Psychology faculty member earns Plankey Professorship

Faculty member Charles Doan leaning against a whiteboard

As an undergraduate student at Miami University, Dr. Charles Doan remembers fondly the professors who encouraged him to conduct his own research — and those who asked for his assistance on their research.

The Assistant Professor of Psychology models this behavior with his Marietta College students and he has some big plans for the 2021 fall semester: engaging students to conduct research with new eye-tracking equipment.

“Students are going to be trained on how to use it, how to calibrate it and how to read the data,” Doan said. “They will be able to see in real-time what the research participants are seeing and how the eye tracker is measuring eye movements, eye fixations and pupil dilation.”

His passion and commitment to expanding undergraduate research among all students — but even more so among the Psychology and Neuroscience majors — is a key reason why Doan was recently named the William Van Law Plankey Professor starting in the fall 2021 semester.

“I was very grateful and surprised when I was informed that I received this honor,” he said. “I’m sure there were many deserving applicants, so this makes me want to work that much harder to get these projects done.”

The professorship is intended to support excellence in scholarship, especially as reflected in the involvement of undergraduate students — including discipline-based research, pedagogical research and creative activities. 

“The William Van Law Plankey Professorship provides not only financial resources but that most precious commodity — time — to engage in research with undergraduates,” said Dr. Janet Bland, Provost and Dean of the Faculty. “It’s always quite competitive, and there were many strong applications submitted by our faculty across many disciplines, but Charles Doan’s proposal stood out. I am very excited to see the results of Dr. Doan’s collaboration with his students over the next several years.”

Doan also plans to continue involving students in an ongoing research project about how people process relational information.

Previous winners of the Plankey Professorship are Drs. Mark Sibicky (Psychology), David Brown (Biology) and Matt Young (History).