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Psychology professor receives APA award

Jan. 21, 2004

By Melissa Merriman, reporter

Dr. David Rudd, professor of psychology and neuroscience, was selected by the American Psychology Association as an APA Fellow for 2004.

He was elected by his peers for his contribution to the research, practice and teaching of psychology.

According to a Baylor press release, APA Fellows are nominated on the basis of the national impact of their work, including achievements such as research-based publications, leadership roles within psychology and community service in a clinical practice.

The APA is based in Washington, D.C., and it is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States.

The APA Web site said membership includes more than 150,000 researchers, clinicians, educators, students and consultants.

It is the world's largest association of psychologists.

Its mission is to advance psychology as a science and a profession, as well as a means of promoting health, education and human welfare.

'It's particularly satisfying to be recognized in such a way by my peers,' Rudd said.

Rudd is no stranger to such recognition for his commitment to psychology.

Other honors he's received include the 1998 Texas Psychological Association Award for outstanding scientific contribution, the 1999 Edwin Shneidman Award for early career contribution in suicidology and the 2001 Aleteia Awards from the Aleteia International School of Cognitive Therapy in Enna, Italy.

His success began as a cum laude graduate of Princeton University, where he became interested in psychology.

'I had the opportunity to work in a professor's lab and found the research fascinating,' Rudd said. 'Since then, I've never been bored.'

Rudd then earned his doctorate in 1987 from the University of Texas at Austin, where he earned a postdoctoral fellowship to study cognitive therapy at the Beck Institute in Philadelphia.

He soon found himself teaching at Baylor and has been here for five years.

His main goal as a professor is to provide the same kind of mentoring he received when he was a student to the students he teaches now.

'I wanted to help students, both graduates and undergraduates, find their way in a profession that has so much to offer and provides a truly unique opportunity to give something back to the world,' Rudd said.

Rudd's colleague, Rita Massey, said he teaches with enthusiasm and his overall lifestyle makes him a great professor, author, award recipient and mentor.

Rudd is taking the opportunity to give back to the world not only as a psychology professor but also as an internationally known suicidologist.

He is the president of the American Association of Suicidology, which is an organization that targets suicide prevention worldwide.

According to the Baylor Magazine, Rudd's career has focused on figuring out why young people kill themselves.

As a graduate student, he worked at the Houston Child Guidance Center with troubled teenagers who were either at risk for suicidal behavior or had attempted suicide.

His book, Treating Suicidal Behavior, is known by many as a valuable resource for health care professionals who deal with suicides.

Rudd serves on the editorial boards of The Archives of Suicide Research, Behavior Therapy and Suicide & Life-Threatening Behavior.

He is a board member for the Texas Psychological Association and has been appointed to the National Advisory Committee of Suicide Research Center at the Las Vegas School of Medicine.

Rudd credits his success with the opportunity to be involved in research, teaching and practice, and said he appreciates the opportunity to do so at a place like Baylor.

Rudd said he chose to teach at Baylor because of the 'exceptional students and faculty and to be part of a university with an inspiring mission, a long history of excellence and a promising future.'