Scholarships and financial aid

The annual Wayne State University Scholarship Application period runs from October 1 – March 1. Applicants will be considered for the scholarships listed below, as well as the scholarships available throughout the university, by using just one application.

Undergraduate scholarships

Rodney Clark Memorial Fund for Excellence in Undergraduate Education

Established to promote excellence in education, the Rodney Clark Memorial Fund was established to support undergraduate research through leadership, innovation, and motivation. Perhaps above all else, Dr. Rodney Clark believed in maintaining high standards for students, balanced with the willingness to provide resources to help them achieve this goal.

About Rodney Clark

Dr. Clark's research was novel and cutting-edge, exploring the cardiovascular and psychological consequences of race-related stressors such as perceived racism, as well as how people effectively cope with racism. Recognized as a rising star in the behavioral medicine community, he published four to five papers each year in leading health psychology-related journals, was funded by the National Institutes of Health, and was frequently invited to speaking engagements around the country. Dr. Clark was a very active leader in student organizations such as panhellenic activities on both local and national levels, and he is well known for his dedicated mentoring of numerous high school students from Detroit. He was an outstanding teacher and mentor, as evidenced by numerous awards for excellence in teaching, as a faculty advisor, for collaborative efforts with the Detroit Public Schools, and for exceptional service to Wayne State University, as well as by awards for excellence in research garnered by students in his laboratory.

Graduate scholarships

Betty Neitzel Memorial Award

Betty Jane Neitzel earned her master's degree in 1951 from our department with a specialization in industrial/organizational psychology.  Her master's thesis is titled "The communication of supervisory functions and its relationship to employee attitude." She was always grateful to WSU because it provided her with money that allowed her to finish her master's degree. Her estate made a substantial donation to the psychology department in 2015. A portion of these funds was used to establish the Betty J. Neitzel Memorial Award, which is to be given to a doctoral candidate in industrial/organizational psychology at Wayne State University for excellence in research/scholarship.

Julie A. Thomas Memorial Scholarship Award

This endowment was created in memory of Julie A. Thomas, daughter of Joan M. Gossman and step-daughter of Patrick J. Gossman. Julie's sudden death in 1988 was caused by heart problems. At the time of her death, she was enrolled at Wayne State University and was pursuing a degree in psychology. Her intent was to help others lead happy and fulfilling lives. It is hoped that through work in the area of biopsychology, the biological and ethological bases of many behavioral problems will be discovered and thus help people lead happier and more fulfilling lives.

John Teahan Memorial Award

This award is given each year to the fourth year clinical student who goes beyond the requirements of the program and demonstrates exceptional personal drive in the development of clinical skills. The recipient of the award receives a gift of $1,000, and his or her name is permanently recorded on a plaque that is displayed in the John Teahan Reading Room in the Psychology Clinic.

Dr. John Teahan was one of the founding architects of the clinical psychology training program at Wayne State University. His orientation, both theoretically and in his applied work, was pragmatic and problem-oriented, often defying attempts to pigeonhole his approach. His commitment to the training program and to our students was extraordinary. It is characteristic of John that he wanted to continue supporting the program and its students. To this end, John, his wife Lynn, and daughter Sheila, established the John Teahan Award. The award is presented at the Lachman Lecture (organized by Psi Chi and the psychology department).

Ross and Margaret Stagner Memorial Award for Excellence in Psychology

The Stagner Award is designed to honor an advanced graduate student, (i.e., has already passed qualifying exams and has proposed their doctoral dissertation) in psychology, who makes outstanding contributions that go beyond any single area of excellence. The Ross and Margaret Stagner Memorial Award will be awarded to a doctoral student in psychology who has made significant contributions in at least two of the following areas: research and scholarship, reaching and instruction, and service to the department, and/or university, and/or profession, and/or community (including field placement activities). As in the past, the Stagner Award will be presented at the Lachman Lecture/Graduate Student Recognition Day.

About Ross Stagner

Ross Stagner had a distinguished career in psychology, making important contributions to social, personality, industrial, and peace psychology.  In addition to many scholarly and research articles, he published important textbooks in general psychology, and in the psychology of personality, as well as a classic volume in the field of industrial and labor relations.  He was especially committed to relating scientific psychology to real-world problems. Throughout his life, he was involved in efforts to apply psychological knowledge to such issues as conflict resolution and social injustice. From the earliest days of his career as a psychologist, he was interested in enhancing the lives of the powerless. Professor Stagner's career is an example of how a psychologist can contribute to the world as a scholar, educator, and humanitarian.

