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University of Central Missouri
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG - 8/30/2006 - The largest group of psychology graduate students worldwide is honoring Joseph J. Ryan, Ph.D., chair of UCM's Department of Psychology, for his contributions to students' professional development.
Joseph J. Ryan, Ph.D.
Ryan is the recipient of the 2006 Raymond D. Fowler Award presented by the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students. To receive the award, an individual must be nominated by students who are members of APAGS. Ryan's nomination came from one of his former UCM students, Heather A. Tree, a third-year doctoral degree candidate at the University of Kansas-Lawrence, who earned bachelor's and master'degrees from UCM. Current and past students were among those providing additional letters of support.
"I was real surprised,"Ryan said. “They had to go through another university APAGS chapter to nominate me, since we don't have one on campus."
Joined UCM Faculty in 1999
Ryan has served as chair of the Department of Psychology since Aug. 1, 1999. As chair, he oversees an academic unit that serves nearly 400 students and offers at least 65 different courses leading toward Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees.
"Joe Ryan has made a tremendous difference in the lives and professional careers of a number of our students," said Rick Sluder, interim dean of the College of Education and Human Services.
"His mentorship has led to not only several co-authored manuscripts with students, many have gone on to pursue doctoral degrees. Dr. Ryan's work epitomizes the teacher/scholar model promoted throughout the academy."
Academic Opportunities Enrich Students' Opportunities
Tree said she met Ryan when he joined the department seven years ago, and she had the opportunity to take an independent study course under his direction, and also assist on a research proposal. This helped solidify her decision to return to UCM to pursue a master's degree in psychology. Under Ryan's tutelage, she co-authored eight manuscripts that were published in scholarly journals, and presented with him at least 11 research papers at various national conferences. She also went on to receive the Jerome M. Sattler Award for the most outstanding master's degree thesis at UCM, thanks to her mentor's encouragement.
"He saw something in me that I never dreamed possible," Tree noted in her nomination letter. "I ended up helping him write a research proposal that changed my life. With Dr. Ryan"s guidance and endless support, I discovered that I could be more than just mediocre. He helped me understand the art of academia and I found, through his passion for knowledge, that I too shared in the quest to be 'better.' "
Support of Scholarly Research Acknowledged
Laura Glass, a first year UCM graduate student from St. Charles, who hopes to eventually earn a doctoral degree in clinical psychology, insists that psychology students have benefited in several ways from Ryan. Among them is support for scholarly research at the undergraduate and graduate levels; his development of psychology research labs, including a new virtual reality lab; paid undergraduate research assistantships; the establishment of the department newsletter, "Psych Talk"; and his willingness to mentor students. She has won departmental awards and has already co-authored at least three published works with Ryan.
"If not for Dr. Ryan motivating me, my vita would be one-fourth of what it currently is," Glass said. "He encourages students to work with each other and to work with different professors in order to broaden their experiences in the psychological field."
Previous Professional Experience in Field
Ryan, who is the only board certified clinical neuropsychologist in the greater Kansas City-Warrensburg area, came to campus with previous professional experiences that included Chief, Psychology Service and clinical neuropsychologist at Dwight D. Eisenhower Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Leavenworth, KS., and Coordinator of the Central Testing Laboratory and staff psychologist at Veterans Affairs Medical Center in North Chicago, IL. Past academic appointments include adjunct professor of psychiatry at KU Medical Center and assistant professor of psychology at The Chicago Medical School.
For More Information
Find out more about APAGS at www.apa.org/apags.