News & Announcements

2018 LPA Poster Presenters Winners

Upcoming Journal

We are very pleased to announce that we are in the final stages of obtaining ability to sustainably publish a journal that we hope will incorporate the spirit of the previous Southern Psychologist.

A bit of history: The Southern Psychologist was published by LSU Psychology Department during the mid-1980s. Unfortunately, it was a victim of the budget cuts of that era, the first of many.  Despite its brief press run, however, it was influential and earned positive comments from such well-known psychologists as Hans Eysenck, Raymond Cattell, Richard Gorsuch, and Luciano L’Abate to name just a few.   

The reason was its professional relevance and timeliness. Its editor, Dr. Ralph Dreger, ensured its content was pertinent to both practitioners and researchers. It focused on topics important to the South and beyond. This is the spirit we hope to follow.

Our mission will be to emphasize what Psychology can do for our region. The South, perhaps for reason that no one still understands, has been slow to embrace this potential contribution. The results of this failure are all around us.  The mental and overall physical health of southern citizens is poor. The southern education system is often disconnected from advances in cognitive and social psychology. Southern criminal justice systems desperately need changes that are informed by behavioral science.  In the private sector many corporations inadequately understand what organizational psychology now can offer. Consequently, they are not maximally competitive beyond our region.   

To stay in the game, we must do better. We want to provide a venue for what a more psychological approach can accomplish for improving life in the South and beyond.  

To do this we propose a peer-reviewed, open source journal.  Our mission statement will be to reflect issues relevant to behavioral sciences in our region-and beyond. We want to link theory and practice. We will solicit empirical research and theoretical articles but also relevant theory-based case studies. This includes contributes from nonclinical areas, since these often do not have a usual publishing venue.  

Our affiliation is primarily to the discipline and science of psychology. However, an advisory group will be interdisciplinary and is now being assembled.  Because of a grant from our university we anticipate no necessary page charges.

While we will remain editorially independent of other groups, a nonfinancial affiliation with the Louisiana Psychological Association is natural. This is a deeper opportunity for Psychology to assert its identity to a region that has not recognized what we do and can do well. This is very much in the spirit of the original publication and we hope is a way of celebrating 70 years of LPA’s successes in our state.

We look forward to you hearing from us soon, asking for your help, your contributions, your effort, and your manuscripts in this exciting undertaking.

Bill McCown. PhD

MKay Bonner, PhD

Burt Ashworth, PhD

University of Louisiana at Monroe

Co Editors Pro Tem

Contemporary Southern Psychologist

Note from Lt. Governor Nungesser

2018 Award Winners Announced At Annual Convention

The LPA 2018 Distinguished Psychologist award winner was Dr. William McCown, who impressed the committee with his research on gambling addictions, applications of chaos theory to cognitive psychology, and his factor analysis of people who identify with the Grateful Dead experience.  His research has led to many applications in the community, leading to his service on the board of directors of the Louisiana Association on Compulsive Gambling.
The Early Career Psychologist Award for 2018 went to Dr. Christopher Parkinson, who has done extensive work with veterans.  He also has conducted significant research on risk factors for suicide and on palliative care in veterans. Dr. Kim VanGeffen was presented with the 2018 award for Distinguished Service in Psychology for her unflinching service as LPA liaison to LSBEP, her extensive work on the executive committee of LPA, and her persistence in supporting psychologists throughout the Louisiana community. Dr. Michael Cunningham was selected as the Psychology in the Public Interest award winner for his extensive work on adolescent psychological well-being, particularly in the African American community.  Dr. Michael Chafetz received the 2018 award for Contributions in Psychological Science for his research showing the high-stakes forensic applications of validity testing in low functioning individuals.
Previously, LPA awarded only the Distinguished Psychologist and Early Career Psychologist awards, but under the direction of our dynamic president, Dr. Julie Nelson, the additional awards were created. Drs. Kim VanGeffen, Beth Arredondo, Brian Mizuki, and Mike Chafetz were the members of the 2018 LPA Awards Committee, which conducted its work based on nominations and recommendations from the community. For any discussion in where there was a potential conflict of interest, the committee member recused him/herself. We thank the people who took the time to nominate and recommend individuals for the awards.