University faculty member is nationally known for her work on body image interventions, eating disorders, and PTSD
by Susie P Gonzalez
Trinity University psychologist Carolyn Black Becker has been named a Piper Professor in recognition of her outstanding academic, scientific, and scholarly achievement and for dedication to the teaching profession.
She is one of only 10 Piper Professors chosen this year in Texas.
Becker is a professor and licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in the implementation of body image interventions as well as the treatment and prevention of eating disorders and PTSD.
She also is co-director of the Body Project Collaborative, which she co-founded to support dissemination of the cognitive dissonance-based Body Project intervention. The primary focus of Becker’s teaching, research, and clinical work is the implementation of scientifically supported prevention and treatment interventions in clinical and real world settings.
Deneese L. Jones, vice president of Academic Affairs at Trinity, nominated Becker for the professorship. “Dr. Becker is the epitome of excellence in teaching as she prepares our graduates to pursue lives of meaning and purpose with an attitude to give back to their communities,” Jones said. “I am extremely pleased that Dr. Becker has been chosen; she masterfully models our aspiration as an institution that will redefine liberal education for the 21st century.”
Becker is the author of numerous peer-reviewed journal articles. She also co-authored Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for PTSD: A Case Formulation Approach published by Guilford Press. As a mentor, Becker strives to provide publishing opportunities for her students, with 26 of her Trinity undergraduate research assistants earning co-authorship on publications over the past decade.
Since 2007, Becker has conducted eating disorder prevention research with female athletes funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. She is considered a leader in the implementation of peer-led prevention programs, and she and her undergraduate students pioneered a blended task-shifting/train-the-trainers approach to scaling the Body Project. This approach to delivery of the Body Project is now used by over 100 universities in North America, as well as numerous non-profit partner organizations around the globe.
Becker is a Fellow of the Academy of Eating Disorders and the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. She is a past president of the Academy of Eating Disorders, and a past associate editor of Behaviour Research and Therapy. In 2009, she was a co-recipient of the AED’s Research-Practice Partnership Award for her work in disseminating the Body Project in partnership with sororities.
Becker also was the 2009 recipient of the Lori Irving Award for Excellence in Eating Disorders Prevention and Awareness granted by the National Eating Disorders Association, and was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University from 2011-2012. In 2012, she received the Z.T. Scott Faculty Fellowship award for outstanding teaching and advising at Trinity University. She credits much of her success to her students, noting that they have likely taught her more then she has taught them.
Organized in 1950, the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation is a non-profit, charitable corporation focused on postsecondary education in Texas. Each year, the foundation selects 10 Piper Professors from across Texas for their superior teaching at the college level. In determining the recipients, the Foundation also considers research, publication, and related activity.
Susie P. Gonzalez, senior manager of public relations, can be reached at susie.gonzalez [at] trinity.edu or @susiegonz.