College of Education > News and Publications > News: Jan. - March 2012 > Harold Cheatham Named Distinguished Alumnus

Harold Cheatham Named Distinguished Alumnus

Harold Cheatham, a 1961 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the College of Education, has received a 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award from Penn State. The award is the highest honor that the University bestows upon an outstanding alumna or alumnus.

harold-cheatham-sml-cp.gifby Sara LaJeunesse (February 2012)

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Harold Cheatham, a 1961 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the College of Education, has received a 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award from Penn State. The award is the highest honor that the University bestows upon an outstanding alumna or alumnus.

Cheatham was nominated by his Penn State colleagues for the award, which salutes the achievements of outstanding alumni whose “personal lives, professional achievements, and community service exemplify the objectives of their alma mater.” The University will honor him, along with six other recipients, at an awards presentation and reception on June 1, 2012.

“Dr. Cheatham is recognized as a national leader in cross-cultural counseling and as a distinguished educator and administrator,” wrote Terrell Jones, vice provost for educational equity, who was one of the five people to nominate Cheatham for the award. “He has always balanced his impressive educational achievements with an inspiring array of community, national, and international humanitarian services.”

According to David Monk, dean of the College of Education, both Penn State and the larger society have benefited tremendously from Cheatham’s commitment to serving others. “Harold Cheatham served the University well during his tenure here as a professor and department head, and his dedication has continued as one of the volunteer leaders within Penn State’s For the Future fundraising campaign,” he said.

Cheatham earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Penn State in 1961. He then began his career as a social-studies teacher in Holland Patent, New York. In 1969, he earned a master’s degree in counseling/higher education administration at Colgate University, followed by a Ph.D. degree in counseling/higher education at Case Western Reserve University in 1973. He obtained his first university teaching position at Case Western Reserve University in 1970.

From 1981 to 1982, Cheatham served as a visiting scholar at Penn State, and he joined the faculty as an associate professor of education in 1982. He was promoted to professor in 1991 and head of the Department of Counselor Education in 1992. He retired from Penn State as an emeritus professor of education in 1997. He then served as dean of the College of Health, Education, and Human Development at Clemson University from 1996 to 2001.

Cheatham’s writing and research have addressed multicultural counseling theory and practice, cultural pluralism, and psychosocial development of African Americans in U.S. higher education. From 1990 to 1991, he pursued this work as a Senior Fulbright Scholar to India. He has published his research in numerous professional papers. He also was the editor of a special issue of the Journal of College Student Personnel, titled “Blacks in U.S. Higher Education;” a co-editor of Black Families: Interdisciplinary Perspectives; the editor of Cultural Pluralism on Campus, a co-editor of Keywords in Multicultural Interventions, A Dictionary; and a co-editor of The American Civil Rights Movement: A Documentary History.

Cheatham has received numerous awards and honors, including the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development Research Award of the American Counseling Association in 1995, the Howard B. Palmer Faculty Mentoring Award of Penn State in 1995, the Board of Trustees Award for Faculty Excellence of Clemson University in 1998 and 2000, the Esther Lloyd-Jones Professional Service Award of the American College Personnel Association in 1999, and the Grazella Shepherd Award for Excellence in Education of the Case Western Reserve University Alumni Society and Educators Forum in 2000.

While at Penn State, Cheatham served as a member of the Minority Recruitment Task Force and the Graduate Programs and Faculty Development Task Force from 1983 to 1986, as president of the Forum on Black Affairs from 1985 to 1986, and as an elected member of the College of Education Alumni Society from 1984 to 1987. From 1988 to 1996, he was a member of the Advisory Board of the Office of Minority Graduate Opportunity and Faculty Development Center, and, from 1992 to 1996, he was a member of the Faculty Senate Curricular Affairs Committee. Cheatham was the chair of the College of Education Committee on Multicultural Education from 1992 to 1996 and a member of the University General Education Study Committee from 1996 to 1997.