In honor of 11 of Dr. Mullen’s academic heroes and mentors (2 of whom are retiring at the end of this 2021-22 academic year; 2 who recently passed this year), we plan to preserve their legacies and scientific contributions by awarding students who represent some of their core values and attributes. The awards may not mean much beyond our academic walls, but we want to recognize your efforts and eagerness to learn, and we ultimately want to promote students who promote science.
- Special note: The Exercise Psychology Lab created the E.D.D.I.E. Award (circa 2011) by and for members of the their lab, in honor of Professor Edward McAuley, who also served as a mentor to Dr. Mullen (and remains his collaborator). The ETC Lab recognizes Professor McAuley’s profound impact on exercise psychology and behavioral medicine, but to honor the unique EPL process, we will not be duplicating this award.
Nomination Process for ETC Lab Undergraduate and Graduate Student Research Awards:
- Nominations may by submitted anonymously or by identifying the nominator (self-nomination is encouraged); graduate students are also encouraged to submit nominations for students who fulfill award criteria.
- Nominations require a minimum of one full semester of involvement in the ETC Lab (students serving in their first semester are not eligible).
- Awards elections occur at the mid-point (October and March) and end-point (December and May) every semester.
- Upon reviewing all awards and required qualifications, please submit your nominations here.
Undergraduate Student Research Awards
The Professor David Burdick Fighting for Vita, Dulcedo, Spes Award
Dr. David (Dave) Burdick completed his PhD and postdoctoral training at the University of Notre Dame, and this award was partly named after the insignia on Notre Dame's coat of arms, which translates to "Life, Sweetness, Hope." Dr. Burdick's primary appointment is Professor of Psychology within the Psychology Department in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Stockton University. He also serves as the Director of Stockton Center on Successful Aging. Dave was Sean's course instructor for Introduction to Psychology in Fall of 1998 and from 2000-2002, he served as Sean's undergraduate preceptor and advised his Senior Research Project for Distinction. Dave inspired Sean to seek graduate training in psychology and aging and he continued to serve as a mentor far beyond Sean's years at Stockton. Sean said, "Dave is among the most thoughtful and kindest people I know. His office door was always open with lines of students waiting for his advice; he has a hopeful presence about him and an implicit sense of duty to give voice to those without strong representation. It is for these reasons and more that we honor him. I would love to see these qualities among student mentors at any level."
- D – Dignified
- A – Adept
- V – Virtuous
- I – Impeccable
- D – Dutiful
The Professor Carol Dweck Growth Mindset Award
Dr. Carol Dweck was employed at the University of Illinois from 1972-1981 (at the rank of Assistant to Associate Professor) and again from 1985-1989 (as Full Professor); read her full CV here. Carol's research on achievement motivation inspired Sean to integrate her theoretical frameworks and apply them to his teaching and research. Sean said, "As a lab, we embody the 'growth mindset' when we expect everyone to have the capacity to change their health-related behaviors, performance and functioning. To qualify for this award, the student must not only demonstrate a sense of mastery in skills (general research skills or more specific, technical skills for delivering behavior change interventions), but the student must also contribute to a learning environment aiming to cultivate positive attitudes towards physical activity and health among our study participants."
- C – Conscientious
- A – Adaptive
- R – Respectful
- O – Open-minded
- L – Level-headed
The Professor Joan Duda Dancing with Data Award
Dr. Joan Duda received her PhD at the University of Illinois in 1981. She has had an illustrious career and is internationally known for her expertise which has focused on motivational processes and determinants of adherence and optimal functioning in sport, exercise and dance. Sean connected with Joan's work early on at the age of 19. Task vs. ego motivational orientations served as the framework for his undergraduate research (with Dr. Burdick, above) and he continued to explore relations with motivational orientation during his masters thesis research (with Dr. Deborah Kendzierski, below). Sean finally met Joan while attending his very first Association for Applied Sport Psychology conference. Joan has continued to be a guiding light over the past 15+ years. Sean said, "We're both from New Jersey, something I didn't know at the time. School wasn't my top priority until I took a course in sport psychology and then a class project led me to read her publications (1990-92) and I remained there, for hours in the library at Stockton University (declining many party invites at first to finish my research project, and then because I was hooked). A light-bulb went off and I found my purpose. I knew from this point forward that I would be pursuing research in the field of sport and exercise psychology as a career. I now celebrate and remain envious at how well Joan seems to be able juggle working in so many arenas, keeping adults physically active, athletes performing at their best, developing curriculum to teach and motivate individuals across the lifespan. She also does all of this with kindness and compassion, supporting her students and early-career researchers."
