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Monday, September 19, 2011 - OU psychology professor earns distinguished national honor
OU's Dr. Shackleford has been recognized as an APA Fellow.
In what is still a relatively young career, Dr. Todd Shackelford has established himself as a prolific and highly honored scholar in the field of evolutionary psychology.

In fact, this professor and chair of OU’s Department of Psychology has authored and co-authored hundreds of journal articles, edited a special issue of the journal “Human Nature,” co-edited 10 books and authored or co-authored scores of book chapters.

When one also considers his dozens of scholarly presentations, three journal editorships, four associate editorships and more than 25 editorial board memberships, it becomes clear that Dr. Shackelford has been nothing less than passionate about his work for more than 15 years. It is also important to note that Dr. Shackelford regularly involves both graduate students and undergraduate students in his research.

It is this passion for teaching and learning, as well as the wealth of scholarly contributions that have flowed from it, that the American Psychological Association (APA) recently recognized in naming Dr. Shackelford an APA Fellow.

In a letter APA Fellows Committee Chair Jeffrey E. Barnett sent informing him of this distinguished honor, Barnett wrote, “You can take deep personal and professional satisfaction from this special recognition by your peers. The field of psychology is certainly enhanced by your diligent work and commitment, and the public is better served.”

Consideration for the fellowship began with an anonymous nomination and continued over a period of about 18 months. The review committee for the APA’s Division of Behavioral Neuroscience and Comparative Psychology collected several letters of recommendation from Dr. Shackelford’s peers, then forwarded a recommendation to the national-level fellows review committee, which in turn forwarded a recommendation to the APA Board of Directors. Needless to say, the process involved a rigorous review.

“I think this is a very sincere recognition on the part of my colleagues in the field of what I have been able to accomplish to this point in my career,” Dr. Shackelford said. “It’s a wonderful accolade and I’m very proud and grateful to have received it.”

He added that he feels the honor is also an affirmation of the great distance evolutionary psychology has come in the relative short time it has been established as an academic discipline.

“It’s no longer a fringe discipline,” Dr. Shackelford explained. “We’re definitely in the thick of things now, and it’s rewarding to see that.”

Dr. Virinder Moudgil, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, said the fellowship is a tremendous vote of confidence for the work Dr. Shackelford is doing, and that the university is proud to have such a distinguished scholar at the helm of the Department of Psychology.

“Of course we knew in welcoming Dr. Shackelford to Oakland that the university community and the field of psychology would benefit from his noteworthy work and impactful contributions,” Dr. Moudgil said. “This outstanding honor re-emphasizes the high quality of his scholarship, and I’m confident that he will continue to raise the level of esteem that both our psychology programs and the university as a whole enjoy.”

Dr. Shackelford, who also recently won a coveted fellowship from the Association of Psychological Science, said that while he truly appreciates winning recognition for his work, his greatest interest is to simply continue pursuing answers to the questions that intrigue him.

“You never let your foot off the accelerator in terms of challenging yourself and critiquing yourself,” he said. “I really love the research, so I’m just going to keep doing what I do. I don’t really know how not to do it.”

For more information about OU's psychology department, view the website