Assistant Professor Jessica Nicklin, director of the undergraduate psychology program in the University of Hartford’s College of Arts and Sciences, is this year’s recipient of the Belle K. Ribicoff Junior Faculty Prize. Nicklin will receive the prize, which includes an award of $10,000, at Commencement in May.
Nicklin learned about the honor when University President Walter Harrison and Provost Sharon Vasquez interrupted her research methods and statistical analysis class on Wednesday, April 8. Vasquez and Harrison, who were carrying red and white balloons in the University tradition, surprised her with the good news in front of her students. Several of Nicklin’s colleagues were also there to congratulate her.
Professor Jack Powell, co-chair of the Department of Psychology, recommended Nicklin for the award. He wrote she “has devoted considerable energy and talent to the University’s teaching, research, and service missions, and the award has the potential to have a major impact on her career…she is a wonderful colleague, and, to top it all off, a really nice person. I can think of no one more deserving.”
The annual prize, together with an endowed chair for junior faculty, was established through a generous gift from Belle K. Ribicoff, a long-time supporter and life regent of the University. Each year, the prize recognizes an outstanding junior faculty member – one who is in a tenure track position, but not yet tenured.