The renewal deadline has been extended till 15 April.


Current & Past Winners

Awards are given in recognition of excellence in the field and these recognitions allow us to publicly acknowledge those contributions. PAA would like to acknowledge our own exemplars, honoring those who shape our profession in such meaningful ways.

The 2023 awards will be presented at the PAA Welcome to the Profession & Awards Banquet on 29th September 2023 at the Renaissance Edmonton Airport Hotel


Psychologist of the Year Award

Dr. Emily Wang 

Dr. Emily Wang, a registered psychologist for over 30 years, began her career in the U.S. and returned to Alberta in 1998. She has dedicated many years to understanding the impact of trauma–as a clinician, an invited speaker, and an Associate Member in research projects with the Mathison Centre and Hotchkiss Brain Institute. Currently, Emily is focused on guiding and expanding mental health knowledge and practice. As an early adopter of the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics, and with the strong support of Hull’s leaders, Emily engaged staff to shift and evolve therapeutic practice across the agency, eventually expanding Hull’s reach beyond Alberta. Emily established Hull as a Touchpoints Training Site, in efforts to increase transdisciplinary collaboration in prevention. Emily finds great fulfillment in teaching the next generation of professionals: she is an Adjunct Lecturer at Cumming School of Medicine, (Psychiatry), a Sessional Instructor (Social Work) at the University of Calgary and a faculty member of the Infant Mental Health Fellowship (UC Davis).   



John G. Paterson Award                                 

Gina Wong

Gina Wong (she/her), psychologist and professor, lives and works in Treaty 6 Territory. She directs a general counselling practice and is a leadership consultant specializing in reproductive mental health; and is an anti-racism educator– dedicated to increasing Asian mental health literacy in Canada. She is involved in the development of an Asian Psychology Division of CPA.  

Gina is the founder of the known as AGR and speaks out against anti–Asian racism. Recognizing the invisibility and denigration of Asians, she shares her own experiences in media and the psychological toll of racism. In 2022, broadcast segments garnered 52.3 million engagements world-wide during Asian Heritage Month. Gina most enjoyed appearing on CP24 Tonight with her daughter.  

She’s been featured by Hennessey, wrote for the Conversation, and has appeared on CBC Morning Live, CTV Morning Calgary, Vancouver, OMNI Television Great People TV, Sirius XM Radio, Context Beyond the Headlines, The Agenda, Against the Tides of Racism Podcast, E-Talk. AGR was on Global News, ET Canada, CBC Radio One, and other news features.   

Annually on AGR Day, May 20th, well-known landmarks such as the Toronto Sign, Niagara Falls, CN Tower, Burrard Bridge, Vancouver City Hall, and High-Level Bridge were lit in red/gold, showing visible solidarity for Asians in the diaspora. Further, many high-profile public figures such as Samuel L. Jackson and Mayor Olivia Chow support AGR.  


The Juanita Chambers Excellence in Community Service Award

Sunil Phool Kumar

Sunil Phool is a devoted member of society who is motivated to implement positive change in his community. He is an openminded person who values diversity, equity and inclusion, culture family and friendship. He and his wife have been foster parents for 11 years and have welcomed a son into their home. Sunil has a Master of History degree from the University of Delhi and has also taken various diplomas/certifications in his time in Canada. He is an experienced professional with over 20 years of experience; he has successfully held leadership roles and had multiple responsibilities in management which further developed his communication and problem-solving skills. His leadership style involves collaborating with others to achieve personal and professional goals. He has worked in several different fields which gives him a wide variety of skills. Some of his work experience includes working as a commissioned logistic officer with the Canadian Armed Forces (reserve); he has also worked in the travel industry in India. He is currently the owner of a safety company that specializes in safety programs, audits, and risk assessment. He has a Certified Health and Safety Management System Auditor (CHSMSA) designation from the Auditing Association of Canada. He seeks to promote behavior-based safety in the community. He is a member of an organization known as Infinity Safety Awareness – R Community. He is currently involved with the City of Edmonton in promoting awareness on recycling and composting, as he has previously completed the Master composter recycler community leader in waste management program. Sunil also spends his time in other professional fields as he is a board member. Sunil is an active member of the community and has volunteered to arrange podcasts, panel discussion and weekly food hamper drive helping 100 of community members on weekly basis. Through his podcast and panel discussion he is providing safe work platform to discuss 2LGTBQ++, mental health, diversity, equity, inclusion, gender equality, bullying, frosting and adoption, aboriginal awareness and more. Sunil has involved university students, new immigrants, international students, veterans to work towards better and safer community.   