- J – Juggler
- O – Observant
- A – Action-oriented
- N – Neighborly
The Professor Deborah (Deb) Kendzierski Keeps Good PACE Award
Dr. Deborah A. Kendzierski received her PhD from the University of Minnesota in 1982. Deb was Sean's thesis advisor at Villanova University. Deb's application of Dr. Hazel R. Markus's theories (self-schema, possible selves) to the study of physical activity and healthy eating has served as the foundation for Sean's research agenda. Deb's emphasis on theories and research in social cognition and writing quality (over quantity) had an enormous impact on Sean. Deb is always willing to talk shop and help her students refine their ideas. For much of Sean's research career, Deb's work has served as a "home base." As one example, Deb Kendzierski and DeCarlo (1991) were the first to develop an enjoyment measure in the context of physical activity. Sean has been recognized for extending this work, but had it not been for Deb and her masters student, nearly a half-million results (486,000 hits as of 4/1/22 for 'Physical Activity Enjoyment Scale') would not be available on Google Scholar on this topic. Sean said, "Deb is my beacon. My research passion started with Dave Burdick and the writings of Joan Duda. My research direction came to life and crystallized during my research experiences with Deb. When I have been in the area, I always try to arrange a visit. Deb has always been willing to meet with me over a Vietnamese meal, and she always insists on buying."
- D – Dedicated
- E – Enjoyment
- B – Beacon
The Professor Maureen (“Mo”) Weiss Kid at Heart Award
Mo Weiss received her PhD from Michigan Statue University in 1981. Her research focused on the psychological, social, and motor development of children and adolescents through participation in sport and physical activity. Professor Weiss has had enormous impact on the field, including more than 150 publications and serving as primary mentor for 23 doctoral students and 36 masters students. From 1997 to 2007 she was the Director of the Sport & Exercise Psychology Program Area at the University of Virginia, and served as Dr. Mullen's co-mentor for two years. Dr. Mullen best remembers Mo for her, "unwavering enthusiasm for teaching and weekly take-home messages on the topics of children's participation motivation, positive youth sport coaching, development of peer relationships, motor and moral development through sport." Read more. When I found myself in a rough patch, whether it was in keeping myself motivated through projects or finding new ways to spin my crazy ideas, Mo always had encouraging words for me."
- M – Motivated
- O – Organizer
The Professor Robert (“Bru”) Brustad Free & Holistic Spirit Award
Robert "Bru" Brustad, PhD (1953-2022) earned his PhD at the University of Oregon (Mo Weiss was his mentor). A full professor at University of Northern Colorado, Bru focused on the Social Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity. He had a strong interest in positive youth development which sparked his involvement in various sport-based projects for youth in Chile, Brazil and Spain, and Colorado. He also served as Co-Director of a graduate program in Social Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity at the University of Diego Portales in Santiago, Chile, and as an adjunct faculty member at universities in Spain and Portugal. Bru participated and coached in track and field, basketball and baseball and until a yearlong battle with cancer, he also competed in Master’s Track and Field and basketball competitions. "I always admired Bru's work and lifestyle. I wanted the kind of impact he made, along with the work-life balance and without the spotlight. For me, he was living the dream. I met him just once after the 2nd Action on Obesity Summit in the mountains of Minnesota. He shared much wisdom that night and I am eternally grateful," according to Sean.
- B – Balanced
- R – Resourceful
- U – Unerring
The Professor John (Jack) McArdle Quantification Qualification Award
Jack was a self-taught statistical wizard and lifespan developmental methodologist who studied cognitive aging. He is perhaps best known for developing novel methods for the analysis of change and approaches for handling missing data (read more). He taught at University of Virginia where our lab director was a student in his Quantitative Methods II course. Jack had a lasting impact on Dr. Mullen, shaping his approach to research methods. Any students seeking this award should have made clever and/or substantial contributions to the quantitative data analysis, or the development and refinement of algorithms used in our research lab.
