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Celebrating our Award-Winning Staff

Celebrating our Award-Winning Staff

Monday, March 4, 2019

HumRRO continues to have much to celebrate as several of our staff members are honored during the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology’s (SIOP) 2019 Conference at National Harbor, Maryland. The awards they will receive are a testament to the rigorous, innovative, and sustained technical leadership they provide across many domains, including physical ability testing, psychometrics, high-stakes assessment, and leadership development. We are very proud of our staff who will receive awards, including Drs. Todd Baker, Beth Bynum, Debby Gebhardt, Jennifer Green, and Dan Putka.


M. Scott Myers Award

The M. Scott Myers Award is given annually to an individual or team to honor work that truly demonstrates outstanding I-O practice. Debby Gebhardt and Todd Baker will receive this award for a project that involved expanding opportunities for women in the military through accurate and fair physical ability assessment, specifically for jobs involving direct tactical ground combat. Over 6,300 Soldiers participated in the project, which led to reductions in training-related injuries and attrition through the development of objective physical requirements for Army combat arms jobs and the use of assessments that reflect those requirements to identify qualified applicants.

As the summaries below illustrate, this work is just the latest example of the unparalleled contributions that Debby and Todd have made to the science and practice of physical ability testing.

Dr. Debby Gebhardt has designed and validated high-stakes assessment systems for over three decades. Her work integrates job requirements, medical information, and ergonomic parameters to create measures of occupationally related physical capacities and medical guidelines, resulting in increased performance and reduced injuries. Debby has conducted numerous test development and validation projects for private, public, and military organizations that involved job analysis, ergonomic assessments, and criterion-related validation studies for clients including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Air Force, and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) as well as Fortune 500 companies such as Walmart, CSX Railroad, and AT&T.

Dr. Todd Baker has nearly 30 years of experience leading test development and validation projects in the high-stakes physical ability assessment arena. He has managed hundreds of job analyses for over 1,000 positions in the public safety, electric utility, freight, longshore, telecommunications, and railroad industries. The expertise generated through this work has allowed him to serve as an expert in a variety of cases involving Title VII litigation and the Fair Labor Standards Act. Todd’s current public and private-sector clients include W.L. Gore and Associates, Walmart, Southern California Edison (SCE), and the U.S. Secret Service. He regularly presents and publishes his work, including in the Oxford Handbook of Employee Selection and the journal Ergonomics.


Distinguished Early Career Contributions - Practice Award

Dr. Beth Bynum is receiving the Distinguished Early Career Contributions Award in honor of her extraordinary contributions to the practice of I-O psychology through her work in many diverse arenas, including education, credentialing, and the military. Her deep expertise in psychometrics has allowed her to provide extensive technical leadership in the context of several high stakes testing programs for professional certification and K-12 education, where she serves as an excellent ambassador for I-O psychology. She has also advocated for I-O research and practice with Congressional representatives as part of the American Psychological Association’s Stand for Science initiative.

Beth’s work improving U.S. Army personnel selection and classification systems have positively impacted many thousands of applicants each year. She also played a key role in developing and validating an online simulation to help select sales agents for a Fortune 500 company.

One of her nominators observed that Beth possesses a degree of quantitative expertise usually found only among academics—and she shares that expertise freely throughout HumRRO. One colleague noted that “Beth is one the best mentors I have ever had.” She also shares her work with the I-O community more broadly, co-authoring eight journal articles and serving on the editorial board of the Journal of Business and Psychology and the SIOP Professional Practice Committee.


Small Grant Award

Dr. Jennifer Green and Dr. Dan Putka, along with Dr. Reeshad Dalal and Dr. Steve Zaccaro from George Mason University, have been selected to receive a 2019 SIOP Small Grant Award. The award will support the following project: A Taxonomy of Leadership Situations: Development and Implications for the Science and Practice of Leadership.

Leadership research and practice are often dominated by a focus on leader behavior and traits, ignoring crucial contextual factors. To address this gap, this work will involve creating a comprehensive taxonomy of leadership situations, systematically mapping the factors that influence leadership behavior and effectiveness. The ultimate goal is to create a measure of leadership situations, similar to the Big 5 personality taxonomy, which will allow the field to better understand the different leadership-related situations managers face and to tailor interventions based upon those situations.

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