Excellence in Clinical Supervision Award

Dr. Terilyn Pott

Dr. Pott is passionate about supervision and identifies it as an important area of competence in her work. She completed her PhD at the University of Alberta focusing on what it means to be an effective supervisor, and volunteers for both PAA and CAP in roles relevant to supervision. She supervises students both in her private practice, as well as for the YWCA Edmonton, where she focuses on supporting students and provisional psychologists in becoming confident in their innate abilities.  As a psychologist she specializes in chronic pain, trauma, and anxiety disorders. When not working Dr. Pott enjoys astrophotography, learning the harp, and spending time with her cats. 




Excellence in Teaching Psychology Award

Dr. Sandra Dixon

Dr. Sandra Dixon is a Registered Psychologist in Alberta and an Associate Professor at the University of Lethbridge. Her program of research encompasses culturally adapted counselling practices amongst racialized groups, cultural identity reconstruction, and the intersectionality of socio-cultural identities such as faith, class, race, and gender. She currently serves on the Boards of the Psychologists’ Association of Alberta,  Alberta Network of Immigrant Women, and Lethbridge Family Services. She has published a wide range of work that addresses racial trauma, faith, immigration and culturally appropriate counselling practices.  

She has received several awards for her excellence in practice and research, including the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association Research, Professional Article Award; The Professor Cecille DePass Research Award through the Farquharson Institute of Public Affairs (FIPA); the EDI Scholar Award at the University of Lethbridge; and the 2022 People’s Choice Award by the Alberta Black Therapists Network. 

Given that her research informs her teaching, Dr. Dixon is passionate about being an agent of change as a practitioner, scholar and instructor both within and beyond her university community. 


Masters’ Thesis Research Award

Jessie Swanek

Jessie Swanek, MA, is a forensic psychology PhD student at Carleton University. Originally from Edmonton, AB, she completed her undergraduate degree in honours psychology at MacEwan University before moving to Ottawa for her master’s degree. She has been fortunate to study under both Dr. Kristine Peace and Dr. Adelle Forth. Jessie’s research focuses on the Dark Tetrad traits, as well as in-person sexual violence and technology-facilitated sexual violence.  


Awards are given in recognition of excellence in the field and these recognitions allow us to publicly acknowledge those contributions. PAA would like to acknowledge our own exemplars, honoring those who shape our profession in such meaningful ways.

The 2022 awards are presented at the PAA Welcome to the Profession & Awards Banquet on 23 September 2022 at the Marriot Hotel in Calgary Downtown.

Psychologist of the Year Award

Dr. Gina Wong 

Dr. Gina Wong, (she/her), R.Psych., lives and works in Treaty 6 territory. She is a professor in GCAP at Athabasca University and maintains a counselling and consulting practice in Alberta. Gina is a leadership consultant and international speaker who founded of the Asian Gold Ribbon campaign, a non-profit organization working towards developing integrated Asian mental health services across Canada. Gina also specializes in perinatal mental health and has a program of research focused in the area. She is the Vice-President of the Postpartum Support International Canada. She also serves as an expert witness in reproductive mental health forensics and is actively involved in developing competency-based training. Gina has authored/edited 4 books such as Moms Gone Mad: Motherhood and Madness, Oppression and Resistance (Wong, 2012), and Infanticide and Filicide: Foundations in Maternal Mental Health Forensics (Wong & Parnham, 2021) published by the American Psychiatric Association. Her family (3 children and a dedicated partner) give her the most joy in life, along with her career.

John G. Paterson Award

Dr. Jonathan N. Stea

Dr. Jonathan N. Stea is a clinical psychologist at the Addiction Centre, Foothills Medical Centre, Alberta Health Services, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Calgary. Clinically, he specializes in the assessment and treatment of concurrent addictive and psychiatric disorders. He is the primary co-editor of an academic book to be published by Routledge, entitled, Investigating Clinical Psychology: Fringe Science, Pseudoscience, and Controversies. He is a coalition member of #ScienceUpFirst, which is a social media-based anti-misinformation campaign. He has published extensively as a science communicator, regularly contributing to Scientific American and Psychology Today, as well as many other outlets, including the CBCToronto Star, and National Post.  He has appeared in numerous mainstream media television and radio outlets, as well as podcasts, such as Global News and the Dr. Drew podcast. He is an active Twitter user with an engaging platform, which involves tweeting about topics related to pseudoscience and health misinformation.

