An award from the Canadian Psychological Association has left UWindsor psychology professor Ben Kuo “deeply honoured.”
The association selected him for its 2023 Award for Public, Community Service and Human Rights and Social Justice in Psychology in recognition of his commitment to increasing the provision of mental health services for refugees, immigrant newcomers, and racialized populations.
Dr. Kuo notes the annual awards are considered the highest academic honour and professional distinction for psychologists.
His expertise on culture, mental health, and diversity issues lends naturally to his active engagement with the larger communities in Canada and elsewhere.
“I consider community service and social advocacy an integral part of my academic and professional identity as a psychologist, an educator, a researcher, and a communicator,” he says.
In nominating Kuo, professor emeritus Shelagh Towson cited his service, teaching, clinical training, and knowledge dissemination as worthy of notice.
She described his partnership with the Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex County to develop a doctoral-level practicum course that has provided counselling and psychotherapy to more than 120 refugees, while giving experience in cultural clinical practice to students.
In addition, Kuo created and taught an undergraduate course on “Culture and Psychology” and a graduate course on “Multicultural Issues in Clinical Practice,” contributing to raising the cultural awareness, knowledge, and skills of students, and sensitizing them towards issues of cultural diversity, multicultural clinical competence, and inequality, pertaining to race, ethnicity, religion, sexual and gender identity, and more.
Dr. Towson concluded “Dr. Kuo’s professional record indicates that his service to the discipline and to members of marginalized communities and his commitment to human rights and advocacy extends well beyond Windsor’s to Canada and internationally.”