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Psychology in the News

Grzanka Receives Academic Outreach Award for Service

Grzanka Receives Academic Outreach Award for Service

The 2019 College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Awards banquet took place Thursday, December 5 at the Holiday Inn Downtown. From Diversity Leadership to awards in research, advising, and teaching, the annual awards banquet honors faculty excellence in all areas of the college mission.

“As we recognize particularly outstanding faculty this evening, I want to thank all of our faculty in the college, individually and collectively, for everything you do— your teaching, research, service on college and university committees, thesis committees, and tenure and promotion committees, and service to the public through community engagement,” said Theresa Lee, dean of the college and emcee for the awards ceremony. “A college can be no greater or stronger than its faculty and the College of Arts and Sciences is a college of excellence because each of you has a passion for our profession and you work selflessly to make our students, departments and university the best they can be.”

Patrick Grzanka, professor of psychology and chair of the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Program, received the Academic Outreach Award for Service. His work across the state to advance LGBT equality and reproductive justice is extraordinary. Grzanka expertly leverages his vast interdisciplinary knowledge by demonstrating scholarship’s capacity to contribute to health, well-being, and social justice far beyond the boundaries of campus. In spring 2016, Grzanka led a team of researchers to document the consequences of Tennessee’s mental health “conscience clause” – the first law of its kind to enable counselors and therapists specifically in private practice to deny services to any client based on the therapist’s “sincerely held principles.” He began what is now a long-standing collaboration with the state’s leading LGBT advocacy organization to develop a multi-part study to investigate the law’s effects on the LGBT population. The top psychology journals published his work, but Grzanka also travelled around the country giving public lectures on the topic and had op-eds placed in high-profile venues. His research also laid the foundation for policy briefs. Grzanka is a citizen psychologist whose work reflects a commitment to socially relevant psychology.

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