Pettifor Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. Lloyd Flaro

I started my career as a teacher in Ontario and then decided to pursue Psychology by further obtaining my Master’s and Doctorate degrees. I moved our family moved to Alberta in 1980 and began my career in private practice establishing Flaro and Associates. My interest in learning disabilities, neurodevelopmental disorders, and pediatric neuropsychology have continued to be a major influence in my neuropsychological practice over the years. My interest in neuropsychological assessments made me especially interested in how a child’s motivation and effort during the assessment process influenced test scores. I became committed to using the scientific method to objectively assess effort as part of the assessment process. I have published extensively in the field of performance validity tests (objective measures of effort) for over 25 years. I have had the enriching experience of being involved with many psychologists over the years who have supported my endeavors and whose collegiality and friendship have maintained my enthusiasm and life-long love for psychology. I am extremely proud to be a psychologist in Alberta and honored to have received the Pettifor Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Juanita Chambers Excellence in Community Service Award

Monica Mankowski

Over the span of thirty-six years, Monica has infused her passion for students and families, and in particular, her passion for inclusive education for all children. She began her teaching career in Fort McMurray in 1982 after graduating with a Bachelor of Education in Educational Psychology and later completed a Master of Special Education, from the University of Alberta.

Her priority was ensuring Fort McMurray Catholic School Division is well positioned to help students and families in areas such as mental health, inclusive classroom support, and support for our LGBTQ2+ students.  Using a coordinated approach to building a strong mental health team, she was able to ensure families had multiple approaches to maintain their well being. Providing professional development for staff with key partners: Alberta Health Services Mental Health and Addiction, Canadian Red Cross, Wood Buffalo Food Bank, and Community Mental Health Service Providers.

She was a lead force in the Fort McMurray Catholic School Division response to the 2016 Horse River Fire and the devastating floods of 2020 response in schools. Part of the Horse River Fire recovery was working with the University of Alberta, Dr. Peter Silverstone, to complete a Child Wildfire Resiliency Project.

Excellence in Clinical Supervision Award

Dr. Anusha Kassan

Anusha Kassan, PhD, RPsych (Treaty 7/Métis Nation of Alberta, Region III; she/her) is an Associate Professor with a high impact position in child and youth mental health in the School and Applied Child Psychology programme at the University of British Columbia. She also owns a small business, Vividhatà Psychological and Consultation Services, where she works with many clients and provisional psychologists from racialized and minoritized backgrounds. Her program of study is influenced by her own bi-cultural identity and informed by an overarching social justice lens. She is presently conducting research with different newcomer communities and in the area of psychology training and supervision. Anusha is a Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association, and she recently co-edited a book entitled Diversity and Social Justice in Counseling, Psychology, and Psychotherapy: A Case Study Approach.   

Excellence in Teaching Psychology Award

Dr. Gina Ko

Gina Ko, PhD. (Educational Leadership), is a Registered Psychologist in Alberta. She resides in Calgary, Treaty 7 Territory. Gina has a private practice; she works with individuals, couples, and families using a culturally responsive and socially just lens. She is the producer and host of a podcast, “Against the Tides of Racism” ( whereby she interviews diverse racialized and minoritized guests. The podcast aims to generate awareness, foster community, and create transformation by coming together to lean into the inspiring work of anti-racism. She has taught for several post-secondary institutions in a Bachelor of Education program (University of Calgary) and Master of Counselling programs (Athabasca University, City University, Calgary). She is most grateful for the nomination and to receive this meaningful teaching award. 

Masters’ Thesis Research Award

Kristen Brown

Kristen Brown completed her Master of Education in Counselling Psychology at the University of Lethbridge and practicum at the University of Alberta’s Counselling and Clinical Services (CCS). Through this, she completed her thesis investigating selective avoidance on social media amidst the global pandemic of COVID-19. Since her graduation, she has been employed at Solace Psychology in Edmonton, and has recently become a provisionally registered psychologist.


