Former dean honored with prestigious award

Former dean honored with prestigious award

Photo credit: Evan Garcia 
By Barbara Gutierrez

Photo credit: Evan Garcia 

Former dean honored with prestigious award

By Barbara Gutierrez
The Seymour B. Sarason award recognizes those who promote creating a sense of community and fairness to promote wellness.

In his role as dean of the University of Miami School of Education and Human Development (SEHD), Isaac Prilleltensky established a culture where integrating educational, psychological, and physical well-being into formal education was paramount.

Former dean Prilleltensky, who is vice provost for Institutional Culture and Professor of Educational and Psychological Studies, was recognized by the Division of Community Psychology of the American Psychological Association with the Seymour B. Sarason Award for his creative and visionary work.

The award is given annually to a scholar who follows the principles held by Seymour B. Sarason, an eminent psychologist at Yale University and one of the founders of the field of community psychology. Saranson believed that educators needed to create a sense of belonging in communities, and that they must advocate for fairness to promote wellness.

“He was a moral force in psychology, pushing the field to consider how social forces impact mental health and well-being,” said Prilleltensky.

 “It is a great honor to be associated with that legacy. I knew Seymour personally and I consider him an intellectual mentor.”

As an awardee, Prilleltensky will give an address at the Biennial conference, where he will receive the award. The conference will be held in Chicago in late June.

Prilleltensky believes in creating settings where fairness can augment wellness. He also believes in using humor to promote well-being. He has published three books on the subject: “The Laughing Guide to Well-Being,” published in 2016 teaches the reader how to use humor and science to become happier and healthier. His second book, “The Laughing Guide to Change,” and third, “The Laughing Guide to a Better Life,” focus on various drivers of change, including behaviors, emotions and thoughts. He has also conducted Randomized Controlled Trials of an innovative intervention to foster well-being: Fun for Wellness.