James Madison University

Joel D. West Senior Distinguished Service Award

This award recognizes seniors who reflect commitment to the field of psychology through their service activities.

2018 Award Recipient


Briana Craig

PHOTO:Briana Craig
  • 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. She also works with Dr. Kevin Apple conducting research on student engagement in Higher Education.
  • She was a recipient of s research award at the Virginia Association of Psychological Science, for her work on texting and driving with Dr. Natalie Kerr.
  • Has served as a teaching assistant for Psychological Research Methods under the supervision of Dr. Jessica Irons.
  • Serves as a student tutor in the Math and Science Learning Center.
  • Has been a leader on two Alternative Spring Break trips.
  • Has been on the President's list since Spring 2015.
  • Has completed an Honors thesis on the psychology of superheroes, which she hopes to publish in book form.
  • Plans to get her Masters degree in a statistics-related field after graduating from JMU.

2017 Award Recipient


Maria Camilla Restrepo Chavez

PHOTO: Maria Camilla Restrepo Chavez
  • Currently completing an honors thesis on JMU's Centennial Scholars Program under the supervision of Dr. Jaime Kurtz.
  • Has presented research on perceptions of student well-being at UVA's L. Starling Reid Undergraduate Psychology Research Conference.
  • Was awarded the Rogowski Award in 2016.
  • Has served as a teaching assistant for Social Psychology and Honors 100.
  • Is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, and Psi Chi honors societies.
  • Has volunteered with SafeRides, the Reading Road Show, Psychology Service Organization, has attended two Albternative Spring Breaks, is a brother of Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, and has completed a practicum at the counseling center.