2016 Winners: Joseph E. Trimble & Trula Nicholas

Joseph E. Trimble
Professor, Department of Psychology and Woodring College of Education

Joseph E. Trimble

Joseph Trimble holds multiple academic appointments at Western. He is a Distinguished University Professor and Professor of Psychology and Professor in the Woodring College of Education. He is also a President’s Professor at the Center for Alaska Native Health Research at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, former Senior Scholar at the Tri-Ethnic Center for Prevention Research at Colorado State University, and a former Research Associate for the National Center for American Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health Research. For the past 40 years he has served on more than 15 different scientific review panels for the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health.

As a member of Western’s Center for Cross-Cultural Research, Trimble’s research and teaching focuses on multicultural topics in psychology, including mental health and the experiences of indigenous populations, diversity and leadership, and cross-cultural perspectives on health and mental illness. He has authored over 150 publications including 22 books.

In addition to previously receiving Western’s Excellence in Teaching Award, and the Paul J. Olscamp Outstanding Faculty Research Award, Trimble has received numerous regional, national and international recognitions for his contributions to the field, including the Distinguished Psychologist Award from the Washington State Psychological Association, the Peace and Social Justice Award from the American Psychological Association (APA), the International Lifetime Achievement Award, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, the Francis J. Bonner, MD Award, Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of Psychiatry, the Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award, and the Distinguished Elder Award from the APA. He has held leadership offi ces for the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology, and the APA, and is past-President of the Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity, and Race.

Dr. Trimble earned a baccalaureate degree from Waynesburg College and pursued graduate studies in psychology at the University of New Hampshire and Harvard University before earning his PhD at the University of Oklahoma. In addition, he pursued postdoctoral studies at the University of Colorado, Ohio University, and the University of Hawai'i-Manoa, East-West Center in Hawaii.


Trula Nicholas
Associate Professor, Human Services, Department of Health & Community Studies

Trula Nicholas

Dr. Trula Nicholas is Associate Professor of Human Services in the Department of Health and Communities Studies (Woodring College). She completed her undergraduate and master’s degrees at Western Washington University (WWU) where she learned from mentors, such as Dr. Joseph Trimble, about equity and social justice work. Over the years Trula has served on numerous local, state, and national nonprofit boards including the National Organization for Human Services, Washington Nonprofits, the Whatcom Council of Nonprofits and the Whatcom Family and Community Network. At WWU Trula currently serves as chair of the Woodring Faculty Affairs Council, the Faculty Senate Social Justice & Equity Committee, and as secretary for the Faculty Senate. Trula also serves as a mentor for students and colleagues on campus, continuing to deepen her understanding of how to bring the twin lenses of equity and social justice into all of her work. When collaborating with local and statewide nonprofits, community leadership programs, and local neighborhood associations, the echoes of her original learnings about equity and social justice are ever present. Trula’s teaching, scholarship and service is focused on community building and community development, reflecting the understandings originally imparted at Western. Her ongoing work with students and amazing colleagues on the Faculty Senate Social Justice & Equity Committee continues to embody those twin lenses/pillars originally gifted by Dr. Joseph Trimble and others many years ago right here on Western’s campus.


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Page Updated 11.22.2017