October 24, 2002

Ceci Wins APA Award

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Prof. Stephen J. Ceci, chair of developmental psychology in the College of Human Ecology, was named the co-recipient of the prestigious American Psychological Association’s (APA) Distinguished Scientific Award for the Applications of Psychology.

The award, according to Ceci, differs from the numerous awards he has received previously.

“The new award … is one of the APA’s most prestigious awards and past winners read like the ‘Who’s Who’ of modern scientific psychology,” Ceci said. “So this award is one that is coveted and one that is often given to persons who have distinguished themselves.”

Dean Patsy Brannon, Human Ecology, stated, “Prof. Ceci is a pre-eminent scholar and teacher. We’re very proud of him.”

The award, a plaque and $1000, will be presented to Ceci at the APA’s annual meeting in Toronto on Aug. 7, 2003, according to a press release.

Ceci researches two main topics: “the bioecology of the intellectual development and the competence of child witnesses.” The bioecology “entails all aspects of the way intelligence develops in children and the role of various contexts.” The competence of child witnesses “involves the issues surrounding the cognitive and social competence of young witnesses,” stated Ceci.

“Having a scholar of Prof. Ceci’s caliber increases the quality of the educational experience in the classroom,” Brannon said.

Ceci also serves on the White House Task Force on Federal Funding for Research on Children and Adolescents. “He is pre-eminent in the way that he connects his teaching, his research, and policy,” Brannon stated.

The other recipient this year is Prof. Elizabeth Loftus, University of California-Irvine, recently placed highest among female psychologists in a ranking of the 100 most eminent psychologists of the 20th Century by the APA Monitor, the Association’s monthly magazine.

“I was stunned to be informed that I shared the prize with [Loftus] and that we’d share the podium at the annual meeting of the APA was thrilling,” Ceci wrote in an e-mail.

Others in Human Ecology are also pleased that their knowledgeable professors are receiving the recognition they deserve.

“I think that’s its a real benefit for faculty members to have [a colleague like Ceci] to help them on the work they’re doing. Having someone there, especially someone who wins such awards, is valuable,” said Prof. Jeffrey Haugaard, human development, who is also the department’s director of undergraduate education. “It’s also a benefit for graduate students and undergraduates who are able to work with him.”

Ceci will continue his research of children through the Cornell Institute on Children, which he co-directs and is funded by the National Science Foundation. His lab includes 15 doctoral members, one or two postdoctoral fellows, and several undergraduate students.

Ceci has also received three other scholarly distinctions this past year.

He was named an elected fellow at the American Association for the Advancement of Science and received both the APA’s Bronfenbrenner Award and the Society of Research in Child Development Award for Distinguished Contributions to Public Policy for Children.

Ceci has written over 300 articles, books, and chapters.

He is the founder and co-editor of the American Psychological Society Journal, Psychological Science in the Public Interest. He was awarded the Robert Chin Prize for “best article” from the Society for the Psyhological Study of Social Issues in Psychological Bulletin.

In 1996, Ceci wrote On Intelligence: A Bio-Ecological Treatise, which was praised by critics.

Additionally, Jeopardy in the Courtroom: a Scientific Analysis of Children’s Testimony written in 1995 with Maggie Bruck, won the 1999 William James Award for Excellence in Psychology.

– Sun News Editor Carlos Perkins contributed to this story.

Archived article by Shelia Raju