2021 PAA Award Winners

Psychologist of the Year Award

Dr. Erik Wikman

Dr. Erik Wikman is a Registered Psychologist based in Edmonton, Alberta.  He has over 20 years of experience working in public hospitals, schools, and private practice settings and has served as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Alberta since 2005.  Aside from a hospital, school-based community outreach program, and private clinical practice encompassing intervention and assessment with children, youth, and adults, Dr. Wikman has worked within multi-disciplinary teams and published throughout his career in the areas of child health, mental health, and assessment.   At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Wikman was redeployed from his regular position at the Misericordia Hospital Child Health Clinic, directly to the frontline in the Emergency Department and later to the inpatient COVID-19 Unit in full PPE.   During this time, he also maintained his existing parent-child / family-centred and adolescent group programming virtually within the Child Health Clinic, individual/couple/family therapy, psycho-educational assessment, and Ph.D. graduate supervision (on evenings and weekends) in his private practice, provided individual consultation and support to numerous practicing psychologists and physicians, and participated in several committees / professional practice councils dedicated to promoting mental health wellness and the professional practice of psychology in Alberta.  Dr. Wikman is a strong advocate for the promotion of mental health and wellness in children and youth and the implementation of readily accessible publicly funded child / family-centred group-based programming in the Edmonton area.   Dr. Wikman is also passionate about the promotion of the professional practice of psychology, training, and clinical supervision.  He has previously been the recipient of the Psychologists’ Association of Alberta Excellence in Clinical Supervision Award and the Excellence in Teaching Psychology Award.  When not practicing, Dr. Wikman enjoys spending time with his wife (Laurie), adult daughters (Edyn and Saige), and a new puppy (Harley).

John G. Paterson Award

Dr. Laura Hambley

Dr. Laura Hambley Lovett is an Organizational Psychologist and business leader based in Calgary. She has 20 years of experience consulting with organizations in Canada and internationally, and has served as an Adjunct Professor of Psychology at the University of Calgary for over a decade. Dr. Laura has founded/co-founded several psychology practices since 2009, including Calgary Career Counselling, Canada Career Counselling, Synthesis Psychology, and Work EvOHlution. In 2021 she became a partner at Humance, a national consulting firm specializing in organizational culture and performance. Dr. Laura is a thought leader on the future of work and remote leadership, having co-authored many books and articles. Dr. Laura regularly contributes to the media, and also launched a podcast in 2020 called Where Work Meets Life™. In addition to her business, she has published two psychological thrillers. She hopes to both entertain and raise awareness on important topics around mental health and domestic violence. Dr. Laura has become an Advocate to end sex trafficking. Laura has a busy and fun household in Calgary, with a husband, two sons, a daughter, and a dog.

Pettifor Lifetime Achievement Award

Bonnie Rude-Weisman

I knew from a young age that I wanted to be a helper.  I started university immediately after high school with the intention of becoming a social worker but after my first introductory psychology class, I was hooked.  It was the field of psychology where I wanted my future to lie.  I had the good fortune to meet Dr. Jean Pettifor shortly after I graduated with my BA in psychology; she was a mentor and friend to me over the next 40 years, challenging me, guiding me, and at times, critiquing my decisions.  I became a registered psychologist in 1985 and have spent the last 36 years in a state of ‘becoming’—becoming the best psychologist I can possibly be, that is, a compassionate, ethical and evidence-based psychologist.  I continue to believe that we must never quit striving to achieve our professional best, no matter how long we have practiced.  This award is such an incredible honour to know that my efforts to ‘become’ have been recognized.  If Jean were with us today, she would remind me of how much further I need to go before fully ‘becoming’

The Juanita Chambers Excellence in Community Service Award

Patricia Pedraza Cruz

Patricia is the founder of Silver Health and Corporate Consulting Inc, a local organization created to promote and provide services in Mental health and Wellness. She specializes in the area of counselling and Clients consult her on issues related to life transitions, and cross-cultural parenting.  She is also recognized for her work in the not-for-profit sector and the community providing psychoeducational training in the area of integration to a new culture and managing life transitions. Patricia is passionate about helping clients find their inner voice. Her practice is an integrative approach working with Narrative Model and CBT. Patricia immigrated from Colombia to Calgary 15 years ago and has 20 years of experience working with women, couples, and families. Patricia has volunteered in several organizations advocating for fair access to mental health in Calgary, including the city of Calgary advisory table, the consulate of Colombia in Calgary, and faith-based organizations.  She holds a Master of Counselling from the University of Calgary, a Bachelor in Psychology from Colombia, and she is a Registered Provisional Psychologist with the College of Alberta Psychologists.

