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Saving the World One Filipino at a Time

Asian Journal, News Feature, Cynthia De Castro Posted: Sep 02, 2009

When one describes a professor of psychology and a historian, the image that comes to mind is a serious, no-nonsense guy. Yet, Professor Kevin Nadal does not fit that description. In fact, he is also a stand-up comedian. Truly, Kevin Nadal is unique.

He describes himself as a one-man show.

A professor, psychologist, performer, activist, and author, Kevin L. Nadal, Ph.D. received his doctorate in counseling psychology from Columbia University in 2008. As an assistant professor of mental health counseling and psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice-City University of New York, he has published several works focusing on Filipino American, ethnic minority, and LGBTQ issues in the fields of psychology and education. He has been involved in the Pilipino American, Asian Pacific American, and ethnic minority communities for as long as he can remember.

A California-bred New Yorker, Kevin is also a stand-up comedian and spoken word artist who has performed across the United States since 2000. He was named one of People Magazines hottest bachelors in 2006 and has been featured in many TV shows and news magazines.

His first book, Filipino American Psychology: A Handbook of Theory, Research, and Clinical Practice, is the first book of its kind and was launched on June 25, 2009.

Having earned BAs in Psychology and Political Science from the University of California at Irvine and an MA in Counseling from Michigan State University, he received his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Columbia University in New York City in 2008. His research has focused on the Filipino American experience, particularly Filipino American identity and mental health.

His "Pilipino American Identity Development Model" (2004) has advocated for Filipino American culturally competent services in education, psychology, and health. He has published in numerous books and journals including the American Psychologist, Asian American Psychology: Current Perspectives, Encyclopedia of Cross-cultural Psychology, Journal of Counseling and Development, and the Encyclopedia of Counseling.

Kevin has been performing stand up comedy and one-man shows across the US for the past decade. He performs regularly in his adopted hometown of New York City, at places like the world famous Nuyorican Poets Cafe and Bowery Poetry Cafe in Manhattan. He has performed one-man shows and standup comedy at numerous venues in 21 out of the 50 US States.

In 2007, Kevin gained international attention when he led a nation-wide campaign against ABC Studios for negative comments made about Filipino medical schools. As a result, he was invited as a special guest on the OReilly Factor in FoxNews, along with many interviews on the Filipino Channel and other media outlets. Because of his activism, he received a service award from the Philippine Economic and Cultural Endowement in 2008.

Dr. Nadal has also made appearances on the History Channel, Forbes.com, and Home & Garden Television. He has been featured in Filipinas Magazine and Philippine News, and has been mentioned in several media outlets including CNN.com, ABCnews.com, Foxnews.com, Filipino Reporter, Asian Reporter, The Guardian, New York Sun, Los Angeles Times, and San Jose Mercury News. He was featured in the 2008 independent film Brown Soup Thing.

His first one-man show, Pinoy: A One Man Show About Growing Up Filipino in America had toured nationally from October 2002 until September 2005, and received great reviews from communities all over the country. Combining spoken word, comedy, drama, song, and dance, he shares his Pinoy experience involving generational differences with parents, experiences with racism and oppression, and his identity development as a second-generation Pinoy.

His second one-man show, "Single: A one-man show about Sex, Love, and Karaoke" toured nationally from October 2005- December 2006. In the show, Kevin explored his experiences as a gay Pinoy navigating single life in New York City. Through the forms of storytelling (kuwento-kuwento), comedy, spoken word, and karaoke, Kevin talked about the differences between Hetero World & Homo World, coming out of the closet, getting married to oneself, the crazy boys in New York, and of course everything that his Filipina mom had to say about it.

In 2007, Kevin premiered a cabaret show with Danny Katz, entitled Psychotherapy: A Cabaret Show. The show was an opportunity for Kevin to express himself musically, as he was taught to do as a young boy with a karaoke mic in his hands. Through fabulous covers of Whitney Houston, Britney Spears, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Cyndi Lauper, and Bell Biv Devoe, Kevin expressed his feelings thru music and comedy about relationships, friendships, family, and "finding himself."

Dr. Nadal is currently an assistant professor in psychology at John Jay College for Criminal Justice- City University of New York where he is also the deputy director of the Forensic Mental Health Counseling Masters program. His current research focuses on the impact of microaggressions, or subtle discrimination, on people of color, women, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transngender individuals.

He also manages Kevin Nadal Consulting, where he has facilitated numerous trainings on multicultural competence in corporate and non-profit organizations. He has delivered many keynote speeches and lectures around the country focusing on racial micro-aggressions, racial & ethnic identity, Filipino and Asian American experiences, mental health, activism, and issues facing LGBTQ communities of color. He is also a mental health trainer for the New York Police Department.

Kevin enjoys spending his free time with his family and friends, in addition to traveling all over the world and experiencing new adventures. His hobbies include karaokeing, going to the gym, trying to keep up in hip hop and street jazz dance classes, walking the streets of New York City with his dog, Christiano Tomas, and keeping updated with Gossip Girl, Project Runway, or Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D List.

Kevins mission in life is to "save the world... one Pinoy at a time." He also hopes to make the world a better place for the youth and all oppressed groups whose voices are not heard. He hopes to do so through education, entertainment, love, and soul connecting.


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