Faculty Win Prestigious Awards in 2015
Dr. Debbie Sturm is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Graduate Psychology and Director of Counseling Programs. Recently, Dr. Sturm received The Hall Outstanding Faculty Achievement Award, The Taylor Award for Outstanding Individual Contribution to a Student Organization Award, and The Goodman Faculty Award. The former recognizes a faculty/staff member who has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to student learning outside of the classroom, has given their time outside of office hours and job requirements, and has had a significant influence on the lives of students. The Taylor Award recognizes student leaders that have provided exceptional contributions to the success of a recognized organization in good standing. The third award, The Goodman, recognizes excellence in teaching and/or research, with an emphasis on faculty who integrate their teaching and scholarship to benefit JMU students and the learning process. Reflecting all three awards, Dr. Sturm stated, “I am incredibly moved. The award from Dr. Hall was so sweet. The fact that it reflected my work with undergrads, the dorm, and the Honors program touched my heart."
Dr. David Ford is one of the Department of Graduate Psychology’s newest faculty members. In addition to teaching and counseling, he acts as an adviser to the Contemporary Gospel Singers and the Nu Lambda Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Recently, the JMU Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) hosted its annual Image Awards. Ford was presented with The Guiding Light Award for his services to the JMU undergraduate community. Dr. Ford stated, “I felt it was an honor and a privilege to have been given this award. I love giving back to students of color and hope to continue to support these students.”
Dr. Anne Stewart is a Professor of Graduate Psychology. She is a member of JMU’s “Be the Change” Hall of Fame and the founder/president of the Virginia Association for Play Therapy. She promotes resilience and attachment in children through projects around the world. Stewart recently won the JMU Woman of Distinction Award. The award honors women who inspire others through their imagination, innovation, passion, and dedication. In addition, the award seeks to recognize the recipient’s exemplary talents and achievements, strength of character, and the sincerity with which she serves. After winning the award, Dr. Stewart stated, “I was humbled, gratified and deeply aware that I am able to receive the award because I have benefited by the wisdom and sacrifices of many, many people.”
Eric Cowan is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and Professor of Graduate Psychology. He currently teaches both master’s and doctoral courses for the University’s graduate counseling programs. Dr. Cowan has traveled to India, Japan, Sri Lanka, and Thailand to study East/West psychology and mental health service delivery. Recently, Dr. Cowan was awarded The Mengebier Professorship. The professorship recognizes an extraordinary teacher who has displayed not only excellence in teaching, but has created profound connections with students that has aroused in them a new faith in their abilities. After being awarded this honor, Dr. Cowan stated: “It is particularly gratifying to be recognized with the Mengebier because it is intended to affirm the transformational potential of the relationship between students and professor. For me, that's the real joy of teaching - the opportunity to move past the mere sharing of information to create the conditions where students can uncover their potentials. It's really the student who is doing the hard work, but I am honored to be acknowledged with this very special award.”