Anne Stewart Receives Outstanding Faculty Award

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Anne StewartAnne Stewart, Ph.D., a psychology professor at James Madison University and a partner with the Center for International Stabilization and Recovery in its Pathways to Resilience project, received the prestigious Outstanding Faculty Award by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. Her exceptional work not only forges a new path for the JMU Department of Graduate Psychology but also extends outside the perimeters of the college.

On 16 February 2012, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia awarded Anne Stewart, Ph.D., the Outstanding Faculty Award for her work in the James Madison University psychology program. She is one of only 12 professors chosen to receive the award in 2012.1 Stewart is not only recognized for her achievements in the classroom but also for her continued commitment to helping those in need.2

Stewart’s commitment to humanitarian assistance took shape early in her career, as she became one of the first special-education teachers in her home state of Indiana. In Indiana, she cultivated her desire to oppose injustice and fight for the rights of the underrepresented. In 1979, she came to JMU as a special-education instructor, teaching and supervising student teachers throughout the Shenandoah Valley. During this time, she developed her interest in psychology.3

Somalia, July 2011.
Anne Stewart with a participant of the Pathways to Resilience workshop in Lebanon, May 2011.
Photo courtesy of CISR/JMU.

After taking psychology classes at JMU, Stewart attended the University of Virginia doctoral program, earning a dual degree in school and clinical psychology. She completed her doctorate after a clinical fellowship at Harvard Medical School and returned to JMU as a faculty member in 1991.3 Stewart has honed her skills as a professor, basing her classroom approach on interaction, interprofessional practice and an international perspective.3 With this approach, Stewart seeks to nurture her students’ intellectual development, promote globally oriented dialogue and introduce students to the professional environment. Of her teaching methodology, Stewart says: “I strive to create relationships with my students that reflect the type of bonds I hope they will form with their clients and colleagues.”3

Stewart was also instrumental in expanding the JMU psychology curriculum, helping to pioneer the university’s first interprofessional health course, “Ethical Decision-making in Health Care,” and an interdisciplinary course on early childhood intervention.3 While teaching at JMU, Stewart is also extremely active in the Virginia community. In 2011, she helped provide emotional support to teachers in Louisa County following the earthquake, and in 2007, she teamed with JMU psychology professor Lennis Echterling, Ph.D., who won this same award in 2010, to create resilience-based workshops that helped faculty and staff in the wake of the tragic shootings on 16 April 2007 at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA.3

However, her involvement is not limited to Virginia; in fact, Stewart was instrumental in implementing many of CISR’s programs, including mine-risk education, peer-to-peer survivor assistance and psychometric material development. Her work with CISR’s Pathways to Resilience workshop was immensely helpful for landmine survivors and people with disabilities from Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Yemen, who were not only given tools for their own recovery but were also empowered to be advocates in their own communities.4

Ken Rutherford, Ph.D., Director of CISR and a colleague of Stewart, says, “I could go on ceaselessly about Dr. Stewart's commitment to healing trauma-affected communities as far away as Jordan or Vietnam and as close as JMU's own backyard. Suffice it to say that as a colleague, I can attest to Dr. Stewart's innovation in integrating rigorous academic thought into field practice. More importantly, as a landmine survivor myself, I know of Anne's genuine compassion for victims of trauma and her investment in their recovery.”4

Stewart’s work with JMU and CISR will continue as an inspiration to the local and international communities that she has helped. Her ability to think and act both locally and globally will remain a beacon for what can be achieved through enlightened action. CISR is proud to work with Anne Stewart and offers her its sincerest congratulations on this award. “She comes with my most enthusiastic recommendation for this honor and all others,” says Rutherford.4 J

~ Jeremiah Smith, CISR staff



Contact Information

Center for International Stabilization and Recovery
James Madison University
Harrisonburg, VA 22807 / USA





  1. “Outstanding Faculty Award Recipients.” State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. Accessed 30 January 2012.
  2. “Higher Education System.” Virginia Economic Development Partnership. Accessed 30 January 2012.
  3. “JMU Professor Receives Outstanding Faculty Award.” JMU Office of Public Affairs.
  4. Email correspondence with Dr. Ken Rutherford. 25 January 2012.