DIMENSIONS Fall 1999

MEET LISA MILLSPAUGH

by Julie Cleveland

Every day at work has something different in store for Lisa Millspaugh. From interviewing research subjects in their homes, to scoring tests and writing reports in the office, Lisa's job is an interesting and varied one. Lisa works as a psychometrist for the Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) research study at the UW Department of Medicine. The ACT study follows a group of 2,500 Group Health Cooperative enrollees over the age of 65, to study aging and the cause and treatment of changes in memory.

Millspaugh delights in many things about her job. She enjoys her co-workers, and the combination of working in the office and on the road. Most of all, she loves working with older adults, and being able to interview them in their homes. "If you see them in the office, you don't get a feel for what they're really like," she comments, "In their home environment you get a real sense of who they are." The ACT subjects enjoy Lisa as well, and welcome her friendly, professional and sincere personality. Recently, one subject even played the piano for her after being interviewed.

Before her work at the UW, Millspaugh owned and managed a sport fishing company in Homer, Alaska for ten years. Fueled by a life-change, and a desire to learn more about human behavior, she moved to Washington state and attended Pacific Lutheran University while raising her son and teaching at Charles Wright Academy. After receiving a B.A. in psychology, she went to Madigan army hospital at Fort Lewis to train to become a psychometrist.

Outside of work, Lisa's life is as interesting and varied as her job. She enjoys many hobbies including golf, reading, gardening and traveling. Millspaugh continues to substitute-teach at Charles Wright, teaching anything from art and music to science and French. She also is a big believer in volunteering. She has volunteered at Foss Nursing Home, Sunday school, Charles Wright Academy, and as a Big Sister. Her son is now 10 and she has fun playing baseball with him. She is also a host parent for an exchange student from Russia. Says Lisa "It has been good. She helps around the house, does her homework and she's always happy. I ask her a lot of questions about Moscow. She's very pleased to share that information and talk about her culture."

Millspaugh has traveled in many different areas of the world, from France and Switzerland to Mexico and Puerto Rico. She has backpacked through Europe and driven the Alaska Highway. She has co-piloted a boat up the inside passage from Seattle to Homer, Alaska, and lived on a 52-foot boat one winter in Alaska. And, yes, Lisa does know how to bait a hook and filet a halibut.


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