NKU professor earns top regional designation

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HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. (WTVQ/NKU Public Affairs) – Northern Kentucky University’s Justin Yates has earned Fellow status from the Midwestern Psychological Association, marking only the second faculty member in NKU’s history awarded with the association’s highest honor.

MPA is a regional affiliate of the American Psychological Association, the nation’s leading scientific and professional psychology organization.

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Yates, an associate professor of psychological science, received the recognition for his influence on the psychology discipline and MPA service. He has spent the last decade researching how impulsivity and risky decision making are associated with substance use disorders, and how to better treat them.

“We are learning new ways to support people suffering from conditions every day. The more we understand about the neural basis of impulsive decision making, the closer we are at identifying interventions that can help these individuals manage their conditions,” said Yates. “It’s humbling to see my research continues to make such an impact. Being named a fellow is not just simply about me, but rather showcasing the cutting-edge research NKU faculty are conducting.”

A well-renowned scholar, Yates has published 26 manuscripts in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and co-authored a book since 2012.

He’s received national recognition from the American Psychological Association for his research, including the Young Psychopharmacologist Award and the B.F. Skinner Foundation New Researcher Award.

Yates has also received multiple awards for his impact on campus, earning the Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award and receiving the Excellence in Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity Award.

“As a student, I was fortunate to engage in research. This sparked my aspirations of becoming a professor and conducting research with my own students,” said Yates. “I’m thankful for my students’ hard work. Without them, I wouldn’t have received this recognition without their support.”

NKU students participate in all aspects of Yates research activities, regularly making significant contributions to publications.

Yates earned both his Ph.D. and M.S. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Kentucky, and his B.S. in Psychology from Georgia College & State University in 2008.