Transitions. There have been many faculty transitions recently in the Department of Psychology. Last year Dr. Dan Holt joined our department and Dr. Kethera Fogler assumed a visiting faculty role that will continue during 2012-13. This year Dr. Vivien Chan and Dr. Claire Lyons have joined our department. Drs. Jeff Dyche and Jessica Irons were promoted to the rank of Associate Professor and granted tenure. Drs. Bill Evans and Michael Hall were promoted to the rank of Professor.
Interest in the Psychology major remains strong. Data from the Office of Institutional Research shows that the number of declared JMU Psychology majors grew from 862 in 2009-10 to 1045 in 2010-11. During 2011-12 there were 1021 declared Psychology majors at JMU. Our Psychology Major curriculum meets many best-practices recommendations such as those presented in Halpern (2009) and is often identified as a model program that others seek to emulate. Our major is structured to allow students to build on prior experiences as they learn about psychology in greater depth. Assessment data suggests that most of our students are achieving program objectives. Since implementation of our revised major in 2006, student performance has been steadily improving in many domains, and student satisfaction with the program continues to be extremely high. A comparison of our program with a national sample of 374 psychology programs in North America suggests that our program is among the best available in terms of diversity of courses available, logical sequencing of the curriculum, experiential learning, capstone opportunities (Stoloff, et. al, 2010).
National data suggests that students who engage in experiential learning such as research experiences are more often admitted to graduate programs (Stoloff, et. al. 2012).. Providing these sorts of opportunities for psychology majors continued to be a significant activity for our faculty. During 2011-12 we offered 558 independent study experiences, 38 field placements, and 13 students completed honors thesis projects. A review of transcripts of students completing the psychology major during 2010 revealed that 81% of our graduates complete at least one independent study experience. Given the number of students who major in psychology and the number of full-time faculty in our department, a remarkable number of students have these experiences!
Our graduates are successful! We surveyed the 194 students who graduated in May 2012. As of May 16, we received responses from 113 students (59%). We learned that 96% were planning to attend graduate school (42% were planning to attend next year, and 54% were planning to attend sometime in the future). The May 2012 graduates who will attend graduate school in Fall 2012 indicated that they had been accepted into a graduate program to pursue one of the following areas of study: Clinical Psychology (8), School Psychology (7), Psychological Science (7), Experimental Psychology (4) Counseling (3),College Administration (3), Law School (3), Education (2), Social Work (2), Human Resource Management (2), Industrial/Organizational Psychology (2), Forensic/Criminal Psychology, Educational Psychology, Animal Behavior, Quantitative Psychology , Philosophy, and Occupational Therapy.
Similar surveys were conducted of May graduates in the period 2006-2012. The following is a summary of the data for the number of students who were admitted to graduate programs immediately after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in psychology at JMU. (Note that these data do not include students who were admitted to graduate programs sometime after their graduation; these data only include students who are admitted to graduate programs with the intent to attend immediately.) A total of 1199 students graduated in May during these six years, and 841 (70%) responded to our survey. A total of 356 (42%) indicated that they had been admitted to a graduate program and were planning to attend during the Fall. These students were admitted to the following programs:
|Type of Program||Number|
|Education (Including Special Education)||34|
|Forensic Psychology or Criminal Justice||19|
|Human Resources Management||3|
|Health Promotion Management||2|
|Social & Personality Psychology||1|
|Speech & Language Pathology||1|
Scholarship Update. This was a remarkable year for the generation of external funding. During 2011-12 our faculty completed work funded by 8 external grants totaling $663,038.09. During this same year the faculty and students of the Department of Psychology produced 80 publications including 4 books, 34 chapters, 39 journal articles, and 3 other forms of scholarly writing. Collectively, 27 students were listed as co-authors on these publications. In addition, our faculty and students completed 98 conference symposia, workshops, presentations and posters. A total of 149 students were listed as authors or co-authors on these presentations. The Department of Psychology provided a total of $13,845 in grants to students in support of their scholarship including $1,545 to cover expenses associated with conducting research projects and $12,300 in conference travel support. The department also produced 84 posters this year, including 60 authored by undergraduate students. Additionally, in April 2012 the Department of Psychology conducted its annual Symposium. During this two hour event, 55 posters that presented thesis, student research, and field placement experiences were presented by 90 students. More information.
Foundation Development Update. This was an excellent year for the development of sources of support through donations to the JMU Foundation. During the period of June 1, 2011 through May 31, 2012 a total of $18,910, comprised of gifts from 23 individuals, were received by the JMU Foundation in support of psychology students and programs. This is approximately $676 more than we collected during the prior year ($18,234). We welcome contributions to all of these scholarship funds as well as our general Department of Psychology foundation account. More information.
