Professor, Department of Psychology
Editing a flagship journal like the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and serving on several departmental committees would seem to leave little time for graduate students. Yet Jeffry Simpson, who edited the journal for five years, has always found it in abundance.
“When I was applying for graduate school, I emailed a few of Jeff’s current and former students to ask what he was like as a mentor,” writes one recently graduated Ph.D. “The responses I got were uniformly effusive, and this was a major factor in my choice to attend the University of Minnesota.”
“I know that if I work hard, he will work equally hard alongside me to realize my goals,” says another admiring former student.
My long-term objective when mentoring students is to give them roots and wings. Many graduate advisers plant solid roots; fewer generate strong wings.—Jeffry A. Simpson
For 11 years Simpson has directed the doctoral minor in Interpersonal Relationships Research—the only such doctoral minor in the world—and has also served as director of his department’s social psychology Ph.D. program.
He involves graduate students in all aspects of academic life and has published about 100 peer-reviewed papers with them. And no wonder; he immerses his first-year graduate students in projects at different stages of completion, all but guaranteeing they will have a publication to their name when the year is out.
“He is not only a top scholar in his field, but a prolific and exceptionally caring teacher, mentor and advisor,” notes an administrator. “I dream about people like Jeff.”