Colorado State University Psychology Professor Honored for Distinguished Mentoring, Leadership

Note to Reporters: A photo of Silvia Sara Canetto is available with the news release at

The Society for the Psychology of Women of the American Psychology Association has honored Silvia Sara Canetto, professor of psychology at Colorado State University, with the Strickland-Daniels Distinguished Mentoring Award for her outstanding contributions as a mentor and educator.

For more than 20 years, Canetto has provided significant mentoring and inspiration to undergraduate and graduate students. The Strickland-Daniels Distinguished Mentoring award recognizes mentors who make outstanding and sustained contributions to their mentees’ educational, professional and personal development.

Students who nominated her wrote that she is welcoming of diverse perspectives, experiences and skills and provides emotional support in addition to academic and professional direction. One student said: “She believed in my abilities when I didn’t. This newfound confidence geared me to ask questions in class, discuss new topics with friends, and dare to express my passions with others. Upon graduation, I leave CSU practicing new skills, with my head held high.”

Canetto has been honored with numerous awards for her contribution to education and mentoring. In 2004, Metro State College of Denver selected her for the Morrow Endowed Lectureship in recognition of her outstanding contributions to women’s psychology, human diversity education and the promotion of social justice.

In 2006, Colorado State’s Women and Gender Advocacy Center honored her with the Hazaleus Award for long-term contributions to the education and mentoring of women, and for enhancing opportunities for women on college campuses. In 2009, she received the Cermak Advising Award, Colorado State University’s most prestigious award for excellence in graduate academic advising.

Canetto is well known for her scholarship on gender and cultural issues in suicidal behaviors. She is a leading researcher on cultural meanings and norms of gender and suicidal behaviors. Her suicide research has been prominently featured in scientific and popular presses throughout the world. She has also made significant scholarly contributions to understanding the experience of a diversity of women and men in science and engineering fields. She is co-editor with Angela Byars-Winston, a colleague from the University of Wisconsin, of a 2011 special issue about women in science and engineering higher education and occupations of the Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering.

Canetto joined Colorado State as an assistant professor in 1991. She now is a full professor in the Department of Psychology and an affiliate faculty in the departments of Human Development and Family Studies and in the Women’s Studies Program of the Ethnic Studies Department. Canetto was born and educated in Italy, where her family still resides. A first-generation college student (neither of her parents completed high school), she holds graduate degrees from Italy, Israel and the United States.

The Society for the Psychology of Women was founded in 1973 as a Division of the American Psychological Association. The Society provides an organizational base for women and men interested in teaching, research or practice in the psychology of women.