James Mikawa Award

This award honors a psychologist whose work is outstanding in the field.  The outstanding work may be in the area of providing professional services or research. The namesake for this award is past UNR professor James Mikawa, who was with the Department of Psychology for 27 years serving in many administrative positions, including chair of the department. The one area James Mikawa most valued was mentoring and teaching students.

2021 James Mikawa Award Winner

Claudia Mejia, Ph.D. was recognized for her outstanding contribution to psychology. As the Director of the Social Behavioral Health Intervention Services Team at Volunteers in Medicine of Southern Nevada (VMSN), Dr. Mejia been instrumental in promoting and implementing comprehensive, integrated care for uninsured patients. She is one of a few psychologists in Nevada who practices in a primary care setting, collaborating with multiple health disciplines. Dr. Mejia was recently recognized by VMSN and the National Hockey League (NHL) as being a First Star of the Week:


"Dr. Mejia specializes in health intervention services with the mission of providing quality healthcare and support to Southern Nevadans in low-income communities. Just days after the state's COVID-19 restrictions commenced, Dr. Mejia was on the phone connecting with the community's most vulnerable patients.


As you understood the importance of each patient's health and well-being, you and your team worked around the clock to create resource guides, coordinate rideshares to appointments, work with the volunteer and pharmacy departments for prescription deliveries, and collaborate with the medical and operations teams to get a telemedicine program off the ground. Since providing telemedicine services, you have been able to reach even more people in the community who are considered high-risk individuals.


You also showed an extra level of compassion over the holiday season by providing essential items to more than 200 patients and their family members - and is continuing to distribute these items to assist even more of those in-need."


2020 James Mikawa Award Winner
Lewis Etcoff, Ph.D. was recognized for his efforts with children and their families, educating, training and providing opportunities to legions of pre docs, post docs and early career psychologists and your work educating attorneys and judges in order to bring clinical wisdom and compassion to our system of justice. James Mikawa gave the art and science of psychology away to as many individuals, families, organizations and institutions as possible. NPA feels that Dr. Etcoff not only embrace Dr. Mikawa’s values and legacy, he has also embodied them over the course of a long and successful career.

2019 James Mikawa Award Winner
Sara Hunt, Ph.D. was recognized for her efforts to ensure that the UNLV School of Medicine conceptualizes mental health as a priority as they develop their practice plan. Dr. Hunt's integrated healthcare experience, teaching, and leadership are changing the way that healthcare is delivered in Nevada. As a psychologist in a position of leadership, Dr. Hunt has major influence on the status of our profession within the healthcare system. During her term as Assistant Dean, Dr. Hunt has been mapping how healthcare policy is developed and implemented throughout Nevada. It is not an overstatement that Dr. Hunt may be the psychologist with the most intricate understanding of all the mental and behavioral health coalitions, consortium, commissions and boards in Nevada. Dr. Hunt frequently attends all these meetings and advocate for psychology. Her current work at The Lincy Institute as the Director of the UNLV Mental and Behavioral Health coalition is focused on improving the mental and behavioral health workforce shortage in Nevada with a focus on training students on an integrated approach to providing health care. During her time at Lincy, Dr. Hunt organized the Nevada Statewide Mental Health Workforce Development Forum which brought together stakeholders across the state for a guided solution-based discussion on strategies to develop a mental health workforce plan. Dr. Hunt's efforts have greatly contributed to the volume and quality of mental and behavioral healthcare providers in Nevada.

2018 Noelle Lefforge, Ph.D.
2017 Bradley Donohue, Ph.D.
2016 Richard Baldo, Ph.D.
2015 Marta Meana, Ph.D.
2014 Martha Mahaffey, Ph.D.
2013 Daniel, Allen, Ph.D.
2012 John Friel, Ph.D.
2011 Jerry Nims, Ph.D.
2010 Alan Fruzzetti, Ph.D.
2009 Michelle Carro, Ph.D.
2008 Victoria Follette, Ph.D. and Jacqueline Pistorello, Ph.D.
2007 Stephanie Holland, Ph.D.
2006 Steven Hayes, Ph.D.
2005 Martin Gutride, Ph.D.
2004 Elizabeth Neighbors, Ph.D.
2003 Judy Phoenix, Ph.D.
2002 Steven Graybar, Ph.D.
2001 William Danton, Ph.D.