Native health professionals Victoria O’Keefe, Daniel Foster recognized by APA

Vincent Schilling

O’Keefe and Foster were recognized by the American Psychological Association, the leading organization of its kind

On August 10, Victoria O’Keefe, PhD, — Assistant Professor in the Center for American Indian Health, Department of International Health (Social and Behavioral Interventions Program) at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health — was awarded the 2018 APA Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions by an Outstanding Graduate Student. She is a member of the Cherokee and Seminole Nations of Oklahoma.

In addition, Daniel Foster, Cherokee, was also recognized for his accomplishments.

O’Keefe and Foster were recognized by the American Psychological Association (APA) the leading scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States, with more than 115,700 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students as its members.

According to the APA, O’Keefe was recognized for her meaningful contributions as a graduate student.

“As a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and descendant of the Seminole Nation, Victoria O'Keefe truly understands the importance of indigenous representation, research, clinical practice, teaching, and advocacy. Victoria's exceptional work with Native communities has been well-recognized through the receipt the Ford Foundation predoctoral Fellowship APA psychologist in public service wayfinder award and invited presentation at TedXOStateU.Her career is centered around decreasing indigenous health inequities through tribally engaged research, interventions grounded in cultural strength, and support of the next generation of Native scholars. Victoria's work throughout Indian Country continues to make an impact in changing lives and entire communities.”

The APA also recognized that O’Keefe’s collaborations up to 2018 Have resulted in 25. Viewed Publications and more than 50 professional presentations at regional, national, and international conferences.

Dr. Daniel Foster — who served as a sergeant in the US Army from 1969 to 1971 and graduated from Willamette University — went on to receive his Doctorate from Baylor University in 1980.

“Over the span of a lifetime of experiences and learning, as a soldier, psychologist, Olympian, parent, friend, colleague, and Elder, Daniel Foster has demonstrated exceptional compassion, wisdom, and leadership for many in the discipline,” wrote the APA’s program announcement. “For many in the systems and structures of various organizations and across the vast expanse of Indian Country Doctor Foster is a well-respected and sought-after Authority on American Indian mental health and well-being.”

O'Keefe was presented with the APA/APAGS Award for Distinguished Graduate Student In Professional Psychology.

The Award for Distinguished Graduate Student in Professional Psychology is awarded on an annual basis by the Board of Professional Affairs (BPA) and the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS) to a graduate student who has demonstrated outstanding practice and application of psychology.

Winners receive an honorarium of $1,000; the opportunity to present an invited address at APA’s convention; a waiver of convention registration fees; and reimbursement of up to $1,500 in expenses related to attendance at the convention.

Foster was given the Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest in the senior career category.

The award recognizes an individual whose single extraordinary achievement or a lifetime of outstanding contributions meet one or more of the following criteria: (a) courageous and distinctive contribution(s) in the science or practice of psychology that significantly supports efforts toward a solution to one of the world’s intransigent social problems, (b) distinctive and innovative contribution(s) that makes the science and/or practice of psychology more accessible to a broad and diverse population, and (c) an integration of the science and practice of psychology that serves the public interest and advances social justice and human welfare.

Follow Indian Country Today’s associate editor and senior correspondent, Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter -@VinceSchilling


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