Student Excellence in Teaching/Mentorship Award


The Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy is accepting nominations for the Student Excellence in Teaching/Mentorship Award. In keeping with The Society’s mission of 1) advancing the teaching of psychotherapy and 2) supporting the development of graduate student trainees, the Society is pleased to offer this award to recognize the achievements of its student members in the area of teaching/mentorship. The award will be presented to the candidate who best demonstrates commitment to teaching and mentorship in the context of psychotherapy and related fields.

Funding Specifics

The winner will be awarded a prize of $500 to be presented at the annual APA convention. The winner of the award will be featured in the Psychotherapy Bulletin, and will be asked to write a brief piece for the Psychotherapy Bulletin in which they reflect upon their teaching/mentorship experiences thus far.

Eligibility Requirements

Any graduate student member of The Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy (including students on internship) is eligible to be nominated or self-nominate for this award. Students interested in joining The Society can do so at this website:

Nomination Requirements

Students may be nominated by another individual or may self-nominate.

The application materials are as follows:

  • The Student Excellence in Teaching:Mentorship Award Nomination Cover Sheet
  • A current and abbreviated (2-page maximum) curriculum vitae focused on teaching/mentorship experiences
  • A biographical statement summarizing the student’s teaching/mentorship experience and how that student has demonstrated excellence in these domains (500 words maximum). Illustrative examples are outlined below.
  • A letter of recommendation from a supervisor who can speak to the nominee’s teaching/mentorship experience that highlights how the student has demonstrated excellence in these domains. Illustrative examples are outlined below.

Examples of teaching/mentorship excellence (not exhaustive) are as follows:

  • Student has gone above and beyond their duties and responsibilities as a student supervisor of junior clinicians.
  • Student has received outstanding evaluations of their teaching of a course, especially those related to psychotherapy, abnormal psychology, or a related field.
  • Student has developed a novel course or approach to the teaching of psychotherapy-related material.
  • Student has made a lasting impact by mentoring undergraduate teaching or research assistants.
  • Student has mentored other members of their community, such as lab/clinic volunteers or high school students.

Submission Process & Deadline

Submission Process: Email materials to Krizia Wearing, Chair, Student Development Committee. E-mail:

Submission Deadline: April 1.

Student Excellence in Teaching-Mentorship Award

2020 Recipient: Justin Hillman

Justin Hillman is a 4th  year doctoral student in Counseling Psychology at the University of Maryland College Park, working under the mentorship of Dennis M. Kivlighan, Jr. His research interests include psychotherapy process and outcome, with a focus on attachment processes and the therapeutic relationship. For his master’s thesis, he examined the relationship between the development of clients’ attachment to their therapist and treatment outcomes in psychodynamic psychotherapy. Additionally, he is interested in how therapists engage their clients in the here-and-now to facilitate interpersonal change with skills like immediacy. Justin has supported studies of deliberate practice for immediacy and is currently developing a measure to assess barriers to using immediacy. He is passionate about psychodynamic and interpersonal approaches to therapy, and currently conducts open-ended psychotherapy on externship at the Maryland Psychotherapy Clinic and Research Lab. As a graduate teaching assistant, he enjoys incorporating interpersonal approaches into his teaching style. He has served as primary instructor for undergraduate coursework on peer counseling skills and mental health advocacy, and as a lab instructor for graduate level helping skills training.

Student Excellence in Teaching/Mentorship Award

Previous Winners

2019- Ki Eun Shin

2018 – Alice Coyne