Excellence in Clinical Supervision Award

Dr. Erica Dunn

Dr. Erica Dunn completed her graduate training (both master’s and doctoral degrees) at the University of Alberta in the Counselling Psychology program, following the completion of her BA at the University of Waterloo.  Since her graduation in 2014, she has been employed as a Psychologist at Counselling & Clinical Services (CCS) at the University of Alberta.  This role complements her doctoral research nicely, which focused on barriers to help-seeking in the post-secondary population.  Since 2018, Dr. Dunn has been the Director of Training at CCS and led the team to CPA accreditation of their internship program in the fall of 2019. Dr. Dunn enjoys working with clients in a therapeutic capacity and is especially passionate about training and supervision.  When not working, Dr. Dunn enjoys spending time with her husband, Jordan, and five-year-old son, Aidan.

Excellence in Teaching Psychology Award

Dr. Lia Daniels

Lia Daniels completed her Ph.D. in Social Psychology at the University of Manitoba and joined the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Alberta in 2008. She researches student and teacher motivation and emotions and uses these principles to guide her teaching. She believes students can (and should) be intrinsically motivated and enjoy their learning at all levels of schooling and takes any opportunity to help instructors design classes that students can love.

Undergraduate Thesis Research Award

Carmen Tessier

Carmen Tessier completed her Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from the University of Alberta in 2019. During this degree, she completed an undergraduate thesis project which introduced her to the value of research and the exciting process of being able to answer hypotheses. To extend her skills as a researcher, she pursued a research-based Master of Science degree from the University of Alberta in the Department of Pediatrics and recently defended her thesis in July 2021 which focused on maternal perinatal mental health and child neurodevelopment using data from the largest national birth cohort study in Canada (CHILD Birth Cohort).

Masters’ Thesis Research Award

Megan Cowie

Megan Cowie is a PhD student at the University of Calgary studying under Dr. David Hodgins of the Addictive Behaviours Lab. Her research interests include implementing evidence-based practices and understanding barriers and facilitators to their successful implementation. Her dissertation is the PRISE project (Providing Incentives to Sustain Engagement), a clinical trial focused on implementing contingency management to encourage engagement in substance use treatment.

Doctoral Dissertation Research Award 

Laura Flanigan

Laura Flanigan is originally from Waterloo, Ontario. She moved to Calgary, AB to complete her MSc in School and Applied Child Psychology at the University of Calgary. She recently completed her doctorate in SACP, supervised by Dr. Emma Climie. Laura’s main research interest is on decreasing stigma towards individuals with ADHD. She currently works as a school psychologist out of Kingston, ON.

Awards are given in recognition of excellence in the field and these recognitions allow us to publicly acknowledge those contributions. PAA would like to acknowledge our own exemplars, honoring those who shape our profession in such meaningful ways.

The PAA Awards Ceremony is typically held with a banquet and a warmly celebrated time with family and friends. This year we have pivoted to host this online but have the added benefit of ‘” opening the doors” so much more broadly to our community as we are broadcasting live online on our YouTube channel which will capture this wonderful celebration. You can watch the Awards celebration here!

2020 PAA Award Winners

PAA Psychologist of the Year Award
Dr. Jac Andrews  

Dr. Andrews exemplifies the role of an academic psychologist, particularly these last two years. Over his 32-year career, Dr. Andrews has played a critical role in advocating for the profession of school psychology. In the past two years, Dr. Andrews led the University of Calgary’s School and Applied Child Psychology (SACP) program towards accreditation with the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA).  He played a critical role in liaising with faculty and university leadership to gain their support, provided leadership in updating and revising the vision, mission, and goals of our program, and created and maintained strong connections to community partners and leaders.




PAA Pettifor Lifetime Achievement Award
Dr. Jacqueline Linder 

Dr. Jacqueline Linder’s commitment to social justice, academic excellence, and ethical and compassionate clinical practice make her a worthy choice for recognition for the PAA’s Jean and Dick Pettifor Memorial Award. As an advocate and researcher, her work in the area of human trafficking and soul loss is groundbreaking. She has long been the voice for survivors of human trafficking and has publicly offered not only education but also testified on behalf of survivors. Dr. Linder also created an NGO to specifically work with this population.



