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Kate Sweeny ’02 honored for contributions to psychology

The APA recognized Kate Sweeny ’02 as gifted theorist, researcher

Kate Sweeny ’02 was recently recognized as the recipient of The Award for Distinguished Early Career Scientific Contribution to Psychology by the American Psychological Association.

Sweeny is an associate professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside.

The award, one of the highest honors for scientific achievement by psychologists, recognizes excellent psychologists who are at early stages of their research careers (up to 10 years after receiving their doctorates). The award, first made in 1974, is currently given to scientists in five specific research areas each year. Sweeny was recognized in the category of Health Psychology.

The Committee on Scientific Awards, which is overseen by the APA Board of Scientific Affairs and staffed by the APA Science Directorate, selects the recipients of these awards on the basis of nominations submitted by a wide range of scientists and institutions. Reviewers with expertise in particular areas of research provide further advice to the committee.

Sweeny was recognized as “a gifted theorist who is able to synthesize research and draw connections that most researchers overlook. Whether she is formulating crisis decision theory, the bad news response model, the uncertainty navigation model, or any of the other theories and models she has developed, Sweeny has demonstrated an amazing knack for providing order and sense to unfocused and confusing research domains,” according to the award citation. “Her theories forge links across psychology, medicine, public health, and communication. More importantly, they provide a road map for future research aiming to address health problems.”

Sweeny is an associate professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Furman University and her master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Florida.

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