The Amy Rappaport-Lo Graduate Student award was established in memory of Amy Rappaport-Lo who had life-long interests in fairness, justice, and the education of children.
Throughout her life, Amy managed to bring together a keen idealism and positive practicality with an intuitive grasp of the humanity we all share. She earned degrees in Education, minoring in Music, as well as an MSW with a specialization in School Social Work from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Amy passed away, too young, in 2017. To honor her life and reward those carrying her torch of kindness and inclusivity, Amy’s parents Arlene and Julian Rappaport, Professor Emeritus widely known for his pioneering work in Community Psychology, created the “Amy Rappaport-Lo Graduate Student Award.”
The Amy Rappaport-Lo Award recognizes graduate students’ contributions to the research, scholarship, teaching and/or intervention for the benefit of people of color.
Andi Lee, a graduate student in the Clinical-Community Psychology division, minoring in Diversity Sciences, is the first graduate student to receive the Rappaport-Lo award. Her research, clinical work, and community engagement is focused on promoting the psychological well-being of People of Color.
Andi’s dissertation project involves the development of a racial-ethnic-cultural (REC) sense of belonging theory and measure for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). She has co-authored a book chapter on decolonizing psychology to uplift historically excluded voices from the BIPOC community and has a paper under review focused on Asian/Asian Americans’ experiences of discrimination during COVID-19.
Andi’s dedication to her work includes engaging in community efforts to benefit BIPOC communities. For example, she discusses BIPOC solidarity, racial healing, and radical hope in podcasts. She participates in national workshops with college students focused on racial healing in partnership with The Steve Fund and has presented at Academics 4 Black Lives and the National Multicultural Conference and Summit.
In addition to her academic accomplishments and community-level efforts, Andi serves as a mentor to more junior students of color within the Clinical-Community Psychology program through the Community Care Collective, which she helped to create in 2020.