitute a developmental Scylla and Charybdis. Further  research is needed, however, to ascertain the veracity and boundaries of this claim, including  the conditions—genetic, epigenetic, and experiential—that may interact to canalize atypical  developmental trajectories in response to these common early life exposures” (Harshaw &  Warner, 2022).”

What are some more of his recent publications?

“My lab’s recent papers have focused on the effects of early life exposures on behaviors relevant to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) in mice. In particular, we’ve focused on exposure  of the mother to antibiotics (during pregnancy and nursing) and exposure of the pups to  acetaminophen early in development. Our paper on antibiotic (ABx) exposure found significant  differences in microbiome diversity following perinatal ABx that were far more pronounced in  male than in female offspring. We also found a number of subtle differences in behavior in these pups during the early postnatal period. However, we also showed that some of these  behavioral differences were, in fact, the result of significant deficits in temperature regulation in these animals, induced by ABx,” said Dr. Harshaw.

“Our paper on acetaminophen (APAP) examined how APAP interacts with inflammation early in ife to influence ASDrelevant behavior. This is an important question given that confound by  undication is a significant issue in the human epidemiological literature and early life sickness  and infection are also risk factors for neurodevelopmental disorders. We found distinct effects  of inflammation and APAP, with APAP increasing social caution in males but not females. We  also found significant interaction between inflammation and APAP, with ‘two hit’ inflammation +APAP females showing significantly greater levels of anxiety and ‘two hit’ males showing  levated levels of social avoidance.”

Can he tell us about his laboratory?

“My laboratory is called the Mechanisms Underlying Sociality (MUS) Lab and is located in the  Department of Psychology at the University of New Orleans (UNO).  It consists of a ‘wet lab’,  rooms in the animal facility, and office space. I currently have three Ph.D. students and a  number of undergraduate RAs in my lab. Two of the Ph.D. students are conducting their own  experiments in rodent models, and one is conducting a study examining the thermal correlates of social anxiety in human participants.”

What is his agenda for the coming years?

“In the coming years I plan to continue to focus on exploring the mechanisms underlying effects of early-life APAP on behavior. Using funds from the Louisiana Board of Regents (BoR), for  example, we recently purchased an Agilent ‘Seahorse’ mitochondrial analyzer and a vibratome  for slicing unfixed brain tissue. We will soon begin examining whether APAP induces long-term  mitochondrial damage in specific populations of neurons early in life.”

What is it like at UNO and how are things with the new chair?

“UNO is a great place to teach and conduct research–I am excited about continuing my career  here! The new chair, Dr. Refinetti, has also done a great deal to stabilize and grow the  department. Under his leadership the Department is in a far better position to adapt and meet  the changing needs of our students and community.”

Dr. Harshaw earned his Ph.D. in Developmental Science, with a specialization in Developmental  Psychobiology, at Florida International University in Miami. Since the Fall of 2017 he has been  an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of New Orleans.