Letter of Nomination: Thomas A. Wrobel, PhD
University of Michigan-Flint
This nomination has been written on behalf of Dr. Thomas Wrobel, faculty advisor for the University of Michigan - Flint, Psi Chi Chapter. Dr. Wrobel has been the Psi Chi faculty advisor at the university for the past five years. When he initially became the chapter faculty advisor, the chapter was basically inactive and functioned as merely a ceremonial organization. Thanks to his hard work and dedication, our chapter has grown not only in its membership, but also in the way in which it functions at the local and national level.
At the university, Dr. Wrobel has taken his interest in psychology into the classroom where he actively engages students in the learning experience. He challenges students on a continuous basis, and he makes the learning process mentally stimulating for all. He is actively involved in providing students the best possible information and technology available to him. For example, he has taken his students to an MRI lab at a local hospital in order to view the process of producing actual MRTs. He has even gone as far as to volunteer himself for the process, so students could view an actual MRI scan. This is rather remarkable considering that many students do not have such an opportunity as undergraduates.
Of the many courses he has taught at the university, Dr. Wrobel has been the instructor for the internship classes offered for students enrolled in the Clinical/Community Program. As the course instructor he has not only assisted students in finding internships compatible with their interests, but he has also worked tirelessly to make each student's internship experience positive and educational. His involvement in providing students with practical experience does not stop in the classroom. He also assists students in finding volunteer positions and employment with hospitals and agencies in the community.
In addition to assisting students academically and professionally, Dr. Wrobel actively encourages and involves students in research. In the fourteen years that he has been a faculty member at the university he has not only involved students in his own research endeavors, but he has also included those students in his publications and presentations. Many of the students that he assists go on to publish their own original research under his personal guidance. Dr. Wrobel frequently discusses his research with students with a seemingly endless display of infectious enthusiasm. It is this enthusiasm and passion for research that draws so many students to him. He has worked diligently to assist and encourage students to become actively involved in the research process. He has also encouraged and assisted students in applying for research awards, such as the awards offered through Psi Chi.
For the last five years Dr. Wrobel has been the faculty advisor for the university chapter of Psi Chi. He has laboriously assisted our chapter in becoming organized and active in an effort to engage the students at the university in becoming an agent in their own personal growth and academic success. Over the past three years Dr. Wrobel has assisted our chapter officers in obtaining funding in an effort to attend the Psi Chi Miniconvention and the American Psychological Association National Convention. Each year our officers have attended these conferences, all have returned motivated and enthusiastic for the upcoming year. Our attendance at these conferences has given our chapter strength and vitality. It has also enabled our officers to make personal and professional contacts that they would otherwise be unable to make on their own.
Dr. Wrobel has assisted our chapter in organizing an annual lecture series. Our Organization brings in speakers from around the area to discuss their particular area in the field of psychology or related fields with students pursuing a variety of interests. Dr. Wrobel spent time at the last APA Conference meeting with representatives from programs in Michigan in an effort to find speakers for our lecture series. Due to his efforts our chapter has not only had speakers for the Fall 1999 semester, but we also have a speaker lined up for early 2000. Thanks to his hard work we have been able to bring in speakers from fields such as Industrial/Organizational Psychology and Developmental Psychology. The former is an exceptional feat considering that we currently do not have an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist on campus. The lecture held by the 10 Psychologist brought in students from fields related to psychology, business, and formal organizations.
In addition to encouraging excellence in academics, professional growth, and research Dr. Wrobel has encouraged and assisted our chapter and its members in finding organizations in need of volunteers. It is this volunteerism and opportunity for personal growth that Dr. Wrobel not only encourages, but he also sets an example for all by volunteering at the university and in his own community. Dr. Wrobel motivates students with ease because he leads by example. It is his positive model of dedication and passion for the field of psychology, teaching, and research that sets the stage for excellence achieved by everyone in which he comes in contact.
Dr. Wrobel's guidance and vision for our Psi Chi chapter is what has made our chapter and its members so successful. It is impossible to relay the time and energy it took for Dr. Wrobel to rally students on campus to get involved not only in Psi Chi, but also in research, clinical work, and each of their own professional futures. It has been a formidable task considering that the University of Michigan - Flint is a commuter campus with a large proportion of nontraditional students. Any organization would be fortunate to have such an individual on their side. It is no wonder that our chapter has thrived under his personal guidance.
In conclusion, please give thoughtful consideration to our nomination of Dr. Thomas Wrobel for the Psi Chi Regional Faculty Advisor Award. Dr. Wrobel has served diligently as an exemplar of a dedicated and enthusiastic faculty advisor and professional.
Rebeccah M. Border
Psi Chi Chapter President