ANST Member Highlight:
Congratulations to our most recent ANST member highlight, Alexander Tan!
Alexander Tan is a 4th year graduate student and clinical psychology intern in the Ph.D. program at the University of Texas Southwestern.
Alexander was motivated to pursue a graduate degree in clinical neuropsychology from his volunteering experience with various special populations. Starting in high school, he served as President of various volunteering groups heavily involved with diverse families and children with special needs, including United Way Kids’ Way. His experiences caused him to empirically observe differences in cognitive function from a young age. As he gained increasing exposure to biology through his undergraduate studies at the University of Texas at Austin, he started to question whether such differences in behavior had a neurological basis. However, he had no idea how to answer this question until his Introduction to Psychology course. Halfway through the semester, the Teaching Assistant gave a guest lecture on her work in clinical neuropsychology, after which he immediately set up an appointment and spent an hour bombarding her with questions. Discovering that an entire field existed dedicated to exploring brain-behavior relationships and investigating the biological underpinnings of cognitive function was a mind-blowing moment in Alexander’s life.
He has dedicated much of his time to the Pediatric Demyelinating Disease Program at Children’s Health Neuropsychology, one of the few comprehensive demyelinating disease programs in the world that offers specialized acute and chronic care for children affected by a variety of complex autoimmune conditions. His line of work has contributed to scientific knowledge regarding neurocognitive and psychosocial profiles of pediatric multiple sclerosis and transverse myelitis, among other demyelinating diseases, in order to promote better understanding of the ways in which these conditions may impact pediatric patients and provide more assistance with diagnostic clarity and treatment planning. The results of his work have been presented at national conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals. His dissertation, which he successfully defended in June of 2018, was entitled “Neurocognitive and Psychosocial Profiles of Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis and Transverse Myelitis.”
Alexander has sought out diverse opportunities for pursuing his interest in research on executive functioning across various pediatric neurobehavioral disorders. Prior to graduate school, he was Primary Investigator of a study investigating the relationship between executive and social dysfunction in ADHD at Austin Neuropsychology, PLLC, and Primary Investigator of a study at University of Texas Austin using eye-tracking technology to investigate the mediation of executive dysfunction on attentional bias in metabolic syndrome. Since starting graduate school, he has also been heavily involved with the Traumatic Brain Injury study at Children’s Health Neuropsychology and the well-known Concussion Network of North Texas (ConTex) study at UTSW. The results of these studies have been presented at national conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals.
Throughout his graduate training, he has also been dedicated to teaching. In addition to being a teaching assistant and guest lecturer for the Developmental Psychology and Clinical Assessment courses in UTSW’s Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, he has also served as a peer supervisor for the UTSW Psychotherapy Clinic and research mentor through the UTSW Student Research Committee. Additionally, he has been the invited primary presenter of 20 internal presentations for various seminars and didactics, 5 of which were sponsored and made available for CE credit.
Ultimately, Alexander’s career goals include American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology certification, a clinical position in an academic medical center, and active involvement in research collaboration as well as clinical supervision and teaching. This year, Alexander participated in the APPCN match and matched with his first choice for postdoctoral training in pediatric neuropsychology at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
ANST In-Focus Member Highlight
Just a reminder that the ANST Member Highlights are due soon. The next deadline is 12/1/2018. Don’t miss out on national recognition!
Every 3 months, ANST highlights the hard work of one of our members on the main page of the ANST website. You could be the next ANST In-Focus Highlight! The call for submissions is now open and we’re looking forward to your application.
The submission period will close on December 1, 2018. To apply, please complete the brief form that is attached to this announcement and submit to the ANST email account at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name saved as part of the document title.
After an ANST member is selected, they will be featured on the main page of the ANST website until the next member is selected. We look forward to hearing from you!
ANST Interest Group Highlight:
Reps: Carissa Lane
The Wheaton ANST interest group was founded in 2016 and currently has 12 active members who participate in the e-mail listserv, attend lectures, and participate in events.
Over the past year, the Wheaton ANST interest group has focused on two main initiatives: didactics/fact-finding exercises and mentorship. These efforts are benefiting students and helping them prepare to become excellent board-certified neuropsychologists dedicated to serving their chosen patient populations.
Each week over the summer (and hopefully at least monthly in the coming school year) the Wheaton ANST Interest Group meets for approximately 3 hours for a presentation on a specific topic in neuropsychology, followed by a case conference in which students use the fact-finding method to discover components of the case and formulate impressions/recommendations. Thus far, the group has had presentations on the cognitive domains and effort in neuropsychological assessment, Alzheimer’s disease, and the vascular system/cerebrovascular disease. Future topics of discussion will include DLB, movement disorders, TBI, FTD, toxic/metabolic syndromes, the neuropsychology of psychiatric conditions, neurodevelopmental disorders, and many others. Fact-finding has become increasingly valuable to students over time as they learn case conceptualization and integrate knowledge they have gained through didactics.
Through a mentorship program established within the past year, ANST students at Wheaton are matched in pairs based upon varying levels of experience and topics of interest. Mentors are expected to meet with their mentees at least once monthly to guide them through searching out high-quality neuropsychology training sites, research opportunities, and general areas of professional development. This mentorship program allows less experienced students to receive individualized guidance from those who have navigated similar training paths, while building professional relationships that might not have been fostered otherwise.
ANST In-Focus Interest Group Highlight
The call has gone out! Every 3 months ANST will feature one of our members and one of our many Interest Groups around the nation. Stay tuned for highlight updates by checking our website often.
Want to be featured? The nomination call will go out over the ANST listserv, with applications being sent two weeks prior. When applying, please follow all provided directions and submit the required information to email@example.com by the posted deadline. Any questions may also be submitted to the ANST email account.