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Regional Faculty Advisor Awards


To annually recognize one exemplary faculty advisor in each region who best achieves Psi Chi’s mission.



A custom engraved plaque and $500 is awarded to the winning faculty advisor.



Applications and nominations are due to the application portal by April 1.


This application portal will open 30 days before the deadline.

During the time the application portal is closed, the program details of the previous awards may be viewed by selecting the button below.





Seungyeon Lee, PhD
University of Arkansas at Monticello
2016–17 Southwestern Region 

Dr. Seungyeon Lee, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Arkansas at Monticello, has been the faculty advisor since fall 2014. In this time, she has served on the Review Committee for SWPA, reviewed for Journal of Psychological Inquiry, and mentored her Psi Chi students who presented their research at the annual SWPA convention. Her Psi Chi chapter has won the Model Chapter Award for two consecutive years—both in 2015–16 and 2016–17. As Dr. Lee has devoted herself to the improvement of positive behavior support in the classroom, she has earned several awards including the Outstanding School of Social and Behavioral Sciences Faculty Award and the Arkansas Psychological Association’s Early Career Psychologist Award. Her primary research interests include early behavioral intervention for children with developmental disabilities, mental health in the classroom technology training and integration for college instructors, and school bullying. She resides in Monticello, AR, with her husband, Jaehyun, and her son, Ian. 

Casey Knifsend, PhD
California State University, Sacramento 
2016–17 Western Region

Dr. Casey A. Knifsend is an assistant professor of psychology at California State University, Sacramento (CSUS). She earned her BS in psychology from the University of California, Davis in 2007, and her PhD in psychology from UCLA in 2014. During her 3 years at CSUS, she has taught several courses in developmental and community psychology, in addition to serving as the faculty advisor of the CSUS Chapter of Psi Chi. Inducted into Psi Chi at UC Davis and experiencing first-hand the impact of this organization during her undergraduate career, serving as faculty advisor has been a highlight of her time at CSUS. Over this period, she is especially proud of efforts to increase inclusivity, as well as to benefit the Sacramento community through service projects and the chapter’s Opportunity Fair, connecting undergraduate and graduate students with community organizations for Psychology-related fieldwork experiences. The CSUS chapter was awarded the Model Chapter award in 2015 and the Regional Chapter award in 2016. Her current research focus is on understanding the role of extracurricular and after-school activities in positive academic and psychosocial development, with community-based projects spanning elementary school to postsecondary education.

David Earnest, PhD
Towson University (MD)
2016–17 Eastern Region
Coadvisor Team

David Earnest (PhD, The University of Memphis) is an associate professor of psychology at Towson University where his teaching interests include courses in Industrial Psychology, Behavioral Statistics, Research Methods, Study Abroad in Psychology, and Introduction to Psychology. He brings experience in recruitment and selection procedures, program evaluation, and experimental methodology across business, health care, education, civil service, and military environments. His areas of research interest include recruitment and selection, intercultural competencies, and teaching pedagogy.

Jeffrey Kukucka, PhD
Towson University (MD)
2016–17 Eastern Region
Coadvisor Team

Jeff Kukucka (PhD, CUNY Graduate Center) is an assistant professor of psychology at Towson University, where he teaches courses in Behavioral Statistics, Advanced Experimental Design, and Psychology and Law. His research explores how social and cognitive biases in criminal investigations and trials can result in wrongful convictions. He enjoys sharing his work with police, forensic scientists, lawyers, and the general public, with the goal of promoting science-based criminal justice reform.

Lindsey Root Luna, PhD
Hope College (MI)
2016–17 Midwestern Region

Lindsey Root Luna, PhD, is an associate professor of psychology at Hope College in Holland, MI. She attended Hope College as a student, where she served as the Psi Chi chapter president in the 2002–03 academic year. She went on to earn her MS and PhD in clinical psychology at the University of Miami. Dr. Root Luna completed her clinical internship at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services in Grand Rapids, MI, where she maintains a private practice. She taught for three years at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, MI, before returning to Hope College as a faculty member in 2012. She has been the chapter advisor since 2015, and the chapter won the Kay Wilson Officer Team Leadership Award in 2016. Dr. Root Luna enjoys mentoring undergraduate students in research; they have won Psi Chi Regional Research Awards for the past three consecutive years. Her research focuses on emotion, emotion regulation, and virtues such as forgiveness, gratitude, humility, and hope, along with their physiological correlates. She was presented the college’s 53rd “Hope Outstanding Professor Educator” (H.O.P.E.) Award by the graduating class of 2017. She finds collaborating with students to be among the most rewarding components of her work.

Maria Lavooy, PhD
Florida Institute of Technology
2016–17 Southeastern Region

Maria Lavooy earned an undergraduate degree in biology, with biopsychology as her main area of interest and study. This interest led her to the Behavior Genetics Mouse Lab at Miami University, OH, where she earned an MA and PhD in Psychology. She is currently in her 32nd year of teaching and has been an active member of Psi Chi since her undergraduate years, serving in many capacities including as an installation officer, advisor, Vice President of the Southeast Region, and Society President. Her recent research interests, in addition to online teaching and learning, include confronting behavior and diversity.

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