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Psychology Professor Tapped as 2022 Roe R. Cross Distinguished Professor

Tracy Wechselblatt, Gary Wyatt, John Wade, Joan Brewer, and Ken Hush

A psychology professor with nearly three decades in the field is the 2022 Roe R. Cross Distinguished Professor at Emporia State University. Dr. John Wade was surprised with the announcement during his Psychology in the Real World undergraduate glass this morning (Thursday, May 5, 2022).

Following tradition, the announcement in the classroom was made by a contingent that included Ken Hush, ESU interim president; Dr. Gary Wyatt, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs; and Dr. Joan Brewer, dean of The Teachers College.

“I’m very honored,” Wade said. “Thank you very much.”

Wade joined Emporia State University in 2012 as an associate professor of psychology and director of the clinical psychology program. He was promoted in 2016 to full professor. He earned his bachelor of arts degree in psychology from University of Dallas, a master of arts degree in counseling psychology from University of North Texas and a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Pennsylvania State University.

An expert in positive psychology, Wade has served as faculty advisor of the Psi Chi psychology honor society since he came to Emporia State. From 2016 to 2018 he served as advisor to Hornets for Hope student organization. He has served on numerous university committees and works with industry publications. In 2021, he became publications editor for APA Div 17 Positive Psychology Newsletter, a two-year appointment.

Wade’s nomination had the support of the teaching faculty in the Department of Psychology.

“By disposition, he is an affable, authentic, gracious and humble person who connects meaningfully with his students and makes them see greater potential in their own lives,” they wrote in the nomination letter. “In his decade at Emporia State University, several students he has inspired, including first-generation college students, pursued doctoral degrees because of his mentorship.”

Some of those students shared their own reasons for supporting Wade’s nomination.

“When I look back on my experience at Emporia State University, I will never forget how lucky I was to have such an influential mentor,” wrote one soon-to-graduate master’s-level student. “Dr. Wade inspires me to be a better graduate teaching assistant, student and clinician-in-training. The impact he has made on me will last a lifetime.”

A graduate of the undergraduate psychology program recalled taking one of the toughest courses in the program from Wade.

“I knew from the start that I had one of the best professors to learn from,” the alumnus wrote. “Dr. Wade has the ability to take some of the most difficult concepts and theories and make them understandable to his students.”

The Roe R. Cross Distinguished Professor Award has been given since 1979 to the ESU professor who best demonstrates teaching excellence, professional activities, fostering of intellectual atmosphere, service to the university outside the classroom and status as a student mentor. The award includes $1,000 to be used for professional activities.

As the 2022 Roe R. Cross Distinguished Professor, Wade will be honored at a university reception on May 10, which will also include the 2020 and 2021 Roe R. Cross Distinguished Professors whose public receptions were cancelled during COVID. Wade will be listed in the spring commencement program and be the speaker at the December 2022 commencement.