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Psychology professor wins graduate educator award

Friday, May 13, 2016

LAWRENCE — Yo Jackson, professor in the clinical child psychology program, is the 2016 recipient of the Louise Byrd Graduate Educator Award at the University of Kansas. The award will be presented Saturday, May 14, during the annual doctoral hooding ceremony.

“Professor Jackson epitomizes the outstanding characteristics of faculty mentors as recognized by the Byrd award,” said Michael Roberts, dean of graduate studies. “Her research is important in contributing knowledge to improve the world. She engages students in her community-based investigations, and through her supervision, gives them the chance to develop and make new discoveries and contributions of their own.”

Current and former students nominated Jackson, noting her dedication to mentoring graduate students and aiding the development of their careers. One nominator praised her for “providing students with invaluable opportunities to participate in outreach activities, encouraging independent student-initiated research and allowing students the flexibility to define and monitor their own goals for learning.” For this reason, another nominator said, “I felt as though I won the lottery when I found out that she was assigned as my clinical supervisor.”

Jackson's research focuses on the processes by which children adapt to stress and trauma and the development of resilience in youth. She directs the SPARK project (Studying Pathways to Adjustment and Resilience in Kids), funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Mental Health. The project works with foster families and local and state agencies to investigate how youth exposed to abuse recover and develop positive behavior.

Jackson is an accomplished teacher, having previously received the Outstanding Graduate Instruction from the Center for Teaching Excellence and the W.T Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence. She received her doctorate in clinical child psychology from the University of Alabama and joined the faculty at KU in 1995. She was recently named interim director of the KU Child and Family Services Clinic.

The Louise Byrd Graduate Educator Award was established in 1984 in memory of Louise E. Byrd, who served for many years as secretary of the Graduate School. The award honors faculty members who have demonstrated extraordinary devotion to graduate students and graduate education and who have distinguished themselves as scholars.

KU Endowment is the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management foundation for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.

For more information about the 2016 Doctoral Hooding Ceremony, go to www.graduate.ku.edu.