Recently Honored Fellows

Natalie Porter, PhD
We would like to congratulate and welcome Natalie Porter, PhD, as a Fellow in Division 44! Dr. Porter is a Professor in the Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology at California School of Professional Psychology, Alliant International University, San Francisco, CA. She has published widely in the area of feminist therapy and cultural diversity. She is a Fellow in Division 35, Society for the Psychological Study of Women, and Division 12, Society for the Study of Clinical Psychology. Congratulations, and welcome as a Fellow of Division 44.

Lisa Diamond, PhD
Lisa Diamond received her PhD in Human Development from Cornell University and is Associate Professor of Psychology and Gender Studies at the University of Utah. She has made a national impact since her graduate training and her exceptional research has challenged prevailing notions of sexual orientation. Her work has allowed for a new paradigm in understanding human sexuality, particularly for women, and explains changes in sexual or romantic attractions throughout the lifespan scientifically rather than as rare unexplained phenomena.

Stacey Prince, PhD
Stacey Prince received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Washington. She is currently in private practice and is a clinical consultant and supervisor through the Department of Veterans Affairs and in the Department of Psychology at the University of Washington. She has made outstanding contributions in applying psychological science to the area of advocacy and focus on social justice and the impact of oppression on mental health issues. Her work truly crosses over from the private office to the community and she demonstrates the highest aspirations of having psychology be relevant to the individual client, and also to community mental health needs.

Dawn Szymanski, PhD
Dawn Szymanski received her PhD in Counseling Psychology from Georgia State University and is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. She is a current Fellow in APA Division 17. Her research and theory development in multicultural-feminist counseling psychology, and the impact of external and internalized oppression on psychosocial health has been truly outstanding. Her scholarship has advanced knowledge of LGBT issues in many ways.

Randall Ehrbar, PsyD
Dr. Ehrbar is an Early Career Psychologist who has already distinguished himself in his scholarship and practice. Dr. Erhrbar’s area of expertise focuses on transsexual populations and in the area sexual identity. This is a gravely understudied area of research and the field has been in desperate need of practice guidelines in this area and with this population. Dr. Ehrbar’s research, clinical, professional, and advocacy efforts have all made outstanding and unique contributions that are leading the way to better understanding and treatment of an underserved group.

While Dr. Ehrbar identifies primarily as a clinician, he has authored 8 peer reviewed articles on gender identity and related issues. Dr. Ehrbar has presented at professional meetings in the U.S., Canada, Norway, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. He has contributed to the development of a curriculum of training for medical students and residents concerning transgender medicine. He has been a guest lecturer throughout the U.S.

In the eight short years since obtaining his doctorate, Dr. Ehrbar has taken several leadership positions. Of particular note are his appointment as Co-Chair of the Adolescent section of GID Consensus Statement Workgroup for the World Professional Association of Transgender Health, his services as a member of the APA Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Concerns, and his membership on the APA Taskforce on Gender Identity and Gender Variance.

Dr. Ehrbar’s work and efforts have had a strong influence on Division 44 becoming inclusive of transgender issues, and on APA as a whole in developing guidelines for work with transgender and intersex clients. He has also extended his work to the area of advocacy and has worked with civil rights lawyers in drafting resolutions on transgender, gender identity, and gender expression non-discrimination. He lead the development of two APA brochures: Answers to Your Questions about Transgender Individuals and Gender Identity and Answers to Your Questions about Individuals with Intersex Conditions. Other such brochures have been distributed widely and have been essential resources for families, medical providers, and psychologists.

Tania Israel, PhD
Dr. Israel has had an outstanding impact in the provision of psychotherapy and mental health services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) clients. Her research has focused on laying empirical foundations for evidence-based practice with LGBT clients and she has examined contextual factors that are helpful and less helpful for LGBT clients. Her research has demonstratedthat providers of mental health services for LGBT individuals, particularly for LGBT youth, must engage in community outreach to attract clients and cultivate social support networks.

She has 14 peer reviewed articles that have enlightened the field regarding psychotherapy practices that are found to be unhelpful for LGBT clients and on attitudes of heterosexual student leaders regarding LGBT students. She has identified competencies for counselors working with LGBT clients. Dr. Israel has a record of grant funding that includes a large grant from the NIMH for researching counseling services for underserved populations.

Dr. Israel is described as being on the cutting edge of topics in LGBT psychology. Her work has been influential in expanding the focus of LGBT psychology particularly by being particularly inclusive of bisexual and transgender individuals in her work. She conducts her research by engaging LGBT communities and her work is influential for starting at this level to ask questions that will have a high impact on the population at large. Dr. Israel’s scholarly contributions have substantially increased the literature on competent treatment of LGBT clients.

