Bob and Cathy Smith with Cynthia during the early days at PAR. Congratulations on your retirement, Cynthia!

You may not know Cynthia Lumpee by name, but if you have ever ordered from PAR, you have felt her influence. Cynthia is PAR’s Vice President of Customer Service, and she has shaped the entire Customer experience with her focus on providing the very best service in the test publishing industry. After a 32-year career with the company, she is retiring this Friday. Throughout the week, various members of PAR’s staff will share stories, memories, and well wishes as we send Cynthia on to her next chapter.

Cynthia taught me the “PAR way,” which is about doing things the right way—being friendly, reliable, and thorough.  She made sure that we always remember that Customer Service is our most important product. Keeping that goal in focus is vital to PAR’s success, and it’s what separates us from our competitors. Most importantly, she taught me that little details matter and the only perception that matters is the Customer’s perception.  Thanks for everything!

-Daniel McFadden, Manager of Customer Support

 

I knew from my first contact with Cynthia that I had encountered both an exceptional person and company. Although I have worked for less than a year in Cynthia’s department, I have enjoyed every moment together and am consistently astounded at how wonderful a team she has put together at PAR. I am confident her influence will continue to radiate through our team and the rest of the company. She will be missed dearly!

-Danielle Greer, Customer Support Specialist

 

Cynthia has shown me the true meaning of Customer Service. If our Customers are not happy, then we need to work on ways to fix it. I admire her dedication to our Customers and their satisfaction.

-Vicki McFadden, Permissions Specialist

 

In just a few days, I will be celebrating my 21st work anniversary at PAR. Without Cynthia, it won’t be the same. Cynthia has not only been my supervisor all this time, but she has been a source of encouragement, a shining example of professionalism, and a friend. In all this time, I have had the privilege of working for her, learning from her, and sharing with her in an effort to build and train a team that provides the best Customer Service in the test publishing industry. We will miss her so much, but will never forget what she has taught us. We remain committed to carrying on her legacy through our never-ending commitment to Customer Service.

-Tamara Dwoskin, Customer Service Quality Assurance Manager
Love our legendary Customer Service? You have Cynthia to thank!

You may not know Cynthia Lumpee by name, but if you have ever ordered from PAR, you have felt her influence. Cynthia is PAR’s Vice President of Customer Service, and she has shaped the entire Customer experience with her focus on providing the very best service in the test publishing industry. After a 32-year career with the company, she is retiring this Friday. Throughout the week, various members of PAR’s staff will share stories, memories, and well wishes as we send Cynthia on to her next chapter.

 

Cynthia has taught me so many things, I don’t know where to begin! So, I’m just going to say that our Customers always come first to her, and she has taught this to every employee she has had.

Thank you for everything, Cynthia. I am going to miss you!

 -Marie Mitchell, Order Entry Coordinator (and has worked with Cynthia for 24 years!)

 

This is not a story, but there is a quote that I think Cynthia has taught not only her Customer Service team but all employees within the organization:

Customer Service is not a department…it’s everyone’s job!

She has taught me that it is important to always put the Customer’s needs first and to give people more than what they expect to get. I am forever grateful for all of her lessons. She will always play a vital role in the development of Customer Service representatives at PAR!

-Donna Drackett, Vice President/Chief Financial Officer

 

Cynthia taught me that no matter what, we’re here for the Customer. Everything we do in the company will affect the Customer in some way, and we have to think about that no matter what.

-Teri Lyon, MBA, Senior Technical Support Specialist
You may not know Cynthia Lumpee by name, but if you have ever ordered from PAR, you have felt her influence. Cynthia is PAR’s Vice President of Customer Service, and she has shaped the entire Customer experience with her focus on providing the very best service in the test publishing industry. After a 32-year career with the company, she is retiring this Friday. Throughout the week, various members of PAR’s staff will share stories, memories, and well wishes as we send Cynthia on to her next chapter.

Many things have changed at PAR, but Cynthia has been a constant for 32 years.

