NIU Psychology Professor Michelle Demaray has reached the point in her career where former students have become established professionals and collaborative research peers in her field.
The passage of time and how students develop during it are among the things Demaray continues to love about her job after 19 years.
Demaray’s impact during her time at NIU starts with those she’s taught and led through research projects. Her work has earned national and international acclaim in the area of school psychology. She’s secured millions of dollars in grant money, published numerous articles in leading journals and developed a measurement tool used around the world to help educators assess the social needs of young learners.
That’s just a snapshot of Demaray’s accomplishments which led to her recent selection for NIU’s prestigious Presidential Research Professorship.
“It’s very meaningful to be recognized by my peers,” she said. “It was really nice to be honored.”
Demaray is quick to express appreciation for the “great students” who have helped her research throughout the years. Part of that comes remembering her early days when she had to do nearly everything on her own. She values the “core group of students … who can really take the lead. The students make the difference.”
Department of Psychology Chair Leslie Matuszewich said Demaray plays a “critical role” for those students
“Through her efforts for the school psychology program, Dr. Demaray has worked determinedly to mentor young students as the next generation of practicing school psychologists and research scholars,” Matuszewich wrote in nominating Demaray.
The professorship status emphasizes Demaray’s role as a leading authority in the study of social support, bullying and victimization of students in schools. It also provides additional credibility as she seeks future research funding on topic of great importance to her.
“I’m really passionate about reducing bullying in schools; (I’m) hoping to make a dent,” said Demaray, a licensed psychologist and current editor of Journal of School Psychology.