- J – Joysome
- A – Affable
- C – Creative-calculus
- K – Knowledgeable
The Professor Diane Whaley Best Possible Identity Award
Dr. Diane E. Whaley was Dr. Mullen's PhD advisor at the University of Virginia from 2004-2009. Diane retired from UVA in 2022 and now holds Emerita status. Professor Whaley has been a thought-leader who helped bring more feminist methods and methodologies to research in sport and exercise psychology and education, heightening awareness of diversity and equity issues. The scope of her research also included the study of physical activity-related identity and the role of "possible selves" (future identities) in motivating physical activity across the lifespan. According to Sean, "Dave molded me into a research vessel. Deb oiled my gears and wound me up and pointed me to Diane. Diane opened my eyes, and let me go. I owe much to Diane for helping me find my niche and for teaching me that there's more to life than publications. She taught me the importance of service and giving back to the community. She helped me become a much better teacher and human, and to adapt to the hand that's been dealt, often on the fly... although I was slow to realize and process everything she taught me until years later."
- D – Dynamo
- I – Industrious
- A – Altruistic
- N – Nimble
- E – Enthusiastic
The Professor Arthur (Art) F. Kramer 12-Moves-Ahead Award
Dr. Arthur (Art) F. Kramer earned his PhD in Cognitive and Experimental Psychology in 1984 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He became the Director of the Beckman Institute of Advanced Science and Technology in 2010, when Sean was provided a postdoctoral fellowship by Dr. Edward McAuley to join his Exercise Psychology Lab. Art and Eddie had a long history of successful collaborations and Art welcomed Sean to join his weekly lab meetings at Beckman. Sean was eager to meet Art because of his Cognitive Aging course, taught by Professor Timothy (Tim) Salthouse who spoke very highly of the work being conducted at Illinois. Sean described Art as, "A beautifully brilliant mind... who had an immeasurable impact on me, inspiring me since his pioneering work offering evidence of positive effects of gaming and exercise on cognitive functioning and brain health. After getting to know him, despite his status, I found him to be highly responsive when I needed help, and he has an extraordinary ability to maintain a pulse on novel findings in neuroscience and interventions designed to enhance the brain. His feedback was always tactful and right on point." Art also practiced what he preached, maintaining and adapting his physically activity lifestyle throughout his life, including boxing, freestyle rock-climbing, and running. Art has always been ahead of the curve. It is for these reasons that we honor Art.
- A = Ace
- R = Responsive
- T = Transpicuous
The Sport Psychologist Dr. Wendy Borlabi ‘Embodied Excellence‘ Award
Dr. Wendy Borlabi earned her PhD in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in Sport & Exercise Psychology from Argosy University Phoenix. She currently works with the Chicago Bulls and is an independent consultant for the National Basketball Association (NBA), and founded the performance psychology consulting firm, Borlabi Consulting. Wendy has taught undergraduate and graduate courses for Forbes Business School, facilitated the development of the sport psychology division of James Madison University's athletic department, and worked for the United States Olympic Committee at their Training Center in San Diego for six years. Sean said about Wendy, "For a short time, she served as my mentor while I was pursuing a certification to become a performance consultant. I gave up on that career path, but she gave me incredibly valuable insight and guidance, and her positive energy made me want to learn more so I could emulate her approach in academia. Wendy embodies excellence in everything she does. I count myself very fortunate for the brief time I got to spend with her and we stay in touch through text... she's just such a good person."
- W = Warrior
- E = Empathetic
- N = Noble
- D = Determined
- Y = Youthfully-spirited
The Professor Sherry Pagoto ‘Authentic Feminist, Advocate for-Underdogs’ Award
Dr. Sherry Pagoto is a licensed clinical psychologist, researcher, and professor known for her work in behavioral medicine. She has been involved in various research projects related to obesity, weight management, physical activity, and the use of digital health interventions. Dr. Pagoto is also known for her contributions in the areas of social media, mobile technology, and innovative behavioral interventions for health promotion and disease prevention. She has authored numerous publications and received grants from organizations like the National Institutes of Health to support her research. She is now a professor at the University of Connecticut, where she also serves as the director of the UConn Center for mHealth and Social Media. Sean said about Sherry, "She has consistently championed equity and women's rights, setting an exemplary standard for us all. Her dedication and past guidance have been invaluable, and I am deeply grateful for the knowledge and insights I've gained from her. In honoring her legacy with this award, I hope to emphasize my admiration and respect for her work and the positive impact she continues to have on others. It is a privilege to stand as an ally in the pursuit of her inspiring goals."
- S = Standout
- H = Hero
- E = Eclectic
- R = Rallying
- R = Righteous
- Y = Yearner