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Edward A. Dickson Emeritus Professorship Award Recipients 2021-22



Academic Personnel Office


To: Administrative Officers, Deans, Department Chairs, Directors, Faculty, Emeriti Faculty, Vice Chancellors and Vice Provosts

The Dickson Emeritus Professorship Award is funded from a gift endowment established by the late Edward A. Dickson, Regent of the University of California, to honor outstanding research, scholarly work, teaching, and service performed by an Emeritus or Emerita Professor since retirement.

Three UCLA emeriti professors have been selected to receive the 2021 – 2022 Edward A. Dickson Emeritus Professorship Award, which includes a prize of $5,000: Distinguished Research Professor Andrew Christensen, Distinguished Professor Emeritus Brian Copenhaver, and Distinguished Research Professor Roger Detels.

Andrew Christensen, Distinguished Research Professor of Psychology retired in 2014 and is most widely known for developing an intervention for couples called Integrative Behavioral Couple Therapy (IBCT). Conducting clinical trials documenting the effectiveness of that approach, IBCT is the largest and longest RCT of couple therapy. Since retirement, Dr. Christensen has continued to focus on the research and dissemination of IBCT so that his treatment methodology can assist populations in the United States that previously have not had access to such effective therapy. Prior to his retirement, the Veteran’s Administration (VA) selected IBCT as its intervention to support military veterans and their families. Each year Dr. Christensen provides multi-day workshops to teach therapists in the VA system about IBCT, meeting every other week with a core group of IBCT consultants who supervise these therapists as they implement IBCT with couples in their home facility, and providing additional, special topics workshops for therapists as they implement couple therapy in the VA. He has continued attracting federal support to further examine the outcomes of this approach. Dr. Christensen’s scholarly work is recognized nationally and internationally, and in the years since retirement, he has given many invited talks and workshops, published numerous articles and book chapters, as well as published an update to his Integrative Behavioral Couple Therapy: A Therapist’s Guide to Creating Acceptance and Change (Christensen, Doss, & Jacobson, 2020). On a recall basis, he has taught his popular Marital Therapy graduate seminar four times in clinical psychology. He has continued to supervise graduate students in clinical psychology as these students see couples in the within-department psychology clinic. In 2016, he was recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the California Psychological Association. In short, Dr. Christensen’s work, before and after retirement, has had a dramatic impact on the lives of thousands of couples.

Brian Copenhaver, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and History held the Udvar-Hazy Chair of Philosophy and History until his retirement in 2017. Since retirement, Professor Copenhaver has been exceptionally active and continues to enrich scholarship and impact his field. He is considered the world’s leading expert on the history of magic and his works reveal its role in the understanding of Renaissance thought and the rise of early modern science. During this less than five-year period he has published four substantial books with a fifth ready for the press. For example, his Magic and the Dignity of Man: Pico della Mirandola and His Oration in Modern Memory (Harvard University Press, 2019), an enormous volume, is a major piece of scholarship explaining the connection of Pico’s Oration with later philosophical traditions of human dignity, in particular Kantian tradition, Hagelian idealism, and twentieth century existential philosophy. The work has received much acclaim in scholarly reviews, is the subject of a very favorable review in the New York Review of Books, and was the subject of an author meets critics session at the Pacific meeting of the American Philosophical Association in April 2021. Additionally, he published five book chapters and articles, and has five works in progress. Professor Copenhaver continued teaching, and has been involved with his online undergraduate course, Phil 3, as well as regularly co-teaching the Philosophy 206 graduate course. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; past President of the Journal of the History of Philosophy; a member of the Council of the Istituto Nazionale di Studi sul Rinascimento in Italy; and the editor of the prestigious journal, History of Philosophy Quarterly.

Roger Detels, Distinguished Research Professor of Epidemiology retired in 2019. Since retirement, Dr. Detels continues to be actively engaged in research, receiving a total of $31 million in research funds as the PI for his HIV/AIDS research with the MACS/WIHS Combined Cohort Study. Post-retirement, Dr. Detels remains among one of the best funded and most active professors at UCLA. He has published twenty-eight peer-reviewed scientific research articles and five book chapters on HIV/AIDS and is a senior editor on the seventh edition of the three volume Oxford Textbook of Global Public Health (Oxford University Press, 2021. Dr. Detels serves as a peer reviewer to several journals. His research is widely recognized in the field of HIV/AIDS and he continues to maintain high international status as a leading expert on global public health. Dr. Detels carries a considerable teaching load, having taught ten courses since retirement, including a course on contemporary health issues (PH150) with more than 350 students. He has been continuing to mentor Ph.D. students and the training of health professionals. The exceptional accomplishments of his trainees are a testament not only to the hard work and determination of his students, but also to Dr. Detels as a distinguished teacher, educator, mentor, and collaborator. He organized an international workshop on Research Methods in Guangzhou, China in December 2019 and delivered the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health’s 47th Annual Lester Breslow Distinguished Lecture on "Recognizing Opportunities," February 9, 2022. Dr. Detels currently serves on seven university committees, is exceptional in every aspect of his career, with outstanding performance in teaching, research, and community service.


Please join me in wishing them all well-deserved congratulations for outstanding contributions to their respective fields since retirement and for serving as powerful examples of intellectual and professional achievement.


Kathleen L. Komar
Interim Vice Provost
Academic Personnel