SPP faculty awards

Read about the 2015 winners for the SPP faculty awards.

By Tim Wysocki, PhD

Wright Ross Salk Award

Suzanne Bennett Johnson, PhD, is a distinguished research professor at Florida State University (FSU) College of Medicine and the 2012 president of the American Psychological Association (APA). From 2002-2010, she served as the first chair of the Department of Medical Humanities and Social Sciences at FSU College of Medicine. Prior to that time, she was a distinguished professor and director of the Center for Pediatric Psychology and Family Studies at the University of Florida Health Science Center. From 2001-02, she was a Robert Wood Johnson health policy fellow, working in the office of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. The recipient of 35 years of continuous research funding from the National Institutes of Health, Johnson is considered an international expert in the areas of medical regimen adherence, childhood diabetes, pediatric obesity and the psychological impact of genetic screening on children and families. She has a long history of service in pediatric psychology. She was president of the Society of Pediatric Psychology in 1993 and president of APA’s Div. 38 (Health Psychology) in 1994-95. She received SPP’s distinguished research award in 1996 and its mentorship award in 2000. She received Div. 38’s highest service award in 2007. In 2013 she was recognized by the Elizabeth Beckman Foundation for her ability to inspire her students to make a difference in the world.


SPP Award for Outstanding Mentorship

Lori J. Stark, PhDLori J. Stark, PhD, is a tenured professor of pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and director of the Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC). She began her career at Brown University School of Medicine where she co-initiated the pediatric psychology internship rotation and postdoctoral training program in pediatric psychology with Anthony Spirito, PhD. After moving to CCHMC, she was a founding faculty member and a mentor on the T32 postdoctoral training grant: Center for Child Behavior and Nutrition (principal investigator [PI]: Scott Powers). Across her career she has served as primary mentor to over 22 postdoctoral fellows, 12 who have gone on to be PIs with National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding, with many progressing from career development awards to R01 and U01 funding. She was a 10-year recipient of a K24 and has been funded through the NIH and/or the Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Foundation since 1987 for her work to develop and test behavioral interventions to improve nutritional outcomes for patients with CF and, more recently, to reduce obesity in preschool age children. She has published over 80 peer-reviewed papers and served on a number of treatment guideline papers for nutrition in CF. She is a charter fellow in Div., 54, Logan Wright Distinguished Research Award awardee (2003), former Div. 54 secretary (1998-2001) and president (2008). Her dedication to mentorship was also recently recognized through receipt of the Arnold W. Strauss Endowed Chair for Mentoring from CCHMC.


Dennis Drotar Distinguished Research Award

Jan L. Wallander, PhDJan L. Wallander, PhD, is professor and chair of psychological sciences at University of California, Merced, with expertise in pediatric psychology. His research is focused on risk and protective processes associated with the health, quality of life and well-being of children and adolescents, as well as empirically supported interventions to improve these outcomes. A portion of this work has focused on those with pediatric disease or disability, as well as their families, but he is also interested in disparities in these outcomes associated with race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status. With a strong international focus, he has conducted collaborative research in the Netherlands, Norway, Australia, Zambia, India and Pakistan currently. Current research involves the Healthy Passages project, which is a longitudinal cohort study tracking influences on health and development in diverse youth by following over 5,000 from age 10 to 16, and the BRAIN-HIT project, a randomized controlled trial of a home-based developmental stimulation program to prevent disability in infants born at risk in low/low-middle resource countries. This work has produced over 300 scientific publications in journal and books and presentations at meetings and institutions nationally and internationally.


Routh Early Career Award

Katie A. Devine, PhDThis award recognizes significant contributions to the field of pediatric psychology in research, clinical training and/or service during the early career. Katie A. Devine, PhD, the recipient of the award, is an assistant professor of medicine and pediatrics at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. She obtained a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Georgia. As a graduate student, she served as the student representative to the SPP Executive Board. She completed her predoctoral internship at the University of Florida Health Science Center and postdoctoral training at Loyola University Chicago. She obtained a MPH while completing the Cancer Control Training Program at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Devine’s work focuses on pediatric cancer survivorship, with an emphasis on issues relevant for adolescent and young adult (AYA) survivors. She is also interested in the use of mobile technology to promote healthy behaviors. Current projects include evaluation of a mobile health fitness program for AYA survivors of pediatric cancers and development of an intervention to improve self-management skills in AYA survivors.


Carolyn S. Schroeder Award for Outstanding Clinical Practice

Shanna M. Guilfoyle, PhDShanna M. Guilfoyle, PhD, is an assistant professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and a faculty member in the Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC). She received a PhD in clinical psychology from Kent State University and completed a predoctoral internship and postdoctoral research fellowship at CCHMC. Guilfoyle is dedicated to integrated clinical care, clinical research and mentorship. She currently serves as the clinical psychologist within the CCHMC Comprehensive Epilepsy Center’s New Onset Seizure Clinic and specializes in the assessment and treatment of psychological comorbidities associated with pediatric epilepsy and medication non-adherence. The integrated model of psychosocial care for children with epilepsy and their families that she provides includes standardized screening and intervention to address internalizing and externalizing disorders, health-related quality of life and adherence barriers. Guilfoyle also serves as a co-investigator on a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded randomized controlled clinical trial examining a family-based behavioral intervention to improve anti-epileptic drug adherence and as the training sirector for CCHMC’s O’Grady Residency in Pediatric Psychology.


SPP Award for Distinguished Contributions to Diversity in Pediatric Psychology

Celia M. Lescano, PhDCelia M. Lescano, PhD, received her PhD in 1998 from the University of Florida Department of Clinical and Health Psychology. She went on to an internship at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital and postdoctoral fellowship at Brown University, where she stayed on faculty until 2010. She is currently a research associate professor in the Department of Mental Health Law & Policy at the University of South Florida and the co-director of the USF Center for HIV Education and Research. She has been a student or full member of SPP since 1992, having achieved fellow status in 2014. Lescano was the inaugural SPP member at large for diversity from 2010-2013, and she has been active as a reviewer for student and faculty conference submissions and awards and as a long-standing member of SPP’s Diversity Committee. She serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Pediatric Psychology, most recently as a co-associate editor for a special issue on diversity and health disparities and is a frequent reviewer for the National Institutes of Health. Lescano was also the recent recipient of the inaugural SPP Award for Distinguished Contributions to Diversity in Pediatric Psychology. Her research interests are in the area of HIV prevention and health promotion among minority and underserved populations.