Elise Amel from the Office of Sustainability Initiatives speaks to a student during an event to celebrate St. Thomas' new status as an Ashoka Changemaker Campus April 4, 2017 on the John P. Monahan Plaza. Ashoka U is a global consortium working to inspire a culture of social innovation in higher education. St. Thomas became the first in Minnesota and the 40th Changemaker Campus in the consortium

Professor Amel Receives John Ireland Presidential Award for Outstanding Achievement as a Teacher-Scholar

Psychology professor Elise Amel has been named the recipient of the John Ireland Presidential Award for Outstanding Achievement as a Teacher-Scholar for 2018. She will receive the award at the Celebrating Faculty Achievement Reception on Feb. 8 in Woulfe Hall.

The award, presented since 2008, recognizes outstanding academic achievement of faculty in teaching and scholarship, and exemplifies the mission and values of the University of St. Thomas as an institution committed to the teacher-scholar model. Awardees are tenured members of the St. Thomas faculty who have demonstrated a sustained commitment to not only their respective disciplines, but also to the university.

Awardees’ names are added to the John Ireland Presidential Award plaque, located in Aquinas Hall, and receive an annual award of $1,500 to support continued professional development activities.

Dr. Amel joined the Psychology Department at St. Thomas in 1997. Her scholarship has been an exemplar for the university. The book she co-authored, Psychology for Sustainability, was published by a major house, Routledge, and is currently in its fourth edition. She has 16 peer-reviewed articles and scores of conference presentations. Notably, her 2017 co-authored article, “Beyond the roots of human inaction: Fostering collective effort toward ecosystem conservation,” was published in the prestigious journal Science. Recently, Dr. Amel secured a $575,000 grant from Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies to assist the campus with pedagogy development and building campus culture around sustainability.

She also receives excellent reviews from students that place her in the top tier of teachers in the College of Arts and Sciences. Her excellent performance in the classroom extends to her efforts supporting undergraduate research, with at least 19 student presentations at both regional as well as national conferences.

Dean Yohuru Williams of the College of Arts and Sciences, in his nomination letter, writes, “It gives me great pleasure to nominate Dr. Elise Amel for the John Ireland award. In her 20-plus years at St. Thomas, Dr. Amel has had extraordinary success as a teacher in the classroom, as a mentor and collaborator for student research, and as a scholar on environmental and sustainability research as well as pedagogy. These accomplishments exemplify the teacher-scholar model that is embodied in the Ireland award and what we all hope our faculty will be at St. Thomas.”

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Amel for this significant recognition.

Prior John Ireland Presidential Award recipients

  • Dr. Stephen Brookfield, School of Education, 2008
  • Dr. Terence Nichols, Department of Theology, 2008
  • Dr. Mary Reichardt, Department of Catholic Studies, 2008
  • Dr. Thomas Sullivan, Department of Philosophy, 2008
  • Dr. John Abraham, School of Engineering, 2009
  • Dr. Kendra Garrett, School of Social Work, 2009
  • Mr. Neil Hamilton, School of Law, 2009
  • Dr. Mark Stansbury-O’Donnell, Department of Art History, 2009
  • Dr. Matthew George, Department of Music, 2010
  • Dr. Teresa Rothausen, Department of Management, 2011
  • Dr. Bernard Brady, Department of Theology, 2012
  • Dr. Meg Wilkes Karraker, Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, 2013
  • Dr. Sameer Kumar, Department of Operations and Supply Chain Management, 2013
  • Dr. Lisa Waldner, Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, 2014
  • Mr. Gregory Sisk, School of Law, 2014
  • Dr. Sandy Menssen, Department of Philosophy, 2015
  • Dr. Patrick Van Fleet, Department of Mathematics, 2015
  • Dr. Tom Ippoliti, Department of Chemistry