She has received a number of honors and awards as a student, an early career psychologist, a volunteer and as a leader. She received an award from the Better Business Bureau of Southeastern Pennsylvania for the American Red Cross AIDS Education in the Suburbs Program for “Best Client Service.” She has been an invited speaker throughout the U.S. and has been a leader in APA and in multiple communities.

Stephen Safren, PhD, ABPP
Dr. Safren has made outstanding contributions to the field of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender psychology. Dr. Safren has been an outstanding leader in research and training on LGBT issues in the field of cognitive-behavioral psychology. As a graduate student his research on depression, suicidality, and related variables won the LGBT Special Interest Group’s Student Research Award for 1997 from the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (then known as The Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy).

Dr. Safren has been a Principal Investigator (PI) on several highly influential HIV prevention grants that have had an outstanding impact on the field. His research in HIV prevention has evaluated the efficacy of on-line and telephone based adherence interventions to increase medication compliance. The impact of his research has crossed international borders. He has been a PI or co-investigator on funded studies of HIV prevention conducted in India, the Caribbean, Malawi, South Africa, Mexico, Zimbabwe, Thailand, Brazil, Peru, Haiti, and the Ukraine. He also has recently collaborated on the development of an intervention to reduce methamphetamine use among men who have sex with men.

Of his more than 100 peer reviewed articles, over 50 have had focused on improving the lives and health of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals, or of individuals living with HIV/AIDS. Dr. Safren’s JCCP article, co-written with Richard Heimberg, “Depression, hopelessness, suicidality, and related factors in sexual minority and heterosexual adolescents,” confirmed that LGBT youth report greater depression, hopelessness, and suicidality than their heterosexual peers; however, this article provided the first and often cited data clearly demonstrating that differences disappeared when environmental factors such as social support were controlled for. Thus, his research showed that environmental factors that can be targeted through prevention or intervention strategies could be modified to reduce these concerns in LGBT youth.

He has received research and teaching awards. Division 44 honored him with a book award for his book on which he was second author, Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Adults, the first book to combine the literatures on empirically supported CBT treatment with the literature on LGB clients that guides an affirmative CBT with this population, as well as with an award for Distinguished Contribution to Education and Training since Dr. Safren is also recognized as a skilled mentor to young psychologists and researchers.

Francisco Sánchez, PhD
Dr. Sánchez is an outstanding Early Career Psychologist who has, in the short time since completing his graduate training he has become a nationally recognized expert in LGBT psychology and throughout his educational career contributed substantially to the field of LGBT psychology. He has particularly had a major impact in his research on gender roles, biopsychology as it relates to gender-identity and sexual orientation, and has contributed to the literature on multicultural issues affecting LGBT populations.

He has seven peer reviewed articles in high impact journals, as well as three book chapters. He has presented at many scientific conferences throughout the United States. Dr. Sánchez has also had several invited presentations or has been an invited discussant on several presentations internationally, including in the U.S., Canada, and Belgium. Clearly he has distinguished himself as an expert who is sought after to convey his scientific knowledge to the wider scientific and psychological community.

Dr. Sánchez is the lead scientist on two very prestigious and influential studies. One focuses on identical twins who are discordant for sexual orientation, examining differences between the twins at a molecular level. Understanding the biopsychology is an essential line of research needed to further our understanding of sexual orientation in general, but also to combat prejudice and discrimination against LGBT people based on faulty assumptions regarding “lifestyle choice.” Dr. Sánchez’s research is not only timely, but will provide the field with methodologically rigorous studies that will impact the profession well into the future. His second study focuses on the development of gender identity, concentrating on the experiences of transgender and intersex people. To state that there is a dearth of literature on this population would be an understatement, and Dr. Sánchez’s work in this area is groundbreaking.

Not only has he improved the literature on biological psychology as it relates to sexual orientation and gender identity, but Dr. Sánchez’s research has also addressed the intersection of racial/ethnic identity with other aspects of identity. His work is unique in that he brings these issues of diversity into his other research. Psychologists have recognized his work as innovative and programmatic. He has advanced our understanding of gender identity and sexual orientation and it is predicted that he will continue to do so with his research that spans psychology, genetics, and related fields.

Nathan Grant Smith, PhD
Dr. Smith’s contributions to APA have had an impact beyond his role in the governance issues of the organization. He has contributed to making policy decisions that have had a strong, positive impact on LGBT psychologists and LGBT individuals in general through his national advocacy work when he participated in the APA William A. Bailey AIDS Policy Congressional Fellowship. He worked in Senator Edward Kennedy’s Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions as a legislative assistant. His work led to the reauthorization of the Ryan White CARE Act that provides federal services to persons living with HIV and AIDS in the U.S. He also led the Senate Committee’s work on developing legislation that would require insurance companies to provide coverage for mental illness on parity with coverage for physical illnesses. The legislation passed in Congress in 2008.

