2012 Division 54 award winners

The 2012 Division 54 award winners are Ric Steele, PhD; Meg Zeller, PhD; and Laura Simons, PhD

Martin P. Levin Mentorship Award

The Martin P. Levin Mentorship Award was given to Ric Steele, PhD. This award, sponsored by SPP and the Levin Foundation, honors a pediatric psychology faculty member who mentors students in an exemplary way, providing professional advice and guidance through various phases of training including early-career development.

Steele is a professor of psychology and applied behavioral science and a member of the core faculty of the Clinical Child Psychology doctoral program at the University of Kansas. Steele’s program of research is broadly concerned with the promotion of health and health-related quality of life (QOL) in children, adolescents, and families across a continuum of health risk categories. His current research is focused primarily on the promotion of weight-related health and QOL. Supported by state, federal, and foundation grants, his research team has examined the efficacy and effectiveness of family-based and systemic interventions for weight-related health promotion.

Beyond these grant-funded projects, Steele’s team also has various ongoing projects exploring the associations among healthrelated QOL, physical activity, and psychosocial variables such as perceived competence, peer victimization, and body dissatisfaction.

Steele serves as an associate editor for the Journal of Pediatric Psychology and as SPP Member at Large for Conferences (2011-2013).


Logan Wright Distinguished Research Award

The Logan Wright Distinguished Research Award was given to Meg Zeller, PhD. This award recognizes excellence and significant contributions in establishing the scientific base of pediatric psychology.

Zeller is an associate professor of pediatrics in the Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Zeller has been continuously funded through NIDDK- or NIDA-supported research (K23, R03, R01, U01-UM1) for the past decade, with over 50 peer-reviewed publications in the area of pediatric obesity since 2004. She has made significant contributions to the growth of the pediatric obesity health-related quality of life literature, including the development of three psychometrically sound condition-specific instruments: Impact of Weight of Quality of Life: Kids (IWQOL-Kids), Sizing Me Up, and Sizing Them Up (parent-proxy), all of which are actively being used by clinical programs and within NIH and industry-sponsored outcome studies.

Zeller leads the field in the study of the psychosocial adjustment and emerging risks for adolescents with extreme obesity and as this relates to bariatric surgery and its outcomes.


Routh Early-Career Award in Pediatric Psychology

The Routh Early Career Award was given to Laura Simons, PhD. This award recognizes significant contributions to the field of pediatricpsychology in research, clinical training, and/or service during the early career.

Simons is an assistant professor of psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a staff psychologist in the Pain Treatment Service at Children’s Hospital Boston. She is a committed researcher and clinician with a primary focus on assessment and development of treatment interventions to improve the lives of youth with chronic pain.

Simons’ program of research encompasses therapeutic program development and evaluation, coping with pain, parent responses to pain, anxiety/fear, psychophysiology, and assessment scale development with pediatric populations.

She has received several grants and awards to support her research efforts, with a recently awarded K23 Career Development Award from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) to examine the neural basis of pain-related fear and treatment response among children and adolescents with chronic pain.