Cynthia was the fifth person to join PAR, and she has had an extraordinary 32-year career here. She joined PAR as a part-time office clerk in 1983. At that time, she described herself as a married tennis mom who was raising two young daughters. She became PAR's first Customer Service representative, then our Customer Service Manager, and finally Vice President of Customer Service. Along the way, she set the Customer Service standard for our entire industry and taught all the members of her team what the Customer Service experience should be.

We will be forever grateful for what she has contributed to PAR.

She is retiring in January as the longest-serving PAR family member but remains part of the PAR family forever.

-Bob Smith III, PhD, Chairman and CEO
In celebration of the holiday, PAR will close at 5:00 p.m. ET today and reopen at 8 a.m. on Monday, January 5. Orders received after 5:00 p.m. today will ship when we reopen in 2015.

Take advantage of 2014 pricing by placing your orders today!

Wishing you the best in 2015.
PAR author Richard Rogers, PhD, ABPP, has written a new book, Mirandized Statements, meant to help both forensic psychologists and attorneys. The book, which Dr. Rogers coauthored with Eric Drogin, JD, PhD, ABPP, provides information on the different perspectives prosecutors and defense attorneys take when conceptualizing Miranda cases. Mirandized Statements also provides step-by-step instructions on how to conduct forensic evaluations in Miranda cases.

Furthermore, the book examines the use of psychological measures and specialized Miranda measures, helping psychologists to use empirically validated assessments in their analysis. Extensive appendixes allow readers to examine the Miranda warning used in a particular jurisdiction, with close attention paid to the use of legalese, formal language, and erudite wording.

Dr. Rogers is the author of the Structured Interview of Reported Symptoms, 2nd Ed. (SIRS-2), the Evaluation of Competency to Stand Trial™–Revised (ECST™-R), the Rogers Criminal Responsibility Assessment Scales (R-CRAS), and the Standardized Assessment of Miranda Abilities™ (SAMA™).
PAR is pleased to announce the PARiConnect release of the NEO™ Five-Factor Inventory-3: Four-Factor Version (NEO™-FFI-3:4FV) and the NEO™ Personality Inventory-3: Four-Factor Version (NEO™-PI-3:4FV). The NEO-FFI-3:4FV and the NEO-PI-3:4FV provide information on four personality domains: Extraversion, Openness to Experience, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness. Both measures are designed for use in employment and counseling settings involving activities such as career counseling, career development, and employee training where these four domains are the main focus. Items, normative data, and scoring are taken from the E, O, A, and C factors of the NEO-PI-3 or NEO-FFI-3.

 

The NEO-PI-3:4FV and NEO-FFI-3:4FV are available for administration and scoring only on PARiConnect. A self-report form (Form S) and a form for rating others (Form R) are available.

 

Learn more about this new addition to the NEO family of products today!
For many of us, the holidays are a joyful time to celebrate together with family and friends. Yet for those who have recently suffered the loss of a loved one, the holidays can be an especially difficult time. What are the best ways to support someone who is grieving during the holidays?

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), a nonprofit organization that advocates for improved end-of-life care, offers some guidance to help those who don’t know what to say or do for a grieving friend or family member. The NHPCO’s hospice professionals offer these suggestions:

  1. Be supportive of the way the person chooses to handle the holidays. Some may wish to follow traditions; others may choose to avoid customs of the past and do something new. It’s okay to do things differently.

  2. Offer to help the person with decorating or holiday baking. Both tasks can be overwhelming for someone who is grieving.

  3. Offer to help with holiday shopping. Share catalogs or online shopping sites that may be helpful.

  4. Invite the person to join you or your family during the holidays. You might invite them to join you for a religious service or at a holiday meal where they are a guest.

  5. Ask the person if he or she is interested in volunteering with you during the holidays. Doing something for someone else, such as helping at a soup kitchen or working with children, may help your loved one feel better about the holidays.

  6. Never tell someone that he or she should be “over it.” Instead, give the person hope that, eventually, he or she will enjoy the holidays again.

  7. Be willing to listen. Active listening from friends and family is an important step to helping some cope with grief and heal.