PAA Excellence in Clinical Supervision Award
Dr. Nicole Kostiuk

Dr. Kostiuk has been supervising students for several years. She goes above and beyond to not only teach her students valuable therapeutic techniques and concepts but to also teach her students to engage in valuable self-reflection. She is cognizant of her supervisees’ level of knowledge and skill and adjusts her supervision to meet the supervisee where they are at. Dr. Kostiuk will also encourage her students to go outside of their comfort zones and try new techniques or deliver group material. She goes above and beyond to provide resources to her students to help them grow their knowledge base.



PAA Undergraduate Thesis Award
Jessie Swanek 

Jessie is receiving this reward in recognition of her research for her Thesis entitled “Baby It’s Cold Outside: Psychopathic Traits and Sexual Coercion” In her study, Jessie provided an in-depth analysis of sexually coercive behaviour in those with psychopathic traits. Jessie’s study is truly unique in its significance for our existing scientific literature.



2020 PAA Best Poster
Jonathan Dubue

Jonathan’s poster titled “Canadian Psychologists’ Experiences of Conducting Suicide Risk Assessment” showcased the psychologists list suicide risk assessments (SRAs) as one of their greatest clinical challenges. Recent literature suggests health professionals have diverse SRA practices, the study of which has led to better training and consequently less patient suicide. This phenomenological study examines five Canadian psychologists’ SRA experiences, the results of which inform ethical, training, and practical difficulties in assessing suicide.

You can view Jonathan’s poster presentation here.

Awards are given in recognition of excellence in the field and these recognitions allow us to publicly acknowledge those contributions. PAA would like to acknowledge our own exemplars, honoring those who shape our profession in such meaningful ways.

The 2019 awards were presented at the PAA Welcome to the Profession & Awards Banquet on 20 September 2019 at the Citadel Theater in Edmonton.

2019 PAA Award Winners

PAA Psychologist of the Year Award
Tamara Austin

Tamara (Tammie) Austin started her psychology career in her hometown of Thunder Bay, Ontario. She worked for 9 years at Sister Margaret Smith Centre, providing psychological assessments for the adults and the youth in their inpatient substance abuse treatment programs. She moved to Fort McMurray in 2004, worked briefly for Alberta Psych Systems (Ganz Ferrance), then for 6 years in Outpatient Mental Health at the Northern Lights Health Centre. While at the Health Centre, she was part of the Children’s Team of counsellors, supervised practicum students and Provisional psychologists, and then went on to become the Clinical Supervisor for Mental Health. Tamara has a special interest in Adult ADHD. Currently, she and her therapy dog, Raffi, are in private practice in Fort McMurray. They share an office with her partner for life, lawyer Allan Vinni. Tamara and Al live on an acreage with their horses, dogs, and cats. Her three adult children live in Edmonton.


PAA Excellence in Clinical Supervision Award
Dr. Steve Knish

Steve’s understanding of the profound importance of mentoring and how it can bring out the best in a person began while in competitive sport as a player and coach. He completed his doctoral degree in counseling psychology from the University of Alberta in 1994 which included an internship at the WCB Rehabilitation Centre. There he experienced a gold standard, student-centered, and relationship-focused training program that inspired him to pay it forward. He is currently a clinical supervisor at the University of Alberta’s Counselling and Clinical Services where he was previously the Coordinator of Training. He has had the good fortune to supervise close to 80 students – a career highlight. Steve has been practicing yoga and meditation since 2002 and received yoga teacher training in 2013. He has developed drop-in yoga classes and a yoga-based therapy group for the U of A students who have become part of the self-care and skills training components of the internship program.


PAA Excellence in Teaching Psychology
Dr. Mark Holden

Mark Holden was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, and completed his undergraduate degree in Psychology/Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta. He went on to complete his graduate work at Temple University in Philadelphia before moving back to Canada for post-doctoral studies at the University of Western Ontario. At Western, Mark taught his first official course in 2013 – the “small” section of Introductory Psychology (with “only” 500 students). This opportunity truly ignited his passion for teaching Psychology. He has since taught over 30 courses and is now happily settled at the University of Calgary.



John G Paterson Media Award
Avra Davidoff

Avra Davidoff is a Workplace Psychologist specializing in career and leadership development, diversity, and distributed teams. She is a Senior Associate at Calgary Career Counselling and the Leadership Success Group. Avra has over a decade of experience providing a variety of professional services to both individuals and organizations. She is passionate about supporting the development and growth of people and workplaces. Avra was also the project lead and the co-author of the Making it Work! guidebooks which provide free user-friendly resources to employees and employers navigating maternity leave career transitions. This 3-year national project was awarded funding by CERIC (The Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling).

