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Professor Sylvia Nassar Receives 2022 Alumni Association Outstanding Research Award

Sylvia Nassar, Ph.D., professor of Counselor Education at the NC State College of Education

Sylvia Nassar, a professor of counseling and counselor education in the NC State College of Education, has been selected as a recipient of NC State’s 2022 Alumni Association Outstanding Research Award.

Nassar is one of six NC State faculty members this year to receive the award and will be inducted into the NC State Research Leadership Academy

“Receiving this tremendous honor from my own institution is such a thrill and a validation of my last 30 years of research. Research and the counseling profession are my parallel passions,” Nassar said. “I have been recognized by my professional associations in this domain, along with other academic institutions for whom I have served as a collaborator and visiting scholar. But, to receive this award from my home institution, particularly because of its R1 status, is gratifying and validating as a long-time academician and scholar-leader.” 

Nassar joined the College of Education in 2003, with the goal of further developing the Ph.D in Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development’s counseling and counselor education program area of study and furthering her own research skills and productivity. 

Over the past decade, Nassar has engaged in projects funded by the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health and NASA, and helped address global unemployment issues through her Career Builders Toolkit project with RTI International.

Her research interests, she said, have always been intertwined with issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion. She recently co-developed the Multicultural and Social Justice Counseling Competencies and has frequently drawn on her own heritage to focus on research, advocacy and publications surrounding health disparities, negative media portrayals and the impacts of structural racism on communities of Arab descent. 

“My background in the Arab American community in Detroit led to the years of writing multicultural textbook chapters and research articles and, currently, to the second edition of my co-edited, interdisciplinary book Biopsychosocial Perspectives on Arab Americans: Culture, Development, and Health,” she said. 

As a member of the Research Leadership Academy, Nassar will take an active role in mentoring NC State faculty and promoting the research enterprise across campus. She said she is excited for this opportunity and hopes it will contribute to her mentorship expertise in other arenas, such as with doctoral students, as well.

“I look forward to the opportunity to engage in institutional-level mentorship and hope that I can contribute to the further development of the current research mentorship structure that the Research Leadership Academy already has in place,” she said.