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.

Nominations will open in mid-2024.

View a list of Mentor Award Recipients

APS Mentor Award Committee

Paul Harris, Chair
Harvard University
BJ Casey, Member
Barnard College of Columbia University
Stephen Hinshaw, Member
University of California, Berkeley
Miguel Moya, Member
University of Granada
Kenneth Steele, Member
Appalachian State University
Ayanna Thomas, Member
Tufts University
Serena Zadoorian, Member
University of California, Riverside

2024 Award Recipients

James Gross

Stanford University

James Gross is the Ernest R. Hilgard Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, where he directs the Stanford Psychophysiology Laboratory, and his research focuses on emotion regulation. A Fellow and Charter Member of APS, Gross was the Founding President of the Society for Affective Science. His students describe him as a thoughtful, responsive, and empowering mentor who helped them find their voices and learn to share them. When asked how he decides which students to accept to his lab, Gross explained, “I choose people who I think I can help the most to advance their own goals.” He then works hard to foster “cohesiveness, camaraderie, and intellectual rigor” among his students, who report that years later they often find answers by asking, “what would James do?” Along with his scientific acumen, Gross impresses on his students “the importance of always putting younger scholars first.” According to one former mentee, “He trained students to be excellent scientists, and then trained them to be excellent mentors.”   

Claus Lamm

University of Vienna

Claus Lamm is a Full Professor of Biological Psychology and Head of the Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Unit in the Department of Cognition, Emotion, and Methods in Psychology at the University of Vienna. An APS Fellow, his research focuses on the neural underpinnings of social cognition and behavior in humans and non-human animals. “Claus cares deeply about his mentees,” one noted. He is described as being “reliable, flexible, fast-thinking, and incredibly precise” and doing so “with dedication and thoroughness, always communicating at the eye-level, making one feel like a worthy interlocutor with a contribution to make, rather than a ‘helper.’” Past students are quick to point to Lamm’s humor, noting that “he would use humor to make me feel I was talking to a smart friend instead of a distant professor.” Early career researchers point to him as an advocate in the department who “is consistently working with us on ways to support ECRs’ academic careers…as well as their personal and mental well-being.”

Brenda Major

University of California, Santa Barbara

Brenda Major is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of California, Santa Barbara, a past Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Fellow and Charter Member of APS. Major’s research addresses how people cope with prejudice, discrimination, devalued social identities, and stressful life events. As one former mentee notes, “Brenda fosters this inclusive atmosphere in her own lab. She has been a strong advocate for training young women and minorities in social psychology and her lab consistently has a diverse array of graduate students and undergraduate assistants working collaboratively on research.” She is known for asking her students “so what?” to encourage them to think about the implications of their work and “models how to choose research questions that matter in the world.” Mentees have described her as “a tough and honest mentor, with high expectations, but also one who believed in them and is committed to supporting them in meeting those standards.” Many of her mentees have gone on to assume important positions in academia, business, and public service. 

Catherine (Cammie) McBride

Purdue University

Catherine (Cammie) McBride is Professor of Human Development and Family Studies as well as Associate Dean for Research of the College of Health and Human Sciences at Purdue University. Previously, she was the Choh-Ming Li Professor of Psychology at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. An APS Fellow, McBride studies literacy development and impairment across cultures, scripts, and languages; mathematics development and impairment; and parenting. McBride is described as a warm and consistent support to her students both academically and morally. Her mentees, who come from diverse backgrounds and study a wide range of topics, give her significant credit for improving their research, teaching, and communication skills and for supporting their appointments to prestigious positions around the world. “I am impressed by her diligence, intelligence, and creativity,” noted one former student. Another wrote, “Professor McBride’s mentoring not only cultivates first-class scientific talents, but also passes the mentoring style of all-round support and unconditional encouragement from generation to generation.” 

Julio J. Ramirez

Davidson College

APS Fellow Julio J. Ramirez is the R. Stuart Dickson Professor of Psychology and Director of the Neuroscience Program at Davidson College. Ramirez’s research is focused on “the recovery of function after central nervous system injury, with an emphasis on determining the functional significance of lesion-induced hippocampal neuroplasticity.” He was presented with the 2009 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring by US President Barack Obama. Throughout his career, Ramirez has mentored well over 150 undergraduates in his laboratory and has been a national leader in promoting innovative mentoring approaches in biological psychology and neuroscience, such as the creation and expansion of national mentoring programs and a journal on undergraduate neuroscience education. He was the Founding President of the Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience (FUN). Ramirez has demonstrated, time and again, with his enthusiasm in the classroom and in the lab, “that his greatest joy is to see his students succeed.” Numerous undergraduate students have coauthored research posters and scientific papers with him at national and international conferences and in journals. Former students noted that “Dr. Ramirez has a way of awakening his students to the opportunity and privilege of learning.”