Distinguished Contribution to Education and Training
The Division offers this award to colleagues who have made distinguished contributions to the interests, goals, and purposes of Division 44 in the area of education, either academic or public. Award winners typically have developed programs or curricula that raised the consciousness of the general public about LGBT issues, or that improved the quality of education and training in psychology at graduate and undergraduate levels. The winners of this award represent individuals who have distinguished themselves in disseminating science and scholarship on LGBT issues.
This award goes to two recipients.
Our first recipient has been invaluable on our Executive Committee Board. Under her leadership, the Education and Training Committee has developed a template for addressing the “Footnote 4” issue with schools that are seeking an exemption from the APA Accreditation Standards based on religious affiliation. She closely follows the schools that are up for accreditation review by APA. She reviews the schools’ self reports and creates an extensive and exhaustive list of the ways the program is not meeting the intent of Footnote 4 and thereby possibly discriminating against its LGBT students, faculty, and staff. The recipient is Dr. Maryka Biaggio.
Our second award recipient is a counseling psychologist in private practice in St. Paul Minnesota who taught at both Macalester College and the University of Minnesota. She is described as a tireless and creative advocate for the rights of LGBT people. She has educated individuals about the rights of LGBT people in a variety of contexts and roles—as the President of the Minnesota Psychological Association, as a board member of the Minnesota Women Psychologists, as a board member of the National Association for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Addiction Professionals and their Allies, and as chair of the Minnesota Psychological Association’s Equality Task Force, just to name a few. For all of her groundbreaking work in the public arena, this award also goes to Dr. Margaret Charmoli (pictured with Ellyn Kaschak on the right).
Carla Golden, PhD, Ithaca College
Perry N. Halkitis has a long history of contributions to Education and Training in LGBT issues. He received his PhD from the City University of New York in 1995 and has spent most of his career at the New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Dr. Halkitis has published well over a hundred research and scholarly articles. He co-edited two books and authored another. He has been the recipient of numerous research grants totaling millions of dollars. He has been called on regularly to present his work at both national and international conferences. Dr. Halkitis has chaired 11 doctoral dissertations and been a committee member of over 40 more. His research has focused primarily on gay men’s health especially in regard to HIV and drug use.
His students are effusive in their praise of Dr. Halkitis. They know he is committed to improving the quality of education and training in psychology both in his role as a university professor and through his professional activities by adding to the scholarship and science related to LGBT issues across many different contexts. They believe he makes a difference in using good science to attempt to eliminate homophobia and prejudice. One student notes that Dr. Halkitis “makes you see the world a bit differently . . . . and inspires you to do something about the world.” Dr. Halkitis’s work as a scientist, scholar, instructor, and mentor is infused with his passion for education and training in LGBT-related issues. He makes a difference in the lives of his students and those who read his writings or listen to him present. We are delighted to give Dr. Halkitis the Division 44 Award for Distinguished Contributions to Education and Training.
Kathleen Bieschke, Ph.D. - Dr. Bieschke has a long history of contributions to Education and Training in LGBT issues. She received her Ph.D. from Michigan State University in 1991 and has spent most of her career in the Department of Counselor Education, Counseling Psychology, and Rehabilitation Services at Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Bieschke is committed to improving the quality of education and training is psychology both in her role as a university professor and through her professional activities by adding to the scholarship and science related to LGBT issues across many different contexts. Further, she has supervised dozens of graduate students who have gone on to make their own contributions.
Dr. Bieschke has published extensively in prestigious refereed journals, presented numerous workshops, and is the Co-Editor of two books on counseling and psychotherapy with gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender clients (one of which was given the Division 44 Distinguished Book Award in 2001). Dr. Bieschke's work as a scholar, instructor, mentor, and practitioner is infused with her passion for education and training in LGBT-related issues. She makes a difference in the lives of her students, her clients, and those who read her writings or listen to her presentations.
