James Madison University

James O. Benedict Senior Teaching Award

This award is named for faculty member James O. Benedict, and honors a senior who has demonstrated interest in pursuing a career in higher education in the field of Psychology, or who has served as a teaching assistant in Psychology while an undergraduate student. Once endowed, this award will become a scholarship will provide funds annually to a deserving student.

You can contribute to this fund by making a donation online.

2018 Award Recipient


Ashley Rininger

PHOTO:Ashley Rininger
  • Works with Dr. Jessica Irons examining cue-induced nicotine withdrawal in humans, the effects of alcohol priming on substance preferences (coordinates this study), and the effects of rhetoric exposure on health choices.
  • Has served as a teaching assistant for Psychological Statistics and Integrated Statistics and Methods under the supervision of Dr. Tracy Zinn and Research Methods in Psychology under the supervision of Dr. Jessica Irons.
  • Serves as a Psychology Peer Advisor and serves as the Training Liaison & Transition Specialist.
  • Is a member of Kappa Alpha Theta, is a member of Active Minds, has volunteered with Open House, worked as an AVID tutor, and has attended and led Alternative Spring Breaks trips and serves as an Alternative Spring Break Student Coordinator.
  • Serves as a statistics tutor in the JMU Learning Centers.

2017 Award Recipient


Rebecca Seymour

PHOTO:Rebecca Seymour
  • Works with Dr. Trevor Stokes in the Inter-Professional Autism Clinic conducting research on parent-child interactions and other applications of behavioral principles.
  • Has been a teaching assistant for Dr. JoAnne Brewster in Abnormal Psychology and has conducted review sessions and given mini-lectures. She is also the coordinator for Dr. Brewster's tutoring program. In addition, she has been a teaching assistant for Dr. Bryan Saville in Psychology of Learning.
  • Has been on the JMU President's List for the last two semesters.
  • Has worked with underprivileged children in an after-school community service program.