Benedict wins top VA award

Sharon Benedict, PhD, is the recipient of the 27th annual Olin E. Teague Award, the highest honor given by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The award recognizes employees whose extraordinary achievements have benefited combat-injured veterans.

Benedict is the polytrauma counseling psychologist at the Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center in Richmond, Va. Through her interaction with veterans' family members, Benedict recognized that families needed more education about traumatic brain injuries. She created a 35-page handbook for families that provides an overview of the brain's anatomy and explains the roles of interdisciplinary team members who work on brain injuries, as well as what families can expect during the acute rehabilitation phase. The manual also urges family members to remember to care for themselves while caring for loved ones.

Cherney is Nebraska professor of the year

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education named Creighton University psychology professor Isabelle Cherney, PhD, Nebraska's 2007 Professor of the Year.

Known for her contagious enthusiasm, Cherney finds a way to connect the class material to students' lives, strikes a careful balance between support and challenge, and makes classroom lectures come to life, the foundation says.

"Teaching is my calling and vocation," says Cherney. "I could not imagine my world without sharing my passion with my students, colleagues and friends."

She was one of the 50 top professors chosen for their state's highest honor from the nearly 300 professors nominated nationwide.

Meyers is Illinois top professor

Roosevelt University psychology professor Steven A. Meyers, PhD, was selected as the 2007 Illinois Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Meyers, a child and family clinical psychologist, teaches developmental and clinical psychology. He believes that college should be more than just an opportunity for students to learn. "By encouraging my students to 'reach in, reach out and reach around,' I try to help them to discover what they are capable of doing and who they are capable of being," he says.

To help Roosevelt students learn about child development from an interdisciplinary perspective, Meyers created Roosevelt's Initiative for Child and Family Studies, which enables students to earn a four-course certificate by taking courses offered by the College of Education and the College of Arts and Sciences. The fourth class is a field placement course that involves 72 hours of direct interaction with children and families.

Moore wins Melton award

Div. 19 (Society for Military Psychology) presented this year's Melton Award to Capt. Bret A. Moore, PsyD. The Melton Award recognizes early-career achievements in military psychology, normally within five to 10 years of entry into the field.

Moore deployed to Iraq for a 12-month tour in early 2005 just months after completing his psychology residency with the U.S. Army. During his tour, he was able to set up both clinical and prevention services at two separate forward operating bases (FOBs) and provided clinical and prevention support to eight other remote FOBs and patrol bases. In total, he was responsible for the behavioral health care of more than 11,000 service members.

Ten months after he returned home, Moore was asked to serve a second tour in Iraq. Since February 2007, he has been working as the officer in charge of preventive services at a large FOB in northern Iraq.

--D. Schwartz