2018 Nathan W. Perry Jr. Award for Career Service to Health Psychology – Christie Dunkel Schetter, PhD

Christine Dunkel Schetter, PhD
Christine Dunkel Schetter, PhD

Dr. Dunkel Schetter  has a long history of senior leadership in academia and professional organizations. Dunkel Schetter is Professor of Psychology and former Chair and current CoChair of the Health Psychology Program at UCLA. She led the efforts to transition the UCLA Health Psychology Program from a graduate minor to a department PhD major. Since 1995, Dunkel Schetter has also directed the NIMH-funded training program for predoctoral and postdoctoral fellows in biobehavioral issues in mental and physical health.

She is currently the Associate Vice Chancellor for Faculty Development at UCLA, where among other responsibilities, she leads the Council of Academic Advisors program, which provides faculty mentoring for Assistant Professors. In 2017, Dunkel Schetter completed the Women’s Leadership Initiative Program sponsored by the Office of the President for the University of California System, and is now launching a comprehensive leadership training program for faculty.

Over the past 30 years at UCLA, Dunkel Schetter has accumulated a distinguished record of research, teaching, and service. She has successfully mentored many undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral scholars and junior faculty, for example, enthusiastically nominating numerous students and faculty for professional honors and awards.

Professor Dunkel Schetter is nationally and internationally recognized for her innovative work and leadership as a health psychologist. Her superb leadership skills include creating a vision and implementing it, while engaging the involvement and best efforts of others. A past mentee commented: “my success and fulfillment as an academic psychologist is grounded in the foundation that Chris helped me establish as a graduate student.”

Professor Dunkel Schetter’s research program has received national and international recognition for its innovations in understanding stress, coping, social support processes and health. She has conducted ground-breaking studies on stress processes in pregnancy that included prospective longitudinal studies of thousands of pregnant women of diverse ethnicity and socio-economic backgrounds. Among the contributions is that she and colleagues have documented that prenatal anxiety predicts preterm birth and that HPA processes are involved in the mechanisms responsible. She was also one of the lead editors for the 2017 special issue in The American Psychologist on close relationships and health. Dunkel Schetter has published over 180 peer-reviewed articles and has had continuous extramural funding since she began her career in 1981.

Chris Dunkel Schetter is the recipient of numerous honors including the Senior Scientist Award in Health Psychology and the Strickland-Daniel Mentoring Award from Division 35 of the American Psychological Association. In 2016 she received the prestigious Cynthia D. Belar Award for Outstanding Contributions to Education and Training in Health Psychology from the Society for Health Psychology. She has been elected as a fellow of APA Divisions 38, 9, and 8, the Society of Behavioral Medicine, the Society for Experimental Social Psychology, the Association for Psychological Sciences and the Western Psychological Association. She has served as Program Chair, Member at Large, and on the Fellows Nominations Committee among other activities for Division 38, and attended the Arden House conference that launched guidelines for training in Health Psychology in the early 1980s.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Dunkel Schetter in receiving the Nathan W. Perry Jr. Award for Career Service to Health Psychology.

by Dawn K. Wilson, PhD