Dr. Julie Koch, head of the School of Community Health Sciences, Counseling and Counseling Psychology in the Oklahoma State University College of Education and Human Sciences, has been elected as an American Psychological Association (APA) Fellow, an honor recognizing significant impact in the field of psychology at the national level. Her fellowship status will begin Jan. 1, 2021.
Koch has been involved with APA at numerous levels. She was an APA representative to the International Psychology Network for LGBTI Issues, recently started a Special Interest Group on Higher Education Leadership in the Society for Counseling Psychology and serves on the Committee for Women in Psychology.
“I strive to be an agent of social justice through my research and scholarship, teaching and training, practice and service, all of which are interconnected,” Koch said. “To be recognized for this kind of work is humbling and gratifying. It feels like, ‘Wow, maybe I am making a little difference in the world.’’’
In 2015, Koch established a crisis hotline in Mongolia and provided training to medical and law enforcement professionals on LGBT-affirmative practices as a Fulbright Specialist. In 2018, she traveled to China to train mental health professionals on LGBT-affirmative practices. At home on OSU’s Stillwater campus, Koch mentors counseling psychology graduate teaching assistants and launched a junior faculty writing group for new faculty members to lead monthly brainstorming sessions and discuss current projects.
Koch also worked with the Provost’s office to start a new “Academic Unit Heads Network,” providing opportunities for department and school heads to gather for monthly sessions sharing strategies and building community at OSU.
One of her former graduate students, Dr. Douglas Knutson, is now an assistant professor in OSU’s School of Community Health Sciences, Counseling and Counseling Psychology. While working with Koch over the years, he has seen first-hand her commitment to social justice.
“Her passion for marginalized communities and her commitment to academic excellence are huge assets to her college and to the university more broadly,” Knutson said. “As one of her former students, I witnessed firsthand what an incredible mentor and advocate she is.”
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