Dr. Jack Nation (1948-2008) was a significant presence in the Psychology Department for more than 30 years. Trained as an experimental psychologist for his Ph.D. degree at the University of Oklahoma, Jack began his research career in the field of animal learning. But he later reinvented himself in the field of behavioral toxicology. Jack loved research, but he may have loved teaching more. He was arguably the best teacher in the Department and one of the two or three best in the entire University.
In 2013, the Department presented its first an annual award to the most outstanding graduating senior in psychology – the Jack Nation Award. The award is endowed by a very generous gift from Dr. Michael Shahnasarian, one of many graduate students impacted by Jack’s work.
This year’s winner is Julia McDonald. Julia completed an honors thesis supervised by Professor Brandon Schmeichel. Her topic was the neural consequences of consuming acetaminophen. The results of her study were presented this spring at the convention of the American Psychological Society. Julia has served as the president of the Student Psychology Club and the Chair of Psi Chi, another student organization. She worked as a volunteer for several humanitarian causes, and served as an intern for the National Alliance for Mental Illness. Julia is now enrolled in the doctoral program in clinical psychology at the University of South Florida.