2010 Richard C. Tees Distinguished Leadership Award Winner: Dr. Michael Masson

We nominate Professor Michael E. J. Masson for the Richard Tees Distinguished Leadership Award for 2010. One of us (Glen Bodner) is a former graduate student of Mike’s who is now an Associate Professor at the University of Calgary and the other (Steve Lindsay) is a colleague of Mike’s at the University of Victoria. We address each of the award criteria in turn:

Advancement and administration of the Canadian Society for Brain, Behavior, and Cognitive Science.

Mike joined BBCS in 1990, the year of the Society’s founding. Since then he and his students have presented more than 30 papers/posters at BBCS annual meetings. Mike has actively recruited faculty and grad students to the Society, including both of us. Mike served as President-Elect, President, and Past President of BBCS from 2000-2003 and was the host and organizer for the 2007 BBCS annual meeting at the University of Victoria. Mike has made sustained and substantial contributions to the advancement and administration of BBCS.

Contributions to the training of students and technical staff in psychology both at one's own institution and nationwide.

For a decade, Mike WAS cognitive psychology at UVic, until Steve Lindsay joined forces with him in 1991. Mike continues to be the senior representative of the cognition and brain science program at UVic which now sports a compliment of seven faculty, and he maintains an extremely active lab. Mike has extraordinary methodological/analytical skills, and he works hard to help others acquire such skills. Over the years he’s given many extracurricular seminars at UVic on methodological matters such as using confidence intervals for within-subject designs and controversies regarding measures of sensitivity and bias in recognition memory. With Geoff Loftus, Mike has published several influential papers on the first of those topics (e.g., their first paper has been cited more than 900 times, according to Harzing’s Publish or Perish). Mike has supervised more than two dozen undergraduate and graduate theses/dissertations, and he routinely teaches core statistics courses. For the last several years, Mike has routinely participated in UVic’s Co-op Education Program by hiring undergraduates as full-time RAs for a work term. Recently, Mike has acquired an eye-tracking setup and a kinematics set-up (the latter with Daniel Bub as co-PI), and his students are now being trained on these technologies. Mike has made many very significant contributions to training and he continues to be a leader in this regard.

Advancement of research and scholarship by involvement with granting agencies that fund research concerning brain, behaviour, and cognition.

Mike has served on grant panels for NIH and for NSERC (including two separate terms, and one year as Chair of NSERC GSC 12). He has reviewed grant proposals for ten granting agencies from five countries. His own research has been funded by NSERC continuously since 1981, and by grants from SSHRC, the BC Ministry of the Attorney General, and Networks of Centres of Excellence.

Contributions to Canadian journals of psychology.

Mike has published 10 refereed articles and one book review in CJEP. In 2003, he served as Guest Editor of CJEP for a special issue on alternative methods of data analysis. He has served as a consulting editor of CJEP since 1992 and is currently associate editor of the Journal.

Advancement of research and scholarship by basic and applied scientific contributions to the discipline.

Mike has published 80 peer-reviewed articles, as well as a number of book chapters and one co-edited volume. His publications have to date attracted more than 3,300 citations (Harzing’s). Mike has given invited presentations of his scientific work in eight countries. He served as Acting Editor of JEP:LMC in 2005-06, has been Associate Editor of that journal and of PB&R and M&C, and served on the boards of those journals and JEP:HPP and JML. He was elected Fellow of the APA in 1996, and Fellow of APS in 2006. He was the 2003 recipient of the University of Victoria’s Faculty of Social Sciences Award for Research Excellence. His work on the relation between literacy development and video game experience (with colleagues Daniel Bub and Chris Lalonde) attracted media attention from television, radio, and newspapers. Mike is a prominent research psychologist whose work continues to have substantial impact.

Promotion of interaction between BBCS and other psychology organizations and direct service to the latter organizations.

Mike was an elected member of the Board of Governors of the Psychonomic Society for 2004-09. He has been a stalwart supporter of NOrthWest Cognition And Memory (NOWCAM, a regional, student-oriented annual meeting) since its inception in 1999, and has served on that organization’s executive since we thought to create one 5 or 6 years ago. Mike co-organized the Banff Annual Seminar in Cognitive Science (BASICS) from 1995 to 2002. He also reviewed paper proposals for the 1992 and 2004 meetings of the Cognitive Science Society. He served on the Board of Governors of the Canadian Psychological Association from 2001-02. Thus, Mike has been deeply involved with a number of psychology organizations.

Promotion of scientific and administrative collaborations that advance the causes of the scientific study of brain, behaviour, and cognition.

Much of the foregoing evidences Mike’s exemplary record of establishing and maintaining close and productive collaborations. In addition to the many accomplishments summarized above, as Chair of UVic’s Department of Psychology from 1997 to 2002, and in a variety of other university-, faculty-, and departmental-level roles, Mike has made numerous contributions to the causes of scientific psychology. He is also unfailingly gracious, generous, and patient with students and colleagues who seek out his advice and assistance in matters of methodology, analysis, and theoretical interpretation of data.

General Comments

We believe that Mike is an exemplary candidate for this award. He has worked very hard, for many years, and to impressive effect to advance psychological science.

Stephen Lindsay, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology
University of Victoria    

Glen E. Bodner, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychology
University of Calgary