Psychology professor and student receive awards for excellence

A Faculty of Health professor and a doctoral candidate in psychology have received awards recently, one for excellence in teaching, and the other for a published article.

Harvey Brooker, an adjunct professor in York’s Department of Psychology, was recently Harvey-Brookernamed the 2013 Canadian Psychological Association Award winner for distinguished contributions to education and training.

Harvey Brooker

“Dr. Brooker has been a key link in the chain of solidifying the training of many others like me, ensuring the next generation of clinical psychologists,” says psychology Professor Joel Goldberg, a former student of Brooker. “He is sought out by colleagues to provide consultation to help with challenging ethical and professional issues. He is the consultant to the consultants.”

“I was surprised and deeply gratified to be so honoured by my peers. I think it is a recognition of the importance of supervision and mentorship in the development of future psychologists,” says Brooker, who was also the recipient in 1997 of an award named in his honour by the Ontario Psychological Association: the Harvey Brooker Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching.

In addition to serving as a site visitor for the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Canadian Psychological Association accreditation bodies, Brooker taught two PhD courses in psychology for many years, contributed to the development of items for the jurisprudence and ethics provincial College of Psychologists exam, and contributed on many AshleyMalinformal dissertation committees as a supervisor and as a committee member. He has also served as a regular examiner over a period of decades on the York University clinical area competency exams.

Ashley Malin

Brooker will receive his award at the 2013 Canadian Psychological Association convention in Quebec City in June.

A key measure of Brooker’s teaching success is the fact that many of his students went on to rank among the top leaders in provincial and national leadership associations. One of his current top students is second-year doctoral candidate Ashley Malin. She was recently awarded the Bernard Dickens Student Award by the Journal of Ethics in Mental Health (JEMH) for her article, “Psychologists at Guantanamo Bay: Can their Ethical Violations be Justified?” The award is given out annually for the best graduate student submission to JEMH.

“It is so wonderful to be recognized for my work in this way. My greatest hope
is that receiving this award will help to bring attention to what is going on
at Guantanamo Bay,” writes Malin. She wrote the paper as part of her doctoral studies in the Ethical Issues in Professional Practice psychology course taught by Brooker.

“Ashley’s paper was a sophisticated analysis of the moral and ethical issues involving ‘enhanced interrogation’. She was able to demonstrate the shortcomings of psychologists working at such venues as Guantanamo Bay,” says Brooker.

Malin says her paper discusses the role that psychologists have played in devising and implementing inhumane enhanced interrogation procedures (EIPs) at Guantanamo Bay, the ethical codes and laws they violated, and the APA’s response to such violations.

She argues that the violations of the APA Ethics Code at Guantanamo are not justified because the prisoner population is not comprised primarily of enemy combatants or high threat detainees. CIA records indicate there is little evidence that enhanced interrogation techniques were effective in extracting terrorism related information, and government documents reveal that such techniques were implemented in some cases as a form of human experimentation to obtain data unrelated to terrorism.