COE Department Chair and Students Recognized at the 2022 Pennsylvania Psychological Association’s Annual Convention

Thursday, June 9, 2022 - 7:45am

Three members of Lehigh’s College of Education were highlighted at last month’s Pennsylvania Psychological Association (PPA) Annual Convention. Lehigh University College of Education chairperson and professor of Counseling Psychology, Chris Liang, Ph.D., gave this year’s keynote entitled, “Decolonization of Psychology: A Psychology That Looks More Like Us, Works More For Us.” His address identified how White supremacy operates within psychology theory, practice, and research to harm people of color and discussed intersectionality as a method for changing how psychologists conceptualize problems, treat clients, and engage the public. 

In addition, two students were presented with awards from the PPA. 

Sara Beachy ‘23G, a fifth year Counseling Psychology student, received the 2022 Pennsylvania Psychological Foundation's Education Awards and received the Samuel J Knapp, Ed.D., ABPP Education Award. Sara received her award because of her focus on research and hope to improve graduate and CE training for clinicians. When asked, “why Lehigh?” Sara had this to say, “When I interviewed at Lehigh, I got the sense that it was really different than some of the other programs that had accepted me. I was struck by the fact that many of the professors strived to engage in meaningful research that was informed by trauma, culture, and the impact of systemic oppressions. But more importantly, I chose to stay because the professors practice humility. I have often heard my various professors say things like "I don't know" or "I am a work in progress." This type of feminist mentorship has empowered me to be comfortable with my own development and uncertainties within academia.”

Nathalie Lynn-Luna was recognized because of her commitment to Latinx Mental Health with the 2022 Pennsylvania Psychological Foundation's Education Award-Premio a la Excelencia Education Award. This award, made possible by an anonymous donor, is given to a student who is of Hispanic descent, speaks Spanish, and/or is planning to support the mental health of Hispanic communities. This is the first year that PPA are presented the Premio a la Excelencia. “The counseling psychology program at Lehigh aimed to train all their emerging psychologists by using a scientist-practitioner-advocate model, which I found to be unique. As an emerging psychologist it was important to seek research and clinical training that aligned with my values of liberation and equity in the mental health field. The faculty were supportive and prioritized students' training goals."