Follow Us



Dr. Smith to Lead Academic/Scientific Committee

Dr. T. Scott Smith from University of Louisiana Lafayette, is heading up the Academic & Scientific Committee for LPA and is coordinating the Science Café feature at the May 2018 Convention. 

Dr. Smith is Assistant Professor in the Psychology Department and leads research in his lab, The Louisiana Applied and Developmental Psychological Sciences Laboratory, where he is interested in how cell phone distraction affects the learning process, not only in the classroom, but also how applicable distractions may affect driving behaviors and eyewitness memory. Smith has authored Cell Phone Distraction, Human Factors, and Litigation, published by Judges and Lawyers Publishing and which is becoming a popular resource for legal professionals. 

Dr. Smith’s committee will be focused on ways to advance psychology through the activities of psychological scientists and academic psychologists around the state, coordinating and engaging those in the association and helping to engage others in the universities. 

Dr. Smith helped design the first LPA Science Café, which was held in November 2017 at the LPA Fall Conference in New Orleans. The Café hosted psychological scientists from laboratories around the state who shared their work, included researchers from the University of New Orleans, Pennington Biomedical and the University of Louisiana Lafayette.

Dr. Elliot Beaton, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of New Orleans and the director of the Stress, Cognition, and Affective Neuroscience Laboratory, discussed how stress affects brain development. He was joined by researchers Ashley Sanders, MS, and David Stephenson, MS.

Dr. Christopher Harshaw, Assistant Professor, who directs the Mechanisms Underlying Sociality Laboratory at U. of New Orleans presented his work on understanding the role played by somatic factors in cognition and behavior.

Dr. Robert Newton, Jr., Associate Professor and director of the Physical Activity & Ethnic Minority Health Lab at Pennington Biomedical, discussed the effect of physical activity on African American’s health through the Aerobic Plus Resistance Training to Increase Insulin Sensitivity in African American Men study.

Dr. Valanne MacGyvers, Assistant Professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, described her work on issues of mindset in achieving excellence, examining the role of mindset in the prediction of academic excellence and in the understanding of psychological problems in adolescents, including depression, anxiety and eating disorders.  

Dr. Smith discussed cell phone distraction and how cell phone distraction affects the learning process, not only in the classroom, but also how applicable distractions may affect driving behaviors and eyewitness memory. Dr. Smith also discussed his work on the effects of video game play on aggressive behaviors for children, adolescents, and adults.

Dr. Charles Taylor, Assistant Professor of mechanical engineering, founder of the Cajun Artificial Heart Laboratory, a biomedical research lab with high-end computing and visualization systems as well as a mock circulatory loop for the purpose of testing artificial heart valves, discussed the theories and principles of artificial organ creation and his on-going projects. 

Dr. Smith also directs the Forensic Cognition Laboratory at the University. “I primarily concentrate on how cognition applies to the courts,” said Smith, “such as eyewitness testimony, judicial decision-making, memory, and other aspects. I also focus on reasons why students with disabilities fail or are successful with education. Lastly, I am completing research with a graduate student on head injury protocols for athletes, with emphasis on high school athletes.


APA Citizen Psychologist Survey

Dear colleague:
Are you an APA Citizen PsychologistTM?   Click hereto complete a brief survey to let us know.
I have long been committed to recognizing people in psychology for their contributions to, and leadership within the communities in which they work and live. I also believe that we must be in the room, at the table, and at the head of the table where decisions are made, in healthcare, federal and state policy, community programs, and elsewhere.  My APA Citizen PsychologistTM initiative seeks to understand, train, and honor individuals doing this work. You can read more about it here.
Share your story now.  This anonymous surveyaims to learn about the frequency and roles that individuals occupy as Citizen Psychologists. The survey takes 15 minutes or less to complete. If you decide to take a break mid-way through the survey, please return to the same computer or device otherwise you will be asked to start from the beginning of the survey. Each participant who fully completes the survey will have the option to be entered into a random drawing for a chance to win one of four $200 gift cards.
Your participation is strongly encouraged, but completely voluntary. I thank you in advance for taking the time to complete this brief, but important survey.  
Together, we can make sure that psychology is every day, in every way.
Jessica Henderson Daniel, PhD, ABPP

2018 APA President


Dr. Courtland Chaney Appointed to Governor’s Task Force to Prevent Sexual Harassment

Dr Chaneyphoto by J. Nelson

A Director on Louisiana Psychological Association’s Executive Council, Industrial-Organizational Psychologist, Dr. Courtland Chaney, has been appointed to the Governor’s Task Force on Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Policy.

 In a statement on December 15, 2017 the Governor’s Office announced the new Task Force and stated that seven members are included who will “review current harassment and discrimination policies within every state agency that falls under the executive branch, as well as research and identify the most effective ways to create work environments that are free from any form of harassment or discrimination.”

