November 03, 2016

Liberal Arts dean to deliver Tenney lecture

by Andrea Hahn

Meera KomarrajuCARBONDALE, Ill. -- Meera Komarraju, dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, will be the speaker at Monday’s Charles D. Tenney Distinguished Lecture Series, a University Honors Program event. 

Komarraju will speak at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 7 in the Student Center Auditorium. Her topic is “Leadership and the Pursuit of Excellence: What life has taught me.” A reception follows in the adjacent International Lounge.

Komarraju has a decades-long connection to SIU. She came to SIU as a lecturer in 1986 after completing her graduate training in psychology at Osmania University in India and the University of Cincinnati. At SIU she taught in the departments of psychology and management until her appointment as an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology in 2005. She became an associate professor in 2009 and a professor in 2014. She has held administrative roles as director of the psychology department’s undergraduate program, chair of the department, and associate dean for student and curricular affairs in the college. 

Her research interests include cognitive, non-cognitive and sociocultural factors related to motivation and performance, teaching self-efficacy, and the influence of ethnicity and gender on perceptions of leadership effectiveness. She is widely published in her field and has earned Fellow status from the American Psychological Association, Division 2, and MPA fellow status, the organization’s highest honor, from the Midwestern Psychological Association. In addition, she has earned SIU’s university-wide Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award and has twice been its nominee for U.S. Professor of the Year.

Komarraju holds a doctoral degree in applied social psychology from the University of Cincinnati and doctoral and master’s degrees in industrial-organizational psychology from Osmania University in India. She also earned a master’s degree in psychology from Osmania University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology, philosophy and English literature from Nizam College in India. 

The University Honors Program sponsors the Charles D. Tenney Distinguished Lecture Series.  Tenney served as the university’s provost and vice president from 1952 to 1971.