Associate Professor of Psychology Roseanne Foti, who will become chair the Department of Psychology on Aug. 10, has received the Graduate School’s 2018 Faculty Outstanding Mentor Award for the College of Science.

Sponsored by the Graduate School, the annual award recognizes excellence in mentoring graduate students. Students nominate recipients, and one professor from each college receives an award.

Foti’s research focuses on leadership perceptions, how leaders emerge in groups and teams, and on leader-follower relationships. Foti, who is director of the Interface of Leadership and Teams Lab, also is interested in ways to improve the effectiveness of interdisciplinary research teams and developed a model to enhance teamwork skills on stuch teams. Additionally, she is actively involved in AdvanceVT, an initiative aimed at preparing, recruiting, and retaining high-quality, diverse faculty members at Virginia Tech. She has partnered with units across the university to develop assistantship programs for psychology doctoral students.

According to its website, Foti’s lab is “dedicated to conducting scholarly work relating to leadership and team issues facing today’s organizations from a scientist-practitioner perspective.” She has published numerous articles and is a Fellow of the Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology (SIOP) and received an award for distinguished teaching contributions from the society. Foti also received the University Alumni Teaching Award in 2005.

Foti has mentored 30 graduate students, who have gone on to careers in academia and in professional fields. Those who nominated Foti said she sees her role as that of a catalyst for students, facilitating change and “bringing together the right components and letting them interact in such a way as to create positive outcomes.”

Doctoral student Maureen McCusker said, “Rather than placing and directing students on their paths to success, she develops a firm understanding of every one of them and strategically guides each to finding that path on his or her own.”

Elizabeth Kolmstetter, director of Workforce Engagement at the National Atmospheric and Space Administration, said of Foti, “I wonder if Roseanne ever realizes the magnitude of her impact as a mentor and role model.”

Foti earned her Ph.D. from the University of Akron.

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