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Professor Emeritus Joseph Ryan’s influence on students’ professional development is evident through honors such as the 2006 Raymond D. Fowler Award presented by the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students, the largest graduate student psychology group worldwide. He received more than 30 special honors in his career, including UCM’s 2007 Byer Distinguished Faculty Award and an honorary doctorate from the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, Mo.
An educator whom colleagues describe as “revered by his students and respected at the national and international level,” Ryan became chair of the Department of Psychology in August 1999. While serving the university, he provided support for the establishment of the department’s Neurocognition, Behavioral Medicine, Experimental, and Virtual Reality Research Laboratories; was responsible for the establishment of the J.M. Sattler Endowment, a fund created to provide awards for student research; and devised a system to involve teams of undergraduate students in research projects. Additionally, he has been a strong advocate for changes in the psychology department’s curriculum that promote student research.
With approximately 35 years of top-tier research activities under his belt, Ryan has been a prolific scholar, ranking in the top 2 percent nationally in terms of published works by psychologists. More than 260 of his scholarly writings appeared in dozens of professional publications, and he served on at least five journal editorial boards. His collaborations have included working with students and psychology professionals worldwide, including scholars from countries such as Australia and the People’s Republic of China.
Rare to the Kansas City area, Ryan is a board certified clinical neuropsychologist. He earned a bachelor’s degree from California State University, a master’s degree from San Diego State University, and a doctorate from the University of Missouri.