Dr. Laird Edman, professor of psychology and co-director of the honors program at Northwestern College, has been appointed to the Northwestern College Endowed Professorship.
The professorship provides annual funds to support the recipient’s scholarly work. The funds can be used for summer research, the purchase of materials, travel to pursue research, or assistance to student researchers.
The endowed professor must be a committed Christian who has a distinguished record as an outstanding teacher; is recognized for scholarly and leadership contributions to his or her discipline; has provided exemplary service to his or her academic department, Northwestern and the larger community; and has demonstrated a commitment to the college’s mission.
When Edman joined Northwestern’s faculty in 2003, he had already won teaching awards at Iowa State University and Waldorf College. He was named NWC’s Teaching Excellence Award winner in 2008.
Edman provides undergraduate psychology students with graduate-level research experience by involving them in his study of epistemological development and critical thinking assessment and pedagogy. He has published articles and book chapters on college teaching and assessment of critical thinking and made more than 50 presentations at conferences, including 10 that involved undergraduate students as co-authors and co-presenters.
Edman earned a doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Minnesota. He also has master’s degrees in literature and counseling psychology from Notre Dame and a bachelor’s degree in literature from Luther College.
Edman’s appointment is for a five-year period beginning this fall. Three of the four past recipients of the Northwestern College Endowed Professorship continue to teach at Northwestern: Dr. Doug Anderson, history; Dr. Keith Fynaardt, English; and Jeff Barker, theatre and speech. Dr. Fred Van Dyke, formerly of the biology department, also held the professorship from 1996 to 2001.