is the first Hispanic Educator to have a North American University
renamed in his honor. On January 1, 2000 the Board of Trustees of
the Caribbean Center for Advanced Studies, which includes the Miami
Institute of Psychology, conferred this honor on Dr. Albizu by renaming
the two-campus institution, Carlos Albizu University.
honor recognized Dr. Albizu’s long
and distinguished career
as a professor of psychology, his role in founding the institution
that now bears his name, and his service as the first president of
the National Hispanic Psychological Association.
on September 16, 1920 in Ponce, Puerto Rico he earned a B.A. in Education
at the University of Puerto Rico with a major in psychology and a
minor in history. Following service in the U.S. Army during World
War II, he worked for the Veteran’s Administration, first as
a psychometrician and later as Chief of the Vocational Rehabilitation
and Education Center in Puerto Rico.
1950 Albizu and his wife, Ermida Garcia Muñoz, left Puerto
Rico for Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, where he
earned an M.S. degree in Experimental Psychology in 1951 and a
Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 1953. He completed his Clinical
Psychology Internship at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital
in Marion, Indiana. When Dr. Albizu graduated from Purdue, he became
one of the first Hispanics to earn a Ph.D. in Psychology in the
and his family returned to Puerto Rico and began teaching at the
University of Puerto Rico. He also started his private practice
in psychology. He became a full professor at the University, and
was recognized by his peers as an outstanding educator, diagnostician,
psychotherapist and consultant.
these years of professional growth, Dr. Albizu became deeply concerned
about the need for qualified psychologists in Puerto Rico. No graduate
programs in psychology were available in Puerto Rico and only a
few students were able to pursue graduate studies in the United
States. Those who did were trained in models and techniques not
always sensitive to the needs and sociocultural characteristics
of Hispanic clients.
1966, Dr. Albizu took what proved to be a bold pioneering step.
He founded the first independent professional school of psychology
in North America, initially known as the Instituto Psicológico
de Puerto Rico. In 1971 the name was changed to Caribbean Center
for Advanced Studies. Since its founding, the school’s philosophy
has always been to adapt models of psychological assessment and
intervention to the sociocultural characteristics and needs of
the population it serves. In 1980, Carlos Albizu expanded his field
of vision by moving to the U.S. mainland and opening a sister campus
as the Miami Institute of Psychology. As a result of these two
campus locations in Miami and San Juan, a significant number of
Hispanic psychologists are either former students of Carlos Albizu-Miranda
or of his pupils. Clearly, his impact in training minority and
mainstream mental health professionals in sociocultural sensitivity
has been enormous.
In addition to founding the two-campus school, he published extensively,
with special emphasis on cross-cultural issues in mental health
training and service delivery, including “A Training Model
for Minority Psychologists” and “Psychological Concomitants
of Poverty.” From 1980 to 1982 he was the first president
of the National Hispanic Psychological Association.
He was a Fellow
of the American Psychological Association and served on the Committee
of Professional and Scientific Conduct and Ethics. In 1980 the
American Psychological Foundation honored Dr. Albizu with a special
award for the development of psychological education in Puerto
Rico and the Caribbean Region. He was a member of several honorary
scientific organizations including Sigma Xi, Psi Chi, and the New
York Academy of Sciences.
Albizu died on October 6, 1984. In a memorial article in the Hispanic
Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 1985, Vol. 7. No. 3, Marion A.
Albizu had an exceptional ability to dream great dreams and then
convert them into realities. His enthusiasm was contagious and
he was able to stimulate and motivate his colleagues by sharing
his dreams with them and involving them in carrying them out.
Through his tireless efforts and despite times of great adversity,
his dream of a professional school of psychology became a reality.”