2020 Honors & Awards Presentation

Honors & Awards

Congratulations to the 2020 Award Recipients & Honorees!

Distinguished Lifetime Contribution to Neuropsychology Award

NAN’s most prestigious award is given to a senior scholar who has made significant scientific, intellectual, and training-related contributions to the field of neuropsychology. Recipients give an invited address at the Annual Conference, which is subsequently published in Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology. LEARN MORE ABOUT PAST RECIPIENTS

2020 Recipient |  Professor A D Baddeley CBE, FRS, FBA, FMedSci


Alan Baddeley graduated in Psychology from University College London and following a Master's degree at Princeton completed a Ph.D. in Cambridge at the Medical Research Council Applied Psychology Unit, an early focus of cognitive psychology directed by Donald Broadbent. After nine Years he moved to the University of Sussex, then to a Chair at the University of Stirling before returning to the Cambridge APU succeeding Broadbent as Director. He added neuropsychology as a major part of the Unit's remit, much of it conducted through a wide and fruitful range of clinical collaborations. After 20 years he moved to the University of Bristol and later to his current post at the University of York. He is best known for the creation with Graham Hitch of a multicomponent model of working memory but has had a continuing interest in memory more generally, much of it stimulated by neuropsychological collaborations.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, the British Academy, the Academy of Medical Sciences and of American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Distinguished Service Award

This award is designed to recognize NAN’s most dedicated leaders who have a longstanding career of exemplary and distinguished service to NAN and neuropsychology in general. LEARN MORE ABOUT PAST RECIPIENTS  
2020 Recipient |  Laura H. Lacritz, Ph.D.


Dr. Lacritz is a Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Neurology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, where she serves as Director of Neuropsychology and as the Neuropsychology Training Director. Her research has focused on early detection and risk factors of dementia, with over 50 peer-reviewed publications and 12 book chapters. She has been actively involved in teaching and supervision within the graduate and post-doctoral training programs at UT Southwestern where she has been designated as a Distinguished Teaching Professor (2016) and is a past recipient of the UT Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award (2017). She is a selected member of the UT Kenneth I Shine, MD Academy of Health Science Education (2016) and Southwestern Academy of Teachers (2015). Within the Clinical Psychology doctoral program, she has received the Distinguished Alumni Award (2008), Outstanding Teacher Award (2009), and Most Influential Mentor Award (2013), in addition to being a selected delegate for the American Psychological Association Leadership Institute for Women in Psychology (2011-2012) and honored as the Distinguished Psychologist of the Year in 2019 by the Dallas Psychological Association. She served on the National Academy of Neuropsychology Board of Directors for 8 years as President-Elect/President (2015-2016), Past President (2017-2019), and Treasurer (2011-2013), and has been actively involved in the Academy as a past member of the Program, Membership, and Education Committees as well as the NAN Foundation. She established the NAN Leadership and Ambassador Development (LEAD) program in 2018 that has thus far graduated 30 members, and continues to be involved in other key initiative within the Academy. Dr. Lacritz is passionate about training, career development, and giving back to the field, which makes this award especially rewarding for her to receive. 

Reitan Clinical Excellence Award

NAN's newest award is given to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the clinical practice of neuropsychology. The recipients of this award have significantly influenced the methods, settings, and/or persons involved in clinical practice, resulting in noteworthy benefit to the profession and its clients; and/or demonstrated significant leadership as a teacher, clinician, and/or theorist in public and/or professional arenas of clinical neuropsychology; and/or had a notable effect on clinical practice or training in the field of clinical neuropsychology. LEARN MORE ABOUT PAST RECIPIENTS 

2020 Recipient |  Kyle Brauer Boone, Ph.D., ABPP-ABCN


Kyle Brauer Boone, Ph.D., ABPP, is in private practice in Torrance, California, and is a Clinical Professor within the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA.  She has published over 125 peer-reviewed articles in the area of neuropsychological  assessment, primarily regarding the development and validation of neurocognitive performance validity tests, and also has authored/co-authored/edited seven books, the most recent of which, a second edition of Assessment of Feigned Cognitive Impairment:  A Neuropsychology Perspective, will be released early next year.  She has also published two tests used to assess for performance validity on neuropsychological exams:  the b Test and the Dot Counting Test.  She was director of the neuropsychological testing service at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center from 1986 to 2008, and then taught from 2008 to 2016 in the doctoral program at the California School of Forensic Studies at Alliant International University.  She is board certified in clinical neuropsychology (ABPP/ABCN) and is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and the National Academy of Neuropsychology.  

Early Career Award

This award is given to someone who has made substantial scholarly contributions to the field of neuropsychology within 10 years of receiving their doctoral degree. LEARN MORE ABOUT PAST RECIPIENTS

2020 Recipient | Victoria Merritt, Ph.D.

Dr. Victoria Merritt earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from The Pennsylvania State University. She completed her internship and post-doctoral fellowship at the VA San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS)/University of California San Diego (UCSD). She is currently a Research Health Scientist at the VASDHS and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UCSD. Dr. Merritt’s research interests include examining risk and protective factors associated with clinical outcome and recovery following concussion/traumatic brain injury (TBI). She has focused additional research efforts on studying the neurocognitive consequences of concussion/TBI and elucidating the acute and chronic effects of TBI across the lifespan by incorporating the tools and techniques of biological markers such as genetics to study the processes that underlie recovery following TBI

Early Career Service Award

This award is designed for someone who is within 10 years of receiving their doctoral degree and who has made substantial early career service contributions to NAN and the field of neuropsychology in general. LEARN MORE ABOUT PAST RECIPIENTS