Faculty Recognition. This year, many of our faculty received significant awards in recognition of their accomplishments, including:
- Dr. JoAnne Brewster was granted board certification by the American Board of Police and Public Safety Psychology, a specialty board of the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). She also won awards in recognition of outstanding service to the Society for Police and Criminal Psychology and Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Police and Public Safety Psychology from the Police and Public Safety Section of Division 18 of the American Psychological Association.
- Dr. David Danielwon the Robert S. Daniel Teaching Excellence Award given by the Society for the Teaching of Psychology (Division Two of the American Psychological Association).
- Dr. Kenn Barron received a College of Integrated Science and Technology (CISAT) Educational Leave for Fall 2012.
- Drs. Kenn Barron, David Daniel and Ms. Kim DuVall were cited in A new publication by the Princeton Review entitled “The Best 300 Professors” has profiled outstanding professors from 122 colleges who have been identified through “RateMyProfessor.com.”
Leadership in Undergraduate Psychology Education. Collectively, the JMU Department of Psychology faculty are, quite literally, writing the books on how to effectively prepare undergraduate students in psychology.During the one year alone, our faculty have been authors, book editors, or chapter authors in the following books that describe best practices in psychology education:
- Baker, S. C., Holmes, J. D., Stowell, J. S. (2011). Essays from E-xcellence in Teaching (Vol. 11). Society for the Teaching of Psychology.
- Barron, K. E. and Buch, K. (In Press). Discipline-Centered Learning Communities: Creating Connections among Students and Faculty within a Major. Jossey-Bass.
- Buskist, W. & Benassi, V. A. (2011). Successful Strategies for Preparing Graduate Students to Become Effective College and University Teachers. Sage.
- Cranney, J. & Dunn, D. S. (2011). Educating the psychologically literate citizen: Foundational and global perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Dunn, D.S., Baker, S. C., Mehrotra, C.M., Landrum, R. E., & Wilson, J. H. (In Press), Assessing teaching and learning in psychology: Current and future perspectives. Belmont, CA: Cengage.
- Dunn, D. S., McCarthy, M. A., Baker, S. C., Halonen, J. S. (2011). Using Quality Benchmarks for Assessing and Developing Undergraduate Programs. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
- Dunn, D.S., Wilson, J. C., Freeman, J., & Stowell, J.R. (2011). Best practices for technology-enhanced teaching and learning in higher education: Connecting to psychology and the social sciences. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Dunn, D.S., Wilson, J. C., Gurung, R. A. R., & Naufel, K. (In Press). Hot Topics: Best Practices in Teaching Controversial Issues in Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
- Giordano, P., Davis, S. & Licht, C. (2012). Your Graduate Training in Psychology: Suggestions for Success. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
- Landrum, E. & McCarthy, M. (2012). The ethics of teaching. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
- Mashek, D. & Hammer, E. Y. (2011). Empirical research on teaching and learning: Contributions from social psychology. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
- Miller, R.L., Amsel, E., Kowalewski, B. M., Beins, B. C., Keith, K. D., & Peden, B. F. (2011). Promoting student engagement , Volume 1. Syracuse, NY: Society for the Teaching of Psychology.
- Miller, R. L., Balcetis, E., Burns, S. R., Daniel, D. B., Saville, B. K., Woody, W. D. (2011). Promoting student engagement: Volume 2: Activities, exercises, and demonstrations for psychology courses. Syracuse, NY: Society for the Teaching of Psychology.
- Perlman, B., McCann, L. I., & McFadden, S. H. (2011). Lessons Learned: Volume 3 Practical Advice for the Teaching of Psychology. Washington, D.C.: Association for Psychological Science.
- Schwartz, B. M. & Gurung, R.A.R. (In Press). Evidence-based teaching for higher education. Washington, DC: APA Books.
Halpern, D. F. (2009). Undergraduate Education in Psychology: A Blueprint for the Future of the Discipline, Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Stoloff, M. L., McCarthy, M., Keller, L., Varfolomeeva, V., Lynch, J., Makara, K., Simmons, S. & Smiley, W. (2010). The Undergraduate Psychology Major: An Examination of Structure and Sequence. Teaching of Psychology, 37, 4-15.
Stoloff, M. L., Curtis, N. A., Rodgers, M., Brewster, J., McCarthy, M. A. (2012). Characteristics of Successful Undergraduate Psychology Programs. Teaching of Psychology, Teaching of Psychology, 39(2) 91-99.