Paul Nelson, PhD, APA's deputy director of education and director of graduate and postdoctoral education and training, received the first-ever Paul Nelson Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Education and Training of Psychologists at APA's 2004 Annual Convention in Honolulu, July 28-Aug. 1.
On behalf of the Council of Chairs of Training Councils (CCTC), Emil Rodolfa, PhD, presented Nelson with the inaugural award, which honored him for his leadership and guidance with CCTC, which brings together doctoral, internship and postdoctoral psychology training associations to communicate with each other. Nelson helped form CCTC and has believed since the early 1980s in the importance of a forum where education and training associations could meet, says Rodolfa, CCTC's chair.
"Paul had foresight and vision that communication between the groups would be valuable to the groups--and psychology education and training in general," Rodolfa added.
Nelson has supported CCTC by serving on several steering committees for conferences on psychology education and training. The council has since grown from a small group to about 20 associations and eight liaisons.
"Paul's guidance was crucial to the development and growth of CCTC," Rodolfa says. "Psychology education and training is one of Paul's passions."
Nelson's role in CCTC's creation is a testament to his grasp of the big-picture of professional education and training in psychology, and his understanding of both its history and its future, says Cynthia Belar, PhD, APA's executive director for education.
"The fact that all these organizations that are external to APA named a new award after Paul is a real credit to him and reflective of APA's long-standing commitment to collaboration with these groups," Belar added.