2020 Recipient | Sara M. Lippa, PhD, ABPP-CN


Dr. Lippa is a board certified clinical neuropsychologist and senior research investigator with the National Intrepid Center of Excellence at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. She has published over 40 peer-reviewed manuscripts largely focused on cognitive performance, psychological symptoms, neuroimaging, proteomics, and symptom/performance validity following traumatic brain injury. Prior to her current position, Dr. Lippa served as a research neuropsychologist for the Congressionally mandated Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center 15-Year Longitudinal TBI Study at Walter Reed. Dr. Lippa earned a PhD in clinical psychology and specialized in clinical neuropsychology at the University of Houston. She completed her internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the Boston VA Medical Center. She is currently a member of the NAN Clinical Research Grants Committee and previously served as a member of the Program Committee and as Poster Chair. 

Nelson Butters Award 

This award is given for the best research paper published in the Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology over the preceding year. LEARN MORE ABOUT PAST RECIPIENTS

2020 Recipient |  Christa Dang, Ph.D.

Christa recently completed her Ph.D. at the University of Melbourne, where her work aimed to characterize "normal" cognitive and brain aging independent of neuropathological processes and how this relates to the construct of "SuperAging". The key takeaway from this work is that it is possible to reach old age without observable cognitive decline and without build up of biomarkers associated with Alzheimer's disease in the brain. Christa's primary research interest and passion is to build a foundation upon which the factors that optimize cognitive and brain health in aging can be further understood and leveraged to make "SuperAging" more probable because it certainly is possible! 

Outstanding Dissertation Award

This award is given to recognize an excellent neuropsychology-related dissertation or dissertation project. The winner is invited to present his/her study at a poster session during the Annual Conference and submit the study for publication to Archives of Clinical NeuropsychologyLEARN MORE ABOUT PAST RECIPIENTS 

2020 Recipient |  Kelsey C. Hewitt, Psy.D. 


Kelsey C. Hewitt, Psy.D., is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Neurology at Emory University School of Medicine. She completed her doctorate at Mercer University, which included a predoctoral internship through the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She has received several awards including the Dean’s Excellence Award from the Mercer College of Health Professions as well as the Clinical Psychology Service Award and the Clinical Psychology Teaching Award from her Psy.D. Program. Her dissertation, “General Educational Development (GED) and educational attainment equivalency for demographically adjusted norms,” was recently published in Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology (2019, 34[8], 1340-1345). Her primary research interests involve neuropsychological and behavioral health outcomes of epilepsy and epilepsy surgery, though she has also developed a strong interest in teleneuropsychology. Dr. Hewitt was a leader in Emory’s transition into telehealth assessment including the development and modification of clinic procedures as well establishing new cognitive task paradigms for remote assessment. She is a participating member of the National Neuropsychology Network (NNN) study group, which is a multisite network where centers collect clinical neuropsychological data and aggregate the item-level data from the most widely used assessment instruments into the NIMH Data Archive.

FABBS Early Career Impact Award

This award is to recognize scientists who have made major research contributions to the sciences of mind, brain, and behavior. LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS AWARD

2020 Recipient |  Adam Gerstenecker, Ph.D.


Dr. Gerstenecker earned his PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Louisville in 2014, where he was awarded the John Richard Binford Memorial Award for excellence in scholarship and leadership, one of only two awards given to doctoral‐level graduates, regardless of discipline. After completing his degree requirements, Dr. Gerstenecker completed a 2-year postdoctoral neuropsychology fellowship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), and has been an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology since that time.

Dr. Gerstenecker currently is primary investigator on an NIH-funded K23 research grant. The focus of the study is to investigate the effects of systemic inflammation on hippocampal internal architecture, cognition, and daily functioning in persons diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). Dr. Gerstenecker hopes to use data from this grant to target mechanisms of cognitive decline in future projects. Dr. Gerstenecker also serves as Co-Investigator and lead neuropsychologist for the NIH-funded Alabama Udall Center. The central hypothesis of the Alabama Udall Center is that innate and adaptive immune cells are activated early in Parkinson’s disease (PD), and that inhibiting their activities will protect from further PD-linked neurodegeneration. Alabama Udall Center investigators propose that a brain inflammatory response initiated by abnormal forms of α-synuclein, and leading to the entry and pro-inflammatory differentiation of peripheral monocytes and T-cells, is a key driver of PD neurodegeneration, which underlies both the motor and cognitive symptoms of the disorder. Finally, Dr. Gerstenecker also serves as Co-Investigator on an NIH-funded study that aims to develop commonly used clinical measures for online use and thus more rapid screening of older adults for inclusion in clinical trials. In terms of scholarship, Dr. Gerstenecker has been author or co-author on 42 peer-reviewed papers that are either published or in-press, with several other papers in various stages of peer review. Dr. Gerstenecker has been published in a number of well-respected journals including Neurology, Movement Disorders, Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, Psycho-Oncology, and Cancer. Much of Dr. Gerstenecker’s work has offered specific recommendations to the clinical community about appropriate ways to evaluate risk of cognitive and functional decline in neurologically vulnerable populations, thus, providing clear benefit to the medical community and society as a whole.

Student Poster Award 

This monetary award is given at the Annual Conference for the most meritorious posters. READ MORE  

Student Poster Award - Diversity

This award is granted at the Annual Conference for the best student poster that reflects diversity-related topics or issues. READ MORE

2020 Women in Leadership Trainee Essay Contest - Reflecting on 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage

Winner: Amy B. Halpin, University of Maine