Honorary Degree Recipient
Doctor of Laws
System Academic Administration, May 10, 2007
Joseph L. White, native of Minnesota, is known as the “father” of Black psychology. He is professor emeritus of Psychology, Psychiatry, and Comparative Culture at the University of California Irvine. There he served as the Director of the African American Studies Program and as assistant vice chancellor for Academic Affairs. He received his Ph.D. from Michigan State University in Clinical Psychology and Developmental Psychology in 1961. He is the founding member of the Association of Black Psychologists and mentor to numerous students and professionals. Throughout his career, he has worked tirelessly to mentor and support young students of color. He is described as a dedicated teacher of ethnic studies and cross-cultural programs and as an ardent advocate for education. Considered a pioneer in his field, he is credited for changing psychology to respect and understand African Americans. Because of his influence on his field, today, most psychology practitioners receive training in multiethnic psychology. He is the author of several articles, including his 1970 Ebony article “ Toward a Black Psychology,” and two important books, The Psychology of Blacks, and Black Man Emerging. In 1999, the California Psychological Association recognized his contributions by honoring him with the Distinguished Contribution to the Field of Psychology Award and in 2001 the American Psychological Association awarded him with the Gold Medal for Life Achievement in the Application of Psychology.
Biographies are as-of time of award presentation.