Brian Christens, associate professor of Human Ecology and faculty director of the Center for Community & Nonprofit Studies, has been selected as the 2015 recipient of the Early Career Award from the Society for Community Research and Action. The Society, which is the community psychology division of the American Psychological Association (APA), gives the award annually to recognize a community psychologist within eight years of their doctoral degree who is making significant contributions to the field of community psychology and to the Society for Community Research and Action. The Society’s mission is to advance theory, research, and social action to promote health and empowerment and to prevent problems in communities, groups, and individuals.
The award announcement states: “Brian has an extensive program of research focused on understanding the psychological changes that occur as people participate in community and organizational settings, and the ways that these changes can be assessed and used to evaluate, compare, and strengthen community-driven initiatives… Cumulatively, Brian’s work has had a positive impact on several of the communities in which he works. This and his scholarly contributions on empowerment and community change make him deserving of the Early Career Award”. The award will be presented at the Society’s Biennial conference this summer.
This is the second time that a Division of the American Psychological Association has recognized Dr. Christens’ early career contributions. In 2012, he received the Michele Alexander Early Career award for scholarship and service, awarded by Division 9 of the APA: The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. The Alexander award recognizes early career excellence in substantive academic (theoretical, empirical, or applied) contributions to the psychological study of social issues, as well as professional and/or community service.