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Myers award to Aptima director

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: 11 April, 2008  (Company News)
Aptima, has announced that Dr. Michael J. Garrity, division director for human performance, is one of five individuals selected to receive the 2008 M. Scott Myers Award for Applied Research in the Workplace.
The Myers Award is presented annually by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP), a division of the American Psychological Association. The award recognizes an outstanding example of industrial and organizational psychology in the workplace.

Dr. Garrity leads Aptima’s participation in the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Mission Essential Competency (MEC) process, initially developed in 2000 as a proof-of-concept methodology for defining 'go-to-war' knowledge skills and experiences and now being used by the Air Force to enhance the combat readiness of pilots and operators. The MEC process is a scientifically-based approach to defining knowledge, skill and developmental experience requirements to drive training for complex occupations. Aptima’s Mission Essential Competency Team includes Dr. Michael Keeney, Kristy Reynolds, Krista Langkamer, Melinda Keith, Amanda Malek, and Kevin Durkee.

The MEC project is a joint effort directed by Myers awardee Dr. Winston “Wink” Bennett of AFRLs Warfighter Training Systems and Performance Branch, Mesa Research Site, Ariz. In addition to Dr. Bennett and Dr. Garrity, fellow team members who were named on the award include: Dr. George Alliger, Vice President for Solutions, The Group for Organizational Effectiveness, Inc. in Albany, N.Y.; Chuck Colegrove, Air Combat Command, Flight Operations Division (Alion Science and Technology), Langley Air Force Base, Va.; and Rebecca Beard, The Group for Organizational Effectiveness, Inc.

Mission Essential Competencies (MECs) are defined as the higher-order individual, team, and inter-team competencies that a fully prepared pilot, crew or flight requires for successful mission completion under adverse conditions and in a non-permissive environment.

Nearly every Air Force mission now has defined MECs, including combat pilots, command and control decision-makers, senior leadership, information operations, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

The MEC approach has impacted training activities and resource allocations for over 100,000 Air Force personnel annually. The approach and data also gave Air Combat Command decision-makers rationale needed to generate additional funding for the Combat Air Forces comprehensive, high-fidelity distributed simulation program for combat training.

Civilian first responders have benefitted from MECs by improving their readiness to perform in disaster situations. A goal of the MEC project is to improve the capability of all personnel who must perform in extremely challenging and stressful environments, including warfighters and civilian rescue personnel.

SIOP is a large, international organization of researchers and practitioners in a variety of work-related fields such as human resource development, personnel and organizational assessment, and workplace design and evaluation.

The award will be presented at the 23rd annual conference of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology April 9-12 at the Hilton San Francisco.
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