Dr. Connie Beck was awarded an Outstanding Contributions and Service Award for 2017 from the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC), Arizona Chapter. Arizona AFCC is an interdisciplinary organization made up of family law professionals, including lawyers, mediators, mental health practitioners, academics, and students. This award is presented to those who have made significant changes to the Arizona AFCC community and who have supported its growth in a multitude of ways.
Dr. Beck has changed the Arizona AFCC community from the ground up. She created mentoring relationships between students and professionals, encouraged the Board of Directors to create more scholarships for students across disciplines interested in pursuing work in family law, and has integrated research across disciplines. Dr. Beck’s expertise across these disciplines has been instrumental in helping the organization grow and work together. An example of this work is a collaboration with the Rogers College of Law and the Pima County Office of Children’s Counsel, Dr. Beck and a graduate student conducted a study of the role of lawyers who represent children in child welfare cases. That work has led to the beginning of more discussion and possible research on how best to help lawyers who represent children do a better job.
Dr. Beck also co-chaired the2014 Arizona AFCC Summit Project on Domestic Violence. The Arizona AFCC summit projects are tools for family law professionals created by members of the Arizona AFCC community. The Domestic Violence Summit Project focused on providing information and measures for early screening, reviewed the effects of domestic violence on children, and provided ways forward for professionals. For two years, Dr. Beck with co-Chair Judge David Gass, led the way on this project helping to create a document available online and free to the broader community. This information continues to be utilized by judges, lawyers, and mental health practitioners throughout Arizona.
Dr. Beck joined AFCC in 1997 and has been a long-time contributor to both the international organization and the Arizona Chapter. For the international organization, she has presented at numerous conferences and served as a member of the AFCC Awards Committee. She has written numerous articles and served as a member of the AFCC journal, Family Court Review (FCR) Editorial Board where she continues to bring a critical social science perspective to this leading interdisciplinary journal. Dr. Beck was also awarded the National AFCC Meyer Elkin Award in 2014 for her work as guest editor for the 50th anniversary issue of FCR in 2013.
The Arizona AFCC community, as well as the worldwide AFCC community, is deeply indebted to Dr. Beck. Without her ongoing leadership, the community would be less tightly connected, both across disciplines and across generations of professionals. Dr. Beck embodies the very essence of the mission of AFCC and has helped to build a community in Arizona and across the world that further embodies that mission.