Candidate Statements for Division 40. Society for Clinical Neuropsychology

Please note that the submission of a candidate statement was voluntary, so not all candidates listed on the ballot will have a statement.

Candidate: Adam M. Brickman, PhD

Office: President-elect

Candidate Statement:

Adam Brickman is an Associate Professor at Columbia University. He completed his bachelor’s in neuroscience/psychology at Oberlin College, PhD at CUNY, internship at Brown University, and post doc at Columbia University. He has been an active scientist, clinician, and educator. Adam’s research focuses on cognitive aging and dementia. He has authored over 200 research articles. His work has been recognized by several awards, such as the Manfred Meier Award (APA), the James McKeen Cattell Award (NYAS), and the Irving Scholarship (Columbia). Adam was the 2010 recipient of early career awards from APA (SCN), International Neuropsychological Society (INS), and became a fellow of APA (SCN) in 2013. He serves on several journal editorial boards.

It is an honor to be nominated for President of SCN. My leadership roles have included chair of the program committee (2011), member of the Scientific Advisory Committee (2007-2013), member of APA’s Committee on Aging (2010-2013), INS Board member (2013-2016), and ISTAART Vascular PIA Executive Committee member (2017-). If elected, I would draw on these experience to work hard together with and on behalf of neuropsychologists to promote the scientific, clinical, educational, and policy initiatives for our field to thrive. SCN is in a unique position to advocate for research in neuropsychology; ensure evidenced-based evolution of clinical standards; infuse the field with future leaders from diverse backgrounds; and work within the APA infrastructure to leverage its advocacy power. I am very much looking forward to the opportunity to participate in the realization of these goals.




Candidate: Rodney D. Vanderploeg, PhD, ABPP-CN

Office: President-elect

Candidate Statement:

Rodney D. Vanderploeg, Ph.D., ABPP-CN recently retired from the Tampa VAMC where he provided direct clinical care, training/education, and neuropsychological research since 1987. He served as a neuropsychologist in the Brain Injury and Polytrauma Rehabilitation programs, Director of Clinical Training (1995 to 2009: Psychology Internship and Postdoctoral Fellowship programs), and Supervisor of the Brain Injury and Neuropsychology since 2009. He helped develop the Blast Injury Program and Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center at the Tampa VAMC. He is Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences at the University of South Florida, Associate Editor of The Clinical Neuropsychologist, and member of multiple other editorial boards, as well as the American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology. Following VA retirement, he continues independent practice, research, and journal editorial and review responsibilities.

I am honored to be nominated for President of SCN. Through my work as SCN representative on the APA Council of Representatives, past APA SCN program chair, and current SCN Executive Committee member, I have gained an appreciation of the diversity of experiences, professional interests, and needs of division membership. As a Division of APA, SCN is in the best position to advocate for and work to address the needs of neuropsychologists in all professional settings: practice, education, and research. We need to work to expand practice settings and integrate into Primary Care and elsewhere which may require adjusting practices by setting. If elected, I look forward to Partnership with APA to promote the practice and scientific work of our members.




Candidate: Amy Jak, PhD

Office: Secretary

Candidate Statement:

Amy J. Jak, Ph.D. earned her degree from the University of Cincinnati and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in neuropsychology at the VA San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS). She is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and a Staff Neuropsychologist and Director of the TBI Cognitive Rehabilitation Clinic at VASDHS. She is also the Co-Director of the UCSD/VA Psychology Internship Program and active in mentoring neuropsychology trainees at all levels. Her program of research is funded by the DoD, VA, and the Alzheimer’s Association and centers on the neuropsychology of aging as well as TBI. Dr. Jak is an APA Fellow, chaired SCN’s Program Committee in 2011-12 and has served as SCN Secretary since 2015.

It has been a sincere pleasure serving as SCN Secretary. Getting to know so many of my neuropsychology colleagues across the country has been one of my greatest professional joys. As a researcher, clinician, and mentor to trainees, I feel I am able to contribute broadly to SCN’s mission and goals and reciprocally benefit by learning immensely from division members. I am eager to have the opportunity to continue applying this knowledge of SCN and APA to another term as Secretary. If elected, I will remain accessible to members, foster a collaborative environment, and communicate effectively and efficiently with our executive committee, our members, and within APA at large. I would be honored to continue to serve as SCN Secretary and remain an active voice in our division.




Candidate: Sara L. Weisenbach, PhD

Office: Secretary

Candidate Statement:

Sara Weisenbach, Ph.D., ABPP earned her doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology from Colorado State University in 2005. She completed post-doctoral training in Clinical Neuropsychology and Advanced Geriatrics at University of Michigan and VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. She is currently Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at University of Utah and VA Salt Lake City. She directs the neuropsychology program in Psychiatry and co-directs a VA Cognitive Disorders Clinic. Her research focuses on the intersection of depression and dementia during late life, using neuropsychological and neuroimaging tools to measure neurobiological outcomes and predict prognosis. Her work has been funded through NIH and the VA. She is active in mentoring trainees at all levels.

