Dr. Traci Giuliano, Ms. Homecoming
Dr. Giuliano has a reputation for teaching difficult classes. She pushes her students to do exceptional work, but she also gives them the tools they need to be successful. In fact, Giuliano is a fierce proponent for her students. Of the 32 articles she has had published in peer-reviewed journals, 24 have included undergraduate student co-authors and she is proud to say that her students have served as lead author on 20 articles. One student remarks that Traci “is everyone’s biggest cheerleader and supporter, and she never asks her students to work harder than she does. She is meticulous with high expectations, but she’s the kind of professor you want to work hard for to make her proud, just because you care about her opinion that much.”
Success for Dr.Giuliano is often measured by the achievements of her students. When one former student had the unique opportunity to brief her psychological assessments to the President of the United States in the Oval Office, she credited Dr. Giuliano’s teachings and influence as foundational to that experience. Traci has had books dedicated to her and entire careers attributed to her. Other students she has mentored have pursued graduate degrees at several prestigious schools such as Harvard University, the University of California at Los Angeles, Smith College, and Wake Forest University. Even her students who have pursued degrees outside of psychology (including law and medicine) use the critical thinking, writing, and research skills Dr. Giuliano instilled in them.
It is a testament to Dr. Giuliano’s teaching effectiveness and popularity as a professor that the registrar routinely has to put a cap on the maximum number of students in her undergraduate classes. For those lucky enough to take her courses, they have been undeniably impressed by her teaching skills. As evidence of this fact, she was given the first annual Southwestern University Outstanding Teaching Award in 2000 and was presented with the honor again in 2010—the same year she simultaneously won the SU Excellence in Advising Award.
However, Dr. Giuliano’s influence at Southwestern is not limited to just the classroom and laboratory. She can be easily found around campus, participating in an intramural football or soccer game, chairing Psi Chi meetings, or serving as a faculty advisor for Allies (the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender group on campus), SU’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, and the campus Honor Code Council.
Although she remains unfailingly busy with her teaching, student research, mentoring and other university service, Dr. Giuliano always makes time to sharpen her teaching abilities and to help her colleagues improve their teaching skills. For example, she has published several articles in the Teaching of Psychology journal, which is dedicated to improving teaching practices in psychology. Furthermore, she consistently presents posters, roundtable discussions, and invited talks at national teaching conferences such as the National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology.
Professor Giuliano’s gifts for teaching and mentoring have prevailed to include not only her own students, but now their students as well. One former SU psychology major says, “my training allowed me to thrive in graduate school and eventually to secure my own position as an assistant professor of psychology at a research university. Today, I mentor students in research. As I work through research projects with them, I find myself continually grateful that Traci toiled to help me reach my potential. I know that her legacy of compassion and in-depth training is carried to students she may never meet through me. And, her legacy is carried on in the hundreds of students who have stories just like mine: stories of Traci challenging them to rise to their potential and giving them the opportunity to do so.”
For her position as Professor of Psychology, but also for the roles she goes above and beyond to fulfill for her students, the Southwestern University Alumni Association presented Dr. Traci Giuliano with the 2017 Ms. Homecoming Award.