Southeastern Psychological Association

SEPA Annual Meeting - Program Highlights

The SEPA Policy for Invitations (PDF)


SEPA Invited Speakers:

Claire D. Coles

Claire D. Coles Claire D. Coles, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, and Director of the Center for Maternal Substance Abuse and Child Development (MSACD) that includes Mother2Baby. GA, a teratology information service that provides counseling and information about exposure to prescription and illicit drugs and well as a variety of environmental toxins and the Emory Neurobehavior and Exposure Clinic that serves children, 0 to 21 with prenatal exposures.

Dr. Coles has carried out research on the developmental and behavioral effects of prenatal exposure to alcohol and drugs and on the interaction of these effects with the postnatal environment for many years and is currently principal investigator on a multi-site, long-term study of effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on adult health in middle age and a co-investigator on a prospective study of FASD in Ukraine. Dr. Coles and her colleagues have created two empirically validated, manualized treatment programs for alcohol and drug-affected children, MILE and GoFAR.


Elizabeth A. L. Stine-Morrow

Elizabeth A. L. Stine-MorrowElizabeth A. L. Stine-Morrow is a Professor of Educational Psychology and the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois. She received her PhD in General/Experimental Psychology from Georgia Tech with a focus in cognitive aging. Her research is broadly concerned with the multifaceted nature of adult development and aging, and the factors that support the maintenance and growth of cognition and learning through the adult lifespan. This work has examined how self-regulated adaptations (e.g., selective allocation of attentional resources, reliance on knowledge-based processes, activity engagement) impact cognitive abilities and everyday performance through the adult lifespan. Much of this research has focused on the important role of literacy and the processes through which effective reading is maintained into late life. This research has been funded by the National Institute on Aging, the National Science Foundation, and the Institute for Educational Sciences.

She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, the Gerontological Society of America, and the Psychonomic Society, and was the recipient of the APA Division 20 Mentorship Award in 2018. She currently serves as Editor for Psychology and Aging. Her first conference presentation as a graduate student was at SEPA in 1979. It was a disaster. Nevertheless, she persisted.


Kathryn Hirsh-Pasek

Kathryn Hirsh-PasekKathryn Hirsh-Pasek is the Stanley and Debra Lefkowitz Faculty Fellow in the Department of Psychology at Temple University and a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. Her research examines the development of early language and literacy and the role of play in learning. She is best known as a translational researcher, who uses the latest findings in the science of learning to enhance education in and out of school. With her long-term collaborator, Roberta Golinkoff, is author of 14 books and hundreds of publications. She is a member of the National Academy of Education and has been the recipient of numerous awards including the AERA Outstanding Public Communication for Education Research Award, the American Psychological Association’s Bronfenbrenner Award, the American Psychological Association’s Award for Distinguished Service to Psychological Science, the Association for Psychological Science James McKeen Cattell Award, the Society for Research in Child Development, Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Child Development Award, the APA Distinguished Lecturer Award, and the Simms/Mann Whole Child Award. She is a Fellow of the Cognitive Science Society, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society, and AERA.

She is the Past President of the International Society for Infant Studies, served as the Associate Editor of Child Development, and is on the governing board of The Society for Research in Child Development. She is on the advisory board for Nickelodeon, PBS, Vroom, the Boston Children’s Museum, Disney Junior, and Jumpstart. She is also an advisor to NCECDTL Research to Practice Consortium that advises Head Start and is the co-developer of the QUILS Quick Interactive Language Screener that assesses early language competence in 3- through 5- year old’s in English and Spanish.

Kathy pioneered global initiates like Playful Learning Landscapes and was on the founding committee of the Latin American School for Educational and Cognitive Neuroscience. Her book, Einstein never used Flashcards: How children really learn and why they need to play more and memorize less (Rodale Books) won the prestigious Books for Better Life Award as the best psychology book in 2003. Her recent book, Becoming Brilliant: What the science tells us about raising successful children, released in 2016, was on the NYTimes Best Seller List in Education and Parenting. Kathy received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh and her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and is a frequent spokesperson for her field appearing in the NYTimes, NPR and in international television outlets.


Michelle D. Miller

Michelle D. MillerMichelle D. Miller, Ph.D. is a President’s Distinguished Teaching Fellow and Professor of Psychological Sciences at Northern Arizona University. Dr. Miller's academic background is in cognitive psychology; her research interests include memory, attention, and applications of educational technology. She was a founding director of the First Year Learning Initiative at Northern Arizona University from 2011-2019 and is active in course redesign, serving as a Redesign Scholar for the National Center for Academic Transformation.

She is the author of Minds Online: Teaching Effectively with Technology (Harvard University Press, 2014), and has written about evidence-based pedagogy in scholarly as well as general-interest publications including College Teaching, Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, and The Conversation.

Dr. Miller’s current work focuses on using psychological principles to help instructors create more effective and engaging learning experiences, and to help students become more effective learners.