Dr. Christopher Leone is the recipient of the 2019 SPSP Undergraduate Teaching and Mentoring Award. Chris is being recognized for his exceptional dedication and commitment to enriching student learning, and his significant impact on the academic and personal lives of literally hundreds of undergraduates. Students commend his willingness to “work every bit as hard as his students to master material”, reflected in the countless hours of individualized attention and exhaustive feedback he provides, and evidenced by his highly effective scaffolding strategy for mentoring undergraduates. Chris’ passion for student learning is demonstrated by his over 120 conference presentations and 20 journal publications with undergraduates, over 100 Supervised Research and Directed Individual Study projects, more than 50 student Honors Theses, and nearly a dozen invited presentations on mentoring best practices. In recognition of his excellence, Chris is a two-time recipient of the University of North Florida’s Outstanding Mentor Award, three-time recipient of UNF’s Outstanding Teacher Award, and winner of the Southeastern Psychological Association’s Outstanding Mentor Award. A majority of Chris’ mentees who qualified for graduate programs have matriculated, many to esteemed institutions, and ultimately succeeded in careers ranging from university professorships to the National Cancer Institute to the legal profession. As perhaps the strongest testament to Chris’ lasting influence, a student-initiated online network known as “Don Chris Leone’s Family”, comprised of nearly 100 former students across multiple generations of mentees, continues to carry out Chris’ legacy by fostering community building, knowledge sharing, mutual edification, and collaborative achievement.
Dr. Neil Lutsky is the winner of the 2018 SPSP Undergraduate Teaching and Mentoring Award. Neil has a particular interest in mentoring students from underrepresented groups to succeed in college, and if interested, pursue graduate studies. At Carleton, he helped recruit and advise undergraduates to participate in a Mellon Foundation initiative to involve students in research and inform them about opportunities in science and higher education. Perhaps the most substantial manifestation of Neil’s commitment in this regard occurred during the past three years as he assisted Ashoka University in India to develop a psychology program. Neil also taught and mentored students at Ashoka. Neil’s long career as a liberal arts college professor, his impact as a teacher of psychology extends beyond the classroom and office to regional and national conferences and international consulting and mentorship. The long-term relationships he has maintained with many of his students still resonates with them long after graduation. As one past mentee stated Without question, Neil was the most influential mentor they had ever had. Key ingredients to all good mentorship are genuine concern and warmth for the mentee, coupled with keen understanding of their unique skills and abilities.
Andrew N. Christopher
Andrew (Drew) Christopher is the winner of the 2017 SPSP Undergraduate Teaching and Mentoring Award. Drew is an engaging and compassionate teacher who encourages active learning and requires students to “get involved.” Students describe his classroom style as welcoming, conversational, and always encouraging. Drew notes that he strives not only to help students digest information, but to prepare them to learn an ever-evolving knowledge base. Outside of the classroom, Drew provides seemingly limitless opportunities for students to involve themselves in research. As evidence of his effectiveness as a research mentor, he has published nearly 30 peer-reviewed articles with undergraduate student co-authors. His mentorship has paid significant dividends for his students as many have gone on to work in psychology labs at prestigious institutions. In addition to his publishing success with students, Drew has authored nearly a dozen books, chapters, and entries on the teaching of psychology. He has also served as the editor-in-chief for the journal Teaching of Psychology since 2008. In recognition of his accomplishments, Drew has received numerous teaching and mentoring awards, including the Albion College Teacher of the Year (2014) and the Society for the Teaching of Psychology’s Robert S. Daniel Award for Outstanding Teaching at a 4-Year College or University (2013).
Richard L. Miller
Richard L. Miller is the recipient of the 2016 Undergraduate Teaching and Mentoring Award for his exemplary dedication to teaching and mentoring of students, as well as for his contributions to the scholarship of teaching and mentorship. Richard has consistently and successfully involved students in research, masterfully guiding them to follow their individual passions while providing the intellectual scaffolding from which to build sound research projects from start to finish. He has mentored over 300 undergraduate students in social psychological research projects resulting in presentations at state, regional, and national conferences, including SPSP, and has co-authored over 70 publications with undergraduate students, mentoring another 35 published journal articles sole-authored by undergraduates. Further showing his dedication to student research, he is a founder of the undergraduate research journal, Journal of Psychological Inquiry and also a regional undergraduate research conference, the Great Plains Students’ Psychology Convention, both of which have operated for over 20 years. Richard has also made significant contributions to the scholarship of teaching and mentorship by publishing resources on student engagement, research mentorship, advising, and the teaching of psychology. Richard has previously been recognized for his excellence in teaching by the Charles L. Brewer Distinguished Teaching of Psychology Award, the Robert S. Daniel Teaching Excellence Award, and by being named the CASE/Carnegie Foundation U.S. Professor of the Year, among other recognitions. Richard refers to his overarching teaching philosophy to be the fostering of “…not only student learning but also motivation to learn and the development of the skills to be a life-long learner.” Indeed, this is evident in the many students he has mentored through their undergraduate years and has continued to mentor through their successful academic careers in psychology.