2018 Cynthia D. Belar Award for Excellence in Health Psychology Education & Training – Kevin S. Masters, PhD

Kevin S. Masters, PhD
Kevin S. Masters, PhD

We all aspire to meaningfully influence students and young professionals during their training and educational experiences. However, there are those individuals amongst us who stand out as exceptionally dedicated and skilled at doing this over the life of their careers. Dr. Kevin Masters is one of these remarkable individuals.

Dr. Masters’ impact and breadth of knowledge in health and psychology is impressive, as he has taught thousands of students in over 20 courses of differing content throughout his career. He is a particularly effective, thought-provoking, and student-centered educator who places a high priority on student development both in and outside of the classroom. Examples include his efforts to encourage current and former students to pursue enriching opportunities within professional organizations, such as the Society for Health Psychology, and for scholarly journals, such as the Journal of Behavioral Medicine and Annals of Behavioral Medicine.

In addition to his work with individual students, Dr. Masters has played a pivotal role in the development and promotion of graduate education in clinical health psychology at Utah State University, Syracuse University, and most recently, the University of Colorado Denver. At these institutions, he has also been active in mentoring early career professionals as post-doctoral fellows, as NIH K-award and faculty research award recipients, and as new faculty members. Whereas the long hours devoted to program administration and mentorship of junior colleagues seldom receive adequate recognition, they are clearly among the most important and enduring legacies that one can have as an educator. Accordingly, Dr. Masters’ dedication to promoting the professional careers for future generations of psychologists is worthy of special mention.

It is also notable that Dr. Masters’ publications have had, and continue to have, direct effects on professional training in clinical and clinical health psychology. For example, his co-authored book, Assessing Outcome in Clinical Practice, provides a valuable how-to guide for clinicians and clinical researchers who wish to develop empirical evidence in support of existing interventions or to establish new approaches to treatment.

Finally, throughout his career Dr. Masters has demonstrated an enduring commitment to professional service and leadership. Although he is perhaps most widely known for his editorship of Journal of Behavioral Medicine and, more recently, Annals of Behavioral Medicine, he also had a profound impact on clinical and experimental health psychology throughout his tenure as Editor of The Health Psychologist. In this role he promoted an ongoing forum for health psychology practitioners, scientists, and scientist-practitioners to share significant insights regarding the integration of health psychology theory and practice. Dr. Masters also served as a board member to the Council of Clinical Health Psychology Training Programs, as a site-visitor for the APA Commission on Accreditation, and as co-chair of our Society’s Presidential Task Force on Education and Training in Clinical Health Psychology.

These are but a few examples of the many contributions for which we honor Dr. Masters with the Cynthia Belar Award for Excellence in Health Psychology Education & Training.

By Rick LaCaille, PhD and Christopher France, PhD