Letter of Nomination: Jeffrey Smith, PhD
Mount Union College
Dear Psi Chi National Office,
As a recipient of the Psi Chi member of the year award in 1995 at his local chapter, Jeffrey Smith probably had little intuition that just five years later he would establish a Psi Chi chapter at his home teaching institution Mount Union College. Jeff s founding of the Mount Union College Psi Chi Chapter (Fall of 2000-present) is just one example of how he has been the catalyst for growth and development of the psychology department. Jeff Smith is an outstanding mentor, role model, and sounding board for all of his students. His commitment to his students and capability to foster within them strong academic abilities are just two reason why the members of Psi Chi at Mt. Union College highly recommend Jeffrey S. Smith for the Psi Chi Regional Faculty Advisor Award.
Taking on multiple roles, such as advisor of Psi Chi, teacher, and friend, Jeff's daily routine in the psychology department revolves around encouraging intellectual stimulation among students and faculty members. Our small liberal arts college gives way to a unique working and learning environment, where is not uncommon to have classes with fewer than 20 students. This special setting brings out the best in Jeff s dynamic persona. He takes pride in his personal interactions with students as he always gives thoughtful insight and encourages all of them to strive for academic excellence. Availability and accessibility would be mere generalizations of the time Jeff affords to his students. Acting as an independent research advisor for student projects, facilitating the development of three academic psychology conferences, and taking students on an eight-day long wilderness retreat to the Adirondacks are three superior examples of Jeff's selfless interest in student development.
This type of nurturing personality permeates throughout the department. In addition to chartering our chapter, Jeff is responsible for making the department technologically sound as he crusades for better facilitates. His efforts have begun to materialize. Last summer, Jeff and the department was awarded a research and summer teaching grant. Also, a technological research grant was obtained for the department.
Beyond his dedication to students and the department, Jeff Smith is emerging as a respected voice on brain recovery form traumatic injury and shock. More specifically, his areas of specialization focus on the role of blood borne immune cells in the Central Nervous System, the role of neuroglia in Central Nervous System functioning as well as research on the serial lesion effect. With his Doctoral Degree in progress and being a recent student of a well known graduate school, Jeff assists his students in the application process for graduate programs and other advanced work. His youth and unbarred enthusiasm provide natural momentum for success in his classroom. Currently Jeff teaches several courses in the department: Introductory Psychology, Psychobiology II, Research Methods and Statistics I, II, Sensation and Perception, Neural Networks, Learning and Conditioning and Professional Development Seminar.
Jeff Smith in one word has provided opportunity, which is unprecedented for our department and Psi Chi chapter. He consistently challenges students to push their academic limits and helps to uncover untapped creativity and insight within the department. In light of this great cumulative effect and previous examples, his candidacy for Psi Chi Regional Faculty Advisor Award has been asserted. Receiving the award would help to commensurate the work Jeff has done for the advancement of psychology and motivate him for future change.
Karla A. Devlin
2002-2003 Chapter Vice-President