Distinguished Student Contribution

For graduate students who have made a distinguished contribution to research or practice, or who has performed exceptional service to Division 44.

This award honors a graduate student in psychology who has made a distinguished contribution to research or practice, or who has performed exceptional service to the Division.

The Division offers this award to a graduate student in psychology who has made a distinguished contribution to research or practice, or who has performed exceptional service to the Division. Winners of this award represent the future of this Division, and have taken leadership early in their careers to advance LGBT issues in psychology. Graduate program faculty are encouraged to nominate their students for this award; self-nominations are also encouraged.

Eligibility

Winners of this award represent the future of this Division, and have taken leadership early in their careers to advance LGBT issues in psychology.

How to Apply

Please send nominations for this award to the President-Elect.

Graduate program faculty are encouraged to nominate their students for this award; self-nominations are also encouraged. Please send nominations for this award to the president-elect.

Past Recipients

2012 winners

This year there are three recipients of this award.

The first recipient is Stacey Colt Meier (above right). Colt has been the Student Representative on the Executive Committee for this past year. His enthusiasm and dedication to the Division and to getting LGBTQ students involved in the Division is unparalleled. His research on effects of hormones on FTM Transgender individuals has been described as ground breaking.

Our next recipient is Ethan Mereish (middle right). Ethan has been described as an exceptional student who is already making meaningful and lasting contributions to the field of LGBT studies in research, practice, and advocacy. He has co-authored 13 papers and conducted 34 symposia/posters. He has focused his program of studies on the effects of minority stress on health among sexual minorities.

The third recipient is Michael Parent (below right). He was described by his mentor in this way, “Mike’s intellectual talent, energy, and motivation, and commitment to LGBT research and service are exceptional. He is a rising star in LGBT science, practice, and advocacy.” He has authored 14 publications and received grants for his research which focuses on the intersections of gender, sexuality, and behavioral health with clinical and social justice implications. He also has chaired the APAGS Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Concerns.

2011 winners

Melanie Brewster, MS, University of Florida and Caroline Lippy, MA, Georgia State University.

2010 winner

Laura M. Alie – John F. Kennedy University 
Laura M. Alie is a PsyD candidate at John F. Kennedy University. By virtue of her extraordinary accomplishments, Laura is most deserving of our Distinguished Student Contribution Award. In addition to service roles in her university, community, and the Division, Laura has been involved in providing intensive clinical services to a wide range of individuals and groups. She has also been a teaching assistant for several graduate courses in psychology. In her first year as a graduate student Laura became involved with APA and Division 44. As an APAGS representative, Laura’s advocacy resulted in a number of students joining APAGS. As Division 44’s Student Representative she has devoted herself to the students of Division 44, most notably by completing a student survey that enabled the Executive Committee to have a clear picture of student members’ interests and needs. Laura handled this endeavor with professionalism and respect during a time of great controversy. Laura has also organized many student-focused events in the Division 44 Hospitality Suite during the past two APA Conventions. In addition to her responsibilities as Student Representative, Laura serves on Division 44’s Committee on Transgender and Gender Variance Issues and the Committee on Children, Youth, and Families. She also holds the only student position on the APA’s Guidelines for Psychotherapy with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Clients Revision Task Force. This year, Laura was named the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology’s (NCSPP) Outstanding LGBT Student of the Year for her current research on the inclusion of LGBT issues in curricula of professional schools of psychology nationwide. Her dissertation study, which was presented at the 2010 APA Convention, examined factors impacting parental acceptance of transgender and gender non-conforming children. In addition, without Laura the convention activities of the Division would not have run nearly so smoothly either last year or this year. We are enormously grateful for her service to the Division and are proud to present her one of our 2010 Distinguished Student Contribution Awards.

Keren Levahot – University of Washington 
Keren Levahot is a candidate for the PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of Washington. By virtue of her extraordinary accomplishments, Keren is most deserving of our Distinguished Student Contribution Award. During her graduate career, Keren has amassed a remarkable record of research, scholarship, and service. She has 12 publications either published or in press. She is the senior author on six of these. She is the co-author of five book chapters and has made over two dozen presentations of her research, which is primarily focused on the physical and mental health of LGBT individuals. These activities would be impressive for a mid-level faculty member and are certainly exemplary for a doctoral student. In addition to her prodigious talent for research, Keren is an extremely accomplished teacher, clinician, and citizen of her university, community, and the profession of psychology. She has been a teaching assistant for courses on human sexuality and the psychobiology of women. She has completed intensive practicum experiences in inpatient and rehabilitation medicine units and has been appointed to numerous service roles within her university and within APA. Keren is a rising star in psychology and has been, and will be, an important voice in LGBT psychology. She is an outstanding psychologist in training and epitomizes — in her teaching, research, and service—all that we would hope for in a recipient of the Distinguished Student Contribution Award.

