The Psi Chi Awards Committee is pleased to announce the winners of this year's Regional Faculty Advisor Awards. Below is a summary of the backgrounds and accomplishments of these worthy winners. Follow the link to the right of each winner's name to read the corresponding letter of nomination.
Susan Whitbourne, PhD (bio | letter of nomination)
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Midwestern Region (tie)
Linda J. Skitka, PhD (bio | letter of nomination)
University of Illinois at Chicago
Kenneth Weaver, PhD (bio | letter of nomination)
Emporia State University
JoAnne Brewster, PhD (bio | letter of nomination)
James Madison University
WINNERS' BACKGROUNDS & ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D., is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she has taught since 1984. Prior to her position at the University of Massachusetts, she taught at the University of Rochester (1975-84) and the State University of New York College at Geneseo (1973-75). She received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University and her B.A. in psychology from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Prof. Whitbourne has published 11 books and over 100 journal articles and chapters, mostly in the field of adult development and aging, with a focus on psychosocial development. Currently, she is completing the fourth round of testing in a 34-year longitudinal study of college alumni, investigating specifically the relationship between life events and personality, as well as the issue of stability vs. change in adulthood. Other recent work involves studies of the relationship between identity in adulthood and physical changes associated with the aging process. This research is oriented toward understanding how identity interacts with life style choices that people make that ultimately affect the rate at which they age.
Professor Whitbourne became the University of Massachusetts Psi Chi chapter advisor in 1989, where she is also Coordinator of the Departmental Honors Program in Psychology. Her teaching includes introductory psychology, the psychology of aging, and several departmental honors research seminars. In addition, she is the National Scholarship Coordinator at the University. She received the College Outstanding Teacher Award in 1995. Her commitment to teaching is reflected in her publication of several textbooks, including Abnormal Psychology (published by McGraw-Hill, co-authored with Richard Halgin), and Adult Development and Aging: Biopsychosocial Perspectives (published by John Wiley). Maintaining an active role in Division 20 (Adult Development and Aging) of APA, she was President of the Division and is currently serving as Council Representative. She is also a Fellow of Division 2 (Teaching of Psychology) and has several publications in Teaching of Psychology as well as having participated in numerous regional and national teaching workshops.
Linda J. Skitka, Ph.D., has been involved in Psi Chi almost continuously since 1982, when she was inducted as a charter member in the University of Michigan chapter. She obtained her BA from the University of Michigan in 1983. She then moved on to the University of California at Berkeley where she specialized in social psychology, and earned her masters and doctoral degrees. Her first faculty position was at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, where within a couple of years she took on the role of faculty co-advisor of the SIUE chapter of Psi Chi. The SIUE chapter won recognition as the Ruth Cousins' National Chapter of the Year in 1993-94. Dr. Skitka moved to accept a faculty position at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she has been the chapter faculty adviser since the fall of 1994. The UIC chapter's activities in recent years include sponsoring a research "match maker" meeting at the beginning of each semester to help connect interested undergraduates with on-going programs of research. The chapter places between 70 and 100 students a semester into directed research projects. The UIC Psi Chi chapter also arranges practical seminars, workshops, and career days, and is very active in providing service to the greater community of undergraduate psychology majors (e.g., statistical tutoring, opening all symposia to the broader psychology community), the psychology department as a whole (e.g., maintaining and staffing the departmental library, creating a psychology majors listserv; the creation of a new scholarship and working to get it permanently endowed), as well as working to serve various community needs (e.g., a very successful service effort to provide 160 needy families with all the fixings for their Thanksgiving dinner this year; continuing service focused on children in need). The UIC Psi Chi chapter was very proud to be recognized as the Ruth Cousins' National Chapter of the Year in 1997, and to receive recognition as the Midwestern regional chapter of the year for a university with more than 5,000 students for the year 2000-2001. Dr. Skitka served on the Psi Chi National Council as the Midwestern regional vice president from 1993-1995, where she played a role in moving the Psi Chi newsletter into its current more glossy format, and in establishing a broader number of Psi Chi awards for students. In addition to her involvement in Psi Chi, Dr. Skitka has also been recognized for excellence in teaching with awards from the University of California, Berkeley, SIUE, and UIC, and is also a very active researcher with numerous publications to her credit. Her research has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, as well as a Psi Chi Faculty Advisor research grant. Her research interests include political psychology, distributive and procedural justice, and judgment and decision making. Dr. Skitka is married to Dr. William McCready, and has two children, Samantha (age 12) and Joshua (age 15).
Kenneth Weaver, Ph.D., received a BS in biology and an MEd in secondary science education from the University of South Carolina. He received an MA and PhD in educational psychology from Columbia University. He worked two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in rural public health education in the Philippines and taught 7th and 8th grade science for five years in South Carolina. He came to Emporia State University in 1986 and is now Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychology and Special Education.
Ken is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and a participant in the Psychology Partnerships Project. Last year, he received an APA Presidential Citation for "outstanding leadership in support of teaching and learning in psychology." He has been the Emporia State University Psi Chi Chapter Advisor since 1993. Working with Psi Chi officers and members keeps his enthusiasm for psychology high; the chapter's winning the 1999-2000 Midwestern Regional Chapter Award is a career highlight for him.
JoAnne Brewster, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the School of Psychology at James Madison University. In addition to serving as the faculty advisor for the JMU chapter of Psi Chi, she teaches Abnormal Psychology and Forensic Psychology. Her main research interests are in the police personality and the selection of police officers. She recently served as the president of the Society for Police and Criminal Psychology. Before entering academia in 1992, she was in private practice as a clinical psychologist with Augusta Psychological Associates. When she is not working, she enjoys traveling and dancing with her husband, teaching ballroom dance and belly dance, studying French and Italian, and working on various craft projects. As a side benefit of her avocations, each semester Psi Chi members get cha cha lessons!