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Three St. Bonaventure University faculty members were recognized for professional excellence at Sunday’s Commencement Exercises.
Honored with the Faculty Award for Professional Excellence in Research and Publication were Dr. Gregory J. Privitera, associate professor of psychology, and Dr. Kimberly Young, professor of journalism and mass communication, and director of the online master’s program in strategic leadership. Dr. Gerald Boersma, assistant professor of theology, received the Junior Faculty Award for Professional Excellence.
Privitera, an expert on psychological issues pertaining to food and eating, was nominated for the Research and Publication Award by his colleague Dr. Darryl Mayeaux, associate professor of psychology, who notes that since 2004, Privitera has published 30 peer-reviewed papers and nine unique book titles. Privitera is the sole author of eight of those books, and four of his solo-authored titles are textbooks that have gone to second editions.
In the sciences, this rate of publication is “highly meritorious,” and Privitera’s record is all the more impressive when you consider that assistant and associate professors carry a relatively heavy teaching load, said Mayeaux.
“As a scholar, he is in demand. On papers for which he is first author, he has collaborators from seven different institutions. This is a testament to what others think of his work,” said Mayeaux. Privitera’s research has drawn the attention of popular media outlets, earning mention in Time, the Wall Street Journal, The Oprah Magazine, as well as Health and Men’s Health magazines.
Privitera’s textbook, “Research Methods for the Behavioral Sciences,” was named “Most Promising New Textbook” by the Text and Academic Authors Association, recognizing it as the best-written first edition text in the social sciences and humanities for 2014. A second edition was published in January of this year.
An earlier textbook, “Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences,” first published in 2011, also went to a second edition, which is a rarity for college textbooks, said Reid Hester, associate director of College Editorial for SAGE Publishing, which published both texts.
“Only a small percentage of first edition college textbooks are successful enough to justify the investment in a subsequent edition. Not only have Greg’s books made it over this difficult hurdle, but they have done so with adoptions at all kinds of schools, from research universities to regional schools, two-year and four-year, public and private,” said Hester. More than 180 institutions use one of his texts, including Harvard University, Stanford University, and St. Bonaventure.
For each textbook, Privitera also creates his own student study guide and supplemental packages for instructors. “It is truly the rare SAGE author who takes the time to meticulously craft an entire teaching and learning package beyond just the text itself,” said Hester.
This is the third time Privitera has been recognized by his peers for professional excellence since his arrival on campus in 2009. He received the Junior Faculty Award for Professional Excellence in 2013 and the Professional Excellence in Teaching Award in 2014.
A veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Privitera attended the State University of New York at Buffalo, earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology in 2002 and 2004, respectively, and his Ph.D. in psychology, behavioral neuroscience, in 2006. He and his wife, Alisha, live in Great Valley with their son, Aiden, and daughter, Grace.
Dr. Kimberly Young’s stature as a respected published researcher might best be conveyed in an anecdote told by Dr. Pauline Hoffmann, dean of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, who nominated Young for the Professional Excellence in Research Award.
Hoffmann was walking down a hallway with a new professor when they passed Young’s office. Hoffmann recalls what happened when the professor saw the name on the door: “He turned and said, ‘Is that the Dr. Young?’ He went on to describe how he cited her articles himself and couldn’t believe someone of her caliber was here at SBU.”
Young’s 1998 book, “Caught in the Net,” was the first book to identify and coin the term “Internet addiction.” Considered the seminal work in the field, it has been translated in nine languages and cited thousands of times. Her fifth book on the subject will be published this year.
Young’s work has been cited in the New York Times, USA Today, Newsweek, Time, CNN, CBS News, Fox News, ABC’s “World News Tonight” and Australia’s “60 Minutes” program.
A licensed psychologist, Young founded the Center for Internet Addiction Recovery in Bradford, Pa., the first inpatient clinic for treating Internet addiction. Her research has been used to build other assessment and treatment programs in the U.S.
She has also been the keynote speaker at numerous conferences, including the International Conference on Digital Culture in Seoul, Korea; the Media Addiction Conference in Sydney, Australia; and the 1st International Congress on Internet Addiction Disorders in Milan, Italy.
In supporting Young’s nomination for the faculty award, Carol M. Fischer, professor of accounting and interim dean of the School of Business, said, “Kimberly’s research record is superior to that of any faculty member with whom I have worked during my 31 years at St. Bonaventure University.”
Young earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the State University of New York at Buffalo, a master’s in clinical psychology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and her doctorate in psychology from Indiana U.
She serves the professional community as a member of several editorial and advisory boards, and is active in a number of community organizations in the Bradford area.
The Junior Faculty Award for Professional Excellence assesses candidates in the areas of teaching, scholarship and service, and Dr. Gerald Boersma “has performed exceptionally” in all three, said Dr. James Fodor, professor of theology and department chair.
Blending a “fresh enthusiasm for teaching and student engagement” with “strong academic credentials,” Boersma has a reputation among students as a “passionate, devoted and capable professor” whose door is always open, said Fodor. Boersma is “genuinely liked” by students, he said, and earns consistently high marks on student evaluations.
He is an “astute learner” who regularly “seeks out other opportunities to improve his teaching” by attending conferences and applying for fellowships, said Fodor.
In service to the university, Boersma serves as the Arts representative on the Academic Standards Committee, completed a major study for the committee reviewing the university’s core curriculum, and has been asked to develop an online version of a core curriculum course. He is also active in the university’s program for adults converting to Catholicism.
As a researcher, his record is “truly remarkable,” said another colleague, Dr. Oleg Bychkov, professor of theolody. He describes Boersma as “one of those young scholars whose record simply leaves you dumbfounded as to when they could find the time to produce so many high quality works.”
Fodor concurs, noting Boersma not only successfully defended his doctoral thesis during his first year of teaching, a work that has been published by Oxford University Press, but that he began work on a second book as well. “One major monograph published and another well underway in the first few years of ‘finding one’s legs’ professionally is truly a remarkable accomplishment,” said Fodor.
Since his arrival on campus in 2012, Boersma has published seven articles in peer-reviewed journals, two book chapters, and eight book reviews, “all in widely respected venues for scholarly publishing,” said Fodor. He has been awarded numerous fellowships, grants and honors, including the prestigious 2016 Patricia H. Imbesi Saint Augustine Fellowship at Villanova University.
“Gerald has relatively quickly established himself as a scholar of ability and gained a national and international reputation for his careful scholarly work and sure-footed judgment,” said Fodor
Boersma earned his bachelor’s degree in religious studies at Trinity Western University in British Columbia, Canada; his master’s in theology from Ave Maria University in Florida; and his Ph.D. in theology and religion from the University of Durham in the United Kingdom.
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