Distinguished Faculty Award for Service Presented to Margaret S. Gibbs
Teaneck, NJ (September 28, 2006)—Fairleigh Dickinson University honored Margaret S. Gibbs, professor of psychology at FDU’s Metropolitan campus, with the Distinguished Faculty Award for Service on September 27, 2006.
“As Martin Luther King observed, ‘Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?’” began Dr. Willard Gingerich, University provost and senior vice president, when presenting the award. “Your professional and personal accomplishments offer positive and profound responses.”
Gibbs joined Fairleigh Dickinson in 1971 and soon complemented her skillful lessons in the classroom with key administrative responsibilities, beginning as deputy chair and then chair of the psychology department.
She was one of the pioneers who developed and shaped FDU’s acclaimed Ph.D. program in clinical psychology, and served twice as its director. Gibbs also served as interim director of the Center for Psychological Services, the training clinic for the doctoral programs in psychology.
In 1992, Gibbs became acting dean of the College of Liberal Arts and played an influential part in facilitating the successful merger with the College of Science and Engineering to form University College. In 1997, her leadership qualities were recognized when she was named to the newly created position of acting campus provost. Her ability to unify others and quickly heal wounds of division was vividly on display. She not only established credibility for the new position and created a well-functioning structural foundation, but helped overcome a serious budget crisis and laid the groundwork for a comprehensive campus-wide strategic plan.
Gibbs’ range of contributions also features numerous committee assignments at the University, campus, college and departmental levels. These have included chair of the University Grievance Committee and the Academic Senate’s Academic Standards and Policies Committee and a member of the Wellness Committee and the Threat Assessment Committee.
In all her activities, Gibbs brings to the table an impressive array of scholarly credentials, focusing especially on stress responses and women’s issues. She has produced three books, 15 major chapters in books and numerous articles and presentations on various issues in psychology. Her expertise in dealing with grief and fear proved particularly helpful to the FDU community as it struggled to deal with the tragedy of September 11. She also helped develop the University’s policy on sexual harassment and has led sexual harassment training workshops.
“In trying to assess your own impact at Fairleigh Dickinson, you humbly note that you hope you have become someone whom people trust to do the right thing. For time and time again doing the right things for your University, you have earned more than our trust, you’ve earned our highest admiration, and today, we celebrate your service with the Distinguished Faculty Award,” said Gingerich.