Three honored from UAM Psychology Department

Two faculty members and a student from the University of Arkansas at Monticello, gave the University a reason to celebrate as they swept the Arkansas Psychological Association statewide academic awards this year. Dr. Richard Clubb, Dean for social and Behavioral Sciences, and Dr. Seungyeon Lee, Associate Professor of Psychology, were selected as co-winners of the ArPA Academic Psychologist of the Year award for 2020 and Magnus Gray of Warren, a senior double majoring in psychology and business administration, was named the ArPA Psychology Student of the Year. Out of the awards given every year three are academic and this year all three were awarded to Weevils.

“Psychologists from across the state were nominated,” said Dr. Eric Prichard, Vice President of ArPA, who was the secretary of ArPA when the awards were decided. “Nominations were entailed a written argument for the nominee. The board of directors then discussed the nominations and the decision was made by our outgoing president for the 2020 year, Dr. Kamra Mays.”

Gray is the current president of the UAM chapter of Psi Chi - the International Honor Society in Psychology. As an exceptional undergraduate student, Gray has already authored a study. Along with his faculty mentor Dr. Lee, Gray recently published research on psychometric properties of a newly developed questionnaire called College Student Planning Scale (CSPS) in the academic journal, Experimental Results. His findings show that the CSPS is a reliable measure which will help others conduct future research related to college students’ mental health and professional development.

“An empirical investigation on how COVID-19-related anxiety impacts college students and their career plans should contribute to the current literature and to future researchers involved with the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Lee of the paper published by Gray.

They plan to conduct a future study that examines whether emerging adults’ generalized anxiety is predictive of the actual population’s career planning, rather than their current involvement with the recent pandemic.

“Magnus is only the fourth UAM science student to be published since I have been here in 31 years,” said Clubb. “The award was not just for the paper. Magnus has been a very active student in many things. A lot of activities and presentations.”

“Magnus was recognized for the research he has done with Dr. Lee. He is an excellent student who has earned an Arkansas SURF, Student Undergraduate Research Fellowship, grant and is a co-author on an upcoming book chapter with Dr. Lee and several of her collaborators,” said Prichard. “It is very unusual for someone to have a publication so early in their career. In psychology most of us are in graduate school before we get our first publications.”

Lee and Clubb’s award was given in recognition of their overarching career and the contributions they have made throughout their careers, even though it is a “of the year” award.

“Dr. Clubb and Dr. Lee shared the academic psychologist of the year award,” Prichard stated. “Dr. Lee was recognized in particular for her research on cell phones in the classroom, research on undergraduate learning outcomes and her work for organizations such as Psi Chi and the Society for the Teaching of Psychology (STP) Mentorship of Teachers Award Committee.”

Clubb also had praise for Lee and her career achievements.

“Dr. Lee is one of the most prolific researchers we have had so the award was (for her) overall accomplishments,” said Clubb. “(Lee and Gray) have been very active in a wide range of areas.”

Clubb, who shares the award with Lee has also had a very distinguished career.

“Dr. Clubb was recognized for his leadership of his academic department during the pandemic and because his retirement is bringing an end to a distinguished career. During the meeting, a board member made the case that sometimes academic unit heads don’t get enough recognition for everything they do to ensure the business of effective teaching and research happens on a regular basis. This is especially true during difficult times such as a pandemic.”

For the University and for Drew County, the awards showcase the talent that is present at UAM in the faculty and in the students they are helping to shape for the future.

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