For more than two decades, Roosevelt Psychology Professor Steven Meyers has been one of the University’s most respected instructors.
Meyers of Chicago’s South Loop was named Illinois Professor of the Year in 2007 by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
Now, 10 years later, Meyers, a clinical psychologist, expert in children’s well-being and family relationships and a mentor to teaching fellows in Roosevelt’s doctoral programs in psychology, has received one of psychology’s highest honors in teaching – the 2017 Robert S. Daniel Teaching Excellence Award.
Given annually to a single psychology professor from a four-year college or university by the American Psychological Association’s Society for the Teaching of Psychology, the national honor was made to Meyers on Friday, Oct. 20 during the Society’s annual conference in San Antonio, Texas.
“This is the nation’s most prestigious psychology teaching award,” said Cami McBride, chair of Roosevelt’s Department of Psychology who nominated Meyers for the honor. “Not only do you have to be a great teacher, but you also have to contribute to teaching as a profession. Steve has done both, and this is a wonderful addition to his legacy.”
A psychology faculty member at Roosevelt since 1996, Meyers each year teaches more than 100 freshmen in the University’s Introduction to Psychology course. He has been an innovator and strong proponent for service-learning as part of his courses, and also teaches instructor development for graduate and doctoral psychology students at the University.
“Dr. Meyers is incredible in the classroom,” said Julie Klaber, a third-year graduate student in Roosevelt’s award-winning PsyD program. She has taken Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy and Instructor Development Seminar with Meyers.
“There’s rarely a time when he just lectures at you,” said Klaber. “Dr. Meyers is always doing something to engage students, and is definitely one of the best professors I’ve had.”
Amber Richardson, who received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Roosevelt in 2016, believes Meyers changed her life.
“I met him as a sophomore when I took his Introduction to Psychology class. At the time, I didn’t know what I wanted to major in and Dr. Meyers convinced me to go into psychology,” Richardson said.
Richardson took three courses and did her honor’s thesis with Meyers, who recommended she apply for Roosevelt’s Honors Program, which accepted her. The professor also helped Richardson find an internship at Marillac St. Vincent Family Services on Chicago’s west side where she now works as a school-age teacher and birth-to-three-years-of-age teacher’s aide.
“He is wise and kind, and I still consider him my mentor,” Richardson said of Meyers, who continues to mentor Richardson as she prepares to apply for graduate school. “I still keep in touch with him, and he is still supporting me to this day.”
Director of Roosevelt’s undergraduate psychology programs, founder and director of the Initiative for Child and Family Studies and associate chair of the Department of Psychology, Meyers hopes the award will bring positive recognition to Roosevelt and its psychology program, which offers undergraduate and graduate programs and doctoral studies in the clinical psychology PsyD and industrial-organizational psychology PhD.
"This is an opportunity to showcase our psychology program and the entire University, and a chance to show that we do teach well at Roosevelt,” said Meyers, who has taught thousands of students during his Roosevelt career, helping them – above all, he hopes – to reach new heights in career as well as life.
“Not only is Dr. Meyers an amazing teacher, but he’s consistently paying forward to instruct future teachers who will one day follow in his footsteps. It is quite a legacy,” said McBride.