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APHD Professor Lana Stermac Receives Prestigious Award from the CPA’s Section on Women and Psychology

October 10, 2018

Lana Stermac, 2018

Congratulations to Professor Lana Stermac, who has received the 2018 Distinguished Member Award of the Section on Women and Psychology (SWAP) of the Canadian Psychological Association. This award is presented annually to a SWAP member who has made distinguished, long-standing, and substantial contributions that pertain to women, gender, or related issues, in the areas of teaching, research, and/or practice.

Dr. Stermac’s research focuses on the causes, prevention, and intervention of sexual violence and the impact of this on women’s mental health and education. Her current work is about the impacts of sexual violence and harassment on women’s postsecondary education.

“I was extremely pleased to receive this award as an acknowledgement of longstanding contributions to women’s issues, and specifically to the understanding and prevention of violence against women,” says Stermac.

We spoke to Dr. Stermac about this area of study and to learn more about her impactful research.

How did you get into this area of research?

Through many years of clinical and research work with women who have survived sexual violence, it was apparent that the impacts of this violence were very wide-ranging and included their entire educational and academic careers.

Can you talk a bit about the importance of this field of research? 

I think this work so important because it touches on so many women’s lives. We have known about the effects of sexual violence on mental and physical health, however in the past decade we have seen clearly the effects of this on women’s education as well. It is a very important field of work that has become very visible beyond the academy and I would encourage students to pursue applied research and policy development in this area. 

How has this field developed in recent years?

The examination of sexual violence within educational institutions has had increased focus over the past decade, and there is a significant body of research in this area now. The focus of this research shifts as we accumulate new knowledge, for example from examining the prevalence and incidence of sexual violence to assessing and evaluating prevention and intervention programs.

Are you supervising any students who are studying in this area?

Several of my students are working in the area of sexual violence, and we have recently published some results of our last large study. We present our research at both academic conferences and community forums on a regular basis.

To learn more about the SWAP Distinguished Member Award, please see the Canadian Psychological Association SWAP website.