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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 14, 2005

UI Expert On Masculinity, Asian-American Issues Named Top Researcher

The American Psychological Association has given University of Iowa counseling psychology assistant professor William Ming Liu its Division 51 Researcher of the Year Award.

APA Division 51 Awards Committee Chair and Past President John M. Robertson presented Liu, who works in the UI College of Education's Counseling Psychology Program of the Department of Psychological and Quantitative Foundations, with the award at the Division 51 meeting in Washington, D.C. in August. Division 51 is also called the Society for the Psychological Study of Men and Masculinity.

"I'm very honored by the award and the recognition by my colleagues and students," Liu said.

In his remarks at the ceremony, Robertson said that Liu has demonstrated a strong interest in topics that concern members of the division.

"He has written about masculine gender role conflict, depression in men, the experiences of Asian-American men, the inclusion of masculinity as a multicultural competency, African American acculturation, male sexuality, mentoring, training students in the new psychology of men, male business student's attitudes toward psychotherapy, homeless men's masculinity and social class experiences, masculinity attitudes among gifted students, and the interaction of social class and masculinity," Robertson said.

Liu has authored 16 book chapters and 20 articles in refereed journals since receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland five years ago. His research has been published in a variety of highly competitive journals, including APA Division 51's Journal of Psychology of Men and Masculinity, the Journal of Counseling Psychology, the Journal of Clinical Psychology, the Journal of Multicultural Counseling, The Counseling Psychologist and Processional Psychology: Research and Practice.

"Dr. Liu is increasing our understanding of men and masculinity issues in his work with his advisees, as he includes them in his own research, and as he encourages them to pursue their own interests in this area," Robertson said. "His advisees have presented their work at both regional and national conferences, and his students' theses and doctoral dissertations have been presented in various publications."

James T. Haley, a graduate student of Liu's and one of his nominators, described Liu as a researcher, professor, counseling psychologist, community leader and prolific member of the counseling psychology faculty since his arrival in 2001.

He said Liu's "voluminous background in multicultural counseling as well as his early research in gender issues has led him to explore the intersection of social influences on masculinity." He also praised Liu's encouragement of many graduate students to explore the new psychology of men as a research subject.

"He effectively communicates his command of the research process by his team leadership with organizing, interpreting and presenting data in different forums," Haley wrote in his nomination letter. "During my time at Iowa, Will has investigated diverse and marginalized groups of men including prison inmates, homeless individuals, African-American college students and gifted ethnic minority adolescents. His work has examined masculinity as it relates to male-type depression, alexithymia, social class and multicultural competence in working with men's issues. He has shed light on many aspects of Asian-American men's perceptions of masculinity and the overlap of this concept with several components of individual culture."

"Will's leadership in research is unparalleled, and his enthusiasm for contributing the collective academic knowledge base is unwavering," Haley added.

Sam V. Cochran, director of the UI Counseling Service and editor of the journal Psychology of Men and Masculinity, echoed those sentiments in a letter of support for Liu's nomination.

"Will is especially gifted in mentoring our new professionals in our area," Cochran said. "He works closely with his advisees, including them in research in this area and encouraging them in their own pursuits."

In addition to his research and mentoring work, Liu is serving as program chair for the 2007 National Multicultural Summit and Conference, and he was co-editor in 2003 of the "Handbook of Multicultural Competencies in Counseling and Psychology." In 2003, he won the UI's Audrey Qualls Commitment to Diversity Award, and he serves as an editorial review board member for the Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, Psychology of Men and Masculinity and Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology.

In May 2004, the Chicago Tribune interviewed Liu for an article exploring stereotypes of Asian men as objects of sexual desire.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Media: Stephen Pradarelli, 319-384-0007, stephen-pradarelli@uiowa.edu.