Dr. Daryl Van Tongeren of the Hope College psychology faculty has received the Early Career Contributions Award from the International Society for the Science of Existential Psychology (ISSEP).

The award recognizes professionals who earned their doctorate, or entered their relevant professional career within the last 10 years and have made sustained and/or substantial contributions to the science of existential psychology.  Van Tongeren will be honored on Wednesday, Feb. 16, during this year’s Existential Psychology Preconference, which is organized by ISSEP and being held virtually.  He will also deliver a featured address focused on his research on suffering, spiritual struggles and growth.

It is the fourth time since the school year began this past August that Van Tongeren has been chosen to receive national recognition for his impact in the field of psychology. This past fall, he was named a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and received a “10 Under 10” alumni award for 2021 from Virginia Commonwealth University, from which he holds his doctorate. He has also been named recipient of the Margaret Gorman Early Career Award of the Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, a division of the American Psychological Association, which will be presented this coming August.

His recognition by the Association for Psychological Science marked the fourth time during his career that he was named a Fellow by a professional association.  In 2020, he was elected a Fellow of the Society of Experimental Social Psychology, and in 2019 he was elected a Fellow by both the Midwestern Psychological Association and the International Society for Science and Religion.  The APS had previously named him a Rising Star in 2016.

He has also been honored for his scholarly work by Hope, which named him a Towsley Research Scholar in 2015 and presented him with the college’s Social Sciences Young Investigators Award in 2014.  Last May, he delivered Hope’s Commencement address for the graduating Class of ’21.

Van Tongeren is co-author, with his wife, Sara, who is a licensed clinical social worker, of the book “The Courage to Suffer: A New Clinical Framework for Life’s Greatest Crises,” published in March 2020.  He has also published more than 190 journal articles and academic book chapters, and has received multiple grants for his research from the John Templeton Foundation as well as from the college.

He regularly involves students as collaborative researchers in his work, both part-time during the school year and full-time during the summer.  Several Hope students are co-authors on his publications, and students he mentored in research have twice received regional awards for excellence from the Midwestern Chapter of Psi Chi – The International Honor Society in Psychology.

Prior to coming to Hope, Van Tongeren was a post-doctoral fellow at Virginia Commonwealth University for a year.  In addition to his doctorate from Virginia Commonwealth University (2011), he holds a bachelor’s degree from Colorado Christian University (2004) and master’s degree from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (2006).