A team led by Alison Cerezo wins best paper award for 2020 in Psychology of Women Quarterly

Tuesday, October 6, 2020
Alison Cerezo

Alison Cerezo of UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School—along with her former students at San Francisco State Mariah Cummings, Meredith Holmes, and Chelsey Williams—are the recipients of the 2021 Georgia Babladelis Best Paper Award for their paper titled “Identity as Resistance: Exploring Identity Formation in Latinx and Black Sexual Minority, Gender Expansive Women,” published in Psychology of Women Quarterly (PWQ), March 2020. 

The paper was a qualitative study with a community sample of 20 Black and Latina sexual minority women, including six participants that identified as both women and non-binary. The goal of the study was to learn how participants formed an understanding of their sense of self and place in the world related to race, gender and sexual orientation. In the end, the researchers found that the ongoing marginalization and exclusion participants experienced in several areas of their lives informed an identity consciousness that was rooted in resistance and advocacy.

Cerezo’s student co-authors were part of an SF-BUILD (Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity) grant thru NHLBI/NIH to connect underrepresented undergraduate students at San Francisco State to scientific research careers.

Established by the American Psychological Association Society for the Psychology of Women (Division 35) in 2010, the award is named in honor of PWQ’s founding editor, Georgia Babladelis, and recognizes a single study published in each volume of PWQ for the outstanding contribution it makes to the field of the psychology of women. Criteria for the award includes: (a) theoretical significance/scientific importance, (b) practical relevance and utility, and (c) understudied or unique sample or topic. The award will be presented at the 2021 Society for Psychology of Women Award ceremony, which will occur during the 2021 American Psychological Association convention.

Alison Cerezo is an Assistant Professor of Counseling Psychology in the Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Women & Gender Studies (double majors) from UC Los Angeles; M.A. degree in Psychology, Research Emphasis from CSU Los Angeles; and Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Oregon. Prior to joining the faculty at UCSB, Dr. Cerezo was an Associate Professor in the Department of Counseling, College of Health and Social Sciences, San Francisco State University where she coordinated the College Student Personnel Counseling Specialization (2013-2018) and served as Affiliate Faculty with the Health Equity Institute.

Dr. Cerezo’s primary line of research centers on reducing social and health disparities for sexual and gender diverse communities. Most recently, her work has focused on the links between stigma, discrimination and alcohol misuse and alcohol risk behaviors in sexual minority women. She is also interested in reducing barriers to mental health treatment for this community. Dr. Cerezo uses qualitative, quantitative and mixed methodologies and has carried out research on sexual and gender diverse communities in the U.S. and Mexico.

Dr. Cerezo’s scholarly work is rooted in an intersectional and critical race theory perspective—always cognizant of the ways systems of power impact health outcomes and can thus be changed to better serve underserved communities.

[Alison Cerezo is available for interviews; contact George Yatchisin at george@education.ucsb.edu]