Graduate Mentoring Award

The 2021 Graduate Mentoring Award goes to Thad Polk, professor in CCN. This award honors a Psychology faculty member who goes above and beyond as a supportive mentor and role model in graduate students' educational and career development. Many current and former grad students wrote incredibly warm, glowing and detailed letters in support of Thad’s nomination. Here are a few things that the awards committee learned about Thad in reading these nomination letters. He does a tremendous job building community in his lab. He accomplishes this by working in the lab all the time side by side with the grad students and undergrads, inviting students to his home for dinners, and coordinating lab outings to play WhirlyBall and go to an Escape Room. He cares deeply about his students, they feel supported, and they are happy.  And, finally, he has unbridled enthusiasm for students, student learning, and the data.

Thank you, Thad, and congratulations!

Chris Peterson Staff Excellence Award

The Chris Peterson Staff Excellence Award, named after a beloved faculty member who passed away in 2012, is intended to honor a Psychology staff member for outstanding service to the department by living Chris’s motto “Other people matter, period."

This year we have four very deserving award winners. We say, “CHRIS BUCK, JAIME HOWE, KEITH WILEY, AND JEREMY WILSON - you matter, period.” As our frontline workers throughout the pandemic, Chris, Jeremy, Keith and Jaime have exemplified what it means to put other people first. Since COVID-19 struck our community back in March 2020, they have worked together to successfully keep building operations going for all of East Hall while most of the occupants transitioned to remote work. Chris and Jeremy worked tirelessly as a team to safely shutdown and reopen research lab operations and assist staff transition to remote work. Throughout the past year, they have helped implement constantly changing policies for our research labs, classrooms, offices, and conference rooms to ensure our work environment is as safe as possible. They communicated these changes effectively and in a timely manner. Often times, Keith, Jaime, Chris and Jeremy went above and beyond by proactively offering to do work outside their normal job duties due to limited staffing in the building, such as managing the required building daily check-in station. This is just one example of the many when they jumped into action to help whenever and wherever needed. They remain constantly committed to supporting Psychology with their hard work and dedication, even putting their own health at risk to come into the building each day throughout the pandemic. We are so fortunate to have them all on our team and immensely thankful.

Thank you, Chris, Jaime, Keith, and Jeremy!

Chris Buck
Jaime Howe
Keith Wiley
Jeremy Wilson

The Star Staff Award for Exemplary Service

The 2021 Star Staff Award for Exemplary Service goes to Marc Sorace, HR representative in the East Hall Business Office. This award is presented by the Management Group in recognition of exemplary service including outstanding leadership, innovation, and collaboration. From the very beginning when Marc started working in our shared service office, he made every attempt to get to know everyone in the Psychology Department by attending all our all-staff meetings, volunteering to work at the Homecoming picnic, visiting the Chair’s Office on many occasions, and attending staff appreciation events. He collaborates extensively with every administrative area in the department: Chair’s Office, SAA, Facilities, Business Office, and the Administration Team. Marc continuously makes a difference in Psychology. He is extremely competent, has excellent communication skills, and proactively goes above and beyond to provide exceptional customer service. He manages sensitive matters tactfully, is very patient, and is calm under pressure at all times. He thoroughly thinks through challenging and complicated situations, provides impactful solutions, and then quickly takes action to resolve the situations. Marc has helped to improve and streamline processes and procedures. Faculty and staff have often noted how helpful he has been in supporting them as noted in several Thumby announcements. Marc is a genuine pleasure to work with.

Thank you and congratulations, Marc!

Outstanding Research Staff Member Award

The 2021 Outstanding Research Staff Member award is designed to honor a research staff member who is recognized for exceptional service in advancing the research mission of the Psychology Department. This year's award goes to Abbey Hamlin in Thad Polk's lab. We received several wonderful nominations for Abbey. Here's a quote from Dr. Polk: “Abbey is one of the most dedicated, skilled, and motivated research staff I’ve ever encountered during my 25 years at Michigan. As my lab manager, she does anything and everything that needs to be done in the lab. She recruits and runs participants through experiments. She analyzes data. She performs literature reviews. She helps with grant proposals. She edits manuscripts. She manages all the research assistants. She prepares, submits, and amends all of our IRB applications. The point is that she does a lot and everything she does, she does extremely carefully and accurately. Her data analysis is always thoughtful, thorough, and correct. Her literature reviews are complete and well organized.”

Congratulations, Abbey!