I am extremely honored to be nominated to serve as Secretary of SCN. I have been a member in SCN for over 10 years. I have served as a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee, and am the 2018 SCN Program Chair. Through my work in these roles, I have gained an appreciation for the important role our organization plays in guiding science, practice, education, and advocacy of neuropsychology within APA and the psychology community, at large. If elected, I would work with the President, Executive Committee, membership, and other organizations to continue existing and create new initiatives that advance SCN’s mission. I believe that my previous service to SCN, in addition to my active engagement with clinical, research, and educational endeavors places me in an excellent position to take on this esteemed position.




Candidate: Dustin B. Hammers, PhD, ABPP-CN

Office: Treasurer

Candidate Statement:

Dustin Hammers, Ph.D, ABPP-CN is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology at the University of Utah’s Center for Alzheimer’s Care, Imaging, and Research, where he has been providing clinical services, conducting research, and supervising since 2011. He received his doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Ohio University in 2009, subsequently completing training in clinical neuropsychology at the Ann Arbor VA (internship) and the University of Michigan (post-doctoral fellowship). He received Board Certification in Clinical Neuropsychology in 2014, and has been a long-standing member of various psychological and neuropsychological communities, currently serving on APA’s Committee on Rural Health. He is the Clinical Director for Neuropsychology Services in his Department, and is on the forefront of investigating the effects of short-term air pollution on cognition in the elderly.

I am greatly honored to be nominated for Treasurer of SCN. Through my work as a member of the Committee on Rural Health, I have gained experience with large-scale organizational governance, and feel that the ties I have made within APA will allow me to act as a liaison between SCN and the greater psychological community. Additionally, my roles as Clinical Director and research PI have both enhanced my understanding of the business and budgets associated with neuropsychology clinical operations and research, which I feel will be critical expertise if I am elected as Treasurer of SCN. Finally, through my role at APA I have worked towards enhancing the opportunities for early career psychologists, which I hope to continue doing within SCN.




Candidate: Justin B. Miller, PhD

Office: Treasurer

Candidate Statement:

Justin B. Miller, Ph.D., completed his graduate training at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, and internship and fellowship at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, where he worked with complex neurological populations including movement disorders, brain tumors, epilepsy, and neurodegenerative disease. Since 2013, Dr. Miller has worked as an assistant professor of medicine with the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University and is a staff neuropsychologist with the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Nevada, specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of neurodegenerative disease. He also serves as the director of clinical training, overseeing practicum students and postdoctoral fellows. His primary research interests focus on evidence-based neuropsychology and the psychometric study of cognitive assessments, integration of technology into healthcare, and biomedical informatics.

I am honored to be nominated for Treasurer of SCN. Although my background does not include any formal training in finance, my interests in data and attention to detail will help me in this role, and managing a research budget and fellowship program has taught me the importance of prudent financial management. With limited resources and required expenditures, a balance must be struck to ensure that Division objectives can be met in a financially responsible and sustainable way. I will work hard to achieve this balance. Giving back to the field and the professional organizations that have done so much for me is also important, and I am eager for the opportunity to do so.




Candidate: Jennifer I. Koop, PhD

Office: Member-at-Large

Candidate Statement:

Jennifer Koop received a PhD in Clinical Rehabilitation Psychology from Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis. She completed internship at Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Children’s Hospital and fellowship at the Medical College of Wisconsin. She currently is Associate Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery at Medical College of Wisconsin and practices as a Pediatric Neuropsychologist at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Her research focus has been on children with epilepsy, particularly those undergoing epilepsy surgery, although she has also been involved in various capacities on studies examining a variety of other neurological conditions. A clinical expertise is evaluation of cognitive functioning and development in preschool-aged children.

I have served as the Chair of the Membership Committee for the Society of Clinical Neuropsychology since 2016. Admittedly, prior to taking on that role, my knowledge of SCN was cursory at best. Membership in APA/SCN was something “good” psychologists maintained. My participation in SCN over the last 2 years has significantly increased my awareness of the purpose of the organization and its importance in advancing clinical practice, science, and education/training in Neuropsychology. I no longer want to only “maintain” my membership, but rather want to actively work within SCN for the betterment of our profession moving forward. I would be honored to be able to do so as an elected Member-at-Large for SCN.




Candidate: April D. Thames, PhD

Office: Member-at-Large

Candidate Statement:

April Thames, Ph.D. is a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Southern California. Dr. Thames directs an active research lab that is focused on the effects of social adversity and HIV on age-related outcomes. Relevant to this position, Dr. Thames has served in a number of leadership roles. She is former Chair of Society for Clinical Neuropsychology’s Subcommittee on Ethnic Minority Affairs (SCN-EMA), and was also the Division 40 liaison to APA’s Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs (CEMA). In these roles, she was actively involved in promoting issues of diversity and inclusion into the fabric of neuropsychology research, training and practice. Some examples of these efforts include participation in CEMA events and activities, successfully receiving a grant funded by APA’s Committee on Division/APA Relations (CODAPAR) to develop a webinar in partnership with other APA divisions. As part of the CODAPAR project, Dr. Thames (Division 40 representative) partnered with Division 16 to developed an educational webinar about the effects of stress on adolescent brain development and academic achievement outcomes. She has served as Member-at-Large for the SCN since 2015. In her role as MAL, she collaborates with several committee Chairs on initiatives targeted towards increasing the number of students who are involved in SCN governance. This has involved identifying available student slots on SCN committees, reviewing applications, and connecting students to committee chairs. If elected, she will work towards refining these efforts to increase involvement of students and early career neuropsychologists in SCN.




