Psychology Professor and Department Chair Michael Young has been named the recipient of the 2019 John W. Rowe Excellence in Teaching Award. Young has served on the faculty of the university’s clinical psychology program since 1996, and was recognized with a plaque honoring his achievement during the Faculty Recognition and Awards Reception on April 10.
“It is very rewarding to have one's efforts and accomplishments recognized by one's peers, especially in the area of teaching, which tends to have fewer ways to be recognized than research," Young says. "It's also been interesting to think back over my teaching career and its place in my life.”
Young directed clinical training for doctoral students for 15 years before assuming the role of chair of the Department of Psychology three years ago. He was chosen for the Excellence in Teaching Award in part for setting high standards for his students while also being supportive of their needs.
“He has a good sense of humor, which the students appreciate, and knows how to use it as a way to alleviate student stress,” says Provost Peter Kilpatrick. “Young is known for his knowledge of methodology and statistics, and has become the resident expert when it comes to sophisticated analyses—not only for his students, but also for all students in the program.”
Young says working with students is among the most fulfilling aspects of his job. In his teaching, he focuses on helping students understand how basic psychological science applies to real-world clinical problems. He stresses the excitement of growing one's understanding of human behavior and using scientific research to create new knowledge. He also teaches students how new knowledge can inform positive interventions that benefit individuals and society.
"It is gratifying helping students develop as scientists and as people," Young says. "But also, you grow yourself through your teaching and mentoring interactions with students. I'm grateful to my Illinois Tech students who engage with me in this process."