Faculty Highlights

Graceland University Professor of Psychology Brian Smith, PhD, with Sal Meyers of Simpson College, facilitated a workshop "Encouraging Students to Overcome Obstacles" at Missouri Valley College, Marshall, Missouri, Aug. 22. After briefly reviewing various challenges (e.g., death in family, poverty) to students' cognitive resources, Smith and Meyers described three broad approaches to increase mental bandwidth. Meyers' breakout session covered Winkelmes' transparent assignments. Smith's session on building realistic hope included goal setting and implementation intentions. These simple "if-then" statements make people significantly more likely to reach their goals.

Graceland University Assistant Professor of Mathematics Tyler Mitchell, PhD, was accepted into and recently attended the undergraduate faculty program at the Park City Mathematics Institute (PCMI) in Park City, Utah, June 30 through July 20. According to the website of the Institute for Advanced Study, PCMI is an intensive three-week residential conference that includes several parallel sets of activities aimed at different groups of participants across the entire mathematics community. Mitchell engaged with current issues in mathematics and mathematics education, and connect with other enthusiastic mathematics educators. Recent Graceland graduate Erin Dolecheck '19 also participated in PCMI in the undergraduate summer school.

The White House awarded Graceland University Professor of Education Dennis McElroy, PhD, the President's Volunteer Service Award (silver level) for his work with the International Society for a Technology in Education (ISTE) at the 2019 ISTE conference in Philadelphia. McElroy serves on ISTE's Teacher Education Network leadership team planning and providing learning programs for thousands of educators around the world and is the organization's president-elect for 2019-20. This is the third straight year McElroy has been recognized with this honor.

Graceland University Assistant Professor of Art Karen Gergely, MFA, was a visiting artist instructor at the West Virginia Governor’s Honors Academy (WVGHA) this summer at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. WVGHA is a three-week intensive academy for high-achieving high school honor students entering their senior year. Gergely’s intensive class focused on revitalizing Appalachia through public art initiatives.

Graceland University Professor of Psychology David Devonis, PhD, presented an invited address, "The Quality of Mercy," on Sunday, Aug. 11, at the 127th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association in Chicago, Illinois. The invitation was contingent on the award of Best Journal Article in History of Psychology, Volume 20, 2017, to Devonis' and Jessica Triggs' (Graceland alumna '15) article "Prison Break: Karl Menninger's The Crime of Punishment and its Reception in U.S. Psychology." The talk this extended the range of ideas in that article beyond its concentrated focus on recent events to the larger history of psychology.