This year’s annual Distinguished Faculty Award was presented to Elizabeth Swenson, a member of the psychology department, who has been a member of the John Carroll University community for 34 years.
Criteria for the Distinguished Faulty award includes the areas of teaching, research and scholarship, advising, professional academic service, and service to the University and outside community.
A committee of faculty, students, administrators and alumni headed by George Bilgere, the 2008 award recipient, determined that Swenson exemplified all of the required standards.
Swenson attributes her career in the academic field to her family.
“My father was a chemistry professor at [Case Western Reserve University] and loved his job. It rubbed off on me. Apparently it’s contagious because two of my daughters are also professors, one in political science and one in art history,” said Swenson.
Swenson said she tries to engage her students through interaction, research and enthusiasm for the subject.
During her time at JCU Swenson has experienced a number of changes, especially with a growing increase in research interest among students and administration.
Swenson is currently involved in research in professional ethics and is working on two book chapters.
One of the chapters involves the ethics of using one’s own students as research participants and the other details the legal aspects of psychological assessment.
Swenson is involved in other aspects of JCU as well.
She is a member of the University Hearing Board and chair of the Institutional Review Board. Swenson is additionally the pre-law and Fulbright Graduate Fellowships adviser.
Outside of JCU, Swenson is active in the American Psychological Association, serves on the Board of Directors of the Ohio Psychological Association and chairs the Ohio Psychological Ethics committee.
“I do a number of site visits to ensure that colleges and universities in the north central part of the country are properly accredited,” said Swenson.
Swenson also serves as a faculty adviser.
“[Swenson’s] teaching and advising have had a profound influence on the lives of innumerable John Carroll students,” said fellow psychology professor Janet Larsen.
Swenson said that every student should get to know their professors.
“Get to know one professor a year so that you can feel a part of the academic side of the place and so that you can easily find recommenders for graduate school and job applications,” said Swenson.
John Yost, Swenson’s colleague in the psychology department, said, “All of us in the psychology department are very proud of [Professor] Swenson. It’s a well-deserved award that acknowledges her career-long commitment to ethics in psychology, as well as her commitment to the educational and legal aspects of psychology.”