2001 Denmark Award Winner
Psi Chi congratulates Dr. Vincent Prohaska, department chair of psychology at Herbert H. Lehman College, City University of New York, for being selected as the winner of the 2000-2001 Psi Chi/Florence L. Denmark National Faculty Advisor Award. This prestigious award is presented annually to the one faculty advisor who best achieves Psi Chi's purposes and has made outstanding contributions both to Psi Chi and to the field of psychology at the local, regional, and national levels.
As winner of the Denmark Award, Dr. Prohaska will receive travel expenses to the APA/Psi Chi National Convention, to be held in San Francisco, California, this August, where the award will be formally presented. Dr. Prohaska's deep commitments and enormous involvement within Psi Chi is described in his chapter's letter of nomination (see below).
2001 Denmark Winner's Letter of Nomination
Dear Members of the Florence L. Denmark National Faculty Advisor Award Committee:
The Psi Chi Chapter at Herbert H. Lehman College, City University of New York, nominates our Faculty Advisor, Vincent Prohaska, Ph.D., for the Florence L. Denmark National Faculty Advisor Award. Dr. Prohaska has been our faculty advisor since 1991 and Psychology Department chair since 1995. He has been a valuable resource for our Psi Chi Chapter and an important contributor to Psi Chi and to psychology in general.
As our chapter advisor, Dr. Prohaska inspires us to strive for excellence. He encourages us to be autonomous, but he is always there to address our concerns, questions and inevitable problems. Rarely does he provide easy answers. Instead his unique character and style guides us to think about alternatives and to discover our own solutions. His supervision has enabled out chapter to grow consistently. When our chapter celebrated its 30th anniversary in 1999, its conviviality was heightened by the induction of 45 new members. The jubilation continued in the following semester with 14 inductees. We continue to be an active chapter, receiving an Eastern Regional Chapter Award in 2000.
Dr. Prohaska helped us establish and expand our six year old voluntary tutoring program. He encourages us to tutor other students, not only as a service to others, but also to ourselves, because we increase our knowledge and understanding as we help others. He also assists us in developing time management strategies so that we accommodate our needs while serving others. As department chair, he gave us a room equipped with computers, printers, a refrigerator, and a microwave oven, all the things necessary for students to burn the proverbial midnight oil. This room enhances our social and academic environment by providing a central place to meet, exchange ideas, study, and even eat lunch together. He encourages and guides our further academic pursuits by his regular workshops on GRE preparation and graduate programs.
Dr. Prohaska has contributed to Psi Chi at the regional and national levels. He is a member of the Eastern Region Steering Committee and has been active in helping with the annual program at EPA. At the first Psi Chi Miniconvention, he chaired a workshop on Recognizing Faculty Excellence and was a discussant for the Vitality and Programming workshop at the 1998 Miniconvention. In 1999 he participated in a Psi Chi symposium at APA on Graduate School Admissions and Survival. He also served as a reviewer for the Psi Chi Journal of Undergraduate Research and the Psi Chi/Allyn & Bacon Psychology Awards.
An active researcher in memory and cognitive processes, Dr. Prohaska has a grant from NIMH to study procrastination. He also is interested in memory for the dates of events and memory illusions. His most recent publications are:
- Levine, L.J., Prohaska, V., Burgess, J.A., A., & Loulhere, T.M. (In press). Remembering past emotions: The role of current appraisals. Cognition and Emotion.
- Prohaska, V., Morrill, P.B., Atiles, I., Perez, A. (2000) Academic procrastination by nontraditional students, The Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 15(5), 1250134.
- Prohaska, V., Brown, N.R., & Belli, R.F. (1998), Forward telescoping: The question matters, Memory, 6(4), 455-465.
Co-authors Atiles and Perez were undergraduate students which illustrates his commitment to involving undergraduates in research. Many students have completed research projects under his direction and presented them at local and national conferences. Over the last three years, he sponsored nine student presentations at the annual Greater New York Conference on Social Research. This conference focuses on student research within the New York metropolitan area. During this time he also sponsored or co-authored eight additional conference presentations with students, their topics included:
- Relations between procrastination and temporal orientation
- The role of "gist memory" in creating memory illusions,
- The effect of emotional reactions to an even on memory accuracy for the date of that event,
- A new measure of medical procrastination (this project won both Regional and National Psi Chi Research Awards).
In addition to promoting research by his students, Dr. Prohaska is actively involved in advancing undergraduate research. Last year he was elected a Psychology Councilor in the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR), an interdisciplinary organization promoting the research by undergraduates. He is serving on CUR's Scholarships and Grants Committee that awards fellowships for summer research projects. He chaired the selection committee for the Greater New York Conference on Social Research in 1997 and 1998. In 1999, this conference was held at Lehman College and he chaired the conference committee.
Dr. Prohaska has won several awards and his activities in psychology extend beyond Lehman. For the past four years, he has been a member of the Society for the Teaching of Psychology (APA Division 2) Instructional Research Award Task Force. The Task Force gives grants to faculty to produce instructional materials for distribution by the Society. During 2000 and 2001, he is the Task Force chair. Some of his most recent awards and other activities are:
- Psi Chi Eastern Regional Faculty Advisor Award, 2000.
- Honorary Member, Lehman College Chapter of Golden Key National Honor Society, 2000.Lehman College Excellence in Teaching (Teacher of the Year) Award, 1997.
- Psi Chi Faculty Advisor Appreciation Award, 1993, 1997.
- Co-chair: Psychology Department Chairs Discussion: "Between a Rock and a Hard Place" Panel at EPA, 1999, 2000.
- Presentation: Teaching reading, writing and critical thinking about psychology in a focused course, Institute on the Teaching of Psychology, APS, 2000.
- Presentations: Helping students to avoid plagiarizing and Turning your research project into a publishable manuscript, EPA, 2000.
Dr. Prohaska is the epitome of all that is embodied in the Psi Chi creed to "encourage, stimulate, and maintain excellence in scholarship of the individual members of al fields, particularly in psychology, and to advance the science of psychology." We are grateful for his incessant demand for academic excellence whenever we try to slide over some difficult issues. We are indebted for the stimulation he offers, and the resultant insights we gain. His love of knowledge invigorates us, not only to ask questions, but to search for their answers. His spirit permeates the entire psychology department. He continually demonstrates pastoral patience and parental understanding, while always maintaining professionalism and high standards. For all his accomplishments, we believe that Dr. Prohaska deserves the Florence L. Denmark Faculty Advisor Award.