2008 Distinguished Alumni Recipients
Christopher Peterson is one of the founders and principal contributors to the field of positive psychology. A native of Des Moines, Iowa, Peterson initially studied aeronautical engineering at UIUC, but an introductory psychology class, taken during his sophomore year because it was reported to be an "easy" class, proved to be fascinating. Peterson switched his major to psychology and graduated with a BS degree in 1972. Peterson went to graduate school at the University of Colorado in Boulder where he earned his Ph.D. in 1976 with emphases in social psychology, personality psychology, and animal learning. His dissertation research entailed learned helplessness in people, at that time a brand new topic. Peterson's academic journey has taken him from a teaching position at Kirkland College in New York, to the University of Pennsylvania in a post-doctoral re-specialization in clinical psychology, to Virginia Tech, where he extended his research on learned helplessness in people to address physical health, and he was the first to show that optimism longitudinally predicted good health and long life (Peterson & Bossie, 1991). Peterson went to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1986 and he is currently a professor of psychology and the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor. Peterson is the former director of the clinical psychology program and an award winning teacher. He is among the worldâ€™s 100 most frequently-cited psychologists.
William Schiemann received a Ph.D. in organizational psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His thesis work was recognized in 1977 with the S. Rains Wallace National Dissertation Award from Division 14 of the American Psychological Association for his research in organizational leadership and communications. He received a B.S. in psychology from the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and an MBA from the Stuart School at IIE. Schiemann is chairman and chief executive officer of the Metrus Group, an organizational research and advisory firm specializing in strategic performance measurement and employee alignment. Schiemann and his firm are known for their pioneering work in the creation of performance gauges and scorecards to measure strategy implementation, and for establishing linkages between employee, customer, and financial outcomes. Schiemann is co-author of Bullseye! Hitting Your Strategic Targets Through High-Impact Measurement, published by The Free Press in 1999. He has written extensively for many publications, and has provided chapters for a number of books, including: Achieving Internal Service Breakthrough: Winning From the Inside Out and Getting Action From Organizational Surveys. Prior to the founding of Metrus Group, Inc. in 1988, Schiemann was vice-president of Opinion Research Corporation (ORC), an Arthur D. Little company, and served as both an internal organizational consultant and a manager of selection with AT&T. Prior to his business and consulting life, Schiemann served on the business school faculties at Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Iowa, teaching and conducting research in leadership, communications, organizational behavior and human resources.
Dr. Elizabeth Pieroth (BS'88) was one of five alumni selected to receive the 2016 LAS Alumni Achievement Award.
The Undergraduate Career Exploration Award was created by the Psychology Alumni Advisory Board. Read about the three recipients in the 2015 Fall issue of Psychology Times: http://www.psychology.illinois.edu/alumni/news/newsletter/