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PGCC Psychology Instructor Earns APA Award

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Article by: Jennifer L. Colter

An institutional melting pot of bright, enterprising, and dynamic students, so is Prince George's Community College's instructional staff and faculty. Prince George’s Community College is proud to share that its own, Dr. Diane Finley, has been recognized for her commitment to excellence in teaching and transforming lives. Read and share the official news release from the American Psychological Association:


WASHINGTON — A Largo, Maryland, community college psychology professor is the winner of the American Psychological Association’s 2015 Excellence in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at a Two-Year College or Campus Award.

Diane Finley, PhD, a psychology professor at Prince George’s Community College, was selected for the high quality of her psychology instruction by the community college members of the APA Committee on Associate and Baccalaureate Education. The award ceremony was slated for Aug. 8 at APA’s 123rd Annual Convention.

“Diane demonstrates excellence in teaching, mentoring and service to her community,” said Pat Puccio, EdD, co-chair of the Committee on Associate and Baccalaureate Education. “Diane’s greatest leadership quality is her ability to pull people together for the common good.”

Finley has provided leadership for several national psychological organizations, including as vice president for membership for the Society for Teaching of Psychology. She has also created courses for her college’s psychology department, including health and sport psychology. Finley’s students have labeled her courses as “life-changing” and the “single richest educational experience” of their time at the college.

Mentorship of her students and fellow professors was also noted by colleagues as one of Finley’s great strengths. As a member of the Psychology, Sociology and Education Collegian Center Advisory Board, Finley recommended ideas to the students and conferences for them to attend. She has also initiated projects, including the creation of an online site as a resource for faculty to access teaching documents for all department courses.

Finley’s award includes $1,000, an engraved award and a one-year APA community college teacher affiliate membership renewal.

Nominees submitted a detailed letter describing their commitment to excellence in teaching at a two-year institution, three recommendation letters and curriculum vitae. All nominees must be members of the Psychology Teachers at Community Colleges (PT@CC) and may nominate themselves or be nominated by their peers.

The APA PT@CC was established in 2002 as a network to represent and support psychology teachers within the two-year college community. Psychology teachers at community colleges can join APA as a community college teacher affiliate by visiting the APA website. PT@CC offers teaching resources, professional development, leadership and networking opportunities. Learn more about PT@CC.

The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world's largest association of psychologists. APA's membership includes more than 122,500 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people's lives.

*Information courtesy of Michael Shulman and the American Psychological Association (APA).

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