  8. Remind the person you are thinking of him or her and the loved one who died. Cards, phone calls, and visits are great ways to stay in touch.


For more information about NHPCO and their resources on grief, loss, and hospice care, visit www.nhpco.org.
The link between musical expertise and linguistic working memory has been well established in the literature. However, new research from the University of Texas at Arlington suggests that musicians may have additional memory advantages, including enhanced visual/pictorial memory and better long-term memory.

In their study, lead author Heekyeong Park, assistant professor of psychology at UT Arlington, and graduate student James Schaeffer measured the electrical activity of neurons in the brains of both musicians and non-musicians using electroencephalography (EEG) technology, noting differences in frontal and parietal lobe responses.

“Musically trained people are known to process linguistic materials a split second faster than those without training, and previous research also has shown musicians have advantages in working memory,” said Park in a recent statement. “What we wanted to know is whether there are differences between pictorial and verbal tasks and whether any advantages extend to long-term memory.”

Study participants included 14 musicians, who had been playing classical music for 15 years or more, as well as 15 non-musicians. To test working memory, participants were shown both pictorial and verbal items and then asked to identify them among a group of similar foils. At the end of the session, long-term memory was tested by asking participants to identify test items they had already encountered versus completely new items.

On the working memory tasks, the musicians outperformed non-musicians in EEG-measured neural responses. In terms of long-term memory, however, musicians performed better in memory for pictorial (nonverbal) items only. Although the study does not establish the reason for this improvement in pictorial memory, the authors speculate that learning to read music may enhance an individual’s ability to process visual cues.

Dr. Park hopes to test more musicians soon to strengthen her findings. “Our work is adding evidence that music training is a good way to improve cognitive abilities,” she says. “If proven, those advantages could represent an intervention option to explore for people with cognitive challenges.”

The researchers presented their initial results last month at Neuroscience 2014, the international meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, in Washington, D.C. To learn more about Dr. Park’s work, visit her Web page on the UT Arlington Web site.
Want to learn more about the Academic Achievement Battery™ (AAB™)Screening Form? PAR's Training Portal now offers a  free course on this new product. Whether you have already purchased the AAB Screening Form and want to learn more about this instrument or are looking for more information to help make your purchase decision, this training course will give you a quick overview of the product, explain what makes it unique, and give you insight into how it was developed.

To access the Training Portal, use your parinc.com username and password to log in. Don’t have a free account? Register now. Training courses are also available on the Vocabulary Assessment Scales™ (VAS™), the Test of General Reasoning Ability™ (TOGRA™), and the Reynolds Adaptable Intelligence Test™ (RAIT™). Training on the AAB Comprehensive Form will be available shortly, with more presentations coming in 2015.

 
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have discovered a chemical alteration in a single human gene that is linked to the risk of a suicide attempt. According to study leader Zachary Kaminsky, PhD, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the JHU School of Medicine, the results of this study could be a first step in developing a simple blood test that will help doctors predict suicide risk.

Described in The American Journal of Psychiatry, the study suggests that chemical changes in a gene involved in the function of the brain’s response to stress hormones plays a significant role in suicide risk. These changes can turn a normal reaction to everyday stress into suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

“Suicide is a major preventable public health problem, but we have been stymied in our prevention efforts because we have no consistent way to predict those who are at increased risk of killing themselves,” explains Kaminsky in a press release from Hopkins Medicine. “With a test like ours, we may be able to stem suicide rates by identifying those people and intervening early enough to head off a catastrophe.”

A blood test that accurately predicts suicide risk would be good news for the U.S. military, which has experienced an alarming increase in the number of suicides among veterans over the past few years, particularly males under the age of 30.

“What we envision, potentially, is using this test in psychiatric emergency rooms. For example, it could dictate closeness of monitoring and treatment options, and drive potentially more fast acting treatment in someone who is really high risk,” said Kaminsky in an interview with The Huffington Post.

To read the abstract or to download the full article, visit the American Journal of Psychiatry Web site.

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