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Ladd, Schult awarded Chancellor’s Professorships

News Release Dec 8, 2023

Kevin L. Ladd and Carolyn Schult From left: Kevin L. Ladd and Carolyn SchultKevin L. Ladd and Carolyn Schult, both professors in IU South Bend’s Psychology department, are the recipients of Chancellor’s Professorships for 2023. The designation honors highly meritorious performance and recognizes extensive accomplishment and leadership in teaching, research, and campus service.

Schult, a developmental psychologist, holds a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. She has been teaching at IU South Bend since 1997. Her stellar record in the classroom earned Schult the President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2020. Schult has also proven to be an engaged and generous colleague, regularly speaking on a variety of topics at the Faculty Academy on Excellence in Teaching (FACET) retreats. Additionally, she served a five-year term as director of the University Center for Excellence in Teaching (UCET).

Recipients of the Chancellor’s Professorship are excused from one three-credit course for both semesters of the initial year of appointment, so they can undertake a project that advances the mission of the campus. Schult will be offering workshops for departments experiencing high DFW rates, and she will tailor the workshops specifically for each department’s faculty. The project is similar to the role she played leading UCET.

“I stepped down from that position in May, but I really love that work, and this is a way for me to keep doing it a little longer,” Schult said.

Much of Schult’s research work has involved tracking students’ progress as they develop over time, from preschool to college. She has found many similarities between studying children’s development and studying teaching and learning in the college classroom.

“A lot of those same techniques can be applied to monitoring how teachers change over time,” Schult said. “Teachers can learn how to transform their teaching, and measure the effectiveness of their teaching methods.”

Ladd, a social psychologist, earned his Ph.D. at the University of Denver in 2000, and has been on the IU South Bend faculty since 2001. Ladd is the director of the Social Psychology of Religion Lab, and much of his research and writing has pertained to the psychological ramifications of prayer, ritual, magic, and spiritual transformation. Ladd’s research efforts have attracted several million dollars of external funding to our campus, supporting dozens of student research assistant salaries and providing hands-on experience in preparation for their graduate work. He has served for many years as the editor-in-chief of the psychology of religion’s oldest journal, Archiv für Religionspsychologie.

His project as a Chancellor’s Professor will involve an installation using a labyrinth as a tool for deep reflection.

In April, Ladd presented a lecture at LangLab in South Bend as part of IU South Bend’s Pop-Up University series. Titled, “Going in Circles with Purpose: Labyrinths as Pathways to Stress Reduction,” the presentation is the same model he will apply to his new project.

“There has been significant work done on ‘the psychology of place,’ and how it is that certain kinds of spaces call people to slow down, take a moment, and reflect,” Ladd said. “A labyrinth can allow for quiet, reflective moments where people can find stillness and peace.”

Ladd is making the experience available to any interested faculty, staff and students, and has made arrangements to offer the program to organizations such as Student Services, the Counseling Center, and the Office of Veteran Student Services.

“The Chancellor’s Professorship is one of our most prestigious honors, and Dr. Schult and Dr. Ladd are clearly deserving of it,” said Chancellor Susan Elrod. “The designation reflects the scope of their work – teaching, research, and service – and it salutes the sheer amount of effort required to excel in all of those different roles. Fittingly, the honor does not expire at the end of the first year. The title of Chancellor’s Professor is held in perpetuity.”

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