Professor recognized as rising star

Assistant Professor of Psychology Nadine Nakamura is a recent recipient of the Rising Star Award from the National Multicultural Conference and Summit. The conference took place in January in Portland, Oregon, where she was awarded for her body of work in multicultural research. Nakamura is currently working on another research project involving LGBT immigrants. / photo by Kathleen Arellano
Assistant Professor of Psychology Nadine Nakamura is a recent recipient of the Rising Star Award from the National Multicultural Conference and Summit. The conference took place in January in Portland, Oregon, where she was awarded for her body of work in multicultural research. Nakamura is currently working on another research project involving LGBT immigrants. / photo by Kathleen Arellano

Brooke Grasso
Editor in Chief

Assistant Professor of Psychology Nadine Nakamura received the Rising Star award at the National Multicultural Conference and Summit in January for her dedication and research in multicultural psychology.

The conference, which takes place every two years, presents the Rising Star award to someone in their early career who has shown commitment to the principles of multicultural psychology.

“It is a huge honor to be recognized at a conference that I feel really embodies the work that I do and the passion that I have for the field,” Nakamura said.

Born in Stockholm, Sweden, Nakamura moved to the United States when she was 7 years old.

She said when she was in second grade she could see how radically different her new environment was and that is what initially made sparked her interest in learning how to understand different people and different cultures.

“That really gave me a lens to look at the world through, from a pretty young age,” Nakamura said.

“It is what contributed to me being where I am today.”

Nakamura came to the University of La Verne in 2011 after doing postdoctoral research in Canada and has since participated in many publications in the areas of LGBT immigration. She was also on the American Psychological Association’s Presidential Task Force on immigration.

Graduate psychology student Ashley Peak has Nakamura as a professor and also participates in her research lab.

Peak attended the conference with Nakamura when she received the award and said it was well deserved because of her commitment to multicultural problems and advocacy for various minority populations on campus.

“Lately she has been very present on campus trying to protect students who are immigrants,” Peak said.

Peak said that Nakamura also brings her experience to class and teaches her students how to apply what they learn in class to what is currently going on in the world.

Graduate psychology student Samantha LaMartine is in Nakamura’s multicultural psychology class and said that she has learned a lot from Nakamura because she embodies multiculturalism and always “practices what she preaches.”

“The biggest thing I learned in her class is to always understand and conceptualize people from a multicultural lens, because our different identities impact us and make us who we are,” LaMartine said.

Program chair and director, Jerry Kernes, wrote Nakamura a letter of recommendation for the award and agrees that while her classes are challenging, the students enjoy and benefit from them.

“She is passionate about issues of equality, social justice, multiculturalism and diversity, and her passion is very visible for these issues,” Kernes said.

Brooke Grasso can be reached at brooke.grasso@laverne.edu.

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