January 15, 2008
For immediate release
UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School is saddened to announce that emeritus professor Donald Ray Atkinson, Ph.D., passed away on January 11, 2008 at home after a long and courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday January 26 at 10:30 am in the Chapel the Santa Barbara Cemetery (901 Channel Drive). Donations may be made to the Donald Atkinson Diversity Enhancement Fund/UCSB Foundation (805-893-5994), the Jessie Hopkins Hinchee Foundation (805-967-7777), or the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, or the Baraboo Community Scholarship Corporation (608-355-5226).
Atkinson was hired in 1972 by UC Santa Barbara as a Professor of Counseling Psychology in the Graduate School of Education. He served as Assistant Dean of the Department of Education from 1975 to 1979, and he was the Director of Training for the Counseling Psychology Program from 1979 until 1989, when he stepped down because of his dedication to teaching, mentoring, and conducting research. He was given the title Professor Emeritus when he retired from UCSB in 2002.
Atkinson was a pioneer in the area of multicultural counseling psychology, pursuing scholarship in the field before it was mandatory or fashionable. He mentored a large number of doctoral students from underrepresented groups into the field of counseling psychology. His students were his greatest pride in his life’s work. Far beyond his individual accomplishments, which were many, he viewed his own success through the achievements of his students.
Atkinson is the author of Counseling American Minorities, now in its sixth edition and considered a classic in the field; Counseling Diverse Populations, now in its third edition; and Counseling across the Lifespan. He published over 100 journal articles.
His notable and numerous contributions in the field of multicultural counseling garnered considerable professional recognition, including Fellow status in the American Psychological Association (APA) (1990), the University of Wisconsin, Madison Alumni Achievement Award (1993), the Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues Distinguished Career Contributions to Research Award (2001), an APA Presidential Citation and recognition as an honored Elder at the National Multicultural Conference and Summit (2005). Also in 2005, he received the Leona Tyler Award, the highest form of recognition by the Society of Counseling Psychology for his “fearless dedication” and devotion to the field of multicultural counseling.
Atkinson graduated from Baraboo (Wisconsin) High School in 1958, after which he served in the Navy for two years. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Wisconsin State College, La Crosse in 1964, where he was a member of the Phi Sigma Epsilon Fraternity and was awarded a varsity letter in gymnastics. He earned a masters in Counseling Psychology from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee in 1966, and earned his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1970.
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