2002 Denmark Award Winner
Psi Chi congratulates Dr. Susan Whitbourne, professor of psychology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, for being selected as the winner of the 2002 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. Dr. Whitbourne will receive travel expenses to the APA/ Psi Chi National Convention, to be held in Chicago this August, where the award will be formally presented. Dr. Whitbourne's deep commitments and enormous involvement with Psi Chi is described in her chapter's letter of nomination below.
[PICTURE] Dr. Susan Whitbourne (left), winner of the 2002 Denmark Award, with Dr. Vincent Prohaska, winner of the 2001 Denmark Award.
2002 Denmark Winner's Letter of Nomination
Dear Members of the Florence L. Denmark National Faculty Advisor Award Committee:
Dr. Susan Whitbourne has been the Psi Chi faculty advisor of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Chapter for the past 12 years. Since her initial year as advisor in the fall of 1989, Professor Whitbourne has become a mentor, organizer, supporter, and role model to the officers and members of Psi Chi. A sincere interest in and dedication to the success and progress of our Psi Chi chapter, as well as the individuals that take part in it, makes Professor Whitbourne an exceptional advisor. Our chapter was quite pleased when, at last year's EPA convention, Dr. Whitbourne was presented with the Psi Chi Regional Faculty Advisor Award. It was wonderful to have her recognized by Psi Chi for all of her efforts and the support she has provided to our chapter.
As an advisor for the honors program in psychology and the Office of National Scholarship Advisement, Professor Whitbourne has continually provided important information and advice to Psi Chi members through her expertise in these areas. She has given workshops at Psi Chi meetings and for the Psychology Department to promote student success. Examples of these workshops include the Graduate School Workshop for the department and the Leadership Workshop for Psi Chi. Regular meetings with Psi Chi officers and office hours for her students and Psi Chi members help Professor Whitbourne maintain intimate connections with Psi Chi activities and the scholastic progress of Psi Chi members. Her close contact with students has enabled Professor Whitbourne to successfully recommend Psi Chi officers to graduate schools as well as for various awards on campus, such as the Senior Leadership Award. Due in no small part to Dr. Whitbourne's support, our chapter was the recipient of the Psi Chi Eastern Regional Chapter Award last year.
Psi Chi members have benefited greatly from having Professor Whitbourne as a guide at the EPA and APA conventions. Professor Whitbourne has strongly encouraged Psi Chi members to present at conventions and has advised them on their posters and papers. In addition to the personal attention she devotes to students at conferences, Professor Whitbourne has conducted several workshops at national and regional conventions. These activities include a graduate school preparation workshop for Psi Chi in 1992 and 1994 through 1999, and three years of professional workshops at APA for APAGS and Division 20 (Adult Development and Aging).
Participation in our community service activities is a very important part of an advisor's role. In addition to taking part in our community service, Professor Whitbourne also informs Psi Chi of community service opportunities in which our chapter is able to take part. The Psychology Department's faculty involvement in Psi Chi is greatly increased by Professor Whitbourne's actions. She helped increase faculty contributions to United Way by rewarding contributors with free coffee from the Psi Chi coffee table in the psychology building. Professor Whitbourne has taken part in the "Dance for Heart," for which Psi Chi collected donations at the coffee table to sponsor her doing aerobics to help the American Heart Association. The presence of the coffee table every morning has become the greatest vehicle for faculty involvement in Psi Chi by making the chapter visible to faculty and introducing them to our members.
Professor Whitbourne is the instructor of two very popular undergraduate psychology courses: Elementary Psychology and Psychology of Aging. Technologically advanced teaching aids combined with the integration of current events make these classes in high demand within the undergraduate curriculum. These classes also offer Psi Chi the opportunity to inform students of Psi Chi's community service activities and to promote participation in fundraisers. In past years, Psi Chi has been invited to her Elementary Psychology class to offer students the chance to receive Halloween Candy Bags and Finals Study Kits by filling out envelopes for Psi Chi to send care package order forms to their parents. The opportunity that is given to Psi Chi to inform the first-year students in the Elementary Psychology course is very valuable in enhancing Psi Chi's visibility and desirability early on for these students.
Above and beyond her exceptional teaching, advising students, and involvement in Psi Chi, Professor Whitbourne is highly esteemed in the field of psychology. Professor Whitbourne served as the president of APA's Division 20 (Adult Development and Aging) for the 1995-96 term, was program chair of Division 20 in 1998, and has recently been selected to be a Council representative of Division 20 for 2000-03.
Professor Whitbourne is the coauthor with Dr. Richard Halgin of Abnormal Psychology: The Human Experience of Psychological Disorders (4th ed. in press, McGraw Hill), which is used as a textbook for courses in abnormal psychology all across the globe. The textbook's companion, A Casebook in Abnormal Psychology: From the Files of Experts (1998, Oxford University Press), also with Richard Halgin, is a collection of case studies that have been used in courses to benefit students of psychology. In her own field of gerontology, Professor Whitbourne has produced two books and has recently completed a third: The Aging Individual: Physical and Psychological Perspectives (1996, Springer); Gerontology: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (1999, Oxford University Press) with John Cavanaugh; and Psychology of Adult Development and Aging: Biopsychosocial Perspectives (2001, Wiley).
The benefits that Psi Chi members receive from Professor Whitbourne's actions and the contributions she has made to psychology as a science make Dr. Susan Whitbourne a prime candidate for the Psi Chi/Florence L. Denmark National Faculty Advisor Award. In her 12 years as the University of Massachusetts Amherst Psi Chi advisor, she truly has achieved Psi Chi's purpose: "to encourage, stimulate, and maintain excellence in scholarship of the individual members in all fields, particularly in psychology, and to advance the science of psychology."