Avra holds a Bachelor of Arts, major in psychology, from the University of British Columbia, and also holds a Masters in Counselling Psychology, with a career counselling specialization, from the Graduate Centre for Applied Psychology at Athabasca University.


John G Paterson Media Award — Honourable Mention
Dr. Annie Steinhauer 

Dr. Steinhauer was nominated posthumously, and although not ultimately chosen, her outstanding achievements deserve to be acknowledged and honoured.





PAA Pettifor Lifetime Achievement Award
Dr. Stephen Carter 

After working 8 years as a school counsellor, Steve switched to private practice in 1993. He has taught undergraduate and graduate courses at the University of Alberta. Steve serves as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and supervises Doctoral counselling students at the U of A. In the past, Steve was co-executive director of the Psychologists’ Association of Alberta and later served the Association as president. He has been a Board Member of the Canadian Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology and was the Canadian representative to the American Psychological Association Committee of State Leaders. Steve helped start the Alberta Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, an interdisciplinary group of psychologists, judges, lawyers, social workers, and mediators working to address separation and divorce issues and is a past-president of the Alberta Chapter.



Doctoral Dissertation Research Award

Dr. Rachel King

Dr. Rachel King completed her master’s degree and Ph.D. in Counselling Psychology at the University of Alberta. She has been involved in a number of research projects, co-authoring multiple journal articles, an upcoming book chapter, and several conference presentations about hope and human change processes. Her SSHRC-funded dissertation was an interpretive description of the transition from government care to adulthood and how hope supports resilient outcomes. Her findings suggest a process of hope common to marginalized youth with resilient outcomes. This process of hope is cyclical and consists of two opposing, complementary processes of building hope and threatening hope. Psychologists and other helping professionals can intervene to increase hope hardiness and to encourage the process of building or re-building hope after times of threatened hope. Dr. King is currently working at the Grey Nuns Community Hospital with a clinical focus on Dialectical Behaviour Therapy and inpatient assessment.


Masters’ Thesis Research Award
Tasmia Hai

Tasmia is a second-year Ph.D. student in the School and Clinical Child Psychology program at the University of Alberta. She previously completed her Master’s degree at the University of Calgary in the School and Applied Child Psychology program. Her Master’s thesis investigated neurobiological and Executive Function (EF) differences in children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) when compared to their typically developing peers. For her Ph.D. dissertation, Tasmia is interested to understand the EF and neurobiological challenges of children and youth with ADHD who have had a concussion or mild traumatic brain injury.

Awards are given in recognition of excellence in the field and these recognitions allow us to publicly acknowledge those contributions. PAA would like to acknowledge our own exemplars, honoring those who shape our profession in such meaningful ways.

The 2017 awards were presented at the Welcome to the Profession and PAA Awards Banquet Edmonton on 25 May 2017.

PAA Psychologist of the Year Award
Dr. Jon K Amundson

Dr. Jon K Amundson (M.A., M.A., and PhD.) has been a psychologist in Alberta since 1975. He has worked and taught at the college and university level but been primarily involved in independent practice since 1980 in Calgary. Aside from a practice ranging from treatment and intervention with adults and children, Amundson has been an expert witness in numerous court proceedings regarding youth and families. He has published throughout his career in diverse and wide-ranging areas in such journals as Family Process, Alternative Higher Education, Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, Mediation Quarterly, Journal of Marriage and Family Therapy, American Journal of Forensic Psychology, Journal of Child Custody Evaluation, Family Court Review,  European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling and the American Journal Of Clinical Hypnosis, currently writing the ethics column for PAA. He has been involved in a number of activist areas throughout his career involving such concerns as de-segregation, minority health care, immigrants, ethics and conduct, same-sex adoption issues, and the psychology in the public sector. Aside from active professional life, Amundson has been a senior athlete, competing in cross country skiing and Hawaiian canoe racing nationally and internationally, winning the world championships in 2012, and setting a world record time, with a 60-year-old men’s team.

