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Psychological Association Fellow

University of Dayton psychology professor Roger Reeb has been selected as a fellow of the Midwestern Psychological Association in recognition of his contributions to the discipline, and his exceptional mentorship of graduate and undergraduate students.

Fellow status is the highest honor granted by the organization, an affiliate of the American Psychological Association. Members are doctoral-level psychologists working in academic research, private psychology practice, schools, hospitals, military and industry settings. Their mission includes promoting scientific research and best practices, and supporting education and mentorship.

Reeb, a licensed clinical psychologist who joined the University faculty in 1993, was recognized in April at the MPA’s 91st annual meeting in Chicago. During his 25 years as an association member, Reeb has brought scores of students to annual conferences to present their research.

His students have been co-authors on more than 50 research presentations and nearly 30 graduate students have presented their master’s theses. Students also have worked with Reeb on his own research, have been named co-authors of some of his publications, and have presented at conferences along with the professor.

Reeb said this type of mentoring is important for students’ growth and is personally rewarding.

“Students have little to no experience standing up and presenting their work to academics and professional audiences,” he said. “They are nervous, scared. Part of my mentoring process is to help them prepare — to go with them and build their confidence. If they go into a Ph.D. program, they are much better prepared. Even if they don’t go on to a doctorate, this kind of participation helps them in other careers. Students who have this opportunity also usually do better work.”

Reeb noted that some master’s students have had their theses published in peer-reviewed journals. He also points to recent student successes: Katey Gibbins, whose master’s thesis was on the psychosocial benefits of farming, received the University’s 2019 Graduate Student Showcase Award; and Jennifer Zicka, an undergraduate psychology major who studied American Sign Language in Reeb’s homeless shelter project over several semesters and graduated in December, received the 2019 College of Arts and Sciences Dean Leonard A. Mann, S.M. Award of Excellence.

Reeb’s community work at St. Vincent de Paul’s two Dayton-area homeless shelters also was a likely factor in his appointment as a fellow.

In collaboration with Suzanne Mills-Wasniak, extension educator at the Ohio State University Extension, and Rob Andrews, director of operations at St. Vincent de Paul of Dayton, an urban farm was established last year on the grounds of the Gettysburg Gateway Shelter for Men in West Dayton, a documented food desert. Last year, 1,800 pounds of produce was harvested to enhance the nutrition of shelter residents.

Reeb also supervises year-round student practicums through his “behavioral activation” research project in homeless shelters, a collaboration with St. Vincent de Paul that launched in 2012. Students participate in sessions with residents to enhance self-sufficiency, coping and shelter social climate. Greg Elvers, associate professor of psychology, provides data analysis for the project.

Reeb brings as many as 20 students to St. Vincent de Paul facilities every semester and estimates that as many as 300 students have been involved over the years. At the spring conference of the Society for Community Research and Action, an affiliate of the Midwest Psychological Association, Reeb and his students conducted a research presentation on the St. Vincent de Paul project.

“Students who are engaged in this way show improvement in community service efficacy and are likely to continue such involvement,” he said. “Working with the homeless decreases the stigma some people associate with homeless individuals and certainly increases students’ awareness of oppression and effects of poverty.”

Reeb is the outgoing Roesch Chair in the Social Sciences and was a 2018-19 University of Dayton Human Rights Center faculty research fellow. He served as director of graduate programs in psychology from 2006 to 2014. In addition, he was the 2012 recipient of the Faculty Award in Teaching, sponsored by the University of Dayton Alumni Association.

“Many of our students' decisions regarding their career paths have been influenced by their time working with Roger, especially his work in the community with the homeless,” said Lee Dixon, associate professor and Department of Psychology chair. “His scholarly mentorship and the experiences that he assists our students in having are both meaningful and impactful. Roger's receiving this honor from MPA only serves to underscore the value of his research, leadership and contribution to the field.”

MPA is the oldest regional psychological association and held its first meeting in 1926. Fellow selection is based on significant contributions to psychological science and/or service in terms of scholarship, productivity and leadership, said Michael J. Bernstein, the association’s executive officer. Fellows are selected by a committee including the current, past and incoming association presidents.

- Annette Taylor

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