A local Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) instructor was recognized with one of Canada’s highest honours for those who work in corrections and law enforcement.
Dr. Evan Lopes received the Governor General’s Exemplary Service Medal, awarded to an individual whose regular work has brought the recipient into daily contact with a forensic population for at least 10 years, has 20 years of distinguished federal public service, and has carried out important service work in an industrious, efficient, and truly exemplary manner.
“About 14 years ago, Corrections Canada (CSC) recruited me,” explained Dr. Lopes, a registered clinical psychologist who specializes in forensic psychology. “I work with people who are in trouble with the law. When people are actively aggressive or threatening self-harm, it is not unusual for a psychologist to be the front-line person.”
Lopes served as chief of psychology at four federal correctional institutions for approximately eight years, and to this point, has continued his clinical work at the CSC’s psychiatric hospital. A lot of his work has also taken place in the community, where he delivers treatment programs for people who are on parole or probation.
Currently, he works in a private practice, and is a full-time faculty member for the psychology department at KPU, where he teaches in both Surrey and Langley.
Lopes says he “almost fell backwards” into forensic psychology. After a number of years in the military, he began work with B.C.’s Ministry of Children and Family Development. From there, he completed his doctorate and found practicums and internships with psychologists he knew, most of whom worked in forensics.
“I have found this to have been a very rewarding career, which to this day plays an important role in community safety. My personal experiences in the world of forensics have allowed me to remain sharp and up to date as a clinician, and it has afforded me the opportunity to bring realism – everyday applications – to my teaching style.”
Lopes, along with a few other exemplary service men and women, received his medal at an awards ceremony with Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon in Abbotsford on Nov. 24.
More information about the award is available here.