Dr. Lawrence Houston was a founding member of NJABPsi, and a widely published Rutgers University professor. His interests included minority academic achievement, behavior therapy, and the assessment of racism. The NJABPsi Scholarship Fund was named in his honor.
Ms. Prempeh was selected unanimously by the NJABPsi's Executive Committee. NJABPsi President, Dr. James Walker Jr., endorsed Ms. Prempeh as, “a future mental health trendsetter and advocate for persons-of-color within our larger community.”
Ms. Barbara Prempeh's professional experiences at her level of training are exceptional. She is currently a Psy.D. candidate in the Clinical and School Psychology Doctoral Program at Kean University in Union, NJ. Ms. Prempeh already has a Masters degree in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and a Masters degree in Educational Psychology from Kean University. Additionally, Ms. Prempeh provides part time services as a clinician at Kean University's Psychological Services, and is a screener at Somerset County Psychiatric Emergency Screening Services in Somerville, NJ.
Ms. Prempeh has taught psychology courses at Kean University and Essex County College as an adjunct professor. Her varied research interests focus on issues that adversely impact people of color.
Ms. Prempeh has presented her research findings at local and national conferences, where topics have included bullying, body image and obesity among Black college students, intimate partner violence, and aggressive song lyrics.
Even as a busy graduate student Ms. Prempeh found the time to volunteer on the Juvenile Conference Committee of the New Jersey Court Division for three years. She holds three training certifications, and has been honored previously for her academic achievements.
Ms. Prempeh's ultimate career goal focuses in
two directions. She aspires to serve as, “the Director of the
Juvenile Justice Commission to help create more programs that reduce
recidivism rates, especially for minorities,” and “to continue teaching,
no matter what.”
Ms. Prempeh shared that in part both of these missions are “to engage and rehabilitate teenagers, especially those diagnosed with a Conduct Disorder.”
As the middle of three siblings, Ms. Prempeh stated that, she was drawn into the field of psychology, “when my younger brother was diagnosed with Autism, (coupled with) my desire to help those with mental illness.”
She joined NJABPsi as a student member because of the programs offered by the organization.
Ms. Prempeh also was influenced by one of her mentors, Professor Matthew B. Johnson, to become active in NJABPsi. She said she was surprised to be nominated for the scholarship award, but “mostly honored” to have received it.
The National Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi) was founded in San Francisco in 1968 by a group of Black psychologists from throughout the United States. They united to actively address serious issues facing members of their profession and the larger black community.
The Association of Black Psychologists has grown into an independent, autonomous organization of more than 1,400 members with chapters nationwide. The New Jersey Chapter, NJABPsi, was founded in 1973. It awards the Dr. Lawrence Houston Scholarship to its outstanding student members annually.
-New Jersey Association of Black Psychologists