Outstanding Contribution Award

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Outstanding Contribution Award

Through the years, many people have given of their time, energy and resources to further the work of the Taos Institute in exploring, developing and disseminating ideas and practices that promote creative, appreciative and collaborative processes in families, communities and organizations around the world. The following people have gone above and beyond and here we recognize them for their outstanding contributions to the work of the Taos Institute.

2014 Outstanding Awards

This year we have chosen four Taos Associates for the Outstanding Contribution Award. These four individuals donated hours and hours of time in developing new initiatives and collaborated with the board and other associates in ways that brought meaning to to the words "relational practice". Thank You to these amazing people.

Ottar Ness

For his invaluable leadership in organizing "Beyond the Therapeutic State” in Drammen, Norway, and for his enthusiasm and support in the development of Taos Institute Europe.

Kristin Bodiford

For her invaluable contributions to the creation of the NING Taos Online Community, and to the Master of Science program in Relational Leading. These are among her many spirited and creative efforts to promote the work of the Taos Institute.

Celiane Camargo Borges

For her invaluable contributions in the development of the Master of Science program in Relational Leading, for supporting the European infrastructure for the Ph.D. program, and for her active contributions in developing Taos Institute Europe. These are among her many spirited and creative efforts to promote the work of the Taos Institute.

Saliha Bava

For her invaluable contributions in the development of the Master of Science program in Relational Leading, and for sharing her technological sophistication and wisdom with the Institute. These are among her many spirited and creative efforts to promote the work of the Taos Institute.

Rocio Chaveste & Maria Louisa Moline (Papusa)


The 2011 Outstanding Contribution Award is presented to María del Rocío Chaveste Guitérrez and María Luisa Molina López and the Kanankil Institute to honor the contributions of Instituto Kanankil in advancing cultural understanding in the world and for their dedication and leadership in creating an outstanding conference with us. Enriching Collaborative Practices Across Cultural Borders: Constructing Alternatives in Psychotherapy, Education, Community &  Organization Development and Research Practices, March 20-23, 2012, Merida, Mexico 

Dr. Dora Fried Schnitman

The 2009 Outstanding Contribution Award is given to Dora Fried Schnitman, Ph.D. for her invaluable contribution in bringing scholars and practitioners from the hemispheres into collaborative and creative exchange, and especially for linking the efforts of dialogic practitioners in Latin America to the activities of the Taos Institute. Dora is  founder of Interfas Institute in Buenos Aires, and has contributed her creative ideas and warm vitality to the participants of the Taos Institute for many years. For an Argentine audience, she has also created many workshops and conferences featuring Taos members. In her many travels throughout the Western hemisphere she has consistently shared constructionist ideas with new audiences. Most important for this award, Dr. Schnitman, in conjunction with the Taos Institute, has created a network of Spanish-speaking colleagues, all of whom are concerned with the theory and practice of dialogue. This electronic network, La Red Dialogico, enables over 120 scholars and practitioners to share their ideas, practices, and projects.

Dr. Alain Robiolio

Dr. Alain Robiolio is awarded the Outstanding Contribution Award for 2009. He has played an invaluable role in the Taos Institute in making its theoretical and practical work available to French speaking audiences. He has single-handedly arranged for the translation into French of major works by Taos Institute authors, including books published by the Institute. Further, on a voluntary basis he helped to generate an audience for the Positive Aging Newsletter in Switzerland, France, and Belgium, and translated all of its issues for over four years. He has also arranged for Taos participants to speak at conferences in Switzerland and France, and has consistently added his warmth, hospitality, and wise counsel to Institute participants.

Dr. John Rijsman

Dr. John Rijsman is granted the Outstanding Contribution Award for 2007. Professor John Rijsman, Department of Psychology, Tilburg University, has been an Associate of the Taos Institute for over a for over a dozen years.His contributions have been both enormous and continuous. Deepest appreciation is extended for his bringing about the creation of the Taos PhD program, and his enlivening and sustaining this program since its inception.  Not only has he lent a crucial, helping hand to every single graduate, but he has also served as the major advisor to others. He has further assisted the Taos Institute in developing generative relations throughout Europe, and exploring new collaborative ventures. 

Dr. Jackie Stavros

Dr. Jackie Stavros, Taos Associate, is granted the third Outstanding Contribution Award by the Taos Institute. She has volunteered hundreds of hours this year working with Jane Seiling, our chief editor, on the Focus Book Series. Both Jackie and Jane work with authors to bring their visions of publishing to a reality. Dr. Stavros is a professor of Management and Leadership at Lawrence Technical University in Michigan. Several years ago, she offered to volunteer her time, expertise and interest in working with the publishing efforts of the institute. We are grateful for Jackie¹s unending commitment to working with authors, offering her time, talents, vision and voice to the publishing initiatives of the Taos Institute.
Jackie also became one of our authors in 2005 with the new publication: Dynamic Relationships: Unleashing the Power of AI in Daily Living, with co-author Cheri Torres.

We want to thank Jackie for her generous contribution to the Taos Institute in 2005.

Dr. Susan Levin

Susan Levin, Executive Director of the Houston Galveston Institute and a Taos Institute Associate, is awarded the second Outstanding Contribution Award by the Taos Institute for her superb efforts and dedication in planning and hosting the Transforming Dialogues: Changing Practice conference, a special conference, co-sponsored by the Houston Galveston Institute and the Taos Institute which was held April 10-13, 2003 in League City, Texas. Over 100 participants engaged in transformative experiences that informed their practices. It was truly a collaborative learning conference that challenged and extended our current practice through exploring social constructionism and dialogical experience.

Not only did this conference bring together social constructionist theory and practice, it also was a special celebration of the 25th anniversary of HGI and the 10th anniversary of TI. We thank Susan for her outstanding service to the Taos Institute.

Dr. Jane Seiling

Jane Seiling has been granted the first Outstanding Contribution Award by the Taos Institute. Through her remarkable efforts and dedication The Focus Book series has been founded, and has given birth to three very estimable children. Jane’s skills, insights, intelligence, and patience are evident in each of these volumes. The authors in each case owe her a lifetime of appreciation. And should anyone require a perfect model for the Membership Organization, we shall be happy to propose Jane’s name. Email Jane at jseilingl@aol.com or see: www.membership.org

Award Recipients

Awards and Recognitions

August, 2011: Congratulations to Mary Gergen. Dr. Mary Gergen was selected as the 2011 recipient of the Florence L. Denmark Award for Contributions to Women and Aging. The award was announced and given at Division 35's awards ceremony that was held during the division's Social Hour at this year's annual meeting of the American Psychological Association in Washington, DC on Saturday, August 6, 2011.

Nov. 2009: Lifetime Achievement Award for Appreciative Inquiry for Jane Watkins Lifetime Achievement Award for Appreciative Inquiry. We are pleased to announce that on November 16, 2009 at the AI World Conference in Nepal, Jane Magruder Watkins received the Lifetime Achievement Award, from David Cooperrider, for her history of excellent work in Appreciative Inquiry throughout the world.

2009: Congratulations go out to Kenneth Gergen for his new book Relational Being: Beyond Self and Community. This book won the Prose Award for 2009 books in psychology, an American Publishers award for Professional and Scholarly Excellence. This is exciting news and we congratulate Ken for his wonderful contribution.