CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024
UI psychology department named "Department of the Year"
by national association
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa department of psychology has
been named Psychology Department of the Year by the American Psychological
Association for Graduate Students (APAGS). This is the first year the association
has given this award, which recognizes the department that has "exemplified
a superior level of assistance and attention to student needs as well as
excellent faculty-student relations."
Michael O'Hara, chairman of the UI psychology department, said the award
was a "nice recognition of our graduate program and our efforts to
provide a comfortable yet challenging academic environment for our graduate
Linda Maxson, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, said she was thrilled
that the psychology department had been honored with the very first Department
of the Year award. "To be designated the top department by this national
association is wonderful recognition for our department of psychology,"
she said. "The faculty and students deserve high praise for creating
and maintaining such a fine graduate program."
O'Hara said the award should help the department to be more competitive
in attracting the very best students to the UI. "In general, the award
will increase our national visibility and call attention to our fine faculty
and graduate students," he said.
The department will receive a plaque from the APAGS and $1,000 to be
used for programs or resources to benefit graduate students. The department
has not yet determined specifically how it will use the award money, but
possibilities include new furniture for the graduate student lounge, additional
funds for graduate student travel, and additional support for graduate
O'Hara and David Schwebel, the UI representative to the association,
prepared a detailed, three-page description of the department as part of
their application for the award. In it they outlined four primary areas
that characterize the department's commitment to its graduate students:
financial resources, physical resources, program requirements, and faculty-student
In a letter informing the department of its award, Mitch Prinstein,
the APAGS chairman wrote, "We would like to thank the faculty, staff,
and students within your department for helping to create an excellent
environment for the graduate study of psychology and a model for superior
faculty-student relations. We received many nominations for this new prestigious
award. Our unanimous decision to select the University of Iowa as our first
Department of the Year is truly an honor."
The APAGS is a branch of the American Psychological Association whose
goal is to address the needs and concerns of psychology graduate students
and to provide the means for graduate students to become involved in advocacy
for psychology. The group has 41,000 members nationwide and celebrates
its 10th anniversary this year.