Regional Faculty Advisor 2004-05 Award Winners
The Psi Chi Awards Committee is pleased to announce the winners of this year's Regional Faculty Advisor Awards. Listed below is a summary of the backgrounds and accomplishments of these worthy winners.
George A. Gaither, PhD (bio)
Ball State University (IN)
Rocky Mountain Region
Heath D. Earl, PhD (bio)
Southern Utah University
Miriam N. Liss, PhD (bio)
University of Mary Washington (VA)
Lauren F.V. Scharff, PhD (bio)
Stephen F. Austin State University (TX)
Lori Barker-Hackett, PhD (bio)
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
|| BIOGRAPHIES OF WINNERS:
George A. Gaither, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychological Science at Ball State University. He received his BA at the University of South Florida, where he was a member of Psi Chi and the founder of their undergraduate psychology club - the University Psychological Association. Dr. Gaither received his MA and PhD (2000) in clinical psychology from the University of North Dakota, and completed his clinical predoctoral internship at the Medical University of South Carolina where he was awarded the Scientist-Practitioner award. Dr. Gaither has been at Ball State University since 2000.
Dr. Gaither regularly provides a number of undergraduate and graduate students with professional development experiences. For example, since he has been at Ball State, over 60 students have been involved in his research projects, with 21 students presenting their research at conferences and 11 coauthoring published articles.
Dr. Gaither has been heavily involved in his department's effort to increase student retention and faculty advising satisfaction. For example, he secured funding for a departmental Advising and Resource Center, a bachelor's level Careers Talk Series, and a large number of print resources. He also teaches the department's new required Orientation to a Major in Psychology course, which provides students with the opportunity to connect with the department and their advisors, as well as prepare an undergraduate curriculum and experiences that will enable them to meet their post-baccalaureate goals. Dr. Gaither also facilitates faculty workshops within the department, as well as through the university's Office for Teaching and Learning Advancement.
Heath D. Earl, PhD, is a native of Northern Utah. His hobbies include outdoor recreation, travel, spending time with his family, and civic and church activities. He earned a bachelors degree in psychology from Weber State University in 1994, a MS degree in clinical psychology from New Mexico Highlands University in 2000, ABD status in behavioral neurobiology, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in clinical psychology from Brigham Young University in 2002. His clinical specialization is in child and family psycho- therapy and clinical neuropsychology. He is an assistant professor of psychology at Southern Utah University and the owner and clinical director of Cedar Diagnostic Clinic. Dr. Earl's research interests are in the areas of neuropsychological assessment development and the clinical effectiveness of parent training programs. Dr. Earl's teaching interests include research designs, abnormal psychology, and clinical neuropsychology.
Dr. Earl has been a dedicated and enthusiastic member of Psi Chi for 15 years. He served as vice president and president of the Weber State University and New Mexico Highlands University chapters of Psi Chi, respectively. He values Psi Chi and recognizes it as an important, influential, and enjoyable contributor to his academic development and professional success. Dr. Earl has been the Psi Chi and Psychology Club faculty advisor at Southern Utah University for the past three years. His passion as an advisor is collaborative research and preparing students for professional presentation of research at conferences. In 2004, Dr. Earl accompanied 38 students to the annual conference of the Rocky Mountain Psycho- logical Association, where 15 students presented original or coauthored research projects. In April, 2005, 52 psychology majors from Southern Utah University will attend a regional conference where approximately half will present research findings. Dr. Earl attributes his success as an advisor to the fabulous students and student leadership at Southern Utah University and unbelievably supportive psychology faculty members who value teaching and student interaction.
Miriam N. Liss, PhD, is an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Mary Washington. She received her undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University in 1995 and her PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Connecticut in 2001. Dr. Liss became advisor to Psi Chi during the spring of her first year teaching after the sudden death of Dr. J. Christopher Bill, beloved colleague and previous Psi Chi advisor. As Psi Chi advisor, she has helped initiate many events including campus-wide GRE workshops, a career forum, and a graduate school forum. Last year, Psi Chi worked in collaboration with the entire department to initiate a campus wide charity auction in memory of J. Christopher Bill and raised over $3,000. Additionally, the Psi Chi chapter sponsors an annual department wide two-day symposium in which students present their research. Details about that symposium were recently published in an article in Eye on Psi Chi. Last year the University of Mary Washington chapter won the Psi Chi Regional Chapter award for the Southeastern region.
Dr. Liss has a variety of research interests including autism, sensory processing, self-injury in college students, and feminist identity. She has published in these areas with several undergraduate coauthors and has presented at many regional and national conferences with undergraduates.
Lauren F.V. Scharff, PhD, is a professor in the department of psychology at Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA), where she has been teaching since January of 1993. She completed her PhD in human experimental psychology in December, 1992 from the University of Texas at Austin. At SFA, she has coordinated initiatives to reorganize new faculty orientation, create teaching circles, and write a faculty "survival guide." She received two president's awards for these efforts, in addition to receiving the SFA Foundation Faculty Achievement Award for Teaching in 2000 and the College of Liberal Arts Teaching Excellence Award 1998. In her department, she established a graduate teaching seminar for students who desire to instruct courses while in graduate school. She regularly teaches introductory psychology, research methods, biopsychology, and perception courses. She has been the Psi Chi advisor since the spring of 2001 and has thoroughly enjoyed working with a large and active membership consisting of both undergraduate and graduate students.
Her major research interests include text readability, visual search, and depth perception, although her students continually shift her research efforts to new directions. For the past four years she has actively collaborated with researchers at NASA-Ames to create a metric to predict text readability. Dr. Scharff is currently serving as a member of the Psi Chi Regional Advisory Committee, and has served two terms as the Texas State Representative for the Southwest Psychological Association. She has a wonderful husband, two young sons, a dog, and two horses who all help her stay well-balanced.
Lori Barker-Hackett, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Psychology and Sociology at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona). Dr. Barker-Hackett is a licensed clinical psychologist and also works part-time as the Administrative Director of the Cal Poly Pomona, Ennis W. Cosby, Child and Family Services Friendmobile, a program that offers counseling, assessment, tutoring, and mentoring to children and families in inner city Pomona. Dr. Barker-Hackett received her BA in psychology from Yale University and her PhD in clinical psychology from UCLA. Her primary areas of interest include multiculturalism, community psychology, and child/adolescent psychology. Her current research is on multicultural education and diversity training and the factors that influence the effectiveness of such programs. Dr. Barker-Hackett previously won the Psi Chi Western Region Faculty Advisor in 1999; the Outstanding Teaching Award from the Western Psychological Association (WPA, 2005); Outstanding Advisor, Office of Student Life, Cal Poly Pomona (1997); and Professor of the Year, Psi Chi, Cal Poly Pomona Chapter (1995, 2003, 2004). This is Dr. Barker-Hackett's ninth year as Psi Chi advisor. Her favorite activities with the club include conducting workshops on preparing for and applying to graduate school and traveling to WPA every year. Last year, she took a record 29 students to WPA. Her philosophy as advisor is, "Love your students and believe they can achieve great things."