On December 21, 2020, Dr. Mark Appelbaum passed away in San Diego, California due to complications resulting from COVID-19. He was a faculty member in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience for 21 years, from 1968 to 1989, and enjoyed a long and hugely impactful professional career not only at UNC Chapel Hill (where he also served as Associate Dean at The Graduate School), but as Chair of the Department of Psychology and Human Development at Vanderbilt University and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs at the University of California San Diego. When he passed, he was an Emeritus Professor at UC San Diego.
Dr. Appelbaum was the founding editor of Psychological Methods and editor of the Psychological Bulletin, two highly impactful APA journals, and was a major contributor of the American Psychological Association style guide. He was also bestowed numerous awards such as the prestigious Bowman and Gordon Gray Professorship, the Distinguished Contributions Award from the Society for Research in Child Development, and the Award for Distinguished Service to Psychological Sciences from the APA. Dr. Appelbaum was well-known for his research in psychometrics, a field devoted to testing, measurement, and assessment, and was a member of the SAT Committee of the College Board, where he worked on national longitudinal studies of child development including the Head Start Program that have had tremendous educational policy relevance. Dr. Appelbaum also advised of the importance of mammograms with studies on the risks of not receiving mammograms, and tackled complex methodological questions such as whether there is a causal link between videogaming and gun violence. Dr. Appelbaum was a important contributor to the field of psychology and he will be deeply missed.
There will be a virtual celebration of his life by friends, family, and colleagues on January 6, 2021 at 4 PM Pacific Standard Time (7 PM EST) via Zoom. Donations in his memory may be made to one of his special causes, the University of California San Diego’s Chancellor Scholars Program for first-generation college students. To donate, visit their website and enter fund number “E7017” in the search bar, select “Mark Appelbaum, Emeritus Professor of Psychology, Memorial Fund,” indicate the amount to contribute, and select “Save the Gift.”