York professor receives MADD’s Citizen of Distinction Award

Stephen Fleming (right), a professor in the Department of Psychology in the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies at York University, has been awarded the Citizen of Distinction Award from the organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada (MADD). The award recognizes Fleming’s research in grief, bereavement and psychological trauma.

Fleming received the award during MADD Canada’s National Leadership Conference held in Toronto last month. The award citation reads: “Whenever asked, he [Stephen Fleming] has always obliged MADD Canada, whether doing a keynote address, or a workshop for victims. He has conducted studies on grief resulting from sudden death and his data have been available in civil cases involving victims of impaired driving. An expert in the field of dealing with the loss of a loved one, many victims at MADD Canada have been grateful recipients of his words of comfort and compassion.”

The author of numerous articles, book chapters and presentations on the grief experience of children, adolescents and adults, Fleming is currently researching the relationship between bereavement and the psychological difficulties that survivors encounter following the tragic death of a family member or after witnessing a traumatic accident. He is also investigating the impact of vicarious trauma on therapists who counsel survivors.

“This award recognizes the impact of my research and this is a profoundly significant honour. If my academic work and research can make a difference in some way, that is important,” said Fleming. “The fact that it comes from the victims themselves is incredibly meaningful to me.”

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD Canada) is a non-profit, grassroots organization that is committed to stopping impaired driving and supporting the victims of this violent crime. Volunteers include not only mothers, but fathers, friends, business professionals, experts in the anti-impaired driving field and concerned citizens who want to make a difference in the fight against impaired driving.

More about Stephen Fleming

Stephen Fleming is a registered psychologist. In addition to teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in the psychology of death at York University, he has served on the editorial boards of two journals, Death Studies and the Journal of Palliative Care. A member of the international work group on death, dying and bereavement, Fleming has lectured widely in North America and Europe and has published numerous articles on the grief process and adjustment to loss.