Gary Griffin, recipient of the Distinguished Teacher Award, 1977


Gary Griffin joined the Department of Psychology as assistant professor in 1966. He was promoted to associate professor in 1972. Professor Griffin was nominated for the Distinguished Teacher Award last year by his colleagues and by a group of undergraduate students in psychology. The selection committee was so impressed with the nomination that it paid tribute to professor Griffin by listing his name in the report to senate. Professor Griffin was nominated again this year, this time by a group of PhD students who wanted to express their appreciation for his teaching at the graduate level. The picture which emerges from these nominations is that of a scholar totally devoted to teaching and working with students at every level. The quality and extent of this devotion is best shown by quoting from the nomination papers: “He is an excellent classroom teacher who is able to organize and effectively present difficult material.” “He sets high standards in his courses and is scrupulously fair in his assessment of students.” Dr. Griffin is a superb student advisor. To quote a student whom he has often helped: “One would expect that anyone who must advise upwards of 400 students throughout the year, would become matter-of-fact in his relationships with them. On the contrary when I approach him, I always feel like I am a somebody.” The graduate students consider Dr. Griffin a particularly valuable resource person in the statistical aspects of psychological research. They consult him very frequently, not because he has been assigned that task as a departmental service, but because the quality of the advice which he offers has gained him enormous recognition by the student “grapevine.” To quote another graduate student: “Dr. Griffin is always available and willing to discuss our problems, help us over statistical hurdles, or criticize all or part of our theses.” A colleague summarized professor Griffin's teaching contribution in the following terms: “He has high academic standards, is respected by students who are fortunate enough to take his courses. he already is recognized by his peers as an outstanding teacher.”