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Professor Elected into Leadership Role of Esteemed Psychological Association

Paula Shear will serve as president elect of the American Psychological Association Division 40, the division of clinical neuropsychology.

Date: 7/23/2012
By: Tom Robinette
Phone: (513) 556-8577
How’s this for brain power? The Psychology Department now has one of its own among the upper echelon of leadership in the most influential psychological organization in the country.
Professor of psychology and psychiatry Paula Shear will begin her term as president elect of the American Psychological Association in August.

Professor of psychology and psychiatry Paula Shear was recently elected by her peers to serve a one-year term beginning in August as president elect of the American Psychological Association (APA) Division 40. Upon completion of her term as president elect, Shear will serve consecutive one-year terms as president and past president, respectively.

“It’s a nice opportunity to have an impact,” Shear says. “In addition to working with other specialty groups within APA, in this role I can actively collaborate with the presidents of other neuropsychological organizations, too.”

The APA, according to its website, is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. Division 40, the division of clinical neuropsychology, is devoted to the study of brain-behavior relationships and the clinical application of that knowledge to human problems; promotes the use of scientific research to develop its knowledge base and clinical techniques; and is active in the development and promotion of quality standards of professional training and practice.

Division 40 has around 5,000 members and is historically one of the largest divisions of the APA. Shear says it’s an active group and one that the APA will often rely on for support, whether it’s related to lobbying Capitol Hill to update legislation or addressing national issues surrounding neuropsychology.

“For example, there has been a lot of legislation this year dealing with return to play concerns for athletes after head injuries,” Shear says. “For those kinds of issues, Division 40 contributes considerable advocacy work, often in collaboration with the larger APA organization.”

Shear has been a faculty member in the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences since 1997 and serves as the Department of Psychology’s director of the clinical psychology graduate program. Her research interests are in the neuropsychological strengths and weaknesses in patients with neuropsychiatric disorders; affective cognition; neuropsychology of epilepsy; neuroimaging; and cognitive assessment.  Her teaching interests are in clinical and abnormal psychology and neuropsychology.

The depth of information available to Shear through her leadership in the APA will be a significant advantage for the Psychology Department’s training programs and beyond. She will have direct access to the most current science happening in such a rapidly changing field, which should translate into increased name recognition for the University of Cincinnati, more highly informed faculty and students being even better equipped for professional success.

“It’s really good to have confidence that you have current information,” Shear says. “It makes you a better teacher, adviser and mentor when you know current trends in the field.”

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