Northwestern to award 283 diplomas

Northwestern College will award 283 diplomas to its second largest graduating class during commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 16. For the first time, the college will award Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees. Eight students have earned that degree; other graduates will receive Bachelor of Arts degrees.

Ceremonies will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the DeWitt Physical Fitness Center of the Rowenhorst Student Center. Dr. Laird Edman, professor of psychology at Northwestern, will address the graduates. The college’s baccalaureate service is scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday, May 15, in Christ Chapel.

Edman joined Northwestern’s psychology faculty in 2003 and has quickly become known as one of the college’s best professors. His passion for psychology is contagious, and he consistently involves students in his research, giving them the opportunity to serve as co-authors and co-presenters at national conferences of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science. When Edman won Northwestern’s annual Teaching Excellence Award last year, it was his third such award. He earned similar honors from Waldorf College and the Iowa State University Honors Program.

Edman holds master’s degrees in English literature and counseling psychology from the University of Notre Dame and a doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Minnesota. His scholarship is focused on two things: what makes for excellent teaching and what leads students to become good critical thinkers. Results of his research have led to conference presentations, published articles and three book chapters, including one in Teaching Critical Thinking in Psychology: A Handbook of Best Practices.