Dr. Kingsley Chigbu, assistant professor in the Morrison Family College of Health’s School of Social Work, received the 2023 Excellence in Socio-Psychological Assessment Award at the African Mental Health Summit on July 15. The award was in recognition of Chigbu’s outstanding contributions to the field of mental health in service of the African community in the U.S.
“St. Thomas has a long-standing commitment to community-engaged scholarship, and this work, for which Dr. Chigbu is being recognized, is such a good example and expression of this ideal,” said Dr. David Roseborough, associate professor in the School of Social Work.
The award was presented by Progressive Individual Resources, Inc. and Restoration for All, Inc., two groups with which Chigbu has developed specialized trainings for teachers, mental health practitioners, and other stakeholders on ways to accurately assess, diagnose, and educate African immigrants.
Chigbu, who is part of the Igbo Tribe in southeastern Nigeria, has focused his scholarship on the U.S. and Nigeria. He examines mental illness and its correlates, particularly violence, crime, poverty, and other human vulnerabilities, and how education can serve as an important tool to mitigate these problems. He is actively engaged in teaching, supervising, and mentoring doctoral social work students in completing their academic and research work.
“We are so proud of this recognition and the contributions Dr. Chigbu has made to the profession of social work, the community and the academic environment,” said Dr. Catherine Marrs Fuchsel, director of the Doctorate of Social Work (DSW) program.
Chigbu also delivered a plenary presentation at the African Mental Health Summit on July 14, “Cognitive, Affective, and Psychomotor Warming in the African Mental Health Ecosystem in Minnesota: A Personal and Collective Model for Prevention and Mitigation.” His presentation examined how these learning domains have evolved in relation preventing violence within the African community in Minnesota.
“I am thankful for this recognition,” Chigbu said. “I am also thankful for everyone who has played a role in supporting my work through these years. I look forward to offering more.”