UNH Psychology Professor Wins Lindberg Honor

By Erika Mantz
UNH News Bureau

February 22, 2001

DURHAM, N.H. -- Robert Mair, professor of psychology at the University of New Hampshire, has won the Lindberg Award for his achievements as both an outstanding scholar and teacher in the College of Liberal Arts. Nominated by students and colleagues, he will receive the award this spring.

Mair has compiled a research and teaching record that is truly extraordinary since his arrival at UNH 15 years ago, says Marilyn Hoskin, dean of the college. "He teaches at all levels of graduate and undergraduate instruction, his classes are both demanding and in demand, and he has an unusually consistent pattern of positive student evaluations. His students regularly participate in original research, and beyond the preparation they receive, virtually all stress the important mentoring he has provided, opening their eyes to the world of scientific discovery and doors to futures they rarely imagined."

Hoskin's comments are echoed by Mair's colleagues and students, including Kenneth Fuld, chair of the UNH psychology department and Mair's office neighbor for several years. "I often got to see what his students see: the sheer delight at having discovered something from an experiment and the joy in sharing that discovery. I also saw how hard he works at making these discoveries."

In addition, Mair is an internationally known researcher of neurobiological models of memory loss (amnesia). His work has increased scientists' understanding of the etiology of and memory deficits associated with Korsakoff's disease, which is caused by the thiamine deficiency often seen in alcoholics. Ultimately, this could lead to the development of a drug treatment for the disease.

Mair has been awarded more than $2 million in grant funds to support this research program, and since 1994 has secure more than $1 million in grant support from the National Institutes of Health, one of the most competitive granting agencies in the world. His work has been published in the best journals in the field, and fellow psychology professor Victor Benassi says he believes Mair "is one of the most accomplished scientists on the faculty at UNH."

Mair received his A.B., Sc.M and Ph.D. degrees in experimental psychology from Brown University. He taught at Brown University and lectured at Harvard Medical School before coming to UNH.

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