2006-07 Denmark Award Winner
Psi Chi congratulates Dr. Lauren F. V. Scharff, psychology professor at Stephen F. Austin State University (TX), for being selected as the winner of the 2006-07 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 to the field of psychology at the local, regional, and national levels.
As winner of the Denmark Award, Dr. Scharff will receive travel expenses to the APA/Psi Chi National Convention, to be held in San Francisco, CA, this August where the award will be formally presented. Dr. Scharff's deep commitment and enormous involvement with Psi Chi are described in her chapter's letter of nomination.
Lauren F. V. Scharff, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Psychology at Stephen F. Austin State University (SFASU). She completed her PhD in human experimental psychology in December 1992, from the University of Texas at Austin and started teaching at SFASU in January 1993. At SFASU, she served as the Psychology Club advisor from 1993-2000, and Psi Chi advisor since 2001. Under her leadership, the SFASU Psi Chi Chapter has received chapter awards as well as the 2004-05 Regional Chapter Award for the Southwestern Region. Dr. Scharff won the 2004-05 Regional Faculty Advisor Award for the Southwestern Region and served on the Psi Chi Regional Advisory Committee from 2002-06.
Dr. Scharff regularly teaches introductory psychology, research methods, biopsychology, perception courses, and a teaching seminar. Her major research interests include text readability, visual search, and web usability, although her research efforts with students go in many other directions. She is codirector for the SFASU Teaching Excellence Center, which she helped establish in 2006. In 2000, she received the SFASU Foundation Faculty Achievement Award for Teaching, and in 1998 she received the College of Liberal Arts Teaching Excellence Award.
2007 Denmark Winner's Letter of Nomination
The Stephen F. Austin State University Chapter of Psi Chi is honored to nominate Dr. Lauren Scharff for the Florence L. Denmark Faculty Advisor Award. Dr. Scharff has been a professor at SFASU since 1993 and served as the Psychology Club advisor from 1993-2000. She became the SFASU Psi Chi advisor in 2001 and still holds the position. Dr. Scharff has helped the chapter to win the Model Chapter Award in 2003-04 and 2004-05, as well as the Regional Chapter Award for the Southwest Region in 2004-05. Along with winning chapter awards, Dr. Scharff won the Psi Chi Regional Faculty Advisor Award for 2004-05 in the Southwestern Region and has served on the Psi Chi Regional Advisory Committee from 2002-06.
Dr. Scharff is a dedicated chapter advisor who encourages Psi Chi members and other students within the SFASU Psychology Department to pursue research ideas that interest them. She is considered to be a true leader by the students and a person that they can depend on through busy semesters. She dedicates countless hours to helping them reach their full potential and achieve the goals they have set before them. She is always willing to listen to the ideas presented by the student body and takes into consideration each new idea from an objective point of view. She has spent valuable time and exerted much effort into ensuring that all students within the SFASU Psychology Department and our chapter have an equal opportunity to conduct independent research.
Dr. Scharff encourages psychology students and Psi Chi members to participate in conference presentations, helps to raise funds for travel, and attends the conferences with students. While at conferences, she works extremely hard to help students make contacts at other universities for research ideas, graduate school, and professional endeavors.
Our chapter contributions are part of the reason our chapter has become so strong. Dr. Lauren Scharff encourages our members to become active in the Nacogdoches community in a way that fosters our members' creativity and originality. Ideas from our members about how to better our community steadily come in, and as a sponsor, Dr. Lauren Scharff supports these ideas and helps our membership put them into action.
Dr. Scharff does not shy away from sharing her past experiences of graduate school and professorship with the undergraduate and graduate students alike. She encourages students to choose the career path that best fits them and will provide a variety of information on various graduate programs in psychology and other areas of study. She has a true passion for teaching and for psychology in general that radiates from her. You can see it as she teaches and as you talk to her. You can even feel it from other students talking about their experiences with her.
It is amazing that she does so much for Psi Chi as a whole, but it is what she does for each of us personally that makes her a good advisor. Dr. Scharff's door is always open to students with questions about anything from school work to Psi Chi opportunities and involvement. She offers her personal home for induction to help save costs. She assists in research, IRB's, and personal questions. She takes the time to help students seeking graduate school entrance write vitae, to study for the GRE, to write letters of recommendation; and to speak to the seniors about what to expect in graduate school, where to apply, and what you need to make you stand out. She does a lot for each person individually; that is what makes her special to this school and this chapter.