PAA Excellence in Clinical Supervision Award
Dr. Ceinwen E Cumming

Dr. Ceinwen E. Cumming is a psychologist at the Cross Cancer Institute. She received a postdoctoral research award following completion of her doctoral studies in 1987 in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta. She holds a clinical professorship in the Department of Oncology within the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, as well as an appointment as adjunct professor to the Faculty of Education.  Dr. Cumming has undertaken clinical, teaching, and research responsibilities over the past twenty-nine years at the Cross Cancer Institute. She currently undertakes the duties of a staff psychologist in a psychosocial oncology setting. Individual, couple, and family counseling with patients and family members, and bereavement follow-up form the workload. Over many years, Dr. Cumming has found supervising graduate students on placements in the clinical setting to be very rewarding. She is very honoured to have been chosen to receive the Psychologists’ Association of Alberta (PAA) Excellence in Clinical Supervision Award for 2017.

PAA Excellence in Teaching Psychology
Adam McCrimmon

Adam McCrimmon is a registered psychologist and an associate professor in the School and Applied Child Psychology Program at the University of Calgary where he directs the Autism Spectrum Education, Research, and Training (ASERT) lab. His research interests include autism spectrum disorder and cognition, cognitive development, social skills, and mental health.  He teaches courses on clinical/diagnostic assessment and the practica.  Teaching is one of his life’s passions and he thoroughly enjoys every moment he can spend in that activity.



Masters’ Thesis Research Award
Laura Flanigan

Laura Flanigan is originally from Waterloo, Ontario. She moved to Calgary, AB to complete her MSc in School and Applied Child Psychology at the University of Calgary. She is currently in her first year of the doctoral program in SACP, supervised by Dr. Emma Climie. Laura’s main research interest is on decreasing stigma towards individuals with ADHD.

2016 Psychologically Healthy Workplace Initiative Award

Concordia University of Edmonton
An independent degree-granting university with 200 full-time staff and 200 part-time staff. Employees’ physical and psychological health is supported through services offered by the approachable Human Resources office and the extensive Employee Assistance Program. Their Mental Health Action Team encourages a healthy mind, body, and spirit as well as reducing stigma associated with mental illness and encouraging access to available support.

Red Deer Primary Care Network
RDCPN is the 8th largest primary care network (PCN) in Alberta. This PCN has 33 full-time and 19 part-time staff that care for nearly 128,000 patients. RDPCN strives to create a psychologically healthy workplace through initiatives such as promoting exercise breaks and self-care practices. Staff are recognized for their contributions through many avenues, including verbal praise and a public Gratitude Wall.

PAA’s Behavioural Science Award

PAA’s Behavioural Science Award 2023

Edmonton Regional Science Fair – Edmonton 11 March 2023

Bethany Worssa, a student from Aurora Academic Charter School, won the PAA award for her project, “Fidget or Not.”

Nandika Senthilkumar and Zenia Pereira, students from Aurora Academic Charter School, received an Honourable Mention for their project, “Alex, the AI That Doesn’t Exist.”

PAA’s Behavioural Science Award 2022

Central Alberta Rotary Science Fair – Red Deer 26 March 2022

Skyler Herzog, a Grade 7 student from Glendale School, won the PAA Award of $100 for her project, “Animal Impact on Human Mental Health”.

Calgary Youth Science Fair – Calgary 9 April 2022

Misha Kapadia & Sania Grewal, students from Westmount Mid/High School, won the PAA Award for their project, “Music, Mood & Memory”.

Edmonton Regional Science Fair – Edmonton 16 March 2022

Ishaan Upadhyay, a student from Aurora Academic Charter School, won the PAA Award for his project, “A Colourful Memory”.

Layal Salame, a student from Edmonton Islamic Academy, received an Honourable Mention recognition for her project, “The Health Concerns of Sleep Apnea”.

PAA’s Behavioural Science Award 2021

Central Alberta Rotary Science Fair – Red Deer
10 April 2021

Amaya Braatz, a grade 7 student from Hugh Sutherland School in Carstairs, was the 2021 PAA Award recipient for her project “The Pinocchio Effect”.

Calgary Youth Science Fair – Calgary
17 April 2021

Alia Damji from Branton School was the 2021 Award recipient for her project “Comparison of the sense of direction between males and females”.

Edmonton Regional Science Fair – Edmonton
17 April 2021

Hannah Abdo, a grade 9 student who attends Edmonton Islamic Academy, was the 2021 PAA Award recipient for her project “Does Age Matter?”.

Om Upadhyay, a grade 9 student who attends Aurora Academic Charter School, was an Honourable Mention for his project “OCD & ADHD: “Compound” Science Fair”.

ERSF was judged by Tamara Stuart, representative of PAA.

PAA Membership

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