Award Recognizes Inspiring Psychology Professor
June 18, 2009
Dr. Candice Mills, an assistant professor of developmental psychology whose enthusiasm for her subject has proved contagious for her students, recently received the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences’ 2009 Excellence in Teaching Award.
“Candice Mills was chosen for the Excellence in Teaching Award because of her outstanding contributions to our programs, based upon input from both students and faculty peers. She exemplifies the school’s commitment to creative and rigorous student training,” said Dr. Bert Moore, dean of the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
“My primary goal as a teacher is to prepare students to be scientifically critical consumers of psychological information,” said Mills. “To reach this goal, I aim for students in all of my classes to develop critical thinking skills and to appreciate and understand psychological science.”
The student evaluations of Mills’ courses show that her students find her to be enthusiastic and knowledgeable. Former student Rawya Jabari explained how Mills’ attitude is inspiring, “When Dr. Mills teaches, I see her enthusiasm and genuine joy of the material, and it makes me want to find what I am passionate about. I strive to find my calling because I see how passionate she is about her calling.”
Mills explores the development of social cognition – how children evaluate the knowledge and beliefs of others as well as themselves, and what changes over the course of development. She conducts her research with her graduate and undergraduate student teams through her lab, the “Think Lab.” This past year, she taught courses in cognitive development and experimental projects.
Student and member of Mills’ Think Lab research team Melinda Archacki also appreciates the learning environment Mills has created. “Dr. Mills cultivates an atmosphere in which students feel valued, respected and appreciated; guiding students toward self-discovery rather than just providing answers. Dr. Mills teaches students to think,” she said.
Mills received her Ph.D. developmental psychology from Yale University. She joined UT Dallas in 2005.