Dr. June Pimm (née June Pickering) was born in Ottawa and attended Hopewell Ave. School and Glebe Collegiate. She received her B.A. (with Honours) and her M.Ps.Sc. from McGill University, married and returned to Ottawa. Here she enrolled in the doctoral program in Developmental Psychology graduating as Carleton’s first Ph.D. in Arts.
Following graduation from Carleton, Dr. Pimm began a long career in Developmental Psychology (with a brief detour into Health Psychology) which she continues today. Her interest in children with emotional problems began with her first employment at the Ottawa School Board where she established the first public school classroom for “Emotionally Disturbed” children. Trained in the behavioral tradition, June took it upon herself to study with Piaget’s group in Geneva, Switzerland where she co-authored a research study on Moral Development in young children. This research appeared as a chapter in Toward a Theory of Psychological Development, Modgil & Modgil, NFER, 1980) and formed the basis for further work in the area of Juvenile Delinquency for the State of Florida where she lived for more than 20 years.
During her time in Florida, Dr. Pimm established a private practice, contracting to private schools in the Miami area, and to the Florida Juvenile Justice Department. While in Florida she was asked by the Miami Heart Institute to head a project on depression in coronary bypass patients funded by the American Heart Association. She documented the results of this research in the book “Psychological Risks of Coronary Bypass Surgery” (Plenum Press, 1985) with co author Joseph Feist. This was followed by a book targeted to patients co-authored with Carol Cohan “Coping with Coronary Heart Surgery and Bypassing Depression”, Psychosocial Press, 1991 (2nd edition) which continues to help patients deal with the stress of heart surgery.
Dr. Pimm’s last position in Florida was Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University Of Miami School Of Medicine where she worked in the field of Neonatology monitoring the development of very low birthweight infants for their first three years of life. Here she was responsible for the contribution of Psychology to a multi disciplinary clinical team and supervised post doctoral graduate students. The focus of her research was the interaction of environmental factors and medical risks affecting the development of medically “at risk” infants.
Dr. Pimm returned to Ottawa and joined the Psychology department of the Ottawa Carleton District School Board. She currently holds the position of Coordinator of the Autism Initiative for the Board where she supervises the activities of the Autism Spectrum Team and conducts research on a population of over 700 children diagnosed with ASD. Although her doctorate was in behavioral psychology, the influence of Piaget caused her to adopt the developmental model which she considers the best approach to the understanding the enigma of Autism today.
Dr. Pimm is married to Gordon Pimm. They have three children – Martha (Zurich Switzerland), Robert (San Francisco) and Matthew (New York). June and Gordon also have four grand children and four great grand children.
On June 17, 2021, Dr. Pimm was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Carleton University in recognition of her distinguished career in Developmental Psychology. Click here for more details and pictures from the ceremony, as well as access to the recording of Dr. Pimm’s graduating address.