“The psychology department is a deserving recipient of this award,” Milliken said. “The entire department has demonstrated a deep commitment to high-quality, innovative education in psychology – a commitment that benefits not only our students, but also the communities in which they serve after graduation.”
The UDTA originated in 1993 and is designed to recognize a department or unit within the University of Nebraska that has made unique and significant contributions to the University’s teaching efforts. The honored department is awarded $25,000 to be used in a manner the department sees fit, such as for travel to a conference, instructional equipment or improvements to a classroom or student resource center.
The UNL Department of Psychology is one of the university’s most wide-ranging, attracting students who major in psychology as part of general liberal arts education as well as students who intend to pursue graduate work in fields such as psychology, dentistry, law, education, social work, medicine, physical therapy or religion. At the time of its nomination, the department included 26 faculty, 34 graduate teaching assistants and 801 undergraduate majors. Psychology is the largest undergraduate major in the College of Arts and Sciences and the second-largest at UNL. In addition, the department is home to one of the largest and premiere doctoral programs at the university, with more than 100 graduate students across six specializations. The department provides a significant level of teaching to non-psychology majors as well.
In its 120-year history of leadership and innovation, the psychology department has contributed a number of “firsts,” including one of the earliest – if not the first – formal teaching of psychology west of the Mississippi and one of the earliest psychological laboratories in the country and the first devoted to training undergraduates. More presidents of the American Psychological Association (six) have been undergraduate alumna of the University of Nebraska than any other institution; and UNL’s law-psychology program, established in 1974, was the first dual-degree (J.D.-Ph.D.) program of its kind.
Undergraduate students in the psychology department are regular recipients of prestigious scholarships and awards, such as Chancellor’s and McNair scholarships and Mortarboard and Innocents honor societies. Graduate students have received more than 100 major internal and external recognitions since 2005. And the department’s faculty, graduate students and staff have received more than 60 teaching awards and recognitions since 2000.
The department will be honored during a ceremony later in the spring.