Puncky Paul Heppner honored with the Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award

Puncky Paul Heppner, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus and Curators’ Distinguished Professor at the University of Missouri (MU), is a 2017 recipient of the prestigious Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award. This award recognizes academic faculty members who inspired their former students to make a significant contribution to society by creating an organization that makes meaningful impact on the larger community. The Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award Trust was established in 2008 in memory of Dr. Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman, who was an educator, renowned author and pioneer in the field of Psychology.

Heppner was nominated by one of his former advisees, Yu-Wei Wang, Ph.D., the Research Director, Assistant Director of the Counseling Center, and Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park. Wang also served as the American Psychological Association (APA) Division 17 International Section Past Co-Chair—a Section that Heppner co-founded in 2005. Wang noted that Heppner was one of her major sources of inspiration that helped her to co-found the Taiwan Psychology Network (TPN) organization. The objectives of the TPN are: (a) to promote collaboration and networking among psychologists and mental health professionals in Taiwan and the United States and (b) to contribute to the training and education of Taiwanese/Taiwanese American mental health professionals. In 2016, TPN became a federal non-profit 501(c) (3) organization and has supported the personal and professional development of hundreds of members. Moreover, inspired by the development of TPN, the Korean Psychology Network was born; in addition, members of the APA Division 17 International Section are now developing similar networks for African, European, and Japanese psychologists, thus creating a “ripple effect” into larger and larger communities of scholars.

Wang indicated that Heppner has been an exceptional mentor to not only her, but also many other students and professionals in Counseling Psychology. Heppner helped Division 17 of the APA feel like a welcoming home for many counseling psychologists and students from different parts of the world when he was the President of the Division; a legacy that continues on through organizations such as the International Section and the TPN. Being a nationally and internationally renowned scholar, Heppner dedicated himself to mentorship through teaching, research, consultation, and providing services to MU, national organizations, and the larger community

His efforts were recognized by a number of awards that he has received: for example,  the APA Distinguished Contributions to the International Advancement of Psychology, APA Division 52 International Mentoring Award, and the Janet E. Helms Award for Mentoring and Scholarship in Professional Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University, as well as the APA Division 17 Lifetime Achievement Award, the Division’s highest award, the Leona Tyler Award for his research contributions, and the Lifetime Mentoring Award. He was also the recipient of the highest teaching award conferred at MU, the William T. Kemper Award for Outstanding Teaching.

Heppner will be honored and presented with the Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award at a dinner and award ceremony in Atlanta on November 4, 2017, which will also be attended by his wife, Mary and nominator Yu-Wei. With that award, Heppner will receive $25,000 from the Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award Trust.

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