On the occasion of Professor Galano's final semester before his retirement, we celebrate his contributions to the Psychology Department, to the field of community psychology, and to the many families who have benefitted from his life's work to promote health and prevent illness.
Joe came to the College as an assistant professor in 1977, after completing his Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Bowling Green State University and an internship in clinical/community psychology at CMDNJ-Rutgers Medical School. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1983 and served as department chair from 1985 to 1988.
Among his early contributions at William & Mary was helping to develop the practicum component of the new Psy.D. program being planned as a consortium of four universities. Through his initial work and continuing advocacy, the program has emphasized the principles of community psychology and program evaluation. Today, many of the program's graduates make their own contributions in the field of prevention.
Throughout his career, Joe has acted on the belief that community psychology "is very applied. It is psychology at the intersection of scholarship and service." He has continually streamed students in his research practicum into local community-service groups, where they helped families deal with death, helped at-risk children learn to manage their anger, and helped victims of domestic abuse to learn empowerment skills. For his leadership in this area, Joe was honored with the 2005 Community of Stars award given by the Williamsburg-James City County Community Action Agency. Other honors and awards are noted on his website.
An article in The Community Psychologist (Fall 2009) notes that Joe "has followed a careful strategy of progression, from training practitioners to disseminating models to policy formation and advocacy, pertaining to mental health prevention." The article cites his work in 1978 advising the new office of prevention in the Virginia Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services; and his collaboration with another community psychologist, John Morgan, in developing a prevention plan for Virginia. Again long-time collaborator is Lee Huntington, a developmental psychologist and frequent co-author with Joe.
Recent examples of Joe's continuing commitment to prevention include editing the book, The Healthy Families America Initiative: Integrating Research, Theory and Practice (Haworth Press, 2007; co-published as Journal of Prevention & Intervention in the Community, Vol. 34, Nos. 1-2, 2007); serving on the steering committee that developed the Blue Ribbon Plan to Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect in Virginia (2005-09); and serving as lead author of a January 2010 report to the General Assembly on Healthy Families Virginia, a statewide evaluation of efforts to prevent child abuse.
Among Joe's many accomplishments, two highlights mean a great deal to him personally. One was hosting his long-time mentor George Albee at the 1988 Prevention Institute, where he introduced Albee through a modified version of the poem, "The Ambulance Down in the Valley." Another was hosting about 500 attendees at the 1993 biennial conference of the Society for Community Research and Action (APA Division 27), an event still noteworthy for the seafood feast Joe staged in the Sunken Garden.
Find Joe in his class at Brooklyn P.S. 130: