AU Professor Honored for Teaching Excellence

April 16, 2015

Anderson University psychology professor Dr. Robert Franklin has been honored for Excellence in Teaching by the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (SCICU).

Faculty from 20 private colleges were recognized for dedication to teaching by South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (SCICU) at the 10th Annual Excellence in Teaching Awards Dinner held on Tuesday, April 14.

Each of the 20 member institutions of the SCICU consortium selects one faculty member to receive the award, which includes a professional development grant of $3,000 for the professor. Each recipient is chosen by his or her institution according to rigorous criteria.

Franklin, who joined the AU faculty in 2013, is described as integrating a passion for research and critical thinking into his teaching discipline. Students describe his teaching as thought provoking, inspiring, and intellectually deep. Outside of the classroom, he mentors students through research projects. Some of the students have presented their research in local and national conferences, with one student winning an award for best presentation at the Society of Southeastern Social Psychologists.

His scholarly interests include understanding the neural and mental mechanisms behind complex social behaviors such as empathy and reading the facial expressions of others. He has an active research program with more than 20 peer-reviewed publications and several presentations and book chapters. He plans to use the $3,000 SCICU grant that accompanies his award to purchase EEG headsets for classroom use so that students can see their brain waves in real time.

Robert Franklin Jr. is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Anderson University. Prior to coming to Anderson in 2013, he was a research fellow with affiliations at Brandeis University and Massachusetts General Hospital. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology and history from The College of William and Mary (2006) and a Doctorate in psychology from Penn State University. He currently teaches a diverse mix of courses in psychology, including introduction to Psychology, History and Systems of Psychology, Physiological Psychology, Psychology of Religion and Advanced Statistics.

“This year’s award recipients demonstrated a remarkable blend of scholarship, passion, commitment, and the ability to motivate students to new heights,” said Kathy McKinney, Chair of the SCICU Board of Trustees.

The award ceremony is part of SC Independent College and University Week (April 13- 17), which was recognized by the South Carolina General Assembly and Gov. Nikki Haley.