APA/Division Dialogue July/August 2003 Foundation News

APF's Charles L. Brewer Distinguished Teaching of Psychology Award recognizes a career contribution to the teaching of psychology.

Victor A. Benassi Recognized for Teaching Excellence

The American Psychological Foundation will honor Victor A. Benassi, PhD, with its 2003 award for the Distinguished Teaching of Psychology, at the APA-APF Awards Ceremony on Friday, August 8, in the ballroom of the Fairmont Royal York Hotel, in Toronto. On the same day, Benassi will deliver an address, College Students' Beliefs About Paranormal Phenomena: Implications for Teaching and Faculty Development, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, in meeting rooms 201E and F, at 12:00 p.m.

Benassi earned his bachelor degree from California State College, Pennsylvania, his master's from California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), and his doctoral from Queens College of the City University of New York. After obtaining his PhD in 1975, Benassi's first academic position was as a lecturer and then as a director of an applied psychology center at CSULB, where he stayed until 1982. During this period, he began a career-long interest in involving students in his research programs.

In 1982, Benassi began his career in the psychology department of the University of New Hampshire (UNH), and, during the past 20 years, he has worked to develop the department's unique program, whose early vision was established by Eugene A. Mills, Ph.D.; Raymond L. Erickson, Ph.D.; and Peter S. Fernald (the 1993 recipient of the APF Teaching Award). The program prepares psychology doctoral students not only as research psychologists, but also as college teachers and members of an academic community. During the 1990s, as the national preparing future faculty initiative was taking hold, the UNH program gained increasing recognition as a result, in large measure, of Benassi's publications and of his presentations at various national meetings.

Along with two of his UNH colleagues-Lee F. Seidel, PhD, and Harry J. Richards, PhD-Benassi has been instrumental in the creation, development, and national dissemination of the UNH Academic Program in College Teaching. For the success of this initiative, the University was a 2002 recipient of TIAA-CREF's Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Faculty Development to Enhance Undergraduate Teaching.

Benassi served as department chairperson at UNH from 1989 to 1998, followed by a stint in the Office of Academic Affairs as vice provost for undergraduate studies. In August 2003, he returned to the department of psychology, where he plans to continue his academic career much as it started-being engaged with his students in and out of the classroom and in the laboratory.

Benassi is married to Margaret (Peg) Murray, with whom he adopted three siblings from Costa Rica in 1993-James, David, and Pamela.


Nominations sought for APF's Charles L. Brewer Distinguished Teaching of Psychology Award

The American Psychological Foundation (APF) invites nominations for its 2004 Charles L. Brewer Distinguished Teaching of Psychology Award. Formerly known as the APF Distinguished Teaching of Psychology Award, the APF Trustees recently decided to honor Dr. Brewer-professor of psychology at Furman University and himself a recipient of the award (1989)- by naming the annual award after him for his career-long devotion and eminent contributions to the teaching of psychology.

The awardee receives a plaque, a $2,000 check, and a two-night, three-day, all-expenses- paid trip to APA's 2004 Annual Convention in Honolulu, Jul. 28-Aug.1, where the award will be presented.

The award recognizes a career contribution to the teaching of psychology. APF's Teaching Subcommittee selects a psychologist for the award who has demonstrated evidence of influence as a teacher of students who become psychologists; research on teaching; development of effective teaching methods and materials or of innovative curricula and courses; exemplary performance as a classroom teacher; training of teachers of psychology; and administrative facilitation of teaching.

Nominations should include the nomination form, a statement illustrating how the nominee fulfills the guidelines of the award, and the nominee's current vita and bibliography. Letters in support of the nomination are welcome. All materials should be received, as a complete packet, no later than December 1, 2003. The APF nomination form can be obtained online at the Foundation website. (Please click on the Encouraging Innovation link under APF Programs.) Complete nomination packets should be mailed to the Charles L. Brewer Distinguished Teaching Award Coordinator, American Psychological Foundation at the APF address.


Nominate Distinguished Colleagues for the 2004 Gold Medal Awards

The American Psychological Foundation (APF) invites nominations for its 2004 Gold Medal awards. The awards include a medal; $2,000 to be donated by APF to the charitable institution of the winner's choice; and an all-expense-paid trip for the award winner and one guest to APA's 2004 Annual Convention in Honolulu, Jul. 28-Aug.1, for two nights and three days. (Coach round-trip airfare, and reasonable expenses for accommodations, and meals for two individuals will be reimbursed.)

The Gold Medal awards recognize life achievement in and enduring contributions to psychology. Eligibility is limited to psychologists 65 years or older residing in North America. Awards are conferred in four categories:

  • Life Achievement in the Science of Psychology for advancing psychological science.

  • Life Achievement in the Application of Psychology for the application of psychology through methods, research, or application of psychological techniques to important practical problems.

  • Life Achievement by a Psychologist in the Public Interest for the application of psychology in the public interest.

  • Life Achievement in the Practice of Psychology for advancing the professional practice of psychology through a demonstrable effect on patterns of service delivery in the profession.

Nominations should indicate the specific award for which the individual is nominated and should include a nomination statement that traces the nominee's cumulative record of enduring contribution in that area, as well as the nominee's current vita and bibliography. Letters in support of the nomination are also welcome. All nomination materials should be coordinated and collected by the chief nominator and forwarded together in one package. (Note. There is no nomination form.)

The firm deadline for receipt of complete nomination materials is December 1, 2003; complete nomination packets should be mailed to the Gold Medal Awards Coordinator, American Psychological Foundation at the APA address.