|By Jill Levenson, PhD, LCSW|
know I have the best job on the ATSA Board – chairing the Awards Committee!
What a pleasure it is to review nominations, observe all the impressive work
being done in our field, and share with the winners the accolades they’ve
received from their colleagues. I'm happy to report we had a great response to
calls for nominations this year, with many strong and deserving nominees, but
there were some clear standouts that the committee agreed upon.
am especially pleased to announce that our Lifetime Achievement Award winner
this year is Keith Kaufman, who has taken on a prominent leadership role in
ATSA for the past 20 years. Dr. Kaufman is a
Professor of Psychology at Portland State University (PSU) and served as the
Psychology Department’s chair for nearly 10 years. He received his doctoral
degree from the University of South Florida in 1985 and completed a
postdoctoral fellowship in Pediatric Psychology at the University of Oklahoma
Health Sciences Center.
Dr. Kaufman served on the ATSA board of Directors, and as
President of the organization from 2002-2004. He currently chairs the prevention
task force for ATSA. His leadership extends to the greater community, as he has
served as a member of the Oregon Youth Authority’s Advisory Board and on the
executive board of the National Alliance of Sexual Assault Coalitions. He is
chair of the Prevention Subcommittee of the Oregon Attorney General’s Sexual
Assault Task Force, and a member of the National Center for Missing and
Exploited Children’s Prevention Subcommittee.
Dr. Kaufman has received millions of dollars in grant
funding over the past 15 years from the National Institute of Mental Health,
National Institute of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency
Prevention, and the Centers for Disease Control. His research has focused on
the prevention of child sexual abuse and enhancing the treatment of adult and
juvenile sexual offenders. His work is well known and Dr. Kaufman has demonstrated
his extensive leadership through his invaluable contributions to our body of
research, to the training of clinicians and researchers, and mentoring of
students. Congratulations to Keith
Kaufman for his lifetime achievements!
Distinguished Contribution winner this year is Leo Cotter, from Tampa Florida.
Leo was a pioneer in the area of SOTX in Florida, and a founding board member
of the FATSA chapter. He has taken a strong leadership role in the state,
pushing the legislature to pass criteria for qualified sex offender treatment
providers, advocating for revisions in our special conditions of probation
several times, and maintaining a clinical practice that is known for its
excellence. In the early days, he helped FATSA establish important alliances
with the Department of Corrections and the Florida Council Against Sexual
Violence (our victim advocacy agency), and often did trainings for allied
professionals throughout the state. He served as FATSA president, sat on the
FATSA board as a founding member for 20 years, and he often presented at
Florida state conferences. At the national level, he co-chaired the ATSA
conference in Atlanta, often presented at the national conference, co-authored
several research studies, and is well-known in ATSA circles as an all-around
Gail Burns Smith award is designed to honor a clear leader connecting the
fields of sex offender treatment/management and victim advocacy. The award is
co-sponsored by ATSA and the National Resource Center for Sexual Violence. The
awards committee was unanimous that Joan Tabachnick epitomizes the ability to
bridge the gap between victim/survivor and offender groups, which is the
essence and spirit of this award. Joan
is a long-standing ATSA member, former ATSA board member, co-chair of the
Prevention Committee, and organizer of Massachusetts ATSA’s state conference.
We are proud and delighted to honor her with this award.
We had several applications for the Fay Honey Knopp
Scholarship, which provides the recipient with travel expenses and conference
fees for ATSA's annual conference. The scholarship recipient this year will be Mina
Ratkalker, a social worker who is currently pursuing a PhD in forensic
psychology at Drexel University. We are thrilled to be able to offer the
learning opportunities available at the ATSA conference to students entering
want to thank the outstanding Awards committee for their meticulous and
diligent review of nearly a dozen very competitive nominations: Karen Baker,
Art Gordon, Tony Beech, Bob McGrath, and Bill Murphy. I will be stepping down
as chair in 2017 as I rotate off the ATSA Board of Directors, but will remain
on the committee for another year to ensure a smooth transition for the new
chair. Start thinking about next year’s nominations! We have so many deserving
members among us.