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2021 Champion of Diversity Presented to Dr. Katherine Nguyen Williams

Katherine Nguyen Williams, Ph.D., was selected as the recipient of the Faculty Champion of Diversity Award for 2021. She is an HS Clinical Professor in our Department and provides clinical services and training in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Rady Children’s Hospital. Dr. Nguyen Williams was chosen for this award given her commitment to diversity that is woven throughout her career, including her activism and work with low-income, culturally and racially diverse families in San Diego. She specializes in working with children and adolescents with severe psychopathology from multicultural backgrounds. In addition, Katherine is a bilingual/bicultural Vietnamese-American clinician and provides assessment and therapy in Vietnamese to low-income Vietnamese families. Dr. Nguyen Williams has developed and participated in several clinical programs that serve diverse communities both within and well-beyond San Diego, including an autism assessment program and a pediatric anxiety and OCD program. She is also involved in research and volunteer work that promotes anti-racism, empathy, and compassion. She has provided parenting and mental health awareness seminars to low SES, immigrant, and refugee families and diverse college students. Katherine is also a member of the Chair’s Committee on Diversity Issues and has served in important ways, including recently providing support to a group of Spanish-speaking parents who were dealing with their children’s anxieties about returning to school during the pandemic. She has served as co-trainer for UCSD's Unconscious Bias Training Team, including conducting trainings for Rady Children's Developmental Services. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Nguyen Williams hosted online community discussions about mental health issues caused by racism and social injustices, and in her Psychology Today parenting blog she has highlighted important topics, such as how to talk to kids about race and racism, supporting transgender youth during the pandemic, and sharing her own story as a refugee during the Vietnam War. Her nominator has expressed that “Dr. Nguyen Williams is a true Champion of Diversity throughout every aspect of her clinical work, community outreach, and volunteering over many years.”