Jackson named President's Distinguished Scholar;

Dr. Tom Jackson, professor of psychology, dean of the Graduate School and Research, and vice provost, was named this morning as the President's Distinguished Scholar for 2001-2002 during the annual General Meeting for Faculty and Administration at Fort Hays State University.

University President Edward H. Hammond announced the award, which is the university's highest scholarly honor.

Also during this morning's program, Dr. Liane Connelly, associate professor of nursing, was named the university's Faculty Advisor of the Year, and Dr. Debbie Mercer, assistant professor of teacher education and assistant dean of professional services, was named this year's Teacher/Scholar/Innovator.

Jackson came to FHSU in 1976 as an assistant professor in psychology. He received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from California State College-Fullerton and his Ph.D. from Texas Tech University.

He has numerous publications in journals such as Contemporary Social Psychology and the Journal of Clinical Psychology. He has made numerous presentations at regional or national conventions, directed 37 psychology theses and written three books during his professional career.

In 1997 he received the FHSU Pilot Award and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Navigator Award.

Nominees for the President's Distinguished Scholar are evaluated for their performance in service and instruction, but the primary focus is placed on their research and creative activities.

Jackson has conducted research on a variety of topics, including investigations of driving behavior, helping behavior, social schemata, attributional processes and clinical measurement.

His career at FHSU has not only included teaching, but service as chair of the Department of Psychology. In 1998 he was named interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. In December 2000 he was named vice provost and dean of the Graduate School and Research.

The Distinguished Scholar Award, first given in 1989, carries a $1,000 prize and the recipient delivers a lecture at the Honors Convocation in October. The date for this year's convocation has not been set.
Connelly, Faculty Advisor of the Year, came to FHSU as an assistant professor of nursing in 1993. She earned her A.D. in nursing from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, in 1981, her B.S. in nursing from Mercy College of Detroit in 1985 and her M.S. in nursing from Clarkson College, Omaha, NE, in 1993. She completed her Ph.D. at Kansas State University in 1997.

The advisor award is presented to individuals who have demonstrated qualities associated with outstanding academic advising of on- and off-campus students. Commerce Bank and the Office of the Provost sponsor the award, which carries a cash prize of $500.

Each of FHSU's four colleges -- Arts and Sciences, Business and Leadership, Education, and Health and Life Sciences -- recognizes its own Advisor of the Year, and those four faculty members are finalists for the university-wide award. Besides Connelly, from the College of Health and Life Sciences, this year's finalists were John Huber, associate professor of music, from the College of Arts and Sciences; Dr. Micol Maughan, assistant professor of business administration, from the College of Business and Leadership; and Mercer, from the College of Education.

The advisor of the year will also be nominated for the National Academic Advising Association Award.

Mercer, selected as the Teacher/Scholar/Innovator, was named as the October 2000 recipient of the Outstanding Teaching Innovation Award. That award qualified her as a finalist for the annual Teacher/Scholar/Innovator Award. The finalists include the monthly winners of the Outstanding Teaching Innovation Award and the Mediated Classroom Teacher Award from the previous academic year.

The T/S/I award is given on the basis of outstanding ability in the classroom, continued progress and involvement in scholarly activities, integration of technology in teaching and scholarship, integration of research or scholarly activities, and effective involvement of students in scholarly activities. The award also carries a check for $200.

Mercer came to FHSU in 1998 as an instructor of teacher education. Before that she had been an instructor and curriculum developer in distance education at K-State and was also a teacher and library media specialist in the Hope school district. She earned a B.S. in family and child development in 1984 and a B.S. in elementary education in 1988, both from KSU. She earned an M.S. in elementary education from KSU in 1996 and a doctorate from KSU in 1998.

She also serves as chair of the FHSU National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education Self Study.

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