Psychology Department Receives Dahne Award for Faculty Excellence

Psychology Department Receives Dahne Award for Faculty Excellence

L to R: Betsy Ruddy, Brunelle Tellis, Jean Kirnan, John Marcy, and Michael Robertson

The psychology department was named the winner of the Mildred Dahne Award for academic year 2007-08. The award was presented at the conclusion of last semester.

In 2004, TCNJ Foundation received a bequest from Mildred M. Dahne ’32, which earmarked $217,000 endowed to annually recognize faculty excellence. Starting in spring 2005, an annual award of $8,000 has been given for department or program excellence.The psychology’s department’s achievements are truly exemplary. Its accomplishments include:

* A recent program review revealed that the curriculum is among the most rigorous of undergraduate departments nationwide, requiring two research courses and a statistics course which are completed by the end of sophomore year, as well as a culminating senior capstone experience.

* The current concentration offerings include: biopsychology, cognitive psychology, counseling/clinical psychology, developmental psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, and social psychology.

* The students have been very successful in professional endeavors. In the 2006–07 academic year alone, 13 undergraduate students co-authored a publication in a peer-reviewed journal, with four out those 13 students being first authors. Nineteen students also presented their research at national conferences.

* Within the past five years, the faculty has authored 64 publications in peer-reviewed journals, 42 of which are first-authored. Faculty members have attended 77 conferences in the past five years to present their research through a paper or poster session. During the same time period, 28 students appeared as co-authors in 13 peer-reviewed publications, while 61 students presented 19 posters/papers at seven professional conferences.

* The department developed ELOPsy (Experiental Learning Opportunities in Psychology), an immersion experience that allows students to gain hands-on training within the field. A recent survey revealed that 92 percent of the 2007 graduating class participated in an ELOPsy course. The ELOPsy courses include individual coursework (internships, independent study, instructional internship, senior honors thesis) as well as small group research-intensive courses (lab learning, research roundtable).

* The department recently developed a new advising initiative. A zero-credit, seven-week course will present topics and activities specifically designed for freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors. This structured, mandatory program will provide information to all students, standardize and centralize the information provided, and allow faculty to concentrating advising time on career interests and opportunities instead of process.

* The department is in its third year of offering a series of best practices meetings for faculty where they can share problems and solutions on a variety of topics. Best practices to date have included: Advising, Utilizing Instructional Interns, Classroom Technology and Form Genie, Accommodating Students with Differing Abilities, Writing Workshop, and Introduction to the ELOPsy On-Line System. These workshops are presented by their own faculty as well as experts within the College.

* In an effort to further develop a sense of community, the departments began publishing both a faculty and student newsletter. These publications are distributed to current students, faculty and alumni in an effort to share information and create a sense of belonging. These newsletters highlight the many accomplishments of the students, faculty and staff.

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