Letter of Nomination: John J. Boitano, PhD
Dear Regional Faculty Advisor Award Committee:
The officers and members of the Fairfield University chapter of Psi Chi nominate John J. Boitano, Ph.D. for the 1999 Eastern Region Faculty Advisor Award. We believe that his many significant contributions to Psi Chi at the chapter, regional, and national levels warrant recognition befitting his efforts. As the advisor, Dr. Boitano has striven to deliver and maintain Psi Chi's purpose to our members for eleven years. Not only has he remained faithful to fostering undergraduate learning and achievement in Fairfield psychology students, but he has always done so on a personal, one-to-one basis.
Since Dr. Boitano's approachability is never questioned and his friendly demeanor is always assured, we never hesitate to believe that he will always be there when we need him. These qualities are clearly illustrated in his leadership of the chapter. Every year, Dr. Boitano is heavily involved in the chapter's recruitment process. Along with the officers, he takes an active role in selecting and noticing the most qualified psychology students of their eligibility to join our chapter. In the past few years, our steady membership growth has demonstrated this effort.
One of Dr. Boitano 's greatest achievements as an advisor was his creation of the Fairfield University Psychology Journal. Inaugurated in 1994, this journal was intended to publish outstanding manuscripts by undergraduates in various areas of psychology. The first two volumes have included experimental research and literature reviews while the third (due out this Spring) promises much of the same. Any undergraduate is invited to submit papers and many Psi Chi members have served as associate editors. Students who have published have been accepted to very competitive graduate psychology programs around the country. This journal is one of the few in the country dedicated solely to undergraduate research.
Realizing the importance of undergraduate research opportunities, Dr. Boitano has also invited students to participate in his own projects. Recently, he and four Psi Chi members had their findings published in the Society for Neuroscience Abstracts. Dr. Boitano has also attended conventions with students who have first-authored or co-authored his research. For example, in 1997 he and three other members of Psi Chi presented research at the 27th Annual Meeting of the Society of Neuroscience. A year later, Dr. Boitano also co-authored a poster with a Psi Chi alumna at the 28th Annual Meeting of the same convention. The Academic Vice-President of Fairfield University recently acknowledged Dr. Boitano's outstanding involvement in undergraduate research by appointing him to the prestigious DeCamp Chair of the Health Sciences.
Dr. Boitano has also helped to bring scholars and experts in the field of psychology to our university. For example, this past academic year Dennis Carmody, Ph.D. and Harold Takooshian, Ph.D., two Psi Chi executive officers, delivered lectures on various topics on campus while Dr. Neil Hibler, psychological consultant for the FBI and CIA, gave a lecture on Police Psychology. In 1997, Dr. Boitano also helped to bring Dr. Sean O'Nuallain, of Dublin City University, to our university to speak about cognitive science. He was our chapter's first international speaker. Without Dr. Boitano's enthusiasm and support, talks like these would not be possible. His appreciation for all fields of psychology permeates our chapter and enables us to maintain a holistic and open-minded approach to the field.
Dr. Boitano's efforts to include the larger student body at Psi Chi events have also been consistent with his role of advisor. He has supported programs like Graduate School Night and he has always supported Fairfield's psychology program by having Psi Chi members give talks at various events for incoming freshmen and undeclared majors. Dr. Boitano has also joined Psi Chi members in serving others less fortunate by making trips to a local homeless shelter and supporting students who have gone abroad to do the same. His service to the community has been characteristic of his pride in Psi Chi.
On the regional and national levels, Dr. Boitano has excelled in bringing his talents to the larger Psi Chi membership. Eye on Psi Chi, the society's quarterly magazine, has published his article entitled FUN and the Neuroscience Enterprise, and recently, he has conducted two regional Psi Chi symposiums at the New England Psychological Association and Eastern Psychological Association conventions. The topics, Sound Planning for Graduate School (1998) and So You're Thinking of Neuroscience (1998), were intended make Psi Chi members in the eastern region more aware of the many opportunities in psychology. At the national level, he has also done the same by recently presenting a paper entitled Preparation for Graduate Training in Neuroscience during the 1999 Psi Chi National Convention at the 107th American Psychological Association convention. He has also served as president for the Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience (FUN) during 1997-1998.
Always a leader, he rarely forgets that Psi Chi members need guidance and support to reach their potentials. Dr. Boitano has demonstrated this leadership in reviewing submissions for Psi Chi Undergraduate Research Grants. He is not only Psi Chi grant reviewer, however, but he is a submitter also. In 1998, the National Office informed Dr. Boitano that he was the first advisor from the Eastern Region to receive the Psi Chi Faculty Advisor Research Grant. This award proved that he is a role model for all future researchers.
In closing, carefully consider Dr. John J. Boitano for this prestigious award. He is an exceptional advisor and Psi Chi would only benefit from recognizing one of its best. The Academic Council has all ready acknowledged that his credentials qualified him to be a 1998-1999 Psi Chi Faculty Consultant to perform the "mission of promoting excellence among United States students and faculty." He is also a renowned and well-respected expert around the world. For example, this summer Dr. Boitano presented original research in three European countries, including the Czech Republic and France. At the International Behavioral Neuroscience Society Meeting, he presented Neuroscience Education: Values, Preparation, and Expectations at the Student Forum section of the event. Through his example, our chapter, the greater Psi Chi membership, and the international psychology student community have all gained tremendously from Dr. Boitano's dedication to the undergraduate psychology student.
Very truly yours,
|Matthew J. Dykas
||Jennifer M. Ferrier