2004 Denmark Award Winner
Psi Chi congratulates Dr. Susan Dutch, professor of psychology at Westfield State College, for being selected as the winner of the 2004 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. Dutch will receive travel expenses to the APA/ Psi Chi National Convention, to be held in Hawaii this July, where the award will be formally presented. Dr. Dutch's deep commitments and enormous involvement with Psi Chi is described in her chapter's letter of nomination (see below).
Dr. Dutch is a full professor of psychology at Westfield State College in Westfield, Massachusetts. She completed her PhD in experimental psychology at the University of Connecticut, specializing in cognition. Dr. Dutch was the recipient of the Westfield State College Outstanding Educator Award in May of 2000.
Dr. Dutch's research comparing the decision-making processes of younger and older adults is currently being funded by a Psi Chi Faculty Advisory Grant. She routinely involves undergraduate students in her research work and has often presented her findings with students as coauthors. Dr. Dutch incorporates service learning in many of her courses and has been quite active in the community. For her work, she was chosen as one of the "Westfield 150"--the 150 most influential people on campus during the 150 years of the college's existence.
Professor Dutch has been faculty advisor of the Westfield State College chapter of Psi Chi since 1984. Just one student was initiated that first year. She has been the advisor (except for sabbatical leaves) ever since. Today, the chapter is quite active and initiates about 40 members per year. The chapter provides service in the community through its annual food drive and by sending holiday greeting cards to hospitalized children and adults in nursing homes. A national past-president of Psi Chi and a former Eastern Regional vice-president, Dr. Dutch has received the Chapter Advisor Award numerous times.
In addition to her involvement in Psi Chi, Dr. Dutch is an active member of many psychological associations, including the New England Psychological Association (past president), the Council of Teachers of Undergraduate Psychology (past Eastern Regional coordinator), the Society for the Teaching of Psychology, Division 2 of APA (past Eastern Regional liaison) and the Psychology Partnerships Project (Service Learning Focus Group). She is a Fellow of APA in Division 52 (International) where she has served as Program Chair, and in Division 2 (The Society for the Teaching of Psychology), where she serves on the Fellows Committee. Currently she is serving a three-year term on the Board of Directors of the Eastern Psychological Association and is the program chair of the annual convention.
2004 Denmark Winner's Letter of Nomination
Dear Members of the Florence L. Denmark National Faculty Advisor Award Committee:
It is with great pleasure that I write to honor an outstanding faculty advisor, Susan E. Dutch, PhD. Dr. Dutch is professor of psychology and Psi Chi advisor at Westfield State College in western Massachusetts. She has made immeasurable contributions to her students by modeling and inspiring excellence. Her heart, character, and dedication have spawned not only professional but also personal growth among the Psi Chi members and every student she teaches. She has provided outstanding service to the Psi Chi chapter, serving as faculty advisor for 19 years (1974-2003) as well as to the institution, which has been fortunate enough to have her on staff as part of the faculty for 23 years.
Dr. Dutch received her undergraduate degree from the University of Connecticut and completed her doctorate there, which she began pursuing at the age of 20. She began her teaching career at the University of Saint Francis, coming to Westfield State College and being promoted to full professor in seven years and receiving the Distinguished Service Award (1982, 1986) and the college's Outstanding Educator Award (2000).
Dr. Dutch was responsible for the reactivation of the Psi Chi chapter, which began with a single member. She saw the benefits of Psi Chi for students and would not give up on its resurrection. With her time, energy, and motivation, the chapter has flourished. We now initiate about 40 new members a year. For a school our size, we remain a very large and active group under her direction.
A key component to a successful chapter and advisor is action. Dr. Dutch has been the catalyst to the chapter's success. She leads by example, modeling how hard work brings both success and growth. She annually coordinates our Psi Chi chapter's campus-wide "Feed the Families" food drive in which non-perishable food is collected by chapter members and donated to the local community. She encourages chapter members to send greeting cards to local hospitals and rest homes during the holidays. The projects have been rewarding and have received recognition from our local community. Each year, Dr. Dutch plans the Psi Chi induction ceremony--a spectacular event where Psi Chi officers initiate new members and all are honored by speakers, administration, family, and friends.
In the classroom, Dr. Dutch brings learning to life. She takes a genuine interest in her students and their interests, keeping them passionate about exploring these topics. For example, in her Honors Psychology of Evil class, students expressed interest in visiting the Holocaust museum and Congress. Dr. Dutch found funding for air travel and accommodations for each student. The trip to Washington, DC, was the trip of a lifetime and had a profound impact on each of us. Service learning permeates many other classes. For example, her Psychology of Women's class collects clothing to benefit a safe house for survivors of domestic abuse. Students integrate this experience by researching the prevalence of domestic violence and reflecting on their personal and collective contributions. She is a committed teacher with a genuine passion for the science of psychology and stresses the importance of interdisciplinary study. At present she is working intensely on several studies researching the underlying cognitive processes involved in decision making and creating a program designed to increase strength and overall health among the elderly.
Dr. Dutch's career achievements are outstanding. She has held many positions in professional organizations. She served as president of the New England Psychological Association and was on the Steering Committee. Dr. Dutch served as Eastern Regional Vice President of Psi Chi (1987-1990), as president-elect (1989-1990), national president (1991-1992) and national past president (1992-1993). She served on the Council of the Teachers of Undergraduate Psychology as the Eastern Regional coordinator and has been a liaison for the Society of the Teaching of Psychology, Division 2 of the American Psychological Association. She has been program chair of Division 52, APA and is currently a board member and program chair of the Eastern Psychological Association. She is a Fellow of both Division 2 and 52 of APA.
In addition to her service in leadership positions, she has made over 50 presentations at national and regional psychology conventions and contributed over 75 editorial reviews for various publishers for books in all the areas she teaches. Dr. Dutch has been honored with membership to Phi Beta Kappa, Psi Chi, and Phi Kappa Phi. She was instrumental in founding the Phi Kappa Phi Chapter at Westfield State and served as one of its first presidents.
Over her career, she has received numerous awards and grants for her work. She received the National Science Foundation for Local Course Improvement and three WSC Teaching Grants. For the one entitled "The Role of Silence in High Context Cultures," she produced a documentary on the history of the Japanese tea ceremony. She received a Service-Learning Grant jointly funded by Campus Compact and the American Psychological Association. Last year, she was awarded the Psi Chi Regional Faculty Advisor Award for her commitment and service to Psi Chi.
Dr. Dutch teaches her students the value of the science of psychology and the importance of progress in the field. She advocates that learning is active and life-long, and that personal growth and contribution to the field are reciprocal. She encourages attendance and participation at conferences, conventions, and workshops; the writing of grants; and the submission of student work for presentation, and aids students in these endeavors. To accomplish this, she personally lends out her own reading materials and refers students to colleagues at other schools if student interest so indicates.
Dr. Dutch does not conceal, but exposes the possible obstacles encountered in the pursuit of knowledge, adequately preparing her students to rise to the occasion. She helps students believe that they can make a difference, no matter how big or how small. In short, she encourages them to "go for the gold." As Psi Chi faculty advisor, Dr. Dutch goes above and beyond guiding a team very proud to call her coach.
-Jennifer M. Yanni, Interim Psi Chi Chapter President
Westfield State College