EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE:4:00 p.m. EDT Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014

Newswise — WASHINGTON – The American Psychological Association presented Spelman College President Beverly Daniel Tatum, PhD, with its highest honor, the Award for Outstanding Lifetime Contribution to Psychology, recognizing her path-breaking work in race relations and leadership in higher education. “We are privileged to present this award to you for your exceptional career as a scientist, author, administrator, thought leader and committed social justice advocate,” APA President Nadine Kaslow, PhD, said as she presented the award to Tatum during APA’s 122nd Annual Convention.

An APA fellow, Tatum was appointed by President Obama as a member of the advisory board for the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. She also serves on the boards of the Institute for International Education, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and Teach for America. President of Spelman College since 2002, Tatum led the historically black college for women to become one of the nation’s top 100 liberal arts colleges in the 2014 U.S. News Best Colleges rankings.

“You have engaged the very difficult subject of race relations in the United States, and the impact of such an environment on identity development for African-Americans,” Kaslow said, citing Tatum’s work as author of several books, including “Can We Talk About Race? And Other Conversations in an Era of School Resegregation,” “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations about Race” and “Assimilation Blues: Black Families in a White Community.”

"As a graduate student at the University of Michigan, I was the recipient of an APA Minority Fellowship, an award that helped me complete my PhD and do the research that launched my career,” Tatum said. “I never imagined then that I would receive such a distinguished award as this one from my fellow psychologists. I am tremendously honored by it, and gratified that the work I have done over these years has proved to be a great return on the initial investment that APA made in me. I will always be grateful for that, and will be inspired daily by this recognition, knowing that I still have more work to do.”

Tatum’s previous honors include the Brock International Prize in Education in 2005 and the Carnegie Academic Leadership Award in 2013.

Session 1371: Opening Session: “Outstanding Lifetime Contributions To Psychology Awardee,” Thursday, 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Level Three, Ballroom, Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Pl., NW, Washington, D.C.

The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA's membership includes nearly 130,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people's lives.