Renowned neuropsychologist Martha Banks headlines URI Diversity Awards banquet, April 16

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Honored for her lifetime work on women, race, disabilities

KINGSTON, R.I. – April 10, 2013 – Martha E. Banks, a neuropsychologist renowned for her expertise on issues involving women, race, disabilities, and the intersection of identities, will be honored for her work at the 15th annual Diversity Awards banquet at the University of Rhode Island.

Banks will receive the University’s Diversity Award for Lifetime Achievement and will be the featured speaker at the banquet from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 16 in the ballroom at the Memorial Union.

“I am truly humbled and honored to receive this award,” Banks said. “I’m grateful to God for equipping me to give voice to the silenced.”

A former Newport resident, Banks is a research neuropsychologist at the Research and Development Division of ABackans DCP, Inc. in Akron, Ohio, and a former professor at The College of Wooster in Ohio.

She earned a bachelor’s degree from Brown University, and a master’s degree and a doctorate in clinical psychology at the University of Rhode Island before embarking on a career as a scientist, researcher, writer and lecturer, as well as an educator.

A fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA), she has been acknowledged for her activism and leadership in helping to shape its Society on the Psychology of Women, as well as its Society on the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues.

More recently, she has been an advocate for people with disabilities from its Society on Rehabilitation Psychology. Her impressive record of publications includes Women with Visible and Invisible Disabilities: Multiple Intersections, Multiple Issues, Multiple Therapies (2003) and Disabilities: Insights from Across Fields and Around the World (3 vols.)(2009).

A voice for greater diversity in psychological assessment, she has collaborated with her colleague Rosalie Ackerman in developing the Ackerman-Banks Neuropsychological Battery, the first battery of tests to include a sample with groups of color as the norm.

Her professional activism and scholarship has been recognized with the Sue Rosenberg Zalk Award for Distinguished Service from the Society for the Psychology of Women (2003), an APA Presidential Citation for Leadership (2008), a President’s Distinguished Achievement Award from URI (2010), and a Distinguished Leadership Award from the Society for the Psychology of Women (2012).

In addition to Banks’ Lifetime Achievement Award, the University will honor several students, student organizations, faculty, staff, and administrators who have advanced the campaign for multiculturalism and diversity on and off campus.

Awards will be presented for contributions to undergraduate student excellence in academics, service, leadership, and arts and culture; graduate student excellence in academics, leadership, and service; faculty excellence in leadership and excellence; and staff/administrative excellence in leadership and service.

The awards banquet is sponsored by URI’s Multicultural Center, the Diversity Awards Committee, the Office of Community, Equity and Diversity, the Office of Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity and Diversity, and the Graduate School.

To attend the event or for more information, please contact Mailee Kue, assistant director of the Multicultural Center at 401-874-5829 or; or Roxanne Gomes, director of URI’s Office of Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity and Diversity, at 401-874-4929 or Voluntary donations are being accepted to defray costs. For more information on the diversity awards, visit

Pictured above: Martha E. Banks, a neuropsychologist who will receive the 2013 Diversity Award for Lifetime Achievement from the University of Rhode Island at a diversity banquet April 16. Photo courtesy of Martha E. Banks