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Distinguished University Professor Award

Each year, the President's Office recognizes one faculty member with the Distinguished University Professor Award, choosing from a field of many exemplary faculty in an extremely competitive process.

The honored faculty member must hold the rank of full professor; hold a doctorate or other terminal degree; possess a record of outstanding teaching, quality research/scholarly activities, and university service; and show active and demonstrable engagement in research/scholarly activity that advances his or her discipline or its pedagogy.

The Distinguished University Professor Award, established in 1988, brings recipients a grant and reduced teaching load for one year to allow them to dedicate more time to research/scholarship, as well as other benefits.


Twenty-two faculty members have been honored with the Distinguished University Professor Award:

2015: Maureen McHugh, Psychology

2014: Krzysztof (Krys) Kaniasty, Psychology

2013: Victor Garcia, Anthropology

2012: Abbas Ali, Management

2011: Lynn Botelho, History

2010: Ben Rafoth, English

2009: Gian Pagnucci, English

2008: John (Jack) E. Stamp, Music

2007: Steven A. Hovan, Geoscience

2000: Eileen W. Glisan, Spanish and Classical Languages

1999: Robert J. Ackerman, Sociology

1998: Robert S. Prezant, Biology

1997: Richard D. Magee, Psychology

1996: Ronald G. Shafer, English

1995: Devki N. Talwar, Physics

1994: Charles D. Cashdollar, History

1993: Donald S. McPherson, Industrial and Labor Relations 

1992: John W. Kuehn, Music 

1991: Mary R. Jalongo, Professional Studies in Education 

1990: John N. Fox, Physics 

1989: Leon D. VandeCreek, Psychology

1988: Donald A. Walker, Economics 

Note: From 2001 to 2006, cost constraints prohibited presentation of the award.

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PURPOSE: The purpose of the Distinguished University Professor Award is to recognize, reward, and encourage IUP faculty who demonstrate outstanding records of teaching, research/scholarly activities and services.

QUALIFICATIONS: To earn a Distinguished University Professor Award, a faculty member must:

  • Hold the rank of full professor 
  • Hold a doctorate or other terminal degree 
  • Have a record of outstanding teaching, quality research/scholarly activities and university service
  • Be active and demonstrably engaged in research/scholarly activity which advances the faculty member’s discipline or the teaching of his/her discipline

BENEFITS: A faculty member who is honored with the Distinguished University Professor Award receives:

  1. A $5,000 grant, through Foundation funding, to support his/her research/scholarly activities;
  2. A reduced teaching load (three hours release time) for each semester of the year for which the Distinguished University Professorship is awarded;
  3. A six-hour summer contract for professional activity;
  4. Designated parking spot for the year serving as Distinguished University Professor;
  5. His/her name inscribed upon a plaque honoring all Distinguished University Professors;
  6. A news release announcing the name and activities of the year’s Distinguished University Professor; and
  7. The lifetime title of Distinguished University Professor.

TIME FRAME: The position of Distinguished University Professor will be for one calendar year commencing at the beginning of the Fall semester. It can be held one time only, as it is a lifetime designation. The Distinguished University Professor must be in residence during the year for which the award is given (i.e., he/she must not be on sabbatical or other forms of leave).

UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR COMMITTEE: The Distinguished University Professor Committee shall consist of two administrators and six faculty members (with one from each college). All faculty members serving on the committee must hold the rank of full professor. The two administrators shall be selected by the Provost. The chair of the committee shall be appointed by the Provost and selected from the ranks of previous Distinguished University Professors. The other five faculty members of the committee shall be recommended to the Provost by APSCUF with at least three of them from the ranks of previous Distinguished University Professors. 

SELECTION PROCESS: The process whereby a Distinguished University Professor is awarded shall consist of four phases: Committee nomination, phase one application, phase two review, and award. A call for nominations is made to the university community. The Distinguished University Professor Committee will select faculty who meet the selection criteria and invite them to apply. The application process is in two phases. The committee will then evaluate each applicant with respect to the quality of prior work at phase one, and at phase two both the quality of prior work along with that of the work proposed for the time period of the Distinguished University Professorship is reviewed. The committee’s recommended candidate, along with a listing of top three candidates will be provided through the Provost to the President for a final decision.

