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New Professor an expert on Ritalin, drug abuse

Victoria University has appointed Susan Schenk, an expert on drug abuse, to a Professorship in the School of Psychology.

Professor Schenk is a physiological psychologist who conducts research on the mechanisms underlying drug abuse.

Professor Schenk’s research has examined the effects of cocaine, amphetamine, nicotine and caffeine. She is also an expert on the controversial drug Ritalin, a stimulant that is prescribed to some children for their perceived hyperactivity, inattention and impulsiveness.

Professor Sik-Hung Ng, Head of the School of Psychology, said Professor Schenk’s appointment would develop and enhance the School of Psychology’s ability to teach courses on experimental psychology, brain and behaviour, and pharmacology for psychologists.

Science Faculty Dean Peter Englert welcomed Professor Schenk to Victoria.

“This Professorship is one of a series of very high level appointments we are making in the Faculty of Science, aimed at recruiting international academic leaders who will attract research, students and funding to the Faculty,” Professor Englert said.

Professor Schenk is currently a Professor in the Psychology Department at Texas A& M University in the United States. Prior to joining Texas A&M in 1987, she worked at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, as a Lecturer and Assistant Professor of Psychology.

A Canadian, Professor Schenk has a BSc from McGill University in Montreal, and a M.A. and a PhD from Concordia University. After finishing her PhD she returned to McGill for a post-doctoral fellowship.

“Professor Schenk’s appointment will strengthen the internal links at Victoria between psychology and the life sciences, as well as enhancing our relationship with key Wellington research institutions,” said Professor Englert.

Earlier this year Victoria appointed Dr Colleen Ward, a specialist in cross-cultural psychology specialist, as Professor and Head of the School of Psychology. Professor Ward joins the University in August.

Professor Schenk will start at Victoria later this year.

Victoria University Wellington

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