Annual Awards

Division 17 Section on Positive Psychology

Annual Award for Distinguished Contributions to Positive Psychology

The Distinguished Psychologist/Student Awards for Contributions to Positive Psychology were established to honor the contributions of students and psychologists in the science, practice, and teaching of counseling psychology. The award includes a cash prize of $200 along with access to an online strengths-based class offered by the Gallup Organization’s Clifton Strengths School.

Section on Pos Psych Award Call for Nominations 2012



On behalf of the Section on Positive Psychology, Award Committee Co-Chairs Ingrid Weigold and Kyle Telander request nominations for the following two Section-sponsored awards (one for students, the other for psychologists):

  • Student Award for Distinguished Contributions to Positive Psychology  
  • Psychologist Award for Distinguished Contributions to Positive Psychology


We highly encourage you to either self-nominate (might feel awkward – but don’t be shy!) or to nominate another student affiliate or member of Division 17 by simply sending an email message to the Awards Committee Co-Chairs giving the nominee’s contact information. If you choose to nominate someone anonymously, then an Awards Committee member will contact the nominee to let her/him know and to encourage her/him to submit application materials. Announcement of all award winners is made at the annual APA Convention, announced on the Section listserv, and will appear in the 2012 edition of the Naming & Nurturing newsletter.


  • The nominee must be either a current Member or Student Affiliate of the American Psychological Association.
  • The nominee must have made a significant contribution to the science, practice, clinical training, and/or teaching of positive psychology.

Examples of contributions may include:

  • Contributions to science that are made through publication of either research findings or theory that generates research.
  • Contributions to practice that are made through direct service to clients or through research that has clear and immediate implications for direct service.
  • Contributions to training the next generation of counseling psychologists regarding positive psychology.

Recipients might include academicians who publish research directly relevant to the practice of counseling psychology or to a specific client population, teachers who focus on positive psychology, trainers addressing positive psychology applications in counseling psychology, or practitioners who evaluate practice and disseminate the results through publications or convention presentations. Nominees may also be persons who divide their professional activities among these areas.


Nominees will be asked to submit the following: (a) an application letter indicating the significance of the nominee’s contributions and achievements in positive psychology; (b) no more than three supporting letters from professional colleagues, collaborators, and/or psychologists; and (c) a copy of the nominee’s vita.


  • Please collate application materials into one PDF document titled with nominee’s name and award name. For example: Kevin_Bacon_SPP_ student_distinguished_contribution.pdf
  • Send only one application per email.
  • Faxes or mailed submissions will not be accepted.  (If you don’t have access to email, please work with a colleague who does).

2011 Award for Distinguished Contributions to Positive Psychology Recipients

Psychologist Award for Distinguished Contributions to Positive Psychology:

Christine Robitschek, Ph.D. – Currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Texas Tech University, Dr. Robitschek has focused her career on research and application of the positive psychology construct of personal growth initiative (PGI) for the past 20 years. Her work has yielded important developments in interventions and theory related to health and well-being of diverse people – a key intersection of multiculturalism and positive psychology. Dr. Robitschek has also served as a highly successful, hands-on research mentor who encourages both professional growth and self-care in the students she supervises. Her 20 years of research devoted to understanding personal characteristics that help people to develop in positive ways has already contributed a great deal to the field and will doubtlessly continue to shape it for years to come.


Student Award for Distinguished Contributions to Positive Psychology:  

Megan A. Martinez, M.A. – A fifth year doctoral candidate in Counseling Psychology in the Department of Psychology at Texas Tech University, Ms. Martinez’ highly impactful research addresses the clinical application of the personal growth initiative (PGI). She is highly motivated, enthusiastic, and efficient – and these qualities have translated into a body of impressive research that is noteworthy in terms of the quantity, magnitude, and sophistication of her work as a student. Her existing accolades including awards, presentations, and publications stand alone as testaments to her existing contributions to the field of psychology and she will no doubt continue to be a highly productive researcher in positive psychology.