American Psychological Foundation

Judy Kuriansky, PhD, always planned to leave money in her will to the future of psychology. But with the start of the Campaign to Transform the Future, the clinical psychologist and popular TV and radio personality realized that "while I am still alive, I want to experience the joy of helping others to do what I did — to pursue their work and dreams. APF is the perfect vehicle to support students and young professionals to pursue that path."

Her gift will establish the Dr. Judy Kuriansky Graduate Scholarship.

APF's Campaign to Transform the Future seeks to raise at least $5 million to provide financial support to promising early career psychologists for conducting innovative research and developing programs that enhance psychology's ability to advance human potential.

The campaign, which will run until 2016, seeks to fund four core priorities: understanding and fostering the connection between behavior and health; reducing stigma and prejudice; understanding and preventing violence; and addressing long-term psychological needs in the aftermath of disaster.

Kuriansky was intrigued from a young age by the way the mind works. Her inquisitive nature and a desire to improve the world led her to pursue her doctorate in clinical psychology from New York University. From there, her career took many different paths. For years, she was a senior research scientist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, conducting cross-cultural studies on schizophrenia and depression. She then went more public with her work, hosting top-rated radio call-in advice shows and reporting on psychological issues on national television. She is also credited with pioneering sex therapy techniques, providing emergency mental health assistance in the wake of disasters worldwide and teaching as an adjunct professor of clinical psychology at Columbia University Teachers College. She also chairs the Psychology Coalition at the United Nations.

This eclectic mix perfectly exemplifies the countless ways in which Kuriansky feels that psychology can have an impact on the world. However, for this impact to be possible, she recognizes that we must do more to fund research, vision and ideas.

By making this gift to APF, Kuriansky is not only giving back to the profession that she loves, she is recognizing the mentors who were key in launching her career by supporting the next generation of psychologists.

"I want young people to be able to say, ‘I want to be a psychologist,' and not have to worry about how they are going to pay for it," she says. "It's an excellent way to ensure that the future of psychology flourishes."