Professor Sylvia Nassar Receives Exemplary Diversity Leadership Award and Thomas Hohenshil National Publication Award
Sylvia Nassar, a professor of counselor education in the NC State College of Education, has received the Exemplary Diversity Leadership Award from the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development (AMCD) as well as the Thomas Hohenshil National Publication Award from the American Counseling Association.
“Each of these awards are, to me, lifetime achievement awards in their own rights,” Nassar said. “Given that one of my other areas of expertise is in career development, it makes these recognitions all the more impactful on a personal level, because they signal a career and life of striving for intentionality and excellence.”
The Exemplary Diversity Leadership Award honors an AMCD member who has exemplified a career-long dedication to multiculturalism and diversity, and has promoted and enhanced cultural sensitivity among members of the counseling community and society at large.
Nassar is a thought leader in multicultural counseling practices, with a particular focus on issues facing Arab and Arab Americans in modern society.
She was part of a five-person team that developed the Multicultural and Social Justice Counseling Competencies, which were endorsed by the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development Executive Council and by the American Counseling Association in 2015. These competencies provide an update to the Multicultural Counseling Competencies developed in the 1990s, providing counselors with a framework that consisted of four developmental domains — counselor self-awareness, client worldview, counseling relationship, and counseling and advocacy interventions — that reflect competence in multicultural and social justice counseling.
“Developing the Multicultural and Social Justice Competencies was an honor in and of itself and was also a capstone career recognition, in that it represented an effort that allowed me to integrate my expertise in professional competency, standard setting and policy development along with my deep commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and justice,” Nassar said.
The Thomas Hohenshil National Publication Award recognizes an American Counseling Association member who has made outstanding contributions to the publication of counseling-related literature. Nassar has authored over 100 publications, including books, refereed articles, book chapters and training videos over the course of her career.
Her publications have contributed to counseling literature through articles on discrimination against and acculturation issues among various populations of Arab descent as well as various training materials that draw on her body of work related to Arab Americans.
In nominating her for the award, colleagues also cited her inclusion of students in her research publications and her work as a senior associate editor for the Journal of Counseling & Development and associate editor for Multicultural Counseling.
This summer, Springer will publish the second edition of Biopsychosocial Perspectives on Arab Americans: Culture, Development, and Health, an important resource for public and mental health practitioners, researchers and policy makers who work with and on behalf of clients and patients of Arab descent. Nassar and her co-editors represent a team of leading experts spanning disciplines of sociology, clinical mental health, and community public health.