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Professor Lambert Earns Award For Excellence in Teaching

Nov 07, 2013

Kelly G. LambertThe Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges (VFIC) has selected Kelly Lambert, the Macon and Joan Brock Professor of Psychology at Randolph-Macon College, as the 2013 recipient of The H. Hiter Harris Jr. Memorial Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

The award, presented at a VFIC luncheon on November 7, 2013, recognizes Lambert for her commitment to the craft of classroom teaching, the teaching-learning process, and the development of each student as an individual. In receiving the prestigious award, Lambert joins the five prior Harris Award recipients.

“I’m especially honored considering the impressive quality of professors at R-MC and throughout the VFIC network of colleges and universities,” says Lambert. “I continue to learn about effective teaching from both my colleagues and my students and hope those skills will continue to evolve for the rest of my career. I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to introduce the disciplines of psychology and neuroscience to my students—it allows me to be a perpetual student myself!”


“I join the Randolph-Macon College community in congratulating Professor Lambert,” says R-MC President Robert R. Lindgren. “Kelly’s teaching and scholarship are inspiring, as is her commitment to research and to the students at Randolph-Macon College. She has richly earned this recognition and we are thrilled that the VFIC has chosen to honor her extraordinary accomplishments.”

“Professor Lambert is a gifted teacher, internationally recognized scholar, and prolific author,” says Randolph-Macon College Provost William T. Franz. “She is also one award shy of a career million dollar achievement [in grant funding], rarefied air for a professor whose core mission is the education of undergraduates.”

The Award

The Harris Award was created through an endowment gift from the family of the late Hiter Harris Jr., a leading Virginia banker and a member of VFIC’s board from 1973-98. It includes a stipend to support the recipient’s scholarly research and professional development activities. The Harris family endowed the award to highlight the special features of VFIC colleges and universities by recognizing faculty members “whose professional history reflects a strong, clear and abiding commitment to excellence in classroom teaching within the undergraduate liberal arts and sciences.”


The VFIC, founded in 1952, is a nonprofit organization that raises funds and coordinates collaborative programs to strengthen 15 leading independent colleges and universities in Virginia:

  • Bridgewater College
  • Randolph-Macon College
  • Emory & Henry College
  • Roanoke College
  • Hampden-Sydney College
  • Shenandoah University
  • Hollins University
  • Sweet Briar College
  • Lynchburg College
  • University of Richmond
  • Mary Baldwin College
  • Virginia Wesleyan College
  • Marymount University
  • Washington and Lee University
  • Randolph College

The VFIC has generated over $145 million to strengthen Virginia’s independent college sector and is nationally recognized for the innovative projects and programs it has developed for these institutions.

About Kelly Lambert

Kelly Lambert is the Macon and Joan Brock Professor and Chair of the Psychology Department at Randolph-Macon College. In addition to teaching psychology and neuroscience courses, she maintains a behavioral neuroscience laboratory where she and her students investigate the plasticity of the mammalian brain. Her work investigating the paternal brain was recently funded by the National Science Foundation. She served as president of the International Behavioral Neuroscience Society from 2009-2011 and has published research articles in journals such as Nature, Scientific American, and Behavioral Neuroscience. In 2001 she received the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award, and in 2007 she was awarded the Samuel Nelson Gray Distinguished Professor Award at R-MC. In 2008 Lambert was named the Virginia Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

Lambert also serves as co-director of R-MC’s Schapiro Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program along with Chemistry Professor Serge Schreiner. SURF offers students the unique opportunity to conduct 10 weeks of full-time, original research during the summer months, under the guidance of a faculty mentor.

In addition, Lambert was instrumental in helping establish R-MC’s field laboratory at the DuMond Conservancy for Primates and Tropical Forests in Miami, Florida. The lab opened in summer 2013.

Lambert’s books include Clinical Neuroscience: Psychopathology and the Brain (with coauthor Craig Kinsley, Oxford University Press, 2010), Lifting Depression: A neuroscientist’s hands-on approach to activating your brain’s healing power (Basic Books, 2008), and The Lab Rat Chronicles: A neuroscientist reveals life lessons from the planet’s most successful mammals (Perigee, 2011). She is currently writing Biopsychology (Oxford University Press). Lambert earned her B.A. from Samford University and her M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Georgia. She joined the faculty at R-MC in 1989.