University of Minnesota Psychology Distinguished Alumni Awards
Call for Nominations
The Department of Psychology at the University of Minnesota is pleased to invite nominations for its awards program: the University of Minnesota Psychology Distinguished Alumni Award. We made our first awards in the 2017-18 academic year, and the awards program is now entering its fourth year. See below for previous winners. We anticipate making two awards in 2021 (and annually thereafter).
The two awards will honor distinguished alumni from our undergraduate and graduate programs, respectively. Nominations should include:
- A nomination letter that includes a brief description of the candidate's background, accomplishments, and why the candidate is deserving of the award (1-2 pages should be sufficient).
- The candidate's resumé or CV (if available; this is optional).
Please note that if you submitted a nomination in a previous year, and the person nominated was not selected, we will continue to consider the person you nominated as a candidate for the award this year and in subsequent years. You do not need to resubmit the nomination.
Nominations will be reviewed by our department’s Distinguished Alumni Awards Committee, who will forward recommendations to the Department Chair. Award winners will be announced early in 2021. Award winners will be invited to a ceremony to receive the award in the spring of 2021 and will have the opportunity to meet with department faculty and students. (Details of this event will be forthcoming; given the COVID pandemic, it is likely to be a virtual event.) In addition, the awards will be publicized throughout the University and its various social media channels and will be commemorated within the department.
Selection Criteria for the Awards
- The awards will recognize distinguished achievement, in the many and varied forms that achievement may take, among our alumni.
- For some alumni, especially our PhD alumni, the awards may recognize distinguished achievements in research and scholarship, whether in academic or non-academic settings.
- For other alumni, both undergraduate and graduate, the awards may recognize distinguished achievements and/or leadership in their chosen professions, as well as notable humanitarian efforts.
- The criteria for these awards will be inclusive, capturing the diversity of distinguished achievements possible by individuals educated in our department.
- Priority will be given to individuals who are not currently appointed at the University of Minnesota.
- This award program is not designed to align with fundraising goals, although department donors may be nominated.
- Self-nominations are discouraged.
Submitting a Nomination
Nomination materials should be submitted to the department Chair, Professor Jeffry Simpson, through his assistant, Missy Jones, using the email address for awards nominations firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nominations may also be submitted by postal mail to Professor Jeffry Simpson, Chair, Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota, 75 East River Parkway, Minneapolis, MN 55455
2020 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients
Dr. Leaetta Hough
The recipient of the 2020 Graduate Alumni Award is Dr. Leaetta Hough. Leaetta Hough received her Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Minnesota in 1981. Dr. Hough is president and founder of the Dunnette Group Ltd and a past president of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Dr. Hough is a world-renowned leader in the basic and applied scientific study of personality in the workplace, having conducted agenda-setting research on the measurement of personality and the prediction of job performance. Dr. Hough’s work truly sets the standard for integrating research and practice in true Minnesota “scientist-practitioner” fashion.
Senator Jacky Rosen
The recipient of the 2020 Undergraduate Alumni Award is Senator Jacky Rosen. Jacky Rosen graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B. A. in 1979 with a bachelor's degree in psychology. After graduating, Jacky Rosen moved to Nevada and continued her education in information science. After pursuing a career in computing and information technology, Jacky Rosen entered public service, and in 2016 was elected to the United States House of Representatives, where she represented Nevada’s 3rd congressional district. In 2018, Jacky Rosen was elected to the United States Senate, representing the state of Nevada. In the US Senate, Jacky Rosen has worked on (among others) issues related to health care, the environment, education, and civil rights.
2019 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients
Dr. Ronald Peterson
Ronald C. Petersen, MD, PhD. focuses on investigations of cognition in normal aging, mild cognitive impairment, and dementia. Petersen and his colleagues evaluate cognitive changes in normal aging as well as in a variety of disorders involving impairment in cognition, such as Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal lobar degeneration, and Lewy body dementia.
Dr. Petersen directs the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer's Disease Research Center and the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging, both of which involve the study and characterization of aging individuals over time with an emphasis on neuroimaging and biomarkers.
Dr. Scott Plous
Professor Plous' research focuses on prejudice and discrimination, decision-making, and ethical issues relating to animals and the environment. He is also interested in web-based research and the development of online
Plous holds a PhD in psychology from Stanford University. He joined the Wesleyan University faculty in 1990 and has interests in judgment and decision-making; international security; prejudice and discrimination; the human use of animals and the environment; interactive web-based research; and action teaching.
Among social psychologists, Plous is perhaps best known as the founder and executive director of Social Psychology Network, a suite of nonprofit websites supported by the National Science Foundation, several other organizations, and more than 1,000 members. Collectively, these sites have received more than 362 million page views.
2018 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients
Dr. Mary Koss
Dr. Koss, PhD, is Regents’ Professor in the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona.
She published the first national study sexual assault among college students in 1987. She was the principal investigator of the RESTORE Program; the first restorative justice program for sex crimes among adults that was quantitatively evaluated. She also directed Safety Connections, a restorative justice-based family strengthening program for children under 5 exposed to violence. She has developed resources for campus use including ARC3 Campus Climate Survey and the STARRSA model for rehabilitation of those responsible for sexual misconduct. Her ongoing work evaluates a sexual assault primary prevention program focusing on staff of alcohol serving establishments. She recently published a test of the “serial rape” hypothesis among college men.
Her credentials document close to 300 publications. The most recent appeared in American Psychologist and focused on victim voice and in re-envisioning responses to sexual and physical violence, better responses to underserved populations, and greater alignment of funding from the Violence Against Women Act funding with expressed victim needs.
During her career, she has consulted with many national and international health and advocacy organizations. Since 2016, she advised the US Departments of Justice, Education, and the White House Taskforce on Campus Sexual Assault.
She was the 8th recipient of the Visionary Award from End Violence Against Women International. She has received awards from the American Psychological Association: the Award for Distinguished Contributions to Research in Public Policy (2000) and the Award for Distinguished Contributions to the International Advancement of Psychology (2017).
Dr. Heather Peters
Dr. Peters, PhD, LP, CMPC, is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Minnesota, Morris and a licensed psychologist in the state of Minnesota.
Dr. Peters received her doctorate of philosophy (2006) in clinical psychology with a specialty in sport psychology from the University of Arizona. She completed her predoctoral internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California-Davis Counseling and Psychological Services where she received extensive training in multicultural counseling and diversity issues.
The overall goal of Dr. Peters’ program of research is to assist in the development of culturally sensitive interventions and programs that improve the health and well-being of people from marginalized cultural groups within our society.
Dr. Peters has published numerous chapters and articles on various topics related to culture. Her applied interests include facilitating multicultural discussion groups and providing sport psychology services to coaches and athletes. Dr. Peters is a certified mental performance consultant and a member of the United States Olympic Committee’s Sport Psychology Registry. She has conducted numerous diversity training seminars around the United States.
Dr. Peters has recently received the following awards: Cesar E. Chavez Award; UMM Alumni Association Teaching Award; Horace T. Morse-University of Minnesota Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education.