Lyons headshot

The General Education program is pleased to announce that Dr. Claire W. Lyons, Professor of Psychology, is this year’s recipient of the General Education Distinguished Teacher Award. This competitive award, established over ten years ago, specifically recognizes excellence in enabling students to meet cluster learning outcomes and make interdisciplinary connections. Dr. Lyons received her PhD in Psychology from the Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1994. She joined the faculty at JMU in 2012 after serving in academic positions at Mary Immaculate College in Ireland. She regularly teaches PSCY 160: Life Span Human Development in Cluster Five, and her expertise is underscored by her recently authored textbook, From Birth to Late Adulthood: An Introduction to Lifespan Development (2017).

Beyond her ability to make connections between psychology and other academic disciplines, the selection committee especially noted the way Lyons uses specific, concrete examples from social media, biology, current news events, and larger social issues to highlight concepts and make the material relevant and memorable to students. They were also impressed by her ability to foster critical thinking in a 300-seat section. Lyons is highly regarded for designing interactive, in-class activities to provide opportunities for higher order analysis and for her attention to student learning.

To learn more about Dr. Lyon’s study abroad program in Ireland, see this article:

To learn more about Dr. Lyons approach to teaching, see this article:

Lyons will receive a $1500 honorarium and a plaque and will be honored at several events in the spring. She will also be the keynote speaker at the General Education Student Conference banquet in the fall of 2018.

She is the fifteenth recipient of this award, which was established by the Provost’s Office in 2004. Previous Distinguished Teaching Award recipients are: Craig Abrahamson (2004); Carol A. Hurney (2005); Lynn S. Fichter (2006); Jeffrey T. Andre (2007); Michael A. Moghtader (2008); Kit Murphy (2009); John Ott (2010); Carole Nash (2011); Amanda Biesecker (2012); Kristin St. John (2013); David Daniel (2014); Deb Warnaar (2015); Kathleen Ferriaolo (2016); and Geary Albright (2017)

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