The Wayne J. Katon Outstanding Mentor Award recognizes a faculty member who demonstrates sustained commitment to the creative, scholarly, professional and personal development of research mentees. The award honors Wayne Katon, MD, a gifted and dedicated mentor who supervised medical students, psychiatry residents, research fellows and junior faculty across several departments, many of whom have become principal investigators of their own grant funded research programs. He directed an NIH-funded T-32 Fellowship Program in Primary Care Psychiatry for over 25 years that produced more than 30 successful researchers at the interface of medicine and psychiatry, including many members of our department. The award is funded by the Wayne Katon Memorial Fund for Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Faculty Development. This year, the award was given to Tracy Simpson, PhD.
There was a terrific nomination packet submitted on Dr. Simpson’s behalf from a large group of colleagues and mentees which detailed a remarkable generosity and investment in her mentees. The selection committee was very impressed with Dr. Simpson’s track record of mentoring a diverse group of faculty and trainees. Her commitment to developing the next generation of researchers in alcohol use disorders, PTSD and Veterans’ mental health was very clear. An excerpt from her nomination packet states, “She is one of those rare mentors who, behind closed doors and when no credit can be given, consistently puts in the extra effort to support the growth and success of her mentees. I can say without hesitation that even among mentor superstars, Dr. Simpson is truly exceptional.” Dr. Simpson has previously received the Exceptional Psychology Mentorship/Leadership Award by the VA Puget Sound Health Care System and the Outstanding Mentor Award by the American Psychological Association.
Past recipients of the award include Raphe Bernier, PhD, Mary Larimer, PhD, Kathleen Myers, PhD, Christine Lee, PhD, and Patricia Areán, PhD. We also congratulate this year’s other nominees Michele Bedard-Gilligan, PhD and John Fortney, PhD.