APS Mentor Award

The APS Mentor Award recognizes psychology researchers and educators who have shaped the future directions of science by fostering the careers of students and colleagues.

A mentor can be many things: That professor or advisor who made a special effort, transforming our career paths; that inspirational researcher who influenced a larger group of scientists through broader efforts, such as leading an organization or laboratory, or through lecturing and conducting seminars and workshops. There may be other models as well, including for undergraduate institutions and applied settings.

The APS Mentor Award honors the importance of mentoring in our field as well as the dedication and impact of individuals with a distinguished record of teaching, advising, and encouraging students and colleagues. The APS Mentor Awards are presented each year at the APS Annual Convention.

APS’s lifetime achievement awards are not exclusive. In other words, an exceptional psychological scientist might be awarded all of them.

Submit an APS Mentor Award Nomination

View a list of Mentor Award Recipients

APS Mentor Award Committee

Paul Harris (Chair),
Harvard University

Ann Kring,
University of California, Berkeley

Kazuo Mori,
Matsumoto University, Japan

Charo Rueda,
University of Granada, Spain

Kenneth Steele,
Appalachian State University

Serena Zadoorian,
University of California, Riverside

2023 Award Recipients

Mahzarin R. Banaji

Harvard University

Mahzarin Banaji is the Richard Clarke Cabot Professor of Social Ethics in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. Best known for her work popularizing the concept of implicit bias, she spearheaded (with her own mentor Tony Greenwald and her student Brian Nosek) the movement to illuminate the ways in which the social world imposes structure and value on the individual’s conscious and nonconscious mind. As a mentor, Banaji’s influence has changed countless lives and careers for the better. Advisees single out her rigor and high standards, her clarity and courage, her patience and tenacity, her hands-on collaboration, and above all her visionary belief in their potential—even when they doubted themselves. On more than one occasion, dozens of former lab members and their families cleared their calendars and traveled long distances to join lab reunions, or “Camp Banaji.” “By day we hiked and whale watched, and by night we had salon style conversations about the state of the field, one attendee recalled. “The creation of this collective, this community—this is mentorship at its finest.”  

Stephen P. Hinshaw

University of California, Berkeley

Stephen P. Hinshaw is Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley and a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of California, San Francisco. His work focuses on developmental psychopathology, mental illness stigma, and clinical interventions with children and adolescents, especially those with externalizing behavior dimensions and disorders. Former students and advisees credit Hinshaw’s guidance and support—academic and emotional—as the bedrock of their growth and success in the career paths of their choosing, exemplifying the qualities of a great mentor. They remember his inspiring and popular classes, his “encyclopedic knowledge of basic science and quantitative methods,” and his infectious thrill in charting new scientific territory. They also cite his warmth and ready availability, and his astonishingly speedy and thorough responsiveness. Echoing a recurring theme, one nominator wrote, “I cannot stress how helpful it is as a graduate student to receive such timely feedback on my questions, issues, initiatives—and manuscripts—which in turn allowed me to be much more productive (and responsive to others).”  

Ellen M. Markman

Stanford University

Developmental psychologist Ellen Markman is the Lewis M. Terman Professor of Psychology at Stanford University. Her research interests include the relationship between language and thought, early word learning, categorization and induction, theory of mind and pragmatics, implicit theories and conceptual change, and how theory-based explanations can be effective interventions in health domains. Markman’s impact on the field of developmental psychology includes not only the degrees and appointments her former advisees went on to secure but also their success forging innovative new research directions and teaching others. They credit this to her insightful analysis, her probing but respectful critiques, her creative approach to research questions—and, in particular, her skill pushing students to improve their thinking and hone their ideas. Another hallmark of Markman’s mentoring influence is intellectual generosity which extends to personal issues as well. “The personal connection that Ellen forged with me also made me realize…how critical it is to treat students as whole people who are trying to figure out their lives rather than interacting with them just in their capacity as research collaborators.”  

Nora S. Newcombe

Temple University

Nora Newcombe is a Laura H. Carnell Professor of Psychology at Temple University. Marked by theoretical grounding and methodological soundness, her research has contributed greatly to our understanding of spatial development and navigation. As a mentor, Newcombe’s gifts fall into three categories: scientific, career, and personal. She is “approachable, inspiring, curious, warm, kind, and she knows when to provide a patient ear and when to lend sage advice,” one advisee wrote. Others credit her with facilitating a multitude of connections and opportunities extending well beyond the United States. Newcombe is also lauded for exemplifying healthy professional behavior and being notably supportive of women and students from underrepresented or disadvantaged groups. Wrote one mentee, “her understanding and outright support of balancing the pursuit of science with living your life. Especially as a woman in science, the idea of starting a family can seem unrealistic at best or even ‘career suicide’ …. But I always knew I had an ally in Nora.”  

Robert M. Sellers

University of Michigan

Robert Sellers is the Charles D. Moody Collegiate Professor of Psychology and a professor of education at the University of Michigan. His seminal work on Black racial identity and its role in buffering against the harmful effects of racial discrimination has greatly advanced the field of Black psychology. In a large-scale mentoring effort, he is one of the founders of the Black Graduate Conference in Psychology, providing graduate students with access to high-quality feedback on their work, intense professional development, and access to a network of successful academics. In his direct mentoring, Sellers prepares his students to develop programs that make a difference in the world, supports them through personal struggles, and helps them understand and navigate academic spaces as well as the job market. In so doing, he demonstrates rare selflessness and generosity. Sellers “is the most sincere, effective, and generative mentor I have known,” wrote one former student. Another former mentee recalled, “when I was on the job market, he flew across the country from his sabbatical to help me with my practice job talk.” Remarkably, “he provides this same level of personal attention to numerous others.”