2010 Distinguished Alumni Recipients
James Davis received his B.S. degree from the University of Illinois in 1954. He majored in Psychology and minored in Chemistry and Sociology. Davis served in the U.S. Army from 1954-1956. He then attended Michigan State University, where he received his M.A. in 1958 and completed his Ph.D. in Personality and Social Psychology in 1961. That fall, he moved to Miami University, Oxford Ohio where he was Assistant Professor of Psychology from 1961 to 1965 where he then received tenure and was promoted to Associate Professor. In 1966, he was a Visiting Associate Professor of Psychology at Yale University and then came to the University of Illinois in 1967 until he retired as Professor Emeritus in 1997.
The life work of James H. Davis has revolved around answering a single, deceptively simple question: How do small groups of people reach decisions? In the process of doing so, he has influenced business practices and Supreme Court decisions, reinvented the field of group decision making, and earned the honor of being considered the greatest social psychologist of his generation. Group decision making is the study of the choices and judgments people make as a group. During Davis’s forty years in this field, he has analyzed the process these often disparate groups go through in reaching consensus and how different combinations of talents and interests influence their performance. What has set his work apart from others is his systematic and exacting approaches. His data are the basis of a sophisticated mathematical and computational model that may one day predict a group’s problem-solving potential.
Stephan G. Wiet is a Consumer Psychologist within the Johnson & Johnson family of companies. He is currently Director of Consumer Sciences at McNeil Consumer Healthcare, the over-the-counter pharmaceutical arm of J&J. In this capacity, Wiet manages a team of consumer researchers that translate deep insights into action that drive company growth worldwide. He is responsible for leading domestic and global activities that enhance the company’s consumer understanding - translating consumer insights into new healthcare products and claims, and optimizing the functional and aesthetic features of these products under development. He also chairs a committee responsible for leading the Company’s internal innovation strategies that strengthen and sustain its innovative culture. Wiet has held similar positions at J&J Consumer & Personal Products, McNeil Nutritionals, and Colgate-Palmolive. Wiet is on the advisory board of the University of Rochester’s Center of Future Health and he is vice president of the psychology department’s alumni advisory board. He received a B.S. degree in Psychology from the University of Illinois in 1976, and his Masters (1981) and Ph.D (1983). were received from Rutgers University in Biopsychology.
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/