Nominees for President

Meet Elissa Jelalian and Tim Wysocki

The Division 54 slate of candidates for the 2012 election for president.

Elissa Jelalian, PhD

Elissa Jelalian is an associate professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior and Pediatrics at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Her NIH-funded research focuses on innovative weight control interventions for children and adolescents, as well as adaptation of lifestyle interventions for children and adolescents with psychiatric and medical conditions. Her research has had a significant impact on development of behavioral weight control interventions for adolescents.

Jelalian has served as a mentor for pre-doctoral and postdoctoral trainees in pediatric psychology at Brown nearly 20 years.

She is strongly committed to training and was the recipient of a departmental award for outstanding mentorship in 2004 and the Division 54 Martin P. Levin Mentorship Award in 2010.

Jelalian is a Fellow in both Division 54 and The Obesity Society, and has served on more than 20 ad hoc and special emphasis review panels for the National Institutes of Health. She also serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Pediatric Psychology, the Journal of Family Psychology, and Health Psychology.

Jelalian received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Miami University. She completed her internship at the University of Rochester and a postdoctoral fellowship in pediatric psychology at Brown.

Candidate Statement
I am honored to be nominated for the position of Division 54 president. During the course of my membership, it is impressive how SPP’s scope and influence have grown to remain current with the compelling health and policy issues impacting today’s children.

As a pediatric psychologist, I am invested in health promotion across a range of patient populations and care settings, from studying physical activity interventions for adolescents challenged by excess weight to adapting the Livestrong program to enhance the well being of pediatric cancer survivors.

Division 54 has made tremendous strides in moving science into real-world practice and enhancing health outcomes for families from low-income and diverse backgrounds. Continued growth in these directions requires adaptation of evidence-based strategies to the communities where children live and clinicians practice. We will work toward these goals by training pediatric psychologists to have the foresight and critical thinking skills to enhance existing interventions to better meet the needs of children and families, as well as continuing to identify novel funding options for both research and clinical care.

It would be a privilege to serve as Division 54 president.

Tim Wysocki, PhD

Tim Wysocki’s travels in pediatric psychology include a Ph.D. from Western Michigan University, postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins, and faculty positions in departments of Pediatrics at Texas Tech, Ohio State and Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and Nemours Children’s Clinic in Jacksonville. At Nemours Children’s Clinic, he was a busy clinician and chief of the Division of Psychology and Psychiatry until 2004. Currently, he directs the Center for Pediatric Psychology Research and chairs two Nemours IRBs.

Wysocki has belonged to APA and SPP since 1982, received his ABPP diploma in 1999, and recently became a Division 54 Fellow. He has earned over $18 million in NIH and foundation grants and has authored or co-authored 265 publications, primarily on family adaptation to pediatric diabetes. His service to other professional societies includes being the first chairperson of the American Diabetes Association Council on Behavioral Medicine and Psychology and a board member of the International Society of Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes.

Division 54 honored Wysocki with the 2006 Logan Wright Distinguished Research Award, and he shared in the 2011 Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Award for Excellence in Clinical Research. He has reviewed many NIH and national foundation research grants, served on a number of editorial boards, and currently serves as an associate editor of the Journal of Pediatric Psychology.

Wysocki has supervised numerous graduate students, interns and postdoctoral fellows in clinical service and research.

Candidate Statement

There are few dimensions of the profession that I haven’t experienced and I feel well-prepared to serve Division 54 as president. All of us should contribute to defining the Division’s agenda over the next three years, but my short list of priorities would include:

  • Strengthening the evidence base showing that pediatric psychology enhances quality and/or decreases costs of health care;
  • Keeping pediatric psychology on pace with the rapid evolution of telecommunications, information technology, and social networking;
  • Helping pediatric psychologists build competitive skills in grant writing and authorship of journal articles;
  • Promoting a strong voice for Division 54’s interests and priorities within APA and to nurture relationships with other national and international organizations that are concerned primarily with children’s health and health care.

My core belief is that the vitality of pediatric psychology depends greatly on the empirical evidence that we collect and disseminate about the value we add to children’s health care.