R.I. Psychological Association honors Professor Emeritus Al Lott

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KINGSTON, R.I.–October 24, 2007–Psychologist Albert J. Lott, a University of Rhode Island Professor Emeritus, has been ardent educator and an advocate for social justice for the more than a half century.

The Rhode Island Psychological Association recognized those extraordinary efforts by presenting the Kingston resident the association’s Musiker-Merenda Award for “Significant Contributions to Mental Health,” during an award ceremony and breakfast today. Representative Steven M. Costantino, chairman, House Committee on Finance, will also receive the Musiker-Merenda Award for his contributions.

Lott is cited for his dedicated service to the psychology profession, which has included research, teaching, academic leadership, mentoring, and a tireless commitment to social justice.

He joined URI in 1969 and became a pioneer in women’s and men’s studies.

Since “retirement,” Lott has been working extensively with lawyers and veterans at the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network in Washington, D.C. to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. His efforts include writing opinion pieces and lobbying Congressional members. He has also worked with Marriage Equality RI, by testifying before legislative committees considering same-sex marriage laws. In both cases, he has used social psychological literature to buttress his argument.

“Al remains one of the most popular and beloved professors and mentors to have taught at URI,” says his colleague Kat Quina, professor of psychology His Men and Masculinity course is still taught today. A Fellow of APA Divisions 8 and 9, he is a prolific scholar, publishing extensively in the area of social psychology and prejudice and discrimination. His many roles included chairing the Psychology Department, presiding over the Faculty Senate, sponsoring an Honors Colloquium, and serving as faculty advisor for a group of students studying lesbian, gay and bisexual issues.

James O. Prochaska, director of the Cancer Prevention Research Center and professor of clinical and health psychology at URI who is internationally recognized for his behavior change stage model was the featured speaker.

RIPA also presented its “Psychologically Healthy Workplace Awards” to Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island and West View Health Care Center and its “Best Practice Awards” to CVS Caremark and the Rhode Island Economic Development Corp.

For more information about the organization click onto http://www.ripsych.org/. URI Department of Communications & Marketing photo by Michael Salerno.