 Dr. Chaney currently serves as Director on the LPA Executive Council and is the area chef for the Public Affairs and Services, coordinating the association’s Speaker’s Bureau, Diversity & Advocacy, and Disaster Response Network.

Dr. Courtland Chaney is a licensed industrial-organizational (I-O) psychologist in private practice in his company, Human Resource Management Associates, Inc., is located in Baton Rouge. Chaney currently serves as a Director on the Executive Council of the Louisiana Psychological Association. He was a faculty member in the Department of Management at Louisiana State University until his retirement in 2010.

 The Task Force was created after Governor Edward’s deputy chief of staff, Johnny Anderson, voluntarily resigned amid an investigation of a harassment claim against him. Anderson says he is innocent of any wrongdoing. Some critics noted that Anderson should not have been hired because he had a similar problem while at Southern University, according to reports in the Times-Picayune.

 Dr. Chaney commonly provides anti-harassment training for businesses that he assists and believes all decision-makers should ask themselves certain questions, involving “Am I acting in an ethical manner? Am I treating people fairly, the way I would want to be treated, the way I would want my loved ones to be treated?” And, “Am I in compliance with all federal, state and local laws?”

 He often engages his attendees to talk as a group and or individually, to dig into these types of questions even more thoroughly where needed.

“In my judgment, most anti-harassment training––including sexual harassment––focuses on following the EEOC guidelines …” he said.

But after that analysis, which can be comprehensive, Dr. Chaney believes that the issues can extend to the organizational culture.

“I believe our next effort should be focused on describing the type of organizational culture we aspire to have and articulating the behaviors we expect of organizational members,” he explained. “The expected behaviors should then be reinforced through human resource management practices, including performance management, feedback, and progressive discipline.”

“Sexual harassment and discrimination,” said Governor Edwards in the December announcement, “have no place in the workplace…”

“Every member of this task force brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the table, and I have confidence in their ability to meet the goals and objectives set before them,” said Gov. Edwards. In an Executive Order he outlined the duties of the group:

• Review the sexual harassment and discrimination policies of each state agency within the executive branch.

• Research and identify the most effective mode of training to prevent workplace sexual harassment and discrimination and evaluate the effectiveness of the existing video state employees are required to view each year.

• Develop a protocol for sexual harassment and discrimination policy orientation for new employees, those participating in any state sponsored training academy and employees promoted to supervisory positions.

• Research and identify the specific conduct that should be prohibited by sexual harassment and discrimination policies.

• Research and identify a clear reporting process when an allegation is made as well as the most appropriate action that should be taken once an investigation is completed.



Election Results for Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists


Dr. Flint Nominated for APA Early Career Delegate

Dr. Jinaki Flint was recently nominated by LPA for the 2018 Early Career Psychologist Delegate to the American Psychological Association Practice Leadership Conference.

Dr. Flint is a New Orleans resident and an a employee of Tulane Counseling. 
"Dr. Flint is an insightful, energetic and dedicated young professional whom the Early Career Psychologists leaders recruited especially to help with reaching out to new young professionals and especially to those from diverse backgrounds. She resides in New Orleans where we plan to have a strong focus for our 2018 recruiting efforts," said LPA President, Dr. Julie Nelson. 


LPA Health Innovations Group Works to Assist Medicaid Task Force

Members of the Louisiana Psychological Association Healthcare Innovations Task Force, recently worked to help with discovering innovations that could help the state Medicaid programs.

Members include Chair Dr. Lacey Seymour, Dr. Chris Leonhard, Dr. Deborah Palmer-Seal, Dr. Erin Reuther, and Dr. Michele Larzelere.

In August Dr. Lacey Seymour was appointed as the LPA representative to the Medicaid Integrated Assessment Task Force, a group created by Representative Barbara Norton and others, with the goal to “make a thorough study and evaluation of Louisiana's current statewide system of healthcare delivery for Medicaid enrollees with serious mental illness.” Dr. Seymour is a licensed psychologist and a past-president of the association.

LPA also created a special committee, “LPA Healthcare Innovations Task Force,” including members Dr. Chris Leonhard, Dr. Deborah Palmer-Seal, Dr. Erin Reuther, and Dr. Michele Larzelere. Dr. Seymour is chair. 

The Healthcare Innovations committee works to “craft, communicate, and apply a comprehensive and integrated role for psychologists, similar to the health service psychologist, with the aim of enhancing and expanding the practice options and contributions of these psychologists within Louisiana’s traditional healthcare system. The committee’s efforts may include, but not be limited to, the following: to assist current policy makers to innovate; to help inform and educate the public and policy makers about psychologists’ broad-based contributions in service of common health goals; to help guide and educate other psychologists in knowledge, skills, and abilities that aid them in understanding and fulfilling, or beginning to fulfill, this expanded role; …” 

In working with the Medicaid Task Force, the LPA Committee members made recommendations to the task force members, including telepsychology services, for the use of consulting health psychologists, and a recommendation to participate in projects currently underway elsewhere in the country with the goal of improving mental health services in primary care.


