The following was presented by Professor Elizabeth Ossoff, Ph.D. on May 18, 2013 at the 120th Commencement before to the Class of 2013 on the grounds of Saint Anselm College.
In terms of teaching and scholarship, we here at Saint Anselm pride ourselves on the development of the "Whole Person." This year's recipient of the AAUP's excellence in Faculty Accomplishment Award embodies that spirit better than many. The focus for this faculty member has always been on educating the mind, the body and the spirit. Our winner this year is a master teacher. His students describe him as tough, sometimes funny, and always challenging. Students know their questions are important, worthwhile and welcome, be they asked in class, in the lab, in Stoutenburgh during a Hawks basketball game, or even in Davison Hall during a meal. Each year students are mentored through the research process to the point where they can explore their own ideas, presenting their work at regional and national conferences and then publishing them in peer-reviewed journals, giving them the much needed boost to enter and excel in graduate school and beyond. This year's recipient is a graduate of Saint Anselm College and received his Master's Degree at Ball State University in Clinical Psychology. He received his Ph.D. at the University of Southern Mississippi and did his clinical internship at Yale University. He holds memberships in the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, the American Pain Society, as well as regional and local memberships in his field. He has also served on the New Hampshire Board of Examiners of Psychologists and Mental Health Practitioners as both Chairman of the board and as Hearings officer, appointed by the Governor.
While here at Saint Anselm as a faculty member he served as the Chair of the Department of Psychology until 2010, has served on many college committees, is the men's and women's cross-country coach and track club coach, and perhaps is best known for his work with members of the student community and staff in his "Running for Life" group helping these individuals prepare to run the Boston Marathon each year. This year in particular his efforts training students and others to participate in the marathon as runners, "Lifeguards" (who are those who run alongside the runners for specified periods to see to their needs) and cheerleaders were especially meaningful. The 42 students he shepherded down to Boston this year returned safely to the grounds of Saint Anselm College arriving approximately at 8:30pm the night of April 15th to cheering crowds of supporters. He continued his support and "teaching" in the days after the tragedy providing guidance and perspective as we all struggled with the uncertainty accompanying that day; all the while dealing with his own feelings around the events associated with what was always a joyous experience and which will be so again.
In addition to his efforts in the classroom, in the lab, and on the field this year's recipient finds time to enjoy his new residence on a lake, occasionally fly his Ercoupe, and enjoy his wife Jean and their children Mike and Gabe, as well as his extended family. He handles all this with grace and a perspective I hope one day to have as his colleague and now department chair. It is my supreme pleasure to announce that the winner of the 2013 AAUP Excellence in Faculty Accomplishment Award is my friend, colleague and mentor, Professor of Psychology, Dr. Paul Finn.