Distinguished Professional Contribution
The division offers this award to recognize distinguished professional contributions advancing the interests, goals, and purposes of Div. 44. Winners of this award typically have developed innovations in practice with LGBT people and their families, have developed models and paradigms for affirmative practice, and have advanced the visibility of LGBT issues within the entire field of professional psychology. Their work has collectively raised the quality of services available to LGBT people and their families seeking care from professional psychologists by informing the practice of all who work with this population.
APA: Winners of this award typically have developed innovations in practice with LGBT people and their families, have developed models and paradigms for affirmative practice, and have advanced the visibility of LGBT issues within the entire field of professional psychology. Their work has collectively raised the quality of services available to LGBT people and their families seeking care from professional psychologists by informing the practice of all who work with this population.
Nominees must be members of Div. 44.
Annual deadline: March 30
Please send nominations electronically to Div. 44. Include a CV and a nomination letter that addresses the nominee's qualifications for the award.
William Elder, PhD
Anneliese A. Singh, PhD, and lore m. dickey, PhD, for their work on the APA Task Force on Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Clients
Ilan Meyer, PhD
The recipient of this year’s award is Ruth Fassinger. Fassinger’s accomplishments are tremendous and too numerous to list. However, her scholarship, teaching, mentorship and service to the psychology of LGBT populations, women, lesbians and diversity are stellar examples of her distinguished professional contributions deserving of this award.
Sarah Pearlman, PsyD, University of Hartford
Bev Lepischak and Anna Travers — Div. 44 has the unique privilege of honoring a couple with the Distinguished Professional Contribution Award. Bev Lepischak and Anna Travers have been together both personally and professionally for nearly 25 years. They are social workers who first met when they were both working at Jessie's Center for Teenagers in Toronto in 1984. They realized they had a common philosophical and practical approach to dealing with social issues, especially encompassing feminist principles into their everyday activities. They also fell in love with each other. This love and collaboration continued over time, as they have been active in women's services, youth services, health services and as volunteers and activists.
Organizations for which they worked include the Gay Counselling Center of Toronto; the Children's Aid Society of Toronto; and the Toronto Coalition for Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Youth. When Travers joined the Shelburne Heath Centre in 2002, she worked diligently to develop heath and service models not only for LGB people but also for the transgendered community, a group that had been highly mistrustful of regular social services. Perhaps the initiative for which they are most proud is Supporting Our Youth (SOY), a project that continues as a model of service delivery to LGBT youth.
This program, which they began in 1997, has been groundbreaking for its vision of queer community building across the generations, its range of cultural, recreational, and mentoring activities, and its ability to evolve to meet new challenges. Now part of Shelburne Health Centre, SOY supports some 20 unique initiatives, including projects focused on newcomers, and black queer youth, trans youth and queer youth with disabilities. Travers is currently director of Rainbow Health Ontario, and Lepischak is the director of LGBT Health at the Shelbourne Health Centre, one of the largest primary health care programs in the world (they have close to 600 transgender clients alone).
It is safe to say that Travers and Lepischak have been the individuals primarily responsible for establishing and developing comprehensive programs of health services for LGBT youth and adults in Toronto. Their efforts have also spearheaded such programs in other provinces of Canada and internationally. They have two daughters and are looking forward to the birth of a grandchild. They have lived and worked happily together for almost a quarter of a century.
Kathleen Ritter, PhD — Ritter achieved her doctorate in counseling from the University of New Mexico and is currently Professor of Counseling Psychology at California State University, Bakersfield, where she has held the position of Coordinator of the University Counselor Training Clinic since 1988 and has trained mental health practitioners since 1974. A fellow within our division since 2005, her co-authored book (with Anthony Terndrup, PhD), "Handbook of Affirmative Psychotherapy with Lesbians and Gay Men," was awarded Div. 44's Distinguished Book Award in 2003. She has conducted numerous continuing education workshops on topics related to affirmative psychotherapy with sexual minority clients and same-sex couples. She is one of the invited contributors to a seven-part video/DVD series entitled, Psychotherapy with Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Clients. Additionally, she has authored or co-authored numerous articles on working with sexual minority individuals, spirituality, and group process. Two of her books (co-authored with Craig O'Neill) deal with struggles between religious dogma and spirituality: "Coming Out Within: Stages of Spiritual Awakening for Lesbians and Gay Men" and "Righteous Religion: Unmasking the Illusions of Fundamentalism and Authoritarian Catholicism."
Based on her presence within the academic community and her application of science to the betterment of those in psychological need within our community, Div. 44 is proud to recognize Ritter as this year's recipient of the Distinguished Professional Contribution Award.
Robert-Jay Green — Green is a distinguished professor at the California School of Professional Psychology, Alliant International University, and founder and executive director of the Rockway Institute for LGBT Research & Public Policy, which conducts media outreach, program consultation, original research, and public policy studies on LGBT issues. Green also has served as the executive director and president of the board for the Alternative Family Institute in San Francisco. Green received his PhD in clinical psychology from Michigan State University in 1975 and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in family psychology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine. Green is one of the pioneers in the psychological study and treatment of LGBT individuals. He has published two books, 44 articles and chapters, has edited several journals and book series, is a fellow in two divisions of APA and has received numerous awards for his accomplishments. Green is a model of a vibrant, productive professional life that truly makes a positive difference in the lives of others. He is an inspiration for all of us, and we honor him today for his extraordinary contributions to bettering the lives of LGBT people in his myriad professional roles.
Maryka Biaggio — Biaggio received her PhD, in combined professional-scientific psychology with a clinical emphasis from Utah State University in 1977. She has worked in private practice and in academic settings including as associate professor and director of clinical training at Indiana State University and professor and program director at Pacific University. She currently works as a higher education consultant and writer.
Marvin R. Goldfried
Janis Bohan, Glenda M Russell
Bianca Cody Murphy
Robin A. Buhrke
Armand Cerbone & Jan Schippers (International)
Bronwyn Anthony, Martin Rochlin
Clinton Anderson, William Bailey & Terry Gock
Sari Dworkin & James Harrison
Laura S. Brown & Linda Garnets
Alan K. Malyon