A Brief History
Robert was born in New York City on June 20, 1940. After completing high school at age 16, he matriculated at Monmouth University near the New Jersey shore, graduated in 1961, then earned his Master of Arts and Ph.D. in 1963 and 1965, respectively at the University of Delaware.
Robert spent a year at Villanova University, and then joined the Psychology Department at the University of Vermont (UVM) in 1966.Thereafter,he spent 44 years at the University of Vermont in a variety of research, teaching, and academic administrative positions including twice as Chair of the Psychology Department, Program Director of the General Experimental Psychology Doctoral Program, Associate Vice President of Research and Dean of the Graduate College, Director of the Master of Public Administration, Chair of the President's Commission on Racial Diversity, and Chair of the UVM Athletic Council.
Professor Lawson had a strong, sustained, and varied research program spanning from 1966 to the present, and included grant funding of $ 7.1 million from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation (NSF), and the U.S. Departments of Education and State. He was also the Project Director of the application to the NSF Program to Stimulate Competitive resulting in an award of $5.5 million. Robert is the author of four psychology textbooks and well over 50 journal or periodical research articles and refereed presentations at professional meetings.
Robert has served the larger academic community as President, Chair, or Member of Northeast Association of Graduate Schools, Council of Graduate Schools, Graduate Record Examination Board, Board of Governors, University Press of New England, Steering Committee, UVM-NCAA Accreditation Program, and Chair of numerous accreditation committees for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Professor Lawson was awarded the George V. Kidder Outstanding Faculty Award by the UVM Alumni Association in 2003, and the Athletic Department Award for Loyal Support and Continuing Devotion to UVM Athletic Programs, 2005.
The Robert B. Lawson Green and Gold Professorship was established in the Fall, 2008 by a generous gift of the Segal and Davis Family Foundation of Charleston, WV.
Official Retirement Citation (2010)
Robert, for 44 years you have distinguished yourself as an extraordinary scholar, teacher, mentor, and administrator at UVM. Earning your Ph.D. at the University of Delaware in 1965, you joined our young department of Psychology in 1966. Your research on stereopsis in human visual perception yielded numerous research articles, books, and several grant awards from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. Your more recent scholarship on organizational psychology and the history of psychology has contributed influential research articles and text books.
Generations of undergraduate and graduate students benefitted from your wisdom, dedication, and insight as a recipient of the George V. Kidder Outstanding Faculty Award. As testimony to your influence, several UVM alumni identify you as most influential on their intellectual development. One recently established the Robert B. Lawson Green and Gold Professorship in honor of extraordinary teaching and mentoring.
Your administrative leadership at UVM has been exceptional and sustained, guided by your commitment to equality, diversity and scholarship. You have chaired over 50 university committees, commissions, advisory boards, and UVM presidential initiatives. In your 8 years as Associate Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate College you spearheaded the approval of eight new graduate programs, created the University Scholars program, and, in 1986, secured UVM's EPSCOR grant that continues to fund research and education throughout Vermont. You chaired the Department of Public Administration as well as the Department of Psychology.
Robert, countless students, faculty and administrators have been blessed by your character, compassion, and wisdom. Your university-wide legacy will shape us for generations. UVM is grateful for your exemplary service, collegiality, grace and the example you set for the rest of us.