About the Award
Founded in 2014, the Nalini Ambady Award for Mentoring Excellence is a teaching and mentoring award that honors a personality or social psychologist who has demonstrated a career-long commitment to fostering the professional and intellectual development of students and early career researchers. This award is intended to recognize exceptional and selfless efforts to shape our field through mentoring activities that promote research integrity, impact, and productivity, and also a record of serving as an accessible and supportive advisor. The award is named in memory of Nalini Ambady, who was widely-known for her dedicated mentoring of undergraduates, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and junior faculty.
Recipients of this award receive a $500 honorarium and accompanying plaque, which are presented at the annual Awards Ceremony held at the SPSP Annual Convention, as well as a complimentary one-year SPSP membership.
About Nalini Ambady
As a Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, Nalini Ambady is most known for her work with the accuracy of judgments based on brief nonverbal behaviors. Although the findings of her studies were groundbreaking and have been featured in works such as Malcom Gladwell’s 2005 bestseller Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, it was Nalini’s endless commitment and devotion to her students that helped set her apart from others in her field.
"She had that kind of vision for her students. She believed, often long before we did, that we could make substantive scientific contributions to science and society," said former mentee Jennifer Richeson of Northwestern University. "As a mentor, she wanted to help us find and tune our own voices, rather than simply echo or amplify hers."
Many of Nalini’s students became her colleagues and now reside on the faculty rosters of prestigious institutions like Dartmouth, Northwestern, UCLA, Georgetown, MIT, and Penn State among others. Regretfully, she passed away in October 2013 after her second battle with leukemia.