Prior to coming to the US for advanced training Professor Hawkins worked as a sailing journalist, college counselor, and psychology tutor and lecturer in colleges and universities in New Zealand and Australia. He is the Director of the Neuropsychological and Psychological Assessment Service of the Connecticut Mental Health Center, where he has trained an estimated 70 pre and postdoctoral fellows, several now full professors. Dr. Hawkins has additionally supervised T32 postdoctoral fellows and mentored faculty with NIH career development awards. During his career Dr. Hawkins has consulted to the Yale New Haven Hospital (YNHH) Adler Geriatric Clinic, and to the Memory Disorders Clinic of the Institute of Living/Hartford Hospital, on early dementia detection and differential diagnosis, and has held numerous training and consulting contracts with external hospitals. He assesses medical practitioners for the YNHH Late Career Program, with 320+ evaluations to date, and consults to YNHH medical leadership and credentialing officials on matters of cognitive competence among practitioners who serve the hospital.
Dr. Hawkins has held editorial board appointments for several neuropsychological, neuropsychiatric, and neurology journals, and consulted weekly to the Olin Neuropsychiatric Research Center (ONRC) in Hartford (ongoing), and the Institute for Neurodegenerative Disorders (IND) for approximately a decade. He is an author on 87 papers (h index = 40, total citations 6,200+). Among other scholarly engagements, Dr. Hawkins has studied cognitive aging in 350 older African Americans, many within their own homes, community centers, and churches. He has collaborated with Dr. Chris van Dyck in a study of executive functioning in the elderly, and within the P50 AD Research Center at Yale. During his consultation to IND he participated in amyloid imaging and immunotherapy trials, and oversaw the neuropsychological components of several Parkinson’s Disease studies. He has been Yale subcontract Principal Investigator for the Hartford Healthcare Corporation funded study, “Midlife vascular risk factors and the development of cognitive impairment, cerebrovascular disease and preclinical dementia”, and has designed and overseen the neuropsychological component of numerous large-scale studies. This includes selecting tests, finalizing the neuropsychological manual, and conducting training for the 22 site international study of early stage Parkinson’s disease (the $60 million Parkinson Progression Markers Initiative, PPMI). At the ONRC he has collaborated with Drs. Godfrey Pearlson and Michael Stevens in studies of psychosis, the neural underpinnings of developing executive capacities in adolescence, the effects of alcohol on the late adolescent brain, and, currently, the effects of marijuana on driving. Earlier he was a collaborator with Drs. Scott Woods and Thomas McGlashan of Yale, and faculty across USA and Canada, in studies of the schizophrenia prodrome, including the first ever double-blind treatment trial. He collaborated with the late Dr. Ralph Hoffman and Dr. William Sledge in studies of the linguistic characteristics of disordered speech, and, with Dr. Hoffman, the efficacy of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) as a treatment for refractory hallucinations. Other recent activities include collaborations with Dr. Hochang Lee in studies of cardiac surgery patients. Throughout his career Dr. Hawkins has researched the psychometric properties and inference validity of neuropsychological tests, including analyses of the clinical utility of the six-factor revision of the widely used Wechsler intellectual and memory batteries. In concert with the eminent neuropsychologists who implemented this new direction in intelligence and memory testing, Dr. Hawkins presented at national and international conferences on clinical interpretation.