Hwang recognized by the Asian American Psychological Association

The Asian American Psychological Association has honored Claremont McKenna College Prof. Wei-Chin Hwang with its 2019 Distinguished Contributions Award.

Hwang, a psychology professor, was recognized for bridging his scholarly work with practice, mentorship, and social activism, especially in Asian American communities.

Hwang’s research focuses on understanding and reducing mental health disparities, along with cultivating therapist cultural competency and effectiveness, when working with people from different backgrounds. He also develops models and frameworks for culturally adapting treatments for ethnic minorities.

“I am honored to receive this award from the AAPA,” Hwang said. “We are making great strides in understanding the importance of cultural adapted treatment in the Asian American community, and de-stigmatizing mental health treatment in our community.”

In her nomination letter, CMC psychology professor Stacey N. Doan said Hwang uses his scholarship and clinical experiences to make a difference on campus, as well as in the community.

“As a scientist-practitioner and a licensed clinical psychologist, he is one of the few Asian American scholars who has helped bridge the gap between basic research and intervention science,” Doan wrote. “His work has far-reaching impacts by transforming ideas of cultural competency and mental health treatment of individuals from Asian heritage populations.”

Anna S. Lau, a UCLA professor of clinical psychology, wrote that she “cannot think of another scholar at his career stage whose footprint on the field is as large.” Hwang’s work has been recognized by a number of professional organizations, including the American Psychological Association, which awarded him its Minority Fellowship Program Early Career Award. He was also awarded the Asian American Psychological Association Early Career Award and the Enrico E. Jones Award for Research in Psychotherapy and Clinical Psychology by the Western Psychological Association. Hwang has been inducted as a fellow for both organizations.

At CMC, he has received the Roy P. Crocker Award for Merit and Service to the College, as well as the 7 Claremont Colleges Diversity Mentor Award.

Hwang has a small and individualized therapy practice and consulting agency specializing in treating mood disorders, marital and family problems, traumas, adjustment difficulties, personal growth and development, and culture and mental health issues. He conducts therapy in English, Mandarin, or Taiwanese.

—Gilien Silsby