Peru State College
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News Release

Nevitt Named 2008 Teacher Excellence

Award Winner at Peru State College



(Peru, Neb.) Peru State College (PSC) President Dr. Ben Johnson today announced that Associate Professor of Human Services Dr. James R. Nevitt has been named the college’s 2008 Teacher Excellence Award Winner. He will be honored during PSC’s graduation ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 3 in the Auburn High School Gymnasium.


Dr. Johnson said, “Since joining the faculty at Peru State College in 2002, Jim has distinguished himself in his commitment and service to this institution. From developing the unique and enormously popular psychology courses focusing on the ‘Analysis of Evil,’ to his ongoing research on substance abuse in rural areas, Jim’s pursuit of excellence has never wavered. I congratulate him on earning this distinction.”


The Teacher Excellence Award is given annually to one outstanding full-time faculty member at each of the three state colleges, Peru, Wayne and Chadron. Recipients of the campus award from each of the colleges are finalists for the Nebraska State College System’s Teacher of the Year Award.


To be considered for the Teacher Excellence Award, faculty must have a minimum of four years consecutive employment at the institution, have taught a minimum of 15 credit hours during the previous academic year, and have an active and positive record of service to students as an academic, professional or personal advisor. They must also have demonstrated involvement in faculty development programs, a superior level of teaching effectiveness and a record of public service.


Associate Dean of the School of Professional Studies Bruce Batterson said, “Dr. Nevitt is a talented, dedicated, creative and inspiring teacher. In all of his professional activities, he has earned the respect of our students and other faculty members. Peru State College is proud to present this award to such a deserving professor.”


Since his arrival at PSC six years ago, Nevitt has developed more than a dozen courses, including one he taught this spring titled Social Influence, Compliance and Obedience. The scope of the course ranged from the social psychology of cyberspace to how the brain identifies emotional expressions on others’ faces. He also created two graphic novels that accompany his popular honors courses, Analysis of Evil I and II. In 2006 he was honored with the PSC School of Professional Studies’ “Instructional Innovation” Award.


Nevitt, along with PSC Psychology Professor Dr. Joel Lundak, is currently involved in an ongoing line of research related to the specific problems of substance abuse and dependency in the rural Midwest and the nature of substance abuse assessment itself.
He has published a number of scholarly works in psychological and behavioral science journals.


Nevitt has served as sponsor of the Criminal Justice/Psychology Club for the past six years, is a member of the Faculty Senate Committee and is involved in planning the Faculty College. He previously served as a psychology instructor at Mid-Plains Community College in North Platte for 21 years where he was sponsor of Phi Theta Kappa for 15 years.


Nevitt earned his undergraduate degree from Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kan. He holds a Master of Science degree in psychology and a Ph.D. in experimental psychology from the Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. Nevitt completed additional graduate studies in counseling at Wichita State University and worked as a substance abuse counselor for Comcare Addiction Treatment Services. He is a member of the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors.