Next Conference

Skip Navigation Links
Conference Home Page
Conference Schedule
Conference Program
About Raleigh, NC
Keynote speakers
Social activities
General conditions
Fee and other prices
Abstract/Paper guidelines
The next IMTA Conference logoThe next IMTA Conference banner
Keynote Speakers

Deirdre J. Knapp, Ph.D.

Deirdre J. Knapp: The Road to Impactful Military Selection & Classification R&D

From the perspective of over 35 years of experience conducting military research, Dr. Knapp will share observations and recommendations on designing and conducting impactful military research and development (R&D) efforts. Dr. Knapp’s presentation will be organized as follows. First, she will summarize barriers to impactful research which will be all too familiar to most audience members. Limited time and money, parochial or static thinking, inconsistent direction from constantly rotating military leaders, are just a few examples. Second, she will present specific strategies for mitigating these barriers with real world examples and discuss how these strategies have worked well and examining how they have failed in achieving intended outcomes. Specific strategies include gathering input from military representatives in research design and execution, incorporating external reviews by independent scientists, and various strategies to ensure sufficient attention is given to previous research and associated lessons learned in prior research. Finally, she will conclude by amplifying recommendations previously made (e.g., Rumsey & Walker, 1994) for managing competing demands on military R&D, such as addressing implementation considerations at the onset of research, the danger of focusing on short-term needs to the detriment of long-term goals, and balancing scientific and practical considerations in research design. While Dr. Knapp’s experience has been primarily with U.S. military selection and classification, this presentation is designed to generalize to other R&D agendas. Dr. Knapp will provide the audience with several key take-away points that she anticipates participants will be able to apply to their work.

Keynote Speaker Bio

Deirdre J. Knapp, Ph.D.
Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO)

Deirdre J. Knapp is a Principal Scientist at the Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO), having stepped down in 2019 after serving for 11 years as Vice President and Director of Operations. She has a Ph.D. in industrial-organizational psychology from Bowling Green State University (1984) and is a fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA) and APA Divisions 14 (Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology) and 19 (Society for Military Psychology). She started her career at the U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences (ARI) in 1985, then moved to HumRRO in 1987. Dr. Knapp’s primary area of expertise is designing and developing performance assessments and conducting occupational analyses to support this objective. She has played central leadership roles in a succession of selection, classification, and performance assessment research programs sponsored by ARI, including Project A (Campbell & Knapp, 2001), PerformM21 (Campbell, Heffner, & Knapp, 2005), NCO21 (Knapp, McCloy, & Heffner, 2004), Select21 (Knapp & Tremble, 2007), Army Class (Knapp, Owens, & Allen, 2011), TOPS (Knapp & Kirkendall, 2020) and most recently Validation of Accession Screening Tools (VAST; Knapp & Kirkendall, 2021). She is currently working with the U.S. Defense Testing and Assessment Center (DTAC) to create Theory of Action validity arguments for the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) and the Tailored Adaptive Personality Screen (TAPAS). These validity arguments are comprehensive compilations of evidence supporting the use of these assessments for selection and classification of enlisted military personnel.


Frank C. Worrell, Ph.D.

Frank Worrell: Attitudes Toward the Past, Present, and Future: Predictors of Resilience and Vulnerability in Multiple National Contexts

Although psychosocial constructs have been implicated in adaptive functioning for several years, much of the research in this area fails to operationalize the constructs adequately, in part because the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing are not typically used in the development of research instruments. In this presentation, Dr. Worrell will review the impetus for and development of the Adolescent and Adult Time Inventory Time-Attitude Scale (Mello & Worrell, 2007), as well as the utility of using the Standards as a basis for developing a research instrument. Drawing on data from several countries, he will highlight the benefits of using both variable-centered and person-centered analyses when interpreting findings from a multidimensional instrument, and show how a general construct such as time attitudes can predict a range of cultural, educational, psychological constructs.

Keynote Speaker Bio

Frank C. Worrell, PhD
2022 President, American Psychological Association

Frank C. Worrell, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley, where he serves as Faculty Director of the School Psychology Program, the Academic Talent Development Program, and the California College Preparatory Academy. He also holds an affiliate appointment in the Social and Personality Area in the Department of Psychology. His areas of expertise include cultural identities, scale development and validation, talent development, and time perspective. He is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, the American Educational Research Association, and Divisions 5, 15, 16, 45, and 52 of APA, and an elected member of the National Academy of Education. Dr. Worrell was a member of the Joint Committee that developed the 2014 Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing and served as the APA representative on the Management Committee for the Standards from 2016 to 2021. Author of more than 200 scholarly works, recent co-edited books include The Psychology of High Performance: Developing Human Potential into Domain-Specific Talent (2019, American Psychological Association), and The Cambridge Handbook of Applied School Psychology (2020). Dr. Worrell is a recipient of UC Berkeley’s Chancellor’s Award for Advancing Institutional Excellence and Equity (2011), the 2013 Distinguished Scholar Award from the National Association for Gifted Children, the 2015 Distinguished Contributions to Research Award from APA’s Division 45 (Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity, and Race), and the 2018 Outstanding International Psychologist Award from APA’s Division 52 (International Psychology). Dr. Worrell has collaborations with researchers in several countries and is the 2022 President of the American Psychological Association.


Thomas W. Britt, Ph.D.

Thomas W. Britt: Publishing in the Field of Military Psychology: Challenges and Opportunities

Many changes are occurring in how psychologists publish their research in the hope of having a positive impact on the discipline and broader society. These changes include an increased desire for data transparency because of the replication crisis in the field, a move to open access where authors or sponsors pay for their articles to be published in exchange for wider article accessibility, an increasing range of indices of the impact of articles and journals, and an increased emphasis on the importance of diversity in terms of the authors submitting manuscripts, reviewers of these manuscripts, the editorial board of journals, and the topics examined. Informed by experiences in his first year as Editor-in-Chief of Military Psychology, Dr. Britt will discuss the implications of these changes for publishing in the field of military psychology, addressing both the challenges and opportunities of publishing impactful articles that reflect the diversity of the military psychology community. He will also address the desired characteristics of manuscripts submitted to Military Psychology, including the importance of the underlying contribution to psychological theory and practice, research designs with strong methodological features and appropriate statistical analyses, and properly discussed implications and limitations. Finally, he will discuss changes to the journal that should increase quality submissions from a greater diversity of authors, resulting in a more impactful journal for the field.

Keynote Speaker Bio

Thomas W. Britt, Ph.D.
Clemson University
Editor, Military Psychology

Thomas Britt is a Professor of Psychology at Clemson University, Editor-in-Chief of Military Psychology, and a Faculty Instructor at the U.S. Army War College. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Florida in 1994 in Social Psychology before entering active duty as a research psychologist in the U.S. Army. He was stationed at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) Heidelberg, Germany Unit from 1994 to 1997, and then at the WRAIR in Forest Glenn, Maryland, from 1997 to 1999. He left active duty in 1999 (he received an honorable discharge as a Major) and spent a year at King College before moving to Clemson University in 2000, where he was promoted to Full Professor in 2007. He has published over 100 academic articles, as well as multiple book chapters. He is the author of two books in the fields of Organizational and Occupational Health Psychology and has been an editor for two books and a 4-volume series in Military Psychology. His articles have been published in leading journals such as Psychological Review, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Personality, Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, and the Harvard Business Review. His current research programs investigate the conceptualization and examination of resilience among employees in high-risk occupations, and how stigma and other barriers to care influence employees in these occupations seeking mental health treatment for problems that occur as a result of the demands of their work. His research has been funded by multiple grants and contracts from the Department of Defense, the Intelligence Community, and NASA.


Richard Griffith, Ph.D.      Constanze Dostal, M.Sc., LL.M.

Richard Griffith & Constanze Dostal: The Covid-19 Pandemic and the Military: Leveraging the AAR for Future Readiness and Resilience

Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in late 2019, military organizations throughout the world have been asked to take on unfamiliar tasks while maintaining a state of readiness under fluid and uncertain conditions. For example, military support has been utilized to assist overwhelmed civilian health facilities and personnel, transport medical supplies (Kalkman, 2020), and support vaccination efforts (Lopez, 2020) all while protecting the physical and mental health of service members and military families (Segal, 2020; Wynn et al., 2020). While military organizations and their respective personnel around the world have answered the call under the strain of Covid-19, a bit of reflection regarding performance and desired outcomes may be in order. The events of the last 2 years were indeed challenging, but offered the opportunity to learn, adapt, and overcome a major trial of military resilience and readiness. Before moving on, the military community would benefit from an After Action Review (AAR) to consolidate lessons learned, and prepare for future shocks to the global environment. The AAR was developed by the U.S. Army in the 1970’s and has been an effective process to improve performance by preventing recurrent errors and reproducing success (Mastaglio et al., 2011). However, the AAR process can be vulnerable to idiosyncratic outcomes if not approached systematically and facilitated in a purposeful and strategic fashion (Bliss et al., 2011). This talk will focus on 1. The need for a wide-ranging AAR, and the key principles organizations must incorporate to make the AAR productive and able to enhance experiential learning, 2. The tactical “Band-Aids” we may need to immediately address the resilience needs of the force, & 3. The strategic initiatives necessary to be able to prepare for the next crisis. Rather than lose the tremendous learning opportunity that stems from the Covid-19 pandemic, it is time to leverage AAR best-practices to learn from successes, challenges, and failures and emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic stronger, more resilient, and better able to adapt to future tests.

Keynote Speaker Bios

Richard Griffith, Ph.D.
Institute for Culture, Collaboration, & Management, Florida Tech

Dr. Richard Griffith is the Executive Director of The Institute for Culture, Collaboration, & Management at the Florida Institute of Technology. Dr. Griffith provides more than 20 years of expertise in talent management research and consulting. He is the founder of the Ph.D. program at Florida Tech, including the international concentration, the first in the U.S. He has conducted large scale funded research with the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Space Force. In addition, he is the editor of the books Internationalizing the Organizational Psychology Curriculum, Critical Issues in Cross Cultural Management, and Leading Global Teams. He has served as a guest editor of the journals Human Performance, Organizational Development, The International Journal of Cross Cultural Management and is currently guest editing an edition of Military Psychology examining the Covid-19 crisis. He has also served as the associate editor of the European Journal of Psychological Assessment. He has been recognized as a Fellow by the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP), the Society for Industrial Organizational Psychology (SIOP), and as a Senior Research Fellow by the Army Research Institute. His work has been featured in Time magazine and The Wall Street Journal.

Constanze Dostal, M.Sc., LL.M.
University of Applied Sciences, Upper Austria

Ms. Dostal is a psychologist and social entrepreneur from Vienna, Austria. She completed her Master’s degree in Work Psychology at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. After the Netherlands, she worked as an industrial psychologist for the British Royal Navy in the U.K., developing expertise in Human Performance, Leadership and Confidence, and Resilience. The unique perspective of working in the military allowed her to understand the tools required by organizations to move towards elite performance without compromising the wellbeing and fortitude of staff. She is currently guest editing an edition of Military Psychology examining the Covid-19 crisis. Inspired by her time in the military and a growing need to address anxiety and mental health issues, especially amongst young adults, she recently developed a custom system of Confidence and Resilience training for young adults, focusing on the German language market. 


Colonel Mark Ray, M.S., M.S.S.

Colonel Mark Ray: Optimizing Human Performance and Wellness in Army Special Operations

Army Special Operations Command has embraced a holistic approach to human performance and wellness. Colonel Mark Ray, the command’s Director of Human Performance and Wellness since 2019, will describe the challenges and opportunities that come with creating integrated solutions oriented toward physiological performance optimization, mental and cognitive skill enhancement, social preparedness, and spiritual wellness. He will then speak to how he and his staff translate sound principles and scientific solutions into implementation for 35,000 Army Special Operations Force Soldiers and their 56,000 Family members. Colonel Ray’s passion for human performance comes from decades of boots on the ground special operations experience combined with a sports science master’s degree and previous responsibility for the integration of collegiate athletics with the cadet military and academic programs at the United States Military Academy. His presentation will conclude with what still needs to be studied, learned, and applied toward optimizing human performance and wellness.

Keynote Speaker Bio

Colonel Mark Ray, M.S., M.S.S.
Human Performance and Wellness Director
U.S. Army Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, NC

Colonel Mark Ray was commissioned as a U.S. Army Infantry officer in 1996 upon graduation from the United States Military Academy.  After serving as a platoon leader in the 82nd Airborne Division and the 18th Airborne Corps Long Range Surveillance Company, he was selected into and completed qualification training in the Special Forces branch.  Over the course of 20 years in Special Operations, Colonel Ray has served in the 5th Special Forces Group and has commanded throughout the United States Army Special Operations Command at every level from Detachment to Battalion, in addition to various staff positions.  He has participated in Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and New Dawn, and has served in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe.

Ray previously served four years in the Army West Point Athletic Department, as the Department's Military Deputy Athletic Director.  In this role, he was the principal military advisor for the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, integrating the Athletic Department’s activities with the military and academic programs of the Academy.  He was a member of the staff of Senior Associate Athletic Directors, and responsible for the integration of cadet-athlete academic and military performance with Division 1 athletics participation; managing the government Human and Financial Resources of the department; facility construction, renovations, and maintenance; information technology, NCAA compliance, collegiate licensing, and retail sales.  Most importantly, he had the privilege of serving as a close teammate and mentor to the hundreds of cadets, coaches, staff, and faculty that he worked alongside, helping to foster a winning culture as these young men and women trained and prepared to become officers in the United States Army.

Born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Virginia, Colonel Ray has been stationed at various Army installations in North Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Kansas, New York, and Pennsylvania.  He has earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Systems Engineering from the US Military Academy, a Master of Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College, and a Master of Science in Sports Science from Lock Haven University.  

He and his wife of 25 years, Tracy, have three children- daughter Harper, and sons, Mark, Jr., and Jack. 


Top of page