Louisiana Children’s Trust Fund Board Nominees

President Julie Nelson and the Executive Council wish to thank our member Dr. Julie Larrieu for serving on the Children's Trust Fund Board over these last years. “Thank you Dr. Larrieu for your service to our children!”

Dr. Larrieu's term expired recently and the Governor's Office requested three names for nomination lists.

LPA and the Council sincerely thanks our three distinguished psychologists who have volunteered to place their names on the list:

Angela Breidenstine, PhD Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans

Lucinda DeGrange, PhDPrivate Practice, New Orleans

Paula Zeanah, PhD
University of Louisiana Lafayette Lafayette

Those willing to serve will be able to help direct efforts to prevent child abuse and neglect, and so to participate in leading in this very important goal for the well-being of our state's children.

You can research more about this Board by going to their website and/or to their listing under the Boards & Commissions site on the web.


Tulane’s Dr. Cunningham Nominated as Diversity Delegate

LPA has nominated Dr. Michael Cunningham, Tulane Professor, for the state’s Diversity Delegate to the American Psychological Association for 2018.

“Dr. Cunningham is an outstanding leader in our community in the area of diversity, an African American, a psychologist, educator and scientist who epitomizes excellence and service to his community,” wrote current President, Dr. Julie Nelson.

Dr. Cunningham is Professor of Psychology at Tulane University, and holds a Joint Appointment as Provost in the African and African Diaspora Studies Program at Tulane. His research focuses on resilience and vulnerability in adolescent populations and context specific phenomena associated with mental health and academic outcomes among African Americans. 

“Dr. Cunningham is a gracious and generous colleague willing to aid others with his knowledge. In fact, he was just recently named for his mentoring of young people to leadership roles in STEM sciences, by Insight into Diversity Magazine," Nelson said. “Dr. Cunningham has led a personal and professional life at the intersection of the science of psychology and issues of diversity, especially of racial issues of African Americans, a topic of great importance to the state of Louisiana, where children still exist in third generation poverty in some areas.”

"He is uniquely qualified to help LPA with it goals in diversity and also, at our stage of planning, to give credibility and voice to our recruiting of African American psychologists, individuals of color, and other underrepresented individuals," said Nelson.

Dr. Cunningham has published papers that focus on gender and context specific phenomena associated with mental health and academic outcomes among African Americans. His research examines numerous themes, such as precursors to bravado attitudes in African American males, parental monitoring and social support as buffers to stressful situations, and the relation of racial identity to academic and mental health outcomes. His research is supported by local and regional collaborative relationships with schools and community organizations.

He was honored in 2013 with the Distinguished Contributions Award from the prestigious Society for Research in Child Development, among others. He is Editor for Research in Human Development (2018-2024), Associate Editor for Child Development (2007 – present), and on the Editorial Board Member Journal of Negro Education (2011 – 2017), among many other scholarly activities where his expertise in the psychology of racially diverse individuals is utilized.

He serves in many ways, such as on his university’s President’s Commission of Race and Tulane Values, as Co-Chair for Black Caucus of the Society for Research in Child Development and as the Task Force to Study the role of racial/ethnic caucus relationships to the Society.

His work is supported by numerous sources such as the BOR/SREB Graduate Fellowships to Promote Diversity Program, National Center for the Urban Community at Tulane & Xavier Universities, and the Center for Public Service, as examples. He is a member of LPA and has presented at the association's conventions and served on committees. 


Dr. Alan Coulter Named to Bullying Prevention Task Force

LPA has named W. Alan Coulter, PhD to the Louisiana Bullying Awareness and Treatment Task Force.

Dr. Coulter is a licensed psychologist and the Chair of our School Psychology Committee for LPA.

Dr. Coulter is the Director of Program Area for the School of Allied Health Professions, Human Development Center, at LSU Health Sciences Center. Among his many honors, he is the recipient of the Child Advocacy Award from the National Association of School Psychologists. He has served as the President for the National Association of School Psychologists, among many other leadership roles.

The Bulllying Awareness and Treatment Task Force was created by House Resolution No. 208 in the 2017 regular legislative session, and authored by Representative Barbara Norton.

HR 208 directs the purpose of the task force members to make a thorough study of bullying prevention strategies to develop a Louisiana Bullying Awareness and Treatment Plan which provides, at a minimum, recommendations regarding: 
1) Positive reforms to prevent bullying;

2) Counseling and other treatment services for youths who are victims of bullying as well as youths who are involved in bullying; and

3) Best practices for establishing a safe and healthy environment for all children to learn, grow, and develop.

HR 208 also directs task force members to consider a comprehensive statewide effort to fully identify and address problem areas; a change in the environment to effectively combat bullying behaviors; and a change in the norms for behavior from students, educators, parents, and others to successfully address the problem


Membership Renewal



2017 LPA Fall Workshop


2017 LPA Convention