Candidate: Michael R. Basso, PhD, ABPP-CN

Office: Council Representative

Candidate Statement:

Michael Basso, Ph.D., ABPP-CN is the McFarlin Professor of Psychology and Director of Clinical Training at the University of Tulsa, and he holds an appointment as Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Oklahoma. While maintaining an active clinical practice and program of research, he has led the APA-Accredited doctoral program through three successful re-accreditation cycles. Committed to service, he has been appointed Associate or Consulting Editor for four neuropsychology journals, chairs an EPPP item-writing committee for the ASPPB, and serves on his state’s licensure board. As a Naval Officer, he is the Reserve Specialty Leader for Clinical Psychology, mentoring junior psychologists across the enterprise. A Society for Clinical Neuropsychology Fellow (SCN: Division 40), he filled multiple leadership positions within Division 40 for 16 years, including Chair of the Awards and Ethics Committees and Program Chair for the annual convention.

As the legislative body of APA, the Council of Representatives debates issues which often require negotiation and compromise. With so many competing agendas, it is vital, especially for a large Division such as SCN, to have engaged representation on Council. Through professional experience, I have gained refined knowledge of issues that clinical neuropsychologists face in clinic and in the laboratory. Moreover, these experiences honed my ability to communicate clearly, negotiate effectively, generate policy, advocate for stakeholders, and build consensus among diverse perspectives. If elected, I would ardently advocate on behalf of SCN members, and would work to foster collaboration to advance our specialty and psychology as a discipline.




Candidate: Kevin Duff, PhD

Office: Council Representative

Candidate Statement:

For some, seeing how the sausage is made can lead to a loss of appetite. For others, it makes one hungrier. I guess I fall into that latter camp. I have been fortunate to serve as your Treasurer since 2012. In that time, I have learned a lot about SCN, its financial health, and the direction that it needs to head. I am running for Council Representative to further immerse myself in APA governance to try and help advance our specialty. Therefore, I am asking for your vote so that I can use this accumulated knowledge to move us in the right direction. Thanks for your consideration.




Candidate: Joanne Festa, PhD

Office: Council Representative

Candidate Statement:

Joanne Festa, PhD: I am an Assistant Professor of Neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and the Director of Neuropsychology at Mount Sinai West where I teach and engage in clinical practice with a wide range of patients. My experience includes publishing book chapters and peer-reviewed articles and presenting at professional conferences. In graduate school, I served as the student representative to the New Jersey Psychological Association and since then I have continued to be an active member of state and national organizations, serving in many capacities on committees and boards. I am a proud founding member and past president of NYSAN, have served on NAN’s LAAC, on SCN’s PAC, as a Member at Large for SCN, and I continue to serve as SCN’s Liaison to the APA CAPP.

I am honored to be nominated for SCN’s Council Representative. As SCN’s CAPP liaison I have become well versed in the challenges that face psychologists and neuropsychologists in today's healthcare environment. As liaison, I am also cognizant of the many the policy issues and logistical challenges facing APA in this period of transition to a new organizational structure. My work as an advocate and as a collaborator has uniquely positioned me to participate in APA Council representing SCN and the practice of psychology. If elected, my goal is to bring to the APA council my passion for scientific and practice issues along with a collaborative spirit to represent the diverse needs of our neuropsychology community.




Candidate: Felicia C. Goldstein, PhD

Office: Council Representative

Candidate Statement:

Dr. Goldstein is a Professor in Neurology (Neuropsychology Program) at Emory University. She is an APA Fellow (Division 40) and Board Certified in Clinical Neuropsychology. Dr. Goldstein’s expertise involves cognitive disorders associated with pathological aging. In 1989, she established a neuropsychology clinic to support the Department’s Memory Disorders Program. In 1991, she established a parallel clinic at Grady Memorial Hospital which serves a population that is over 90% African American and has traditionally been underserved. Dr. Goldstein plays an active role in mentoring students for the APA approved internship program. Her research focuses on detection of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease, health disparities, and the contribution of vascular comorbidities to disease progression. She is the Clinical Core Co-Leader of the NIA supported Emory Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, Editor of the Neuropsychology section of Neurosurgery, on the Editorial Board of Ethnicity & Disease, and an Ad-Hoc reviewer of NIH and VA grants.

I am honored to be nominated to run for the Division 40 Council of Representatives. I have witnessed the evolution of our field into a structured discipline of graduate school programs, post-graduate training, and board certification. These experiences make me aware of the need for advocacy and strong leadership. I am committed to promoting our field’s three-pronged mission of excellence in clinical services, education, and research. I will work with our APA Division 40 leaders to ensure that the challenges facing our field are met, and I will fight for diversity and inclusiveness.