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John Garcia Recognition Of Excellence Lecture Returns Feb. 8

Published: February 1, 2011

Cynthia Rand, a CSULB alumna and professor at Johns Hopkins University, will be the featured speaker at the John Garcia Recognition of Excellence Lecture on Tuesday, Feb. 8, beginning at 3:30 p.m. in Room 150 of the Psychology Building.

A faculty member in Johns Hopkins’ Department of Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Dr. Rand will discuss patient adherence to treatment plans in view of chronic illness, health care disparities and health reform. The lecture is free.

A graduate of CSULB’s master’s program in psychology, Dr. Rand is an internationally recognized expert in the area of medication adherence. Her research interests focus on psychosocial factors associated with pediatric and adult adherence to asthma therapy, adherence interventions, patient-provider communication and health disparities.

She is the author of more than 100 publications in the areas of asthma, adherence, minority health and quality of life. She is the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Adherence Research, a core facility that utilizes state-of-the-art measurement strategies for the assessment of patient adherence in both NIH- and industry-sponsored studies.

CSULB Psychology Department Chair Kenneth Green welcomed the lecture’s return as a way of honoring the best from the department and offered thanks to Professor Emeritus John R. Jung for funding the series.

“John Jung has been a very thoughtful benefactor for the university and this department,” Green said. “Along the way he has come up with a number of programs that have had institutional benefit for our students and our faculty. This lecture series is one of his legacies.”

Jung, who first joined the university in 1962 and retired in 2002, contributed $10,000 to the Edge of Excellence Fund specifically to found a lecture series for the Department of Psychology that he hoped would recognize excellence in professional achievement by CSULB alumni.

“My first teaching position was at Long Beach State, and for several years I had the good fortune of getting acquainted with John Garcia with whom I shared an office,” Jung recalled. “Through his outstanding research commitment and achievements, John was an influential role model for me.”

After his stint at CSULB, Garcia was recruited by other institutions, working first on the Harvard Medical School faculty, and later at UCLA.

In 1979, Garcia was recognized by the American Psychological Association receiving its Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award. Then in 1983, he was elected to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences in 1983.

“Garcia’s research on conditioned taste aversions (whereby organisms come to avoid cues associated with situations where they had at least once experienced illness or nausea produced by something they ate) was highly significant to learning theory as well as real-life applications,” Jung pointed out. “In fact, textbooks refer to this phenomenon as ‘the Garcia Effect.’”

Jung created the lecture series in Garcia’s name to recognize an outstanding graduate of the Department of Psychology each year who has gone on to a distinguished career and invite the recipient to return to present a lecture about their research.

Cynthia Rand
Cynthia Rand

Cynthia Rand
John Garcia

“In providing this deserved recognition, the department enjoys an opportunity to ‘bask in reflected glory’ while current students get a chance to be inspired knowing that the awardee was once (a student) at Long Beach,” Jung said.

Garcia taught at CSULB in the early 1960s while establishing an international reputation for his work in radiation biology. His work led to the discovery of basic biological constraints on classical conditioning and a revision of some of the ideas promulgated by Ivan Pavlov. Garcia’s work was supported by the first federal grants that were awarded to CSULB, and the CSULB Foundation was created to handle the funds.

For more information about the CSULB John Garcia Recognition of Excellence Lecture or the lecture series, call the CSULB Psychology Department at 562/985-5001.

–Richard Manly