Auburn psychology professor recognized as top educator

AUBURN – An Auburn University psychology professor has been honored as one of the nation’s top psychology educators.

William Buskist, Distinguished Professor in the Teaching of Psychology in Auburn’s College of Liberal Arts, has been named by the American Psychological Foundation Board of Trustees as the recipient of the 2009 Charles L. Brewer Distinguished Teaching of Psychology Award. The award, which has been given annually since 1970, recognizes exemplary career contributions to the teaching of psychology and leadership in improving the teaching and learning of psychology.

“I have had more good luck and good fortune than I deserve to be sure,” Buskist said. “It is indeed humbling to receive such an award as this one.”

In his 27 years at Auburn, Buskist has mentored many psychology doctoral students and has taught more than 33,200 undergraduates, mostly in large sections of introductory psychology. He said his proudest career achievement is having six of his graduate students honored with national teaching awards.

“This prestigious award is a positive reflection upon the quality of Bill’s teaching and recognizes his immeasurable contributions to the field of psychology,” said Anna Gramberg, dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

Buskist has led task forces and committees, published scholarly books and articles on topics related to teaching and learning, and has been a national leader in the preparation of graduate students as teachers of psychology.

He has written more than 70 publications and made more than 100 presentations, many of which were co-authored or co-presented with graduate or undergraduate students. In 1999, Buskist started the EDGE research group at Auburn focused on teaching and learning. He and his students have published nearly 25 articles in the last 10 years on topics such as preparation for college and university level teaching, development of student-teacher rapport, the scholarship of teaching and pedagogy, and qualities and behaviors of master teaching.

Additionally, he has developed numerous teaching materials and curricula including the psychology department’s curriculum for preparing doctoral students for their future teaching duties, which has become a national model for preparing graduate students for teaching positions.

In 2005, he was a co-recipient of Auburn’s highest teaching honor, The Gerald and Emily Leischuck Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching. In addition, he was the American Psychological Association’s 2005 Harry Kirke Wolfe lecturer. He is also a recipient of the 2000 Robert S. Daniel Teaching Excellence Award from the Society of the Teaching of Psychology.

Buskist has served in leadership positions in national organizations, including the Society for the Teaching of Psychology, where he served as president in 2007. He is also a fellow of the American Psychological Association’s divisions 1 and 2.

In addition to his teaching duties, Buskist serves as the director of Auburn’s Teaching Fellows Program and is a faculty fellow at Auburn’s Biggio Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning.

He received his bachelor’s degree in Psychology and his doctorate in Experimental Psychology at Brigham Young University.

The award is named for Charles Brewer, the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Psychology at Furman University, to honor his eminent contributions to education in psychology.

Buskist will accept the award and give an invited lecture at the American Psychological Association’s annual conference in August.

Contact: Katie Wilder, (334) 844-9999 (wildeka@auburn.edu), or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (clardch@auburn.edu)