Regional Faculty Advisor 2002-03 Award Winners
The Psi Chi Awards Committee is pleased to announce the winners of the 2002-2003 Regional Faculty Advisor Awards. Listed below is a summary of the backgrounds and accomplishments of these worthy winners.
Susan E. Dutch, PhD (bio | letter of nomination)
Westfield State College (MA)
Jeffrey Smith, PhD (bio | letter of nomination)
Mount Union College (OH)
Rocky Mountain Region
Laurence Armand French, PhD (bio | letter of nomination)
Western New Mexico University
Merry J. Sleigh, PhD (bio | letter of nomination)
George Mason University (VA)
|| BIOGRAPHIES OF WINNERS:
Susan E. Dutch, PhD, is a full professor of psychology at Westfield State College in Westfield, MA. She completed her PhD in experimental psychology at the University of Connecticut, specializing in cognition. Dr. Dutch was the recipient of the Westfield State College Outstanding Educator Award in May of 2000.
Dr. Dutch’s research comparing the decision-making processes of younger and older adults is currently being funded by a Psi Chi faculty advisory grant. She routinely involves undergraduate students in her research work and has often presented her findings with students as coauthors. Dr. Dutch incorporates service learning in many of her courses and has been quite active in the community. For her work, she was chosen as one of the "Westfield 150"—the 150 most influential people on campus during the 150 years of the college’s existence.
Dr. Dutch has been faculty advisor of the Westfield State College chapter of Psi Chi since 1984. Just one student was initiated that first year. She has been the advisor (except for sabbatical leaves) ever since. Today, the chapter is quite active and initiates about 40 members per year. The chapter provides service in the community through its annual food drive and by sending holiday greeting cards to hospitalized children and adults in nursing homes. A national past-president of Psi Chi and a former Eastern regional vice-president, Dr. Dutch has received the Chapter Advisor Award numerous times.
Besides Psi Chi, Dr. Dutch is an active member of many psychological associations, including the New England Psychological Association (past-president), the Council of Teachers of Undergraduate Psychology (past Eastern regional coordinator), the Society for the Teaching of Psychology, Division 2 of APA (past Eastern regional liaison) and the Psychology Partnerships Project (Service Learning Focus Group). She is a fellow of APA in both Division 52 (International) where she has served as program chair, and of Division 2 (The Society for the Teaching of Psychology) where she serves on the Fellows Committee. Currently she is serving a three-year term on the board of directors of the Eastern Psychological Association and is also the program chair of the annual convention.
Jeffery S. Smith, PhD, is an assistant professor of psychology at Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Georgia College in 1993 and his master’s from the same institution in 1995. His PhD is from Emory University in Atlanta, GA, specializing in behavioral neuroscience, specifically neuroplasticity and recovery of function. His primary teaching responsibilities include the Research Methods and Statistics sequence, Biopsychology, Sensation and Perception and other biologically based psychology courses.
During his undergraduate years, Dr. Smith and several other students and professors chartered the Psi Chi chapter at Georgia College, building the chapter and making it one of the strongest chapters in the region. Soon after arriving at Mount Union he and several students and faculty members began the process of establishing Mount Union’s own chapter of Psi Chi; he has been the chapter advisor since its inception.
Always engaged with the students of Mount Union, Dr. Smith is involved in several other activities on campus. He is the advisor for the women’s wrestling club and is one of the three faculty traveling to Russia with students as part of a travel and study program offered by Mount Union College. He has won several awards, including the Summer Teaching and Research Award, the Technological Innovation Award, The Jane Weston Chapman Award (for providing opportunities for women on the sciences on the Mount Union College campus), and has been nominated several times for the Mount Union College Great Teacher Award.
The students who make up the Mount Union Chapter of Psi Chi have worked very hard to promote the principles of Psi Chi by performing numerous service projects in the community, sponsoring guest speakers, and developing and hosting their own undergraduate research conference; The Interdisciplinary Conference for the Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Smith feels honored to be named the Midwestern Advisor of the Year, but is even more honored to have such a great group of students to work with at Mount Union. "Our students know and appreciate the importance of Psi Chi and the responsibilities they have as members. They have all worked very hard to support Psi Chi’s mission over the past few years and any award, including the advisor of the year award, is due to their efforts and hard work. The award will be shared equally with them.
Laurence Armand French, PhD, is a second generation French-Canadian (Franco-American) who grew up in the mill towns of New England. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps at age 17 and later attended college as a disabled veteran. He attended the Church College of Hawaii (Brigham Young–Hawaii), the University of Hawaii, and the University of New Hampshire where he earned his BA, MA, and PhD in sociology (deviant behavior/social psychology). He later earned a second MA in educational psychology from Western New Mexico University and a second PhD in psychological and cultural studies (educational psychology and measurement) from the University of Nebraska. He also did a post-doctorate in minorities and criminal justice at the State University of New York-Albany.
Dr. French has held full-time faculty positions at Western Carolina University (1972–1977), the University of Nebraska-Omaha (1977–1980) and Western New Mexico University (1989–2003). He also served as a staff psychologist at the New Hampshire Neuropsychiatric Facilities (1980–1989). He has worked extensively with minority populations, notably Native Americans, Hispanics, and African-Americans. He has written more than 200 publications including 11 books. He initiated the Psychology Club and Psi Chi Chapters at Western New Mexico University and has engaged the students in viable cultural activities during this time. Dr. French is a professor of psychology and chair of the Department of Social Sciences at Western New Mexico University.
Merry J. Sleigh, PhD, received her BA in English and psychology from James Madison University (VA). She received her doctorate in developmental psychology at Virginia Tech, then worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at Indiana University. Dr. Sleigh began teaching as an adjunct faculty at GMU in 1997 and became the full time director of the Psychology Honors Program and the Psi Chi advisor in 1999. In 2000, she won a Teaching Excellence Award from GMU and in 2002 was a recipient of the Psi Chi Faculty Advisor Grant in the Southeast Region. Dr. Sleigh and her husband recently accepted faculty positions in the psychology department at Winthrop University. At Winthrop, she serves as co-advisor of the Psychology Club and Psi Chi. Dr. Sleigh’s primary research interests are prenatal development and teaching effectiveness.