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Witkin-Okonji Memorial Fund Award

The W-O Award is used to defray travel expenses to IACCP Congresses. The IACCP solicits applications for these funds prior to each Congress. Awards are given on the basis of need and contribution to the Congress.

History of the Award (provided by John Berry)

Witkin
Herman Witkin

At the 1974 IACCP meeting in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, I received substantial funding (from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and from the Canadian Ministry of Multiculturalism) to support the travel of 20 colleagues from Africa, Asia, and elsewhere.

One of these was Michael Okonji from Nigeria. At the conference, the two of us met with Hy Witkin to discuss our mutual interests in cognitive style. Okonji asked me if there was any funding for him to visit with Witkin in Princeton after the conference. I had a surplus from the conference funding, and gave some of it to Okonji for this purpose.

The participation by members from various parts of the world in IACCP, particularly in our conferences, is essential for the international character and development of the Association. So, the Executive Committee decided to promote such participation in the future, using the Okonji-Witkin interaction at the Kingston meeting, and their follow-up discussions, as a model. Since both members died shortly after, it was considered appropriate to name this programme after them.

An obituary of Herman Witkin appeared in the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 1980, Vol. 11, pp. 125-126 (by John Berry and Donald Goodenough)

Link to obituary of Michael Okonji, Cross-Cultural Psychology Newsletter, 1975.

Award Procedure

Prior to each Congress, members are notified of the application procedure and of any specific requirements for participation. A committee of officers reviews the applications and notifies the applicants of the outcome several months prior to the Congress.