Division 18 Criminal Justice Section awards

Two section award winners are profiled.

By Lauren Lussier, PsyD

Outstanding Dissertation Award

Tess Neal, PhD University of Alabama

Tess received her PhD in clinical psychology (psychology and law concentration) from the University of Alabama in 2012. Tess is currently a postdoctoral fellow in clinical-forensic services and research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School; she also completed her pre-doctoral internship at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 2012.

Tess has authored and co-authored numerous peer-reviewed publications, and she has presented at many conferences, including AP-LS conferences and the 4th International Congress on Psychology and Law. Tess has received a number of grants and research awards for her work. Her dissertation, titled The Objectivity Demand: Experiences and Behaviors of Psychologists in Capital Case Evaluations, sought to examine the effects of human bias and error in forensic evaluations.

Tess is a member of the American Psychological Association, including membership in divisions such as AP-LS, Psychologists in Public Service, Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, and Society for the Teaching of Psychology.

Outstanding Psychology Student Award

Alana Cook, MS Simon Fraser University

Alana is obtaining her PhD at Simon Fraser University where she is studying clinical-forensic psychology. Her dissertation is titled, “Risk assessment and management guidelines for group-based violence.” She has received a number of awards and scholarships for her work, including a research grant for her dissertation. Her current practicum includes clinical work at a forensic psychiatric services commission, and as a risk assessment consultant for the Vancouver Police Department’s domestic violence and criminal harassment unit.

Alana has authored and co-authored a number of peer-reviewed publications and abstracts. Alana has also presented at many conferences, including APA conferences, and the International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services conference. One of her papers that was published in the journal Canadian Psychology received local and national attention, leading Alana to appear on various radio programs, and she co-authored a position paper that was submitted by the CPA Task Force on Correctional and Forensic Psychology to the Canadian Senate.

Alana is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the American, Canadian, and Oregon Psychological Associations, the American Psychology-Law Society (AP-LS), the International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services, and the Canadian Association of Threat Assessment Professionals. Alana is currently the chair-elect for the student section of AP-LS.