Calhoun, Tedeschi receive 2013 First Citizens Bank Scholars Medal

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Lawrence Calhoun and Richard Tedeschi, professors of psychology, are joint recipients of the 2013 First Citizens Bank Scholars Medal. This prestigious honor, presented by First Citizens Bank and UNC Charlotte, recognizes faculty scholarship and intellectual inquiry.

Fellow scholars and colleagues concur that together, Calhoun and Tedeschi, have made an indelible impact on the field of psychology through their work. They are widely regarded as the preeminent leaders of posttraumatic growth work and practice around the globe and have been important leaders, mentors and role models to colleagues and students alike.

Their continued dedication has significantly contributed to the productivity and excellence of UNC Charlotte’s Department of Psychology in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences while simultaneously establishing the University as the leading center for the study of growth from adversity in the world.

The researchers were presented the award during a special ceremony held Tuesday, March 19, at the Harris Alumni Center on the UNC Charlotte campus.

“Tonight, we celebrate two scholars whose research straddles the sciences, social sciences and the human experience,” Chancellor Philip L. Dubois said at the ceremony. “They have been lauded by peers for approaching and advancing some of the most important and timely areas of work in the broad field of trauma and personal growth today with collegiality, creativity, and a consistent dedication.”

Calhoun and Tedeschi have made numerous notable contributions to the field of psychology, and their research and subsequent model of posttraumatic growth has provided a theoretical and conceptual platform that has been widely adopted. The work of these clinical scholars has changed forever the way investigators and service providers approach the traumatized.

“Drs. Calhoun and Tedeschi have virtually created one of the most important and timely areas of work in the broad field of loss and trauma today,” wrote a colleague about Calhoun and Tedeschi, professors of psychology at UNC Charlotte since 1973 and 1976, respectively. “Not a single current study all around the world regarding the phenomenon of posttraumatic growth would be possible without the remarkable research by Rich and Lawrence.”

While both are considered prolific individual scholars in their own right, the Calhoun/Tedeschi team has jointly produced 42 journal articles, 16 book chapters and seven books, including the landmark “Trauma and Transformation.” Together, they are credited with developing the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI), considered the “gold standard” for assessing the experience of posttraumatic growth.  It is the most widely used measure of posttraumatic growth, and the existence of the PTGI made it possible for researchers to quantify what had been an elusive phenomenon.

“Lawrence and Rich’s work over the last two decades has helped move the field of psychology forward, broken new theoretical ground, identified new areas of empirical inquiry and fallen on the ‘cutting edge’ of applied clinical research,” wrote another colleague.

Their work has been widely cited in professional literature, featured by diverse media and professional outlets including the New York Times, Boston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer, Newsweek and the Guardian in England.

“At First Citizens Bank, we take great pride in our ongoing partnership with UNC Charlotte, and we recognize that the University plays a unique and vital role as North Carolina’s urban research university,” said Marc Horgan, area executive for First Citizens Bank in Mecklenburg, Union, Stanley and Cabarrus counties. “ It’s truly an honor for First Citizens to recognize the accomplishments of individuals who inspire students, generate new knowledge and give of their time and talent to our community.”

Now in its 26th year, the Scholars Medal was created to spotlight the important contributions UNC Charlotte and its faculty are making – not only in its community but throughout the Carolinas, the nation and the world. Past award recipients have influenced scholarship in endeavors including engineering, microchip technology, anthropology, sociology, biology and art and photography.