Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest

This award recognizes people who have advanced psychology as a science and/or profession by a single extraordinary achievement or a lifetime of outstanding contributions in the public interest.

Deadline: June 1, 2015

Sponsor: Board for the Advancement of Psychology in the Public Interest

Description

Senior Career

This award recognizes an individual whose single extraordinary achievement or a lifetime of outstanding contributions meet one or more of the following criteria: (a) courageous and distinctive contribution(s) in the science or practice of psychology that significantly supports efforts toward a solution to one of the world's intransigent social problems; (b) distinctive and innovative contribution(s) that makes the science and/or practice of psychology more accessible to a broad and diverse population; and (c) an integration of the science and practice of psychology that serves the public interest and advances social justice and human welfare.

Early Career

This award recognizes an individual whose single extraordinary achievement or a lifetime of outstanding contributions meet one or more of the following criteria: (a) courageous and distinctive contribution(s) in the science or practice of psychology that significantly supports efforts toward a solution to one of the world's intransigent social problems; (b) distinctive and innovative contribution(s) that makes the science and/or practice of psychology more accessible to a broad and diverse population; and (c) an integration of the science and practice of psychology that serves the public interest and advances social justice and human welfare. To be eligible for this award, the nominee's terminal degree (generally a doctorate in psychology) must have been conferred no more than 10 years prior to the award year. For the 2016 award, nominees must have received this degree during or since 2006.

Awards

Each award recipient will receive:

  • A $1,000 honorarium.

  • An opportunity to present an invited address at APA's 2016 Annual Convention in Denver.

  • An invitation to submit a paper to the American Psychologist® on the topic of the address.

  • A waiver of 2016 convention registration fees and reimbursement of up to $1,500 in expenses related to attendance.

How to Apply

Nominations must be submitted with:

  • A supporting statement of 500 words or less is the basis for the nomination, including a description of how and why the candidate is uniquely qualified to receive the award.

  • A current vita.

  • Letters of support from at least three people familiar with the nominee's work.

Nominees may also submit 3-5 selected representative reprints, or alternative types of samples of work such as internet based communications or legal briefs.

Nominations and supporting material should be sent to:

Donnie Graham
APA Public Interest Directorate
750 First Street, N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20002-4242

The deadline for receipt of nomination materials is June 1, 2015. Nomination materials for individuals who are not selected for an award will be carried over for consideration for one additional year in the appropriate award category.

Past Recipients

2015

Senior Career

Michael E. Lamb, PhD

Lamb's work profoundly shaped the fields of developmental psychology, social welfare, child and family policy and law. His extensive influence on law and policy demonstrates his ability to integrate science and practice to truly advance social justice and human welfare. Lamb’s seminal research on fatherhood fundamentally changed our understanding of fathers’ complex and unique contribution to children’s development. He studied the role of fathers pre- and post-divorce, how different custody arrangements affect children and how beliefs and stereotypes about fathers influence decisions about custody and children’s environments. He elucidated the primary mechanisms through which fathers’ behaviors and involvement affect children during different developmental periods. His findings led to new knowledge of the conditions under which adverse effects of divorce were more likely. Finally, his research is highly influential for policy and legal best-practice guidelines for custody arrangements under different family structures and situations.

Early Career

Candice L. Odgers, PhD

Odgers is the associate director of the Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University. Her research falls into two practically and theoretically significant domains: (a) the developmental course and consequences of externalizing disorders, conduct disorders and substance use. This work has yielded key insights into mechanisms — genetic and environmental — that underlie developmental variations in risk, and have led to policy recommendations regarding how best to target interventions to reduce risk in children with externalizing problems; and (2) an ecological systems approach to understanding social inequalities in child health, with an emphasis on how early adversity and neighborhood factors get under the skin and influence development over time.

2014

Senior Career

Gary B. Melton, PhD

Gary Melton was appointed to the U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect under the presidency of George H. W. Bush. He became a major architect in conceptualizing a system that, if accepted and instituted, would remake state and county child welfare programs nationwide. Melton developed a plan for the production of the report, including an ambitious background research effort to support changes in our child welfare so that children would be safer. His record (in the area of publications focused on law, psychology and public policy as applied to child and family issues) qualifies as the most distinguished among living psychologists. Melton has published nearly 350 chapters, articles or books on diverse topics of child and family policy and psychology. He has compiled a remarkable record of accomplishment in advocacy for children and families of great depth and substantial international scope.

