BHSU President Kay Schallenkamp (center), and Dr. Dean Myers, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, recently surprised Dr. Cheryl Anagnopoulos, professor of psychology, in her classroom with news that she had been selected to receive the 2009 Distinguished Faculty Award. Anagnopoulos, who has taught psychology at BHSU since 1993, was selected for this prestigious award for her commitment to students, her ongoing research, and her innovative teaching methods.

Dr. Cheryl Anagnopoulos, professor of psychology at Black Hills State University, has been selected to receive the 2009 Distinguished Faculty Award.

Anagnopoulos was chosen by her peers for this prestigious award because they say that she epitomizes what it means to be a professor as evidenced by her commitment to students, her ongoing research, and her innovative teaching methods.

Since she joined the BHSU faculty in 1993, Anagnopoulos has taught nearly all of the psychology courses offered at BHSU and is known for her commitment to learning and using technology to enhance these courses. She has utilized variety of teaching modes as they have changed through the years. In addition to her on-campus courses, Anagnopoulos currently teaches online courses and recently incorporated a Second Life component in these classes.

Each of the nominators noted that Anagnopoulos is known for her dedication to her students. Anagnopoulos has been the advisor for the Psi Chi organization and attends Psychology Club functions and other events on campus. Students have chosen Anagnopoulos as Swarm Day Mom four times.

“She is an excellent teacher who establishes rapport easily with her students and is able to provide a learning experience that is both informative and motivating. She brings excitement and passion to her field. Cheryl frequently has students in her office for professional advice, mentoring and chatting. She is clearly admired and liked by her students,” one nominator wrote.

Anagnopoulos is also an active researcher who uses her research as an additional opportunity to mentor students. Her ongoing research projects have provided many students with the opportunity to conduct research, which then led to the opportunity to present their work at local and national research conferences. Many of these students have been accepted in and successful in graduate school as a result of their involvement with this research. Anagnopoulos was the first BHSU faculty member to ever receive a grant from the National Institute of Health.  Much of her recent research has focused on the Native American community and has been instrumental in discovering successful means of improving health care on the reservation.

Perhaps the most compelling reason Anagnopoulos was selected for this award is her dedication to being an effective teacher who regularly updates her courses to keep the material relevant and applicable to students. Her enthusiasm and passion to the field of psychology inspires students and colleagues.

Her successful approach to her career is summed up by one of the nominators: “Dr. Anagnopoulos is an inspirational educator to whom students positively respond because of her obvious excitement about the material and her personal interest in their learning. She has the ability to teach rigorous courses with a sense of humor while maintaining outstanding relationships with students. She is concerned with the well-being of students in all aspects of life. She embodies the vision of BHSU: Scholarship, Student-Centeredness, Educational Excellence in Life Long Learning, Integrity, Inclusiveness and Innovation and Change.”

Anagnopoulos received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Chicago, and her master’s and doctoral degrees in experimental psychology from the University of Kansas.