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Nov. 9, 2010
MARYVILLE, Mo. - Dr. April Haberyan, associate professor of psychology, sociology and counseling, is Northwest Missouri State University's recipient of the 2011 Governor's Award for Excellence in Education.
The award is presented annually to an outstanding faculty member from each of Missouri's four-year higher education institutions. Haberyan was selected to receive the award by the Northwest Dean's Council among faculty who received teaching awards from the University's colleges during the previous academic year. She will receive the Governor's Award during a ceremony in February in Jefferson City.
"I'm very honored," Haberyan said. "I feel very lucky to have such great students, faculty and staff to work with."
Haberyan began teaching at Northwest in 1995 and received a full-time appointment in 2001. During her tenure, Haberyan has earned a reputation as an anchor among faculty in the Department of Psychology, Sociology and Counseling. Her course ratings are consistently some of the highest in the department and higher than the department average.
"April is amazing in the classroom," said Dr. Carla Edwards, chair of the Department of Psychology, Sociology and Counseling. "Her classes always fill up as students vie for the coveted seats in her classroom. She challenges them to mastery and insists on excellence."
Students say they enjoy Haberyan's teaching style and use of real-life examples from her clinical practice. Her discussion topics help create an engaging, active and interesting classroom environment.
"She has great stories and knows how to get her students involved," Dilniya Dawoudi, a senior psychology major from Liberty, Mo., said. "She's got such a great personality, which makes you want to go to her classes; you do not want to miss a day. She is educated on what she teaches and challenges her students."
At Northwest, Haberyan initiated the creation of two psychology courses, disaster psychology and psychology in films, and made significant contributions in developing curriculum changes in the undergraduate psychology major. Haberyan also was instrumental in creating a new interdisciplinary comprehensive crisis response minor, which prepares students for careers in disaster relief.
In her disaster psychology course, Haberyan leads table-top scenarios where students receive a narrative disaster and must build a response plan based on their course materials and any other resources they can think of, from mental health personnel and police to water and medical equipment. Students also role play using their counseling and crisis intervention skills as well as psychological first aid skills.
Additionally, Haberyan's students participate in real-life mock disaster scenarios. Last year, Haberyan traveled with 11 students to Indian River State College in Fort Pierce, Fla., where they participated in an earthquake civil war disaster scenario. The students negotiated humanitarian space and demonstrated psychological first aid skills they learned in Haberyan's courses. They learned to assess for mental illness and how to refer patients to appropriate services.
Chaz Johnson, a senior psychology major from Clarksdale, Mo., said the hands-on experiences students receive under Haberyan's guidance are life-changing.
"I have been to many of the disaster training simulations in Florida, as well as Macedonia, as a student and as an instructor," Johnson said. "Dr. Haberyan also gave me the chance to work on field research. She has helped me gain an understanding as how to conduct a research project and gather data while in the field. She has always believed in me and that has helped me excel both educationally and in life."
Haberyan has been recognized as a distinguished member of Northwest's National Society of Collegiate Scholars. She also received the Mortar Board Certificate of Appreciation for Teaching in 2004 and 2005. She received the Sigma Kappa Most Inspirational Teacher Award in 2004.
She earned her doctor of philosophy in psychology in 2003 and her master of arts in psychology in 2000, both from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Haberyan also holds a bachelor's in nursing and a master's in psychiatric mental health nursing, both from University of Rochester School of Nursing in Rochester, N.Y. She is a nationally-certified clinical specialist in adult psychiatric and mental health nursing.
Mark Hornickel, Media Relations Specialist
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468