MFP Honors Three Alumni

During the 2014 APA Annual Convention in Washington, D.C., the APA Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) held an award ceremony honoring three MFP psychologists.

Nadine Nakamura, PhD

Nadine Nakamura, PhDNadine Nakamura, PhD, is the recipient of the Early Career Achievement Award. Nakamura graduated from University of California, Los Angeles, in 1998 with a BA in Psychology. She attended the George Washington University were she earned her PhD in clinical psychology in 2007. 

After graduation, Nakamura received a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Research Supplement to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research for her postdoctoral fellowship in the department of psychiatry at University of California, San Diego. She completed another postdoc at the Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. During that time she received a grant from the Canadian Institute of Health Research for her project “HIV prevention needs of Asian Canadian men who have sex with men” and was co-investigator several other grant funded projects.

Nakamura is currently an assistant professor in the department of psychology at the University of La Verne in California. Her research interests relate to multiculturalism and intersectionality and include immigration, HIV and ethnic and sexual minority health and mental health. Most recently, she was awarded grant funding from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues for her project “Love exiles: Same-sex binational couples living outside of the United States.” Nakamura was a member of the APA Presidential Task Force on Immigration and was a guest editor of a special issue on "Immigration for Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology," as well as a guest editor of a special issue on "LGBT Immigration" for the Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling.

In addition, Nakamura is a licensed clinical psychologist. Nakamura is originally from Stockholm, Sweden.  She now resides in Southern California with her wife and infant twins.

Sumie Okazaki, PhD

Sumie Okazaki, PhDSumie Okazaki, PhD, is the recipient of the Dalmas Taylor Distinguished Contributions Award. Okazaki is a professor of applied psychology in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University and is also the current President of the Asian American Psychological Association. She conducts research on the impact of immigration and race on Asian and Asian-American adolescents and emerging adults within local and transnational contexts. With colleagues in anthropology, education and developmental psychology as well as community partners, she has ongoing research projects with urban immigrant Chinese American adolescents and emerging adults in New York City; Chinese parents and adolescents in Nanjing, China; Korean American adolescents and parents in Chicago; and current and former Korean early study abroad students in New York City and Seoul, South Korea. She currently holds a W. T. Grant Foundation Distinguished Fellowship to examine research-policy-practice partnership in education research with the New York City Department of Education. She earned her B.S. in psychology from University of Michigan and PhD in clinical psychology from UCLA. She has previously held faculty positions in the psychology departments at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Donelda A. Cook, PhD

Donelda A. Cook, PhDDonelda A. Cook, PhD, is the recipient of the James Jones Lifetime Achievement Award. Cook, (’79-82 MFP Alum), associate vice president for student development and director, Counseling Center, and affiliate faculty in Pastoral Counseling at Loyola University Maryland, currently oversees Counseling, Student Health Services, Disability Support Services, and the Women’s Center. Cook has assumed progressively higher levels of behavioral health and wellness administration, with commitment to advocacy for under-represented cultural/identity group students and internship training. This is evident through Loyola’s Post-doctoral Fellowship Program, including an optional Cultural Alliance Administrative Apprenticeship which trains Fellows in administering a systemic approach for leading colleagues in providing accessible and culturally-responsive counseling services, outreach and advocacy for students of under-represented identity/cultural groups (i.e., gender, race/ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, ability status). Cook’s scholarly publications and consultations are in the areas of multicultural counseling and clinical supervision, integration of psychology and spirituality in psychotherapy with African-Americans, and collaboration with African-American churches in the provision of behavioral health interventions. She served on the editorial board of Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, is a senior accreditation site visitor for the International Association of Counseling Services, and has served as external reviewer and program evaluator for counseling centers and ethnic minority services programs at other Jesuit universities.   

As an undergraduate student at Delaware State College, Cook participated in the 1976 MFP Summer Research Institute in Psychology. She earned an MA (’79) and PhD (’83) from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, where Helms served as her academic advisor and mentor. Cook initiated discourse on cross-cultural supervision, through her dissertation research (published 1988) exploring experiences of visible racial/ethnic group graduate students as recipients of clinical supervision from supervisors of a different race/ethnicity. Cook began her career as coordinator of training at the University of Pennsylvania Counseling Services (where she developed the APA-approved Pre-doctoral Internship Program), assistant director of training at UNC-Greensboro, and assistant proffessor of counseling psychology at University of Maryland-CP.

Recognizing churches as the help-seeking setting of choice for many African-Americans, Cook used the training she received from the Kellogg Leadership Fellowship for Minority Women in Mental Health (1986-87) to develop a mental health consultation practice with African American pastors and a model for church-based counseling ministries (described in detail in Helms and Cook, 1999).  She entered ordained ministry in 2007, serving at Covenant Baptist UCC in Washington, D.C., an inclusive Africentric church, that challenges social structures that oppress peoples, within and outside of religious institutions, due to race/ethnicity, class, gender, age or sexual orientation and provides community outreach health and wellness ministries. Cook provides meditative prayer retreats and ministry with persons living through phases of cancer, providing psycho-spiritual care and support navigating medical systems.