Northern Vermont University-Johnson’s Mireault receives psychology award

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Fri, 02/08/2019 - 9:20am -- Denise Sortor

Longtime Northern Vermont University-Johnson psychology professor Gina Mireault has received the Vermont Psychological Association 2018 Service Award for her innovation in behavioral science education and her research in the field.

For a course last fall on professional psychology that Mireault designed, students attended the association’s four daylong continuing-education sessions for mental health clinicians and read related materials in an online classroom forum. The sessions covered teletherapy, autism and attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder, and other topics.

“Gina has been doing particularly creative work with her students,” says Augustus “Gus” Jordan, president of the association’s board of directors. “Students attend multiple continuing-education events and thus get a taste of current issues and training interests within the profession. Students are also able to interact with practicing professionals, ask questions and otherwise get a feel for what it’s like to be a part of the profession… We have really enjoyed the partnership with Gina and wanted to recognize her ingenuity by presenting her with this award.”

“It's quite an unexpected and special honor to be recognized by the professional organization for psychologists in the state of Vermont. These are my professional peers —my fellow psychologists — so to meet their criteria for excellence in the field is especially humbling and gratifying,” says Mireault, who has taught at NVU-Johnson since 1992.

Her research has focused on emotional development in childhood, including grief from parental loss and temper tantrums as a manifestation of childhood anxiety. Now she is researching the perception and creation of humor in infants three to 12 months old. Her work on infant humor was recently filmed for a documentary — to air this year — on infant development produced by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.’s “The Nature of Things.”

NVU students help with Mireault’s research and present their findings at professional conferences with her.

For more information about Mireault, visit

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