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Maureen McHugh

Maureen McHugh has been selected as Indiana University of Pennsylvania's 2015-16 Distinguished University Professor. A professor of psychology, McHugh is known nationally for her work in gender and diversity and in the field of violence against women.

Maureen McHugh Selected Distinguished University Professor“Dr. McHugh excels in research, teaching, and service, and this honor is well deserved,” IUP President Michael Driscoll said. “The Distinguished University Professor distinction is one of the highest recognitions offered by the university to our faculty. They reflect the best of our best. I appreciate that these faculty members continue to be active leaders for our institution, setting an example of excellence as teacher-scholars.”

Though the Distinguished University Professor award is presented annually, recipients retain the title for life.

“I am pleased that the university committee indicated an appreciation for my work,” McHugh said. “There are many professors doing important and excellent work at IUP, so I am honored to be selected. My scholarship is connected in a profound way to my teaching and to my campus and professional service, and I feel validated in all areas for my contributions.

“The award also demonstrates an important reality of IUP, that the university values scholarship on women's lives and issues,” she said. “I also am excited for the opportunities the award includes. It will give me extra time to work on integrating my work on women's sexuality into a book.”

McHugh has contributed extensively to the psychology of women field, as a teacher and a scholar. Acknowledged as a pioneer in the teaching of psychology of women, she is proud to have taught the subject to more than 3,000 students, because “psychology of women can change our understanding of our own and others' lives,” she said.

McHugh founded the Women's Studies Program at IUP in 1986 and served as director for a dozen years. She advocated for women's studies in the region, offering workshops and conferences to connect women's studies scholars from various regional campuses.

She remains actively involved in curriculum design and is currently developing a new course, Gender and Violence, and is collaborating on a new minor in violence education. She coordinated the annual conference of the Association for Women in Psychology in 1997 and is on the planning committee for the conference for 2016. She has helped to plan a dozen workshops and conferences for IUP, including Sex and Gender in 2012; Research, Education, and Advocacy for Community Health ( REACH) in 2014; and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education's Psychology Conference in 2010 and 2014.

McHugh has served in leadership positions at the national level. She was president (equivalent) of the Association for Women in Psychology and chair of the Committee on Women of the American Psychological Association and is currently president of the APA's Society for Psychology of Women, Division 35. An advocate for women as leaders in the academy, McHugh developed and conducts the Leadership Institute for Faculty Women, which has trained 200 women for leadership on the State System's 14 campuses.

McHugh has published widely, with more than 50 book chapters and articles to her credit. Her work is included in many psychology of women texts and handbooks. Two of her publications won Distinguished Publication Awards from the AWP.

A continuing focus of her scholarship is violence against women. She co-authored numerous reviews of literature on intimate partner violence and co-edited two special topic journal issues on women and violence. Possessing a national reputation as an expert in this area, McHugh has been invited to provide reviews on intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and other forms of violence for handbooks and texts. Her other current areas of scholarship include the history of feminist psychology, older women, size bias, sexual scripts, and sexual assault. In each of these areas, McHugh has collaborated with graduate students. Her forthcoming text, “The Wrong Prescription for Women,” co-edited with Joan Chrisler, is a critical examination of the medicalization of women's bodies and lives. It will be published by Praeger this summer.

McHugh was awarded the Christine Ladd Franklin Award for her contributions to feminist psychology and the Florence Denmark Award for Distinguished Mentoring for her research with and mentoring of graduate and undergraduate students. She is also included in “Feminist Voices,” an online history of feminist psychology, and participated in recorded interviews for the project.

During her tenure as Distinguished University Professor, McHugh intends to begin a book that expands the work and writing she has already completed on different aspects of women's sexuality. This book will extend the scholarship on women's sexual empowerment and address a series of issues and outcomes for contemporary women, including the question of how to express one's sexual desires authentically without subscribing to a perspective on women's sexuality that demeans or discriminates against women, she said.

“Through this text, I hope to extend my scholarship on sexuality, to impact the theory and research on women's sexuality, to present a perspective on female sexual agency and empowerment, and to encourage women, young and old, to resist defining themselves in terms of the male gaze, and express their sexual desire in an autonomous and authentic manner,” McHugh said.

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