He also developed a High School teaching plan for teaching about sexual orientation. He was well positioned to write such a teaching plan having written 11 peer-reviewed articles focusing on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues or on HIV/AIDS issues. This work has provided, through APA, a plan of instruction in the high schools that can be mastered by teachers as a stand alone lesson plan, or incorporated into extent curricula. Thus, Dr. Smith’s work provides solid, evidence-based instructional material for teachers. It also provides LGBT students—a group for which it is well documented that there are high rates of depression, anxiety and suicidality resulting, most probably, from social stigma—with positive material that affirm their worth as people and offers accurate information about human sexuality.

Dr. Smith created the revisions to the section on bias-free language regarding sexual orientation and gender identity and expression for the 6th edition of the APA Publication Manual. The importance of this contribution to LGBT psychologists, students, and the public cannot be understated when one acknowledges decades of stigmatization of this population in the psychological literature.

These accomplishments are remarkable and outstanding, particularly given the fact that Dr. Smith is still an Early Career Psychologist. As well as his advocacy and public policy work, and work in APA governance, Dr. Smith has authored 11 peer reviewed articles focused on issues impacting LGBT individuals such as HIV-related coping, intervention for HIV-positive bereaved individuals and the long-term impact of anti-LGBT politics. He has also written on training and supervision issues. He has 21 peer reviewed presentations and 12 invited presentations nationally. Dr. Smith is also a researcher and has been a principal investigator on two studies, one of which is a large grant awaiting a funding decision. He has been co–principal investigator on a study on transitioning queer student teachers from their training programs to the field and he has been a grant coordinator for project PROVE (Preventing Recidivism through Opportunities in Vocational Education) funded by the Virginia Department of Correctional Education.

José Toro-Alfonso, PhD
Dr. Toro-Alfonso has indeed had an international impact on the field of lesbian, gay, and bisexual psychology as indicated by his 40 peer reviewed articles in English and Spanish language journals. His mentorship of new psychologists is extensive and he has supervised 43 doctoral dissertations. He has presented at scientific conferences in many countries including Puerto Rico, Paraguay, Guatemala, Mexico, Germany, Argentina, Greece, Peru, Thailand, and the U.S.

His scientific and advocacy efforts have been influential in eliminating employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in Puerto Rico and he has testified in support of people coping with HIV/AIDS in government hearings in Puerto Rico, including a bill that attempted to prevent marriage for HIV-positive individuals. He has also advocated for the creation of a College of Psychologists in Puerto Rico.

Dr. Toro-Alfonso has been honored with multiple awards, including: Psychologist of the Year by the Puerto Rico Psychological Association, Researcher of the Year by Carlos Albizu University, Distinguished Contribution to Ethnic Minority Issues by APA Division 44, and Distinguished Contributions to Practice in Community Psychology from APA Division 27.

He has made outstanding and unique contributions to psychology and has made lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender affirmative psychology visible to the general public. He was an Honorary President of the first Gay Pride Parade in Puerto Rico. He has designed and developed conferences in Puerto Rico and in England on such topics as HIV prevention, decreasing violence among same sex partners, the psychological implications of exclusion and homophobia for government employees, and other topics germane to LGBT adults and youth.

In addition to his outstanding academic, scholarly, and public work, Dr. Toro-Alfonso has been a leader in psychology internationally. He was president of the Puerto Rico Psychological Association and chair of their Committee on Psychology and AIDS. He is also a past chair of the American Psychological Association’s Committee on Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Concerns and was the Secretary General for the Interamerican Society of Psychology.

Terence M. Keane, PhD
Dr. Keane is best known for his work in trauma research and treatment. He is internationally recognized as an expert in trauma and has over 200 published articles and has done hundreds of invited talks throughout the world. Dr. Keane was described by a colleague as having “worked tirelessly behind the scenes” on behalf of the LGBT community. He noted in his own letter of interest that his work has focused mostly on trauma broadly and not specifically on that work with an LGBT population. However, he has been a volunteer and member of the Board of Directors at Fenway Community Health in Boston for more than 10 years. Fenway is a leading health center for the LGBT community. He is a Fellow in Divisions 12, 18, and 56 of APA.

Jack Sawyer, MDiv, PhD
Dr. Sawyer has been a member of Division 44 since its inception. He co-edited the book Men and Masculinity with Joseph Pleck in 1974, which dealt with the male sex role, gay and straight. While Dr. Sawyer ended his academic career in the 1970s, he has pursued a wide range of projects, including president of the Parker Street Foundation in Berkeley that promotes affordable housing and has particular sensitivity to the needs of LGBT individuals. Dr. Sawyer’s publications have also focused on Personnel Psychology, and particularly on U.S. Army Personnel. He is a Fellow in Divisions 1, 5, 8, 9, 14, 32, 36, and 46 of APA and is a past chair of Psychologists for Social Action.