Leighton Whitaker Memorial Scholarship Award

The Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors (AUCCCD), in order to promote research and other scholarly activities that focus on the work of university and college counseling centers, presents to one or more of its members the annual Leighton Whitaker Memorial Scholarship Award.

The award will be presented at the AUCCCD Conference in October. Award recipient(s) will be honored at a business meeting during the conference, recipient(s) will receive a plaque commemorating their achievement, and respective campus(es) will be formally press released about the recipient’s achievement. 

Qualifications for the Award:

  • Scholarly work must have been published between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023.
  • Publication can include theoretical work or empirical research.
  • Work must have significance to student mental health and student development.
  • Work must have direct application to the professional work of campus counseling centers.
  • Work must be relevant to current trends and issues in the work of campus counseling centers.
  • Work must include consideration of cultural issues relevant to the topic of the work.
  • At least one author must be the designated representative of an AUCCCD member institution.

Nomination Process: To nominate a work submit:

  1. A copy of the publication in a .pdf format or an accessible link to the work
  2. A brief statement by the nominator on the merits of the work, based on the award criteria noted above.

Self-nominations are welcome!

Leighton Whitaker Biography

Leighton (Lee) Whitaker was the founder and for 25 years editor of the AUCCCD-sponsored Journal of College Student Psychotherapy. Dr. Whitaker made numerous contributions to psychology and was a seminal influence on college counseling centers and college mental health. A PhD from Wayne State University and a diplomate in clinical psychology, he directed three psychological services: at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center; the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; and Swarthmore College. His more than 90 publications focused on social justice, college student suicide, understanding and preventing violence, and schizophrenic thinking. He chaired ACHA’s mental health section and edited a second journal, Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry. Known for his empathy and staunch support of the downtrodden, he fought to introduce an “empathic ward” to replace the prison-like conditions he encountered on a psychiatric ward, and he developed a comprehensive community mental health center in response to the institutionalized “poverty, racism and urbanism” he observed working side-by-side with oppressed workers at an oil refinery. At a baseball tryout in Florida for the Cincinnati Reds system (he was a talented pitcher), it was Lee, typically, who broke protocol by going to the back of the bus to talk to the African-American players and to the bleachers to talk to Black fans. Those who were lucky enough to know him remember his kindness, ethical passion, marvelous stories, warm laugh, and of course his improbable quarter century tenure at the helm of the Journal of College Student Psychotherapy, an invaluable publication expressly dedicated to the themes and issues of college counseling centers. All of us in college counseling and college mental health are in his debt. 

Past Recipients

2021 Scholarship Award

The Intersection between Leadership and Identity: Managing as a Counseling Center Director of Color, Journal of College Student Psychotherapy. 
Calvin R. Chin, Karen Singleton, Reina Juarez

2019 Scholarship Award

Pollard, J.W., Disabato, D.J., Polychronis, P.D., & Scalora, M.J., (2019). Counseling Center Clinicians Experience Providing Assessments of Risk to Self versus Risk to Others, The Journal of College Student Psychotherapy. DOI: 10.1080/87568225.2019.1574215
Dr. Jeff W. Pollard (Emeritus) and Dr. Paul D. Polychronis (Emeritus)

Troester, K. (2019).  Food Insecurity, Inadequate Childcare, &Transportation Disadvantage: Student Retention and Persistence of Community College Students.  Community College Journal of Research and Practice. DOI: 10.1080/10668926.2019.1627956
Dr. Katy E. Troester (SUNY-Jefferson Community College)

2018 Scholarship Award

Stanford, J. and Manese, J.E. (2018). Administrative supervision:  Attending to diversity in difficult times.  Cases in multicultural supervision: Lenses, model and application. Manese, J.E. and Burnes, T.R. (Eds.). Cognella Pubs: San Diego, CA
Jeanne Manese, (Retired)
Jeanne Stanford, University of San Francisco

2017 Scholarship Award

Authors and various chapters in: Mental Health: New Directors for Student Services. New York: Jossey-Bass
Levine, H., Stock, S.R., Jones, S.R., and Watt, S.K. (2017)
Jon Brunner, Florida Gulf Coast University, Chris Flynn, Virginia Tech, Ben Locke, Penn State University, Susan Prieto-Welch, Purdue University, Micky Sharma, The Ohio State University, Sue Stock, Northwestern Illinois University, David Wallace, Missouri University

2016 Scholarship Award

The Role of Threat Assessment and Management in College Counseling Centers: How's that net working? 
The Journal of College Student Psychotherapy 29(4)
Jeff Pollard, Christopher Flynn and Greg Eells

2015 Scholarship Award

Suicide Prevention with Diverse College Students
Journal of Student Psychotherapy, 28(2), 117-131
Richard Shadick and Sarah Akhter (2014)

2014 Scholarship Award

The Utility of an Efficient Outcome Assessment System at University Counseling Centers
Journal of College Student Psychotherapy, 28(2), 97-116
S. Mark Kopta, Megan L. Petrik, Stephen M. Saunders, Michael Mond, Glenn Hirsch, Richard Kadison, and Danielle Raymond

2013 Scholarship Award

Evaluating Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) suicide prevention training in a college setting
Journal of College Student Psychotherapy, Vol. 27(2), 138-148
Sharon L. Mitchell, Mahrin Kader, Sherri A. Darrow, Melinda Z. Haggerty, and Niki L. Keating

2012 Scholarship Award

Differences in suicidal experiences of male and female undergraduate and graduate students
Journal of College Student Psychotherapy, 25(4), 277-294
Chris Brownson, David J. Drum, Shanna E. Smith, and Adryon Burton Denmark

2011 Scholarship Award

Treatment of Bipolar Disorder: In The University Student Population
Russ Federman, Ph.D., ABPP
Journal of College Student Psychotherapy, 25(1) 24-38

2009 Scholarship Award

Tragedy at Virginia Tech: Trauma and Its Aftermath
The Counseling Psychologist, 36(3)
Christopher Flynn and Dennis Heitzmann

2008 Scholarship Award

Managing Violent and Other Troubling Students: The Role of Threat Assessment Teams on Campus
Journal of College and University Law, 34(3)
John Dunkle, Zachary B. Silverstein, and Scott L. Warner

2006 Scholarship Award

Achieving Social Justice for College Women with Disabilities
The Handbook for Social Justice in Counseling Psychology: Leadership, Vision and Action
Barbara Palombi