2008 winner

lore m. dickey, M.A - University of North Dakota 
lore dickey is a graduate student in Counseling Psychology at the University of North Dakota. He holds three Master's degrees. By virtue of his extraordinary accomplishments, Mr. dickey is most deserving of our Distinguished Student Contribution Award. During all of his graduate career and even before, Mr. dickey has amassed a remarkable record of scholarship and service. He has at least twenty publications and innumerable presentations at local, national, and international meetings. His recent work has been primarily focused on transgender issues, and he is an advocate for social policy change on behalf of transgendered persons.

In just a few years, lore has been involved in a number of leadership and service roles in the Division, including the Transition Task Force and being Co-Chair of the Committee for Transgender and Gender Variance Issues for the Division. He has been a member and Chair of the American Psychological Association Graduate Student's Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Concerns; and has served in several leadership positions in the Division of Counseling Psychology. lore has demonstrated solid leadership skills and a true commitment to LGBT concerns, social change, and professional and community involvement on behalf of LGBT people. These activities would be impressive for a mid-level faculty member and are certainly exemplary for a doctoral student.

2008 winner

Tisha Wiley, M.A. - University of Illinois at Chicago 
Ms. Wiley is in her last year of graduate work of a doctoral program in Social Psychology, minoring in both Psychology and Law, and in Statistics, Methods, and Measurement at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has excelled as a graduate student in many ways. In particular, she has advanced research investigating the legal consequences of negative stereotyping of gay men, in particular, research aimed at exposing and understanding anti-gay biases in the legal system. Using a mock trial paradigm, she documented anti-gay biases that influence beliefs about child sexual abuse perpetrators. The results of her research were published in a top-tier journal, Law and Human Behavior. Ms. Wiley's independent line of research on sexual orientation and jurors' judgments in child sexual abuse cases has both theoretical implications but also clear significance for social justice.

She has won four competitive national research grants to support her research from APA and the American Society of Trial Consultants. The presentation of her results at the American Psychology-Law Society won a Best Student Paper Award from Division 37: Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice. In addition, her university just recognized the importance of this work by awarding her the Chancellor's Committee on the Status of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues Graduate Award.

Ms. Wiley has already acted on her strong sense of civic responsibility by volunteering to help her department and university in so many ways that she was awarded the University of Illinois Alumni Association's "Wow Award" for service. She has also excelled in service to the APA by serving as Graduate Student Representative to Division 37 and has been a vital student member of Division 41.

As a student member of Division 44, we look forward to her bringing her energy and talent to the table and contributing to the next generation of leadership in our Division.

2007 winners

John Pachankis - SUNY Stony Brook 
John Pachankis is currently pursuing his doctorate in Clinical Psychology at State University of New York, Stony Brook, and just beginning his internship at McLean Hospital in Boston. At Stony Brook, he has been described as "amazing" by his mentor (Division 44 ally Marvin Goldfried), and received his department's dissertation award for his study entitled "Mental and Physical Health Benefits of Disclosing Gay-Related Stress." Mr. Pachankis already has nine publications to his credit, has successfully taught diversity courses, has completed practica in LGBT-relevant settings, has been instrumental in furthering the work of AFFIRM, the ally group founded by Dr. Goldfried, has served as chair of the APAGS Committee on LGBT Concerns, and has served as the student representative on the Division19/44 task force on Military Service. Clearly, Mr. Pachankis has a bright future ahead of him and we congratulate him for his impressive accomplishments.

Brandy Smith - University of Memphis 
Brandy Smith is currently pursuing her PhD in Counseling Psychology at the University of Memphis, and just beginning her internship at the University of Oregon. Brandy has been described by her mentor as having "extraordinary commitment" to LGBT issues, and her dissertation is entitled "The Psychological Impact of Bias-motivated Offenses Against Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Individuals Across Four Samples." Ms. Smith has 8 manuscripts to her credit, 20 presentations, several awards, teaching experience in LGBT issues, an award as the counseling psychology Student of the Year at Memphis, and five years of volunteering in the convention suite. Clearly, Ms. Smith has a bright future ahead of her.

Past winners

2006 David W. Pantalone

2005 No award

2004 No award

2003 Francisco Sanchez, Kathy Banga

2002 Kimberly Balsam

2001 Silvestro Menzano

2000 Julie Konik

1999 no award

1998 James Cantor

1997 Neil Pilkington

1996 Barry Chung

1995 Jessica Morris

1994 Karen Jordan

1992 Pamela Brand, David Flaks