Steven A. Safren, Ph.D. - Dr. Safren's academic training was completed at SUNY Albany where he received his doctorate in 1998. Because of his longstanding interest in LGBT issues, he undertook an ambitious dissertation project; to investigate the incredibly important topic of suicidal thinking and behavior in sexual minority adolescents. The finding was that the environment's negative response to adolescent coming out was predictive of poor mental health. These results were published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.
He has risen quickly up the ranks to his current position as Associate Professor and Director of the Behavioral Medicine Service (which he founded), and has served in leadership roles in both the Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Behavioral Medicine tracks of Massachusetts General Hospital's internship program. In these latter roles, he has devoted extensive attention to the training needs and career development of interns, fellows, and junior faculty involved in providing clinical services and conducting research. He has also worked as the behavioral scientist at The Fenway Institute, the research arm of Fenway Community Health Center, the largest LGBT health center in New England. He has served as mentor to trainees working on projects related to HIV prevention among men who have sex with men, interpersonal violence in HIV+ men who have sex with men, adherence to medications for HIV+ individuals and those with diabetes, among others. While not appearing on his curriculum vita, he has mentored many LGBT students to enter graduate programs in psychology, public health, and medicine. Despite his numerous administrative and research responsibilities (on two continents - North America and India), he makes it a priority to provide valuable opportunities to trainees at all levels. Dr. Safren is a positive force within the profession, especially for budding LGBT psychologists.
In addition, he is a worthy recipient of this award because of his advocacy efforts in the area of LGBT issues in psychology training. Dr. Safren has authored articles focused on the need for further training in LGBT issues and has been a pioneer by infusing evidence-based treatment with a commitment to diversity. His advocacy on behalf of LGBT issues in the field has been demonstrated by his vocal position within an allied professional organization, the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT). His leadership in opposition to the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy resulted in the formation of a task force in ABCT with the charge to create a non-discrimination statement for the entire organization. He has been the prime mover within the organization to advance LGBT issues in training.
In sum, Dr. Safren is an amazing mentor and educator in LGBT psychology, and his contributions warrant the acclaim of Division 44 as this year's winner of the award for Distinguished Contribution to Education and Training.
Jane Simoni - Dr. Simoni is a professor in clinical psychology at the University of Washington. She received her PhD in clinical psychology from UCLA in 1993 and completed postdoctoral research fellowships at USC and Columbia. Dr. Simoni's work has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to educating others on the physical and mental health of those marginalized by society, more specifically, on stress and coping among stigmatized populations. Dr. Simoni has focused her research and training on individuals living with HIV/AIDS; on lesbians, gay men and transgender people; and on racial and ethnic minority group members, particularly native Americans. With 75 publications and more than $6 million in grants, Dr. Simoni is a wonderful role model of intellectual accomplishment for her students. Her nomination letter praises her "formidable intellect" and her "interpersonal warmth and generosity," further stating: "Jane encourages students to study topics that are important to them personally as well as those which are compelling intellectually; anything is fair game as long as it has the potential to contribute to the field and to the betterment of society. This encouragement and collaborative ingenuity have paid off, as a significant proportion of Jane's trainees have gone on to careers in research and clinical work focused on bettering the lives of LGBT or HIV-positive individuals." Dr. Simoni clearly is a model of effective training and mentoring, and it is for this reason that we honor her with this award.
- 2006 Allen M. Omoto
- 2005 no award
- 2004 Joseph Roy Gillis
- 2003 Ruth Elizabeth Fassinger
- 2002 Isiaah Crawford
- 2001 Y. Barry Chung
- 2000 Kristin Hancock, Armand Cerbone, Douglas Haldeman, Christine Browning
- 1999 no award
- 1998 no award
- 1997 Ron Scott
- 1996 Dorsey Green
- 1994 no award
- 1993 no award
- 1992 Jeannine Grammick
- 1991 Leah Fygetakis
- 1990 Douglas Kimmel
Please send nominations for this award to the President-Elect.