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Hunter College Professor Jeffrey T. Parsons, PhD, Named Distinguished Professor of Psychology

Hunter College Professor Jeffrey T. Parsons, PhD, Named Distinguished Professor of Psychology

President Raab and Professor Parsons

(New York, NY - July 6, 2012) - The Board of Trustees of the City University of New York (CUNY) named Dr. Jeffrey T. Parsons Distinguished Professor of Psychology. Dr. Parsons has been a member of the Hunter College Psychology Department since 2000, and is also a member of the doctoral faculty in Psychology and Public Health.

Distinguished Professorships are reserved for faculty with records of appropriate performance by national and international standards of excellence in their profession. There must be substantial evidence of this performance, including significant quantities of high-quality work in areas of importance in their disciplines. There must also be evidence that this quality of performance will continue into the future.

"Jeff is an outstanding professor, researcher, scientist, and mentor. He works tirelessly to conduct critical research to better the lives of millions of people who are HIV positive or at risk," said Hunter College President Jennifer J. Raab. "Also, as an expert on a broad range of addictions, he truly is at the forefront of improving public health as a whole. I'm so proud that we can now call him one of our Distinguished Professors. That distinction is much deserved."

Parsons is an internationally renowned sex researcher and health psychologist, whose research focuses on gay men's sexual health and HIV prevention. In addition, he is an expert in addictive behaviors and drug and alcohol use. His research has a clear public health focus, and significantly improves the lives of those living with HIV and who are at risk of infection, however his work is frequently targeted by groups who aim to limit the rights of LGBT persons.

"I am proud that Hunter College and CUNY have recognized someone who conducts often controversial psychological health research in the area of sexual behavior with such an honor. It shows that CUNY is focused on scientific merit and advancing knowledge, rather than shying away from controversy," said Dr. Parsons. "I share this honor with the amazing CUNY students I have had the pleasure to work with, and am glad that I can train the next generation of scientists to study sexual health here at CUNY."

Parsons received his PhD in psychology from the University of Houston, and established the Center for HIV/AIDS Educational Studies and Training (CHEST) in 1996. He is the youngest Distinguished Professor in the history of Hunter College, and has mentored hundreds of CUNY undergraduate and graduate students.

Parsons has been awarded millions of dollars in research grants from the National Institutes of Health and has published over 200 articles in peer reviewed journals.  He serves as the editor of Sexuality Research and Social Policy, associate editor of Archives of Sexual Behavior and AIDS and Behavior, and is a Fellow of the Society of Behavioral Medicine and the American Psychological Association.  

Dr. Parsons lives in Teaneck, NJ, with his partner of 23 years, Chris, and their 5-year-old son Henry.

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