2013

Senior Career

Derald Wing Sue, PhD 

Sue began his five-decade career as one of the first psychologists to explicitly identify the harmfulness of culturally incompetent practice. His call to the field to address racial-cultural bias was revolutionary for its time, and subsequently, Sue chaired a 1981 Div. 17 committee charged with the development of multicultural counseling competencies. Under his leadership, the committee submitted a final report that was eventually adopted as the APA's Multicultural Guidelines (APA, 2002). This watershed document helped pave the way for psychologists' subsequent examination of all forms of identity and intersectionality throughout research, theory and practice.

Early Career

Thema Bryant-Davis, PhD

Bryant-Davis has conducted socially relevant research and published countless articles and book chapters on overarching topic of trauma recovery, and on global issues of HIV/AIDS and human trafficking. As president and past-president of the Society for the Psychology of Women, she undertook a bold initiative: production of a video on human trafficking that illustrates the connection between trafficking and slavery, the persuasiveness of the problem internationally and within the U.S., and best practices for working with trafficking survivors.

2012

Senior Career

Bernice Lott, PhD 

There are few more intransigent social problems in the world today than poverty, and through her 50 years of scholarship and activism, Lott has led psychology in aligning itself explicitly with action to end poverty. Lott's commitment to social justice has been a guiding force within her career from the beginning, as her groundbreaking research on gender, ethnicity, race and multiculturalism demonstrates.

Early Career

Marguerita Lightfoot, PhD 

Lightfoot, a counseling psychologist by training, has made extraordinary contributions to advance HIV prevention among urban at-risk adolescent populations. She is currently a full professor at the University of California at San Francisco Medical Center where she serves as the co-director of the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies. Lightfoot is a trailblazer in the use of social media as a way to deliver effective HIV preventions to youth.

2011

Senior Career

Roxane Cohen Silver, PhD 

Silver's research concerns responses to traumatic life events. She is one of the country's leading experts on psychological reactions to trauma. Her research has addressed the reactions and adjustment of people facing a broad array of crises, including medical illnesses, sudden infant death syndrome, divorce, the Vietnam War, AIDS, fires, school, violence and most importantly, the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Early Career

Edward Delgado-Romero, PhD 

Delgado-Romero's research has addressed racial/ethnic issues in psychology and has applied multicultural psychology to clinical practice. In addition to his research productivity, he has also been committed to training the next generation of culturally competent psychologists and to increasing the pipeline of the Latino/a psychology professionals.

2010

Perry N. Halkitis, PhD (Early Career)
Norman Abeles, PhD (Senior Career)

2009

Keith Humphreys, PhD (Early Career)
Beverly Greene, PhD (Senior Career)

2008

Phillip Zimbardo, PhD (senior career)
Rebecca Campbell, PhD (early career)

2007

Gary W. Harper (early career)
Larke Nahme Huang

2006

Rose L. Clark (early career)
McCay Vernon

2005

Daniel Dodgen (early career)
Margaret Beale Spencer

2004

Dante Cicchetti (senior)
Susan Limber (early career)

2003

Claude M. Steele (senior)

2002

Phyllis A. Katz (senior)*
Melba J.T. Vasquez (senior)*
Brian Smedley (early career)

*This award was shared; it was not an award for collaboration.

2001

Martha Bernal (senior)
Edward Dunbar (early career)

2000

Lillian Comas-Díaz (senior)
Jeannette R. Ickovics (early career)

1998/1999

Bonnie R. Strickland (senior)

1997

James G. Kelly (senior)
Maria P. P. Root (early career)

1996

Gregory Herek (early career)
Alan I. Leshner (senior)

1995

David A. Riley
Nancy Felipe Russo

1994

Robert Q. Pollard Jr.
Durand F. Jacobs

1993

Laura C. Leviton
Patrick H. DeLeon

1992

Hortensia Amaro
Florence L. Denmark

1991

Susan T. Fiske
Evelyn Hooker

1990

Baruch Fischhoff
David Lykken

1989

Emory L. Cowen
William Bevan
Leonard Saxe

1988

Ellen Langer
M. Brewster Smith

1987

Michael J. Saks
Urie Bronfenbrenner

1986

Stanley Sue
John Janeway Conger

1985

Gary B. Melton
Jerome D. Frank

1984

Patric H. DeLeon
Seymore B. Sarason

1983

James S. Jackson
Stuart W. Cook

1982

Edward F. Zigler

1981

Herbert C. Kelman

1980

Isidor Chein
Nicholas Hobbs

1979

Marie Johada
Otto Klineberg

1978

Kenneth B. Clark