ORTHO seeking nominations for the Vera S. Paster Award

October 21, 2015


The Vera S. Paster Award was established in 1990 by the American Orthopsychiatric Association (ORTHO) in honor of its 64th President. The Award is presented to a graduate student or post-graduate resident or fellow in a behavioral health or social justice program whose work has significantly contributed to the social, educational, physical or psychological well-being of persons of color, thereby promoting their empowerment and ameliorating their disadvantages from oppression and its effects. Nominees may be a current or prospective member of the Ortho. In 2000, the Award was redesigned to recognize the extraordinary work of trainees engaged in poor and ethnic minority communities. Nominations of persons organizing or doing “hands-on” or “applied” work are particularly encouraged. The recipient of the Award will be designated as the AOA Paster Fellow and be invited to present his or her work at an AOA meeting and/or for publication. The Award recipient will receive a $1,000 stipend to be used to advance the Fellow’s work and travel and lodging to attend a 2016 Ortho meeting.  

Persons selected as AOA Paster Fellows will exhibit several or all of the following criteria:

  • Exhibits unusual creativity, initiative and commitment to serving communities of color,
  • Engages in actions that exceed typical expectations of students or trainees,
  • Displays a thoughtful and progressive understanding of the context of communities of color,
  • Designs, organizes or implements activities that advance mental health and social justice,
  • Contributes significantly to the social, educational, physical or psychological well-being of persons of color,
  • Promotes empowerment and ameliorates the disadvantages from oppression and its effects.

Letters of nomination should describe the nominee’s qualifications including relevant work experience and personal qualities that match the award criteria. Please limit letters of nomination to no more than 800 words. Self-nominations are welcome. Please also provide the names of two additional persons, their titles and contact details, who know first-hand the nominee and his or her work. The nominee’s curriculum vita or resume should be attached to the letter of nomination.

Address inquiries and nomination packets to Robin Kimbrough-Melton, Executive Officer at or by mail at American Orthopsychiatric Association, P.O. Box 995, Crozet, VA 22932. The deadline for nominations is December 1, 2015. 

  • Learn more about the American Orthopsychiatric Association here.
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