Evelyn Lee Visiting Scholar Lectureship in Cultural Competence and Diversity

The annual Evelyn Lee Visiting Scholar Lecture in Cultural Competency and Diversity is sponsored by the UCSF Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Diversity Committee in remembrance of Evelyn Lee, EdD, who served as a clinical faculty member for more than twenty years before her passing in 2003. The lectureship aims to to further her mission of expanding diversity, equity and inclusion in the field of mental health by bringing prominent experts to share their experiences and expertise with campus trainees, faculty, and staff.

The 16th Annual Evelyn Lee Visiting Scholar Lectureship

On October 20, 2020, migrant health expert and University of Massachusetts Boston researcher Carola Suárez-Orozco, PhD, was honored as the 16th Evelyn Lee Visiting Scholar. She met with a variety of UCSF community members at virtual events throughout the day to discuss her work on the impact of the immigrant experience on learning and mental health in children and young adults. She also delivered an hour-long presentation as part of the UCSF Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Grand Rounds series, which is available to watch below.

This year's event was also co-sponsored by the UCSF Department of Neurology, UCSF Health and Human Rights InitiativeUCSF Latinx Center of Excellence, and the UCSF/ZSFG Latinx Task Force.

About this year's honoree


Carola Suárez-Orozco, PhD

Carola Suárez-Orozco, PhD, is a distinguished professor of counseling and school psychology at the University of Massachusetts Boston and is the co-founder of Re-Imagining Migration. Her books include Children of Immigration, Learning a New Land, as well as the Transitions: The Development of the Children of Immigrants.

She has been and continues to be interested in the ways in which the experience of immigration shapes children and their families. Dr. Suárez-Orozco's body of research uses mixed-methodological strategies to elucidate the child, adolescent, and young adult experience of immigration in order to examine learning and identity processes. Of late, her work is focused increasingly on classroom bias and bridging the compassion gap, especially as it relates to immigrant-origin children and youth which now account for over a quarter of the student population.

Prior to joining the University of Massachusetts Boston faculty, she was a professor of human development and psychology at UCLA, where she was the principal investigator on a Spencer Foundation grant ("Making the Invisible Visible: Systematically Examining Classroom Bias") and a Ford Foundation grant ("Bridging the Compassion Gap: Addressing Social Inclusion for Immigrant Origin Children & Youth”).

Dr. Suárez-Orozco has been awarded an American Psychological Association (APA) Presidential Citation for her contributions to the understanding of cultural psychology of immigration, has served as chair of the APA Presidential Task Force on Immigration, and is a member of the National Academy of Education.

Previous lectureship honorees

About Evelyn Lee, EdD

Evelyn Yee-Wai Miu Lee Fong, EdD, was born on June 25, 1944, in Macau, China. She received her BA in social work at Chung Chi College of the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1963. She went on to graduate from Case Western Reserve University with an MSSA in social work in 1968. Lee worked at Boston's South Cove Community Health Center from 1976 to 1980 as the director of mental health, social services and health education before moving on to receive her doctorate in mental health administration at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst) in 1983. Between 1980 and 1982, she served as a social science analyst for the federal government in Washington, D.C. In 1982, she joined the Asian Focus Psychiatric Inpatient Unit at San Francisco General Hospital as program director, as well as being appointed assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). In 1988, she founded the Chinese Family Alliance of Mentally Ill, and in 1992, helped to organize the NICOS Chinese Health Coalition, both in San Francisco.

In 1999, Lee was promoted to clinical professor of psychiatry at UCSF. She served as a consultant on cultural competence and diversity for many community health and mental health organizations, schools, hospitals and local, state, and federal government agencies, such as the National Technical Assistance Center for Children's Mental Health, Georgetown University, the California Department of Mental Health, and Texas Department of Mental Health.

An author of more than 30 publications, Lee wrote and taught io topics such as cross-cultural communication (including the use of interpreters), refugee trauma, immigrant acculturation, intergenerational conflict resolution, the role of religion, and complementary/alternative/integrative medicine approaches. In 1988, she authored the widely used parenting handbook Ten Principles for Raising Chinese American Teens, which was subsequently translated and adapted into Chinese and Vietnamese. She was widely respected and loved in the mental health field and the Asian-American community as a clinician, administrator, teacher, author, community advocate, and humanitarian.