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

Dr. Michael Cunningham to Chair LPA Diversity Committee

Dr. Michael Cunningham will chair the newly created Diversity Committee for the Louisiana Psychological Association.

He 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 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,” said Dr. Julie Nelson, current President. “At the same time, 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.”

Dr. Cunningham serves 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.

He 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.

Representative examples of his research are: “School and community-based associations to hypermasculine attitudes in African American adolescent males,” in American Journal of Orthopsychiatry; “The relations of stressful events and future expectations in African American adolescents: Gender differences in parental monitoring,” in Journal of Negro Education; and “Personal characteristics: A situational filter for adolescent development (chapter 4),” in G. Creasy, & P. Jarvis (Eds.), Handbook of Adolescent Development in Urban Communities: Resilience in the Neighborhood.

His work is uniformly esteemed and he was honored in 2013 with the Distinguished Contributions Award from the prestigious Society for Research in Child Development, among others. He is Editor forResearch 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.

“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.”

The committee was created in January with the goals to work with organizational partners within LPA to help recruit new members of diverse backgrounds over the next year; work together with the I-O Psychology Committee to conduct a needs assessment survey of racially and ethnically diverse psychologists relevant to creating programs within LPA; and participate in discussions with members and non-members to engage and collect focus group information to guide program development.

Working with the Legislative Affairs Committee, the new committee members will help monitor state legislation having to do with Louisiana’s African American citizens and other diverse groups and where appropriate offer scientific support or clarification to the authors.

The committee will also work with the Conventions/Education and the Public Education committees to develop two programs related to diversity initiatives for the on-going educational programs.

photo by J. Nelson