Dr. Wayne Hawley, associate professor in the Psychology Department, was recently recognized as Edinboro University’s 2020 Scholar of the Year.
The annual award honors a tenured professor who demonstrates outstanding excellence in scholarly research.
In his nomination letter for Hawley, Edinboro University faculty member Dr. Ron Craig outlined the scholarly work Hawley coordinated with Edinboro students, local high schools, hospitals for veterans and other service organizations.
In my opinion, he is the quintessential teaching-scholar,” said Craig, who joined Edinboro in 1997. “The quality and quantity of research coming out of his lab – coupled with his dedication to ensuring the undergraduate students he works with are well trained and prepared for the next step in their academic and professional careers – sets him apart.”
Hawley explained that his research and passion for science not only informs his teaching at Edinboro, it is also the sole reason for his choice of higher education.
“Above all else, I am a scientist, and I am compelled to share my conviction to the scientific process with students,” he noted in his teaching statement. “I treat all of the students in my psychology classes as young scientists. With this in mind, it is my goal to train students to become critical consumers of information and help them understand why the scientific method is the gold standard by which information is evaluated.”
Hawley earned his Ph.D. in Psychology (Behavioral Neuroscience) from Tulane University where he examined the effects of stress and gonadal hormones on learning and sexual behaviors in rats. He received his postdoctoral training at Syracuse University where he studied the role estrogen receptors play in different types of learning.
As a visiting assistant professor at Franklin and Marshall College, Dr. Hawley worked with students in his laboratory where they investigated the roles that specific hormone receptors and growth factors play in the sexual behaviors of rats. As a follow-up to these studies, the primary focus of his research at Edinboro University has been to work with students to uncover the cellular mechanisms that underlie the effects of testosterone and estrogen on different aspects of sexual behaviors in rats.
His second line of research has been dedicated to examining the interactive effects of gonadal hormones and related neuromodulators on learning and memory tasks that rely on different brain structures.
Several students working with Dr. Hawley have been awarded honors, co-authored scientific papers, and presented research findings at regional and international scientific conferences. For many students, these research opportunities contributed to their scholarly development and strengthened their desire to pursue advanced degrees in psychology and neuroscience-related fields.
Throughout his career, he has taught a variety of courses in psychology and neuroscience, which have included Biopsychology, Human Sexuality and a collaborative research course in the Psychology of Sexuality. At Edinboro University, he teaches Drugs and Human Behavior and Experimental Psychology.