Dr. Fred Bemak, (Ed.D. 1975), professor in the College of Education and Human Development at George Mason University, has been honored by the American Counseling Association as winner of the Gilbert and Kathleen Wrenn Award for a Humanitarian and Caring Person. The Wrenn Award honors an ACA member who gives to others without fanfare or expectation of reward other than the personal satisfaction of seeing other people made happier.
Bemak is the founder and director of the Diversity Research Action Center. He has directed federal, state, and privately funded human services programs and has provided consultation, training, and research with culturally diverse populations and public and private human services organizations locally, nationally, and internationally. Bemak has published extensively in the fields of cross-cultural and multicultural psychology and counseling, social justice, working with at-risk youth, and immigrant and refugee mental health and psychosocial adjustment. He co-authored “Social Justice Counseling: The Next Steps Beyond Multiculturalism in Application, Theory, with Dr. Rita Chi-Ying Chung, and “Counseling Refugees: A Psychosocial Approach to Innovative Multicultural Interventions” with Chi-Ying Chung and Paul Pedersen.
Bemak was the program evaluator for a six-country cross-border child trafficking program in Asia, consultant for several years with Save the Children, UK, in Burma, and currently is doing ongoing consultation and training with Invisible Children in Uganda. He founded Counselors Without Borders to respond to worldwide disasters and has brought teams to provide counseling, training, and consultation following Hurricane Katrina, the San Diego wildfires, and the Haiti earthquake. He has been a Fulbright Scholar in Brazil, a Fulbright Specialist in Scotland, a World Rehabilitation Fund International Fellow in India, a Kellogg International Fellow in Latin America and the Caribbean, and has held faculty appointments at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil and the University of Queensland in Australia.
He is active in ACA and the American Psychological Association. Founded in 1952 and headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, the American Counseling Association is the world’s largest private, not-for-profit organization for professional counselors.