Graduate Mentoring Award

This award honors a faculty member who goes above and beyond as a supportive mentor and role model in graduate students' educational and career development.

Taraz Lee: One graduate student nominator said, “Dr. Lee treats students with respect and is always receptive – while still constructively critical – to our inputs and suggestions. His feedback is always onpoint and substantially improves the quality of the work.”

Another person wrote: "Dr. Lee is a very good mentor and advisor. I see him tweaking his mentoring style based on the individual needs of the graduate students in the lab. I personally appreciate how he will sit down and teach me different ways to think about coding, entertain and theorize on my different research interests, and help me set goals.” 

Another student wrote: “Dr. Lee is always willing to listen to graduate students about their various experiences in the program and empathizes with compassion while also trying to encourage and come up with solutions to enhance our well-being.” 

And just one more: “Dr. Lee is the faculty member that you know is always in your corner, whether you're actually his student or not.” Congratulations, Taraz!

Wilbert McKeachie Award for Excellence in Lecture-Based Teaching

This award is presented to a faculty member recognized for outstanding teaching in the traditional lecture format.

Shelly Schreier: One student nomination stated: “Dr. Schreier commits every day to showing both through her words and her actions that we students come first. She is incredibly mindful of her teaching technique and always is thinking of ways to make her class engaging for her students. Not only that, but she is the most caring, energetic, and empathetic professor I've had. She thinks constantly of students' needs and is flexible with the course material to ensure that each student feels cared for and feels like they can succeed, even when external circumstances may make that seem difficult.” Congratulations, Shelly! 

J. Frank Yates Award for Excellence in Seminar-Based Teaching

This award is presented to a faculty member recognized for outstanding teaching in smaller, more interactive courses. 

Stephanie Preston: One student nomination stated: “Dr. Preston excels at teaching seminars. She develops a positive relationship with her students, working to develop good rapport, and including quirky elements like group stretching exercises to music. All of her seminars engage students in novel research and writing projects that have practical implications. She is unusually creative and thoughtful, and has developed a fun, warm teaching style that inspires students to excel, while giving them confidence that their hard work will pay off.” Congratulations, Stephanie!

Excellence in Mentoring Award

This award is presented to a graduate student who is recognized by undergraduate students for outstanding training and support of undergraduate research assistants.

Nia Nickerson: One student nominator stated, “Nia was the type of mentor that any student could count on. On the days I felt like giving up or not intelligent enough, she reminded me of my true potential. I will always remember the day she told me, ‘we must appreciate and seize the opportunities life blesses us with.’ She is transparent, honest, and receptive to her students. My Michigan experience would not have been the same if I had not had her guidance. Her passion for psychology and her empathic skills made her an outstanding mentor.” Another student stated, “Nia helped me gain an immense amount of knowledge about research, data analysis, and the importance of advocating for yourself in academic spaces. Additionally, she was someone I knew I could confide in with the trials and tribulations that undergraduate life exhibits. She made me feel comfortable being vulnerable with her, never passing judgment, but instead, offering me advice and care that allowed me to develop the confidence I needed. She cared about me, my education, my well-being, something that I truly will never forget from her mentorship.” Congratulations, Nia!

Outstanding Research Staff Member Award

This award is designed to honor a research staff member who is recognized for exceptional service in advancing the research mission of the Psychology Department.

Pippin Ke-Lind: Here is a quote from one of the nominations: “Pippin conducts research on the effects of a Covid-like immune challenge on long-term memory impairments using a mouse model. While this is a full-time job and lots of work in and of itself, he also takes care of ordering everything for our lab, preparing for inspections, changing each cage (for all of the experiments in our lab, not just his own) each week, and helping out with other students' projects when needed. He goes above and beyond in everything he does.” Congratulations, Pippin! 

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."

Laura Benson: As one faculty member stated, “Laura has been absolutely fantastic in providing support for us. She has gone above and beyond expectations -- making sure that everything is working at the beginning of each brown bag, promptly solving any problems that arise due to technology snags and seamlessly obtaining the speaker information ahead of time. She is always so personable and kind, and I feel that we're incredibly lucky to have her in the department!”

Another faculty member stated, ”Laura has helped countless area meetings run smoothly, facilitated speakers and snacks, quickly and efficiently handled multiple requests from my lab and me, and I'm sure there are a million other things she does behind the scenes! For instance, based on the timing of emails I received, I know she worked late in the days preceding recruitment weekend to send out all of our student recruits' schedules in advance. Indeed, it is not just what she does, but also the way she does it that is impressive - friendly, supportive, and with skill.” Congratulations, Laura!

The Star Staff Award for Exemplary Leadership

This award is presented by the Management Group – which includes the Chair, Associate Chairs, Chief Administrator, Director of Student Services, and Facilities Manager – and given to the staff member who is recognized for exemplary service including outstanding leadership, innovation, and collaboration.

Abby Barrett: One member of the Management Group stated, “Abby quickly established herself as a significant resource for the students in our graduate program and other staff in the department. She has collaborated with the Admin Team on a variety of events for graduate students including on-boarding new graduate students, recruitment weekend, and Graduate Student appreciation events. As is her nature, while she was collaborating with the Admin Team, she was thanking everyone for how much she was learning from them. This thoughtfulness carries through in all aspects of her work. In addition, Graduate students inquired this year about receiving a cash advance for conference registration and travel costs. She collaborated with the Business Office to help develop a process that met the needs of both the Business Office and Student Services while also meeting the needs of our students. She cares deeply about supporting our graduate students.”

Another member stated, “Abby is a wonderful collaborator - her willingness and excitement to answer questions, solve problems, and develop new initiatives, together with her exceptional data organization (with spreadsheets I envy), has been such an amazing gift both personally and professionally. Even more amazing is her enthusiasm for connecting with grad students and her ability to make things happen (with data supporting it!). I know it's been an interesting year, and I feel very very lucky to be working with her as part of the team - I can't imagine doing this job without her.” Congratulations, Abby!