Gerald Rosenbaum Award

Gerald Rosenbaum organized, developed, and directed the clinical psychology doctoral training program for the first 39 years of its existence at Wayne State University. Dr. Rosenbaum was committed to excellence in scholarship and particularly in the fields of psychopathology, health psychology and neuropsychology. His endowed scholarship will fund one award to be granted annually to support an advanced graduate student in clinical psychology.

The Gerald Rosenbaum Endowed Graduate Training Scholarship in Clinical Psychology is targeted to support an advanced clinical psychology graduate student who is conducting research related to psychopathology, neuropsychology, health psychology, or related fields. Although not required, preference will be given to students whose research involves biological, physiological, or genetic factors.

Steven A. Lewis Award

Some years ago a fund was established in the memory of Professor Steven A. Lewis to provide a $500 award for recognition of outstanding and creative contributions to research in human psychology. This annual competition is intended to confer distinction on a graduate student of the Department of Psychology at Wayne State University whose research approaches the high standards of excellence that were the hallmark of Dr. Lewis' own work.

Eligible manuscripts include both theoretical integrations as well as empirical research studies. Preference will be given to work initiated and carried out by the graduate students. Included under this rubric are thesis and dissertation researches as well as work conducted independently of degree requirements.

Norine G. Johnson Clinical Psychology Scholarship 

This partial scholarship will be awarded to a clinical graduate student who demonstrates excellence in scholarship while showing outstanding performance in practicum training and a commitment to clinical service. In addition, preference will be given to students who engage in research and scholarship, focusing on health, and for graduate students who must balance their graduate career with significant family obligations.

About Norine G. Johnson

Norine G. Johnson received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Wayne State University in 1972. She is a past-president of the American Psychological Association, the ninth woman president in 110 years. Her career includes director of psychology for KMH Children's Hospital, owner of four psychology businesses and full-time, independent practice. She is on faculty in the Department of Neurology at the Boston University Medical School. Dr. Johnson received many awards including, the Heiser Award, Outstanding Contributions in Advocacy, Nitze Distinguished Professor (St. Mary's College, Maryland, 2004), APA's Distinguished Leader for Women in Psychology Recognition Award, and the Career Contribution Award and the Ezra Saul Award from the Massachusetts Psychological Association. Norine has also served on the Dean's Board of Visitors, School of Arts and Science, Wayne State University, 2002-2005.

Charles L. Gdowski Memorial Award

Charles Gdowski was a graduate of the Wayne State Clinical Training Program and was a major contributor as a research mentor and as a lecturer in the graduate program. Dr. Gdowski's family and friends established this fund to recognize clinical students who show promise in research in Clinical Psychology.

The award will be based on the scientific merit of a completed research project in any area of clinical psychology that has been published or is in press in a professional peer-reviewed journal, or in a professional book, or which has been accepted for presentation at a major national or regional professional convention. The project may be a product of thesis or dissertation research. The applicant must be the first author on the paper or presentation. In addition to a cash award of $500, the student selected to receive the memorial award will also be recognized at the psychology department's annual graduate student awards presentations.

About Charles L. Gdowski

Charles Leonard Gdowski was born on April 10, 1947, in Detroit, Michigan. He was the eldest in a family of nine children of Helen and William Gdowski. He attended the seminary of the Conventional Franciscan Friars in Lake Forest, Illinois for high school with the intention of becoming a Roman Catholic priest. He graduated from Loyola University, Chicago, Illinois in 1970 with a B.S. degree in psychology. He decided he could better serve the community as a child psychologist. After teaching at McBride High School in St. Louis, Missouri for one year, he returned home to Detroit and Wayne State University for the doctoral program in clinical psychology.

After obtaining his doctorate, he worked in many areas of child psychology in the Detroit metropolitan area. His heart belonged to Lafayette Clinic where he worked with children for all his professional life. He also taught in the clinical psychology program at Wayne State where he supervised doctoral students. He worked for the Oakland County Juvenile Court on a part-time basis and shared a private practice with some colleagues from Wayne State. He was very partial to his clients with Tourette's syndrome and with his students, they shared a special place in his heart. He loved working with people and gave it his very best effort.