When Matthew Price (Ph.D. ’11) arrived at the University of Vermont (UVM) to start a new teaching position, he was surprised to see a prominently displayed portrait of a man whose research he had long admired.
“I walked in and thought, ‘Why is there a picture of George Albee hanging on the wall?’” Price recounted. “I knew who he was, but I didn’t know why his photo would be hanging on the wall.”
George W. Albee was a pioneer in the development of community psychology, a branch of psychology that focuses on the social implications of mental health and social justice-related issues. He served as president of the American Psychological Association and was a professor of psychology at the University of Vermont for 30 years.
So, when it was announced that UVM was creating an endowed professorship in Albee’s name, Price was honored to be appointed as the George W. Albee Green & Gold Professorship in Psychological Science. The professorship is awarded to a faculty member in the department whose own research aligns with Albee’s commitment to social justice, prevention, and the expansion of mental health care to marginalized populations.
Price’s research focuses on strategies to increase the availabilities of clinical care for victims of traumatic events and those who suffer from anxiety disorders and depression.
“A big component of the clinical psychology program [at Georgia State] was social justice. It was threaded throughout the whole program, and that’s part of what drew me to Georgia State for graduate school,” Price said.
“[Social justice] was never something that you felt you had to seek out or wonder about,” he said. “it was a part of every class, and I’ve really come to appreciate how important that approach is because it prepares you to understand your students better and instill that mindset into your students, and it helps you to understand that sometimes you have to meet people where they are.”
Price also noted the significance of the program’s flexibility when it came to allowing students to customize their coursework to best align with their research interests.
“Georgia State has a community psychology doctoral program, as well as a joint program between clinical and community psychology, so I was really impressed by the way they allowed us to be exposed to, work with and learn from these people who are getting a degree in a related field,” Price said. “We were really encouraged to learn from each other which was really wonderful, and I think it contributed to allowing me to be where I am professionally.”
That’s something he has tried to take with him as he continues to navigate his own role in mentoring students and teaching.
“At the time, I didn’t realize how unique of an opportunity it was to learn about so many different facets of psychology, I just thought that this is what a training program is like. But now that I’ve had a chance to be in other programs and meet people who went through other programs, I realize just how special the clinical psychology program at Georgia State actually is.”