Robin Morris named PHHP 2014 alumnus of the year
Robin Morris, Ph.D., a 1982 graduate of the UF clinical psychology doctoral program, is the associate provost for strategic initiatives and innovation and Regents’ Professor of Psychology at Georgia State University. He has also served as Georgia State’s vice president for research, chair of the university’s research foundation, associate dean for research and graduate studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, and chair of the department of psychology.
His scholarly and clinical work has focused on the biological and environmental factors that influence academic, attentional and social development in children and adolescents. He is also known for his methodological, test construction and psychometric expertise and experience. Morris has published widely in these areas, and has had federal grant funding for more than 30 years from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense and the Institute of Educational Sciences of the U.S. Department of Education.
Morris was a presidential appointee to the governing board of the National Institute for Literacy where he served as vice chair and chair of the budget committee. He recently finished a four-year appointment to the National Advisory Council on Child Health and Human Development at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
Morris shares some of his memories of his UF experiences:
My favorite UF memory Going to the Saturday football games with my classmates. The Gators weren’t that great back then. It was more the fun of being together and doing things outside of the grind of graduate school.
The UF faculty members who influenced me the most There were three main people and they all played a very important part in my education. Dr. Paul Satz, who I worked with in neuropsychology, Dr. Ken Heilman from the department of neurology and Dr. Roger Blashfield in psychiatry. Each of them really gave me some unique aspects of their expertise that all came together to help me do the things I like to do.
Dr. Satz had a research group that got together every week and talked about all the projects they were working on and I really learned the research game from him in a lot of ways. Dr. Heilman used to do neurobehavioral rounds in the VA and Shands that were just wonderful for the students because he would interview patients and talk about patients. Dr. Blashfield was the conceptual and theoretical driver behind a lot of the research I did, but he was also really good with research methods and statistics and taught me things I had no clue I needed to know.
There are a lot more faculty and students I could talk about. To this day I’m still connected to a lot of the people there.
People would be surprised to know This is easy. I got turned down twice to the graduate program before I finally got in the third time. The only reason I got in was because of a guy named Jack Fletcher who was a senior student in the program at the time and had met me while he was on internship. I was on the wait list for the third time and he called the director of the program. I think they had one slot left and I was way down on the wait list. Jack talked him into taking a chance on me. There was no way I was getting in without Jack. As you can imagine he’s been a lifelong friend ever since.