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Furman Psychology Professor Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Jan 23, 2018 12:32PM ● Published by Emily Stevenson

Gilles O. Einstein, Professor of Psychology at Furman University, was named co-recipient of a 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the International Conference of Prospective Memory (ICPM). The award was made during the ICPM’s 5th Annual Meeting held Jan. 3-6 in Melbourne, Australia.

Sharing the award with Einstein is Mark McDaniel, Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.

Einstein and McDaniel were recognized for their work in prospective memory, a form of memory that involves remembering to perform a planned action or recall a planned intention at some point in the future.

During their careers, Einstein and McDaniel have co-authored dozens of journal articles exploring memory issues, and two books, Memory fitness: A guide for successful aging and Prospective memory: An overview and synthesis of an emerging field.

Roddy Roediger, a Washington University researcher who studies human memory, praised their work. “McDaniel and Einstein, more than any other researchers, helped put the study of prospective memory on the intellectual map of psychology. Now the topic is a whole subfield of study,” he said.

A Furman faculty member for 40 years, Einstein’s research in prospective memory has won him international acclaim. Einstein has authored over 100 publications, including six books; and his research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Institutes of Health. 

His commitment to students has resulted in over 30 undergraduate co-authors on his publications, and dozens more student collaborators on presentations at national and regional conferences. His dedication to research with undergraduates was recognized by the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) in 2010 when he was named a “CUR Fellow,” one of only 14 fellows (from all science disciplines) in the country at that time.

In 2013, he received the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Science at a Predominantly Undergraduate Institution. And in 2014, he was honored with the Association of Psychological Science Mentor Award, a lifetime achievement award that “recognizes psychology researchers and educators who have shaped the future directions of science by fostering the careers of students and colleagues.”

Einstein joined the Furman faculty in 1977 after receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado. In 2008, he was awarded the prestigious William R. Kenan, Jr. Professorship. He served as chair of the psychology department for 16 years. Among other honors, Einstein won Furman’s Annual Meritorious Teaching Award in 1985, and in 2006 won the Excellence in Teaching Award from South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (SCICU) – the first for Furman University. 

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