Official Retirement Citation (2003)
Herbert Leff, you joined the Psychology Department at the University of Vermont in 1970 immediately after completing your Ph.D. at Harvard University. You have served undergraduate and graduate students here with care and enthusiasm for the past 33 years.
Herbert, you have encouraged your students to think creatively and to apply psychological concepts and principles meaningfully both to their own lives and to the benefit of other people. Over the years, your students have consistently acknowledged the personal value of the ideas and psychological principles you have shared with them. Your focus on self-directed cognition and the psychology of societal and environmental enrichment has proven especially important to your students.
Your research on issues of self-directed cognition in the service of creativity and the enhancement of education and everyday experience, as well as your three books arising from this work, have drawn praise from reviewers and from students both at UVM and at many other institutions of higher education. You have also worked extensively and productively with teachers in Vermont and elsewhere to encourage wider dissemination and practice of your metacognitive approach to life-enhancing education.
You have been a congenial colleague, a source of good cheer, and a creative inspiration to colleagues and students. You have also forged numerous lines of interdisciplinary teaching, research, and writing with colleagues in art, education, English, environmental studies, and several other academic disciplines.
We will miss your inquisitive mind, insightful questions and comments in the classroom and during faculty meetings, your bright smile, and your sustained dedication to your students across three decades of service to the University of Vermont. Accordingly, we value and appreciate your wide-ranging contributions and wish you a most enjoyable and productive retirement.