When reading the nominations for All Together One Awards, a single individual stood out in my mind. An individual that was committed to the success of her students, her peers, JMU, and her community as a whole. It is evident to me that Dr. Debi Kipps-Vaughan is a deserving individual of the All Together One Awards. Dr. Debi Kipps-Vaughan is a graduate of JMU and currently an assistant professor in the Department of Graduate Psychology since 2008, while serving as a practicing psychologist for over 20 years.
While I have only met Dr. Kipps-Vaughan on one single occasion before today, I have gained an understanding of the important work she does to serve the JMU and Harrisonburg communities. Her peers have raved about her as a teacher, a professional, and as an individual. Dr. Kipps-Vaughan has been described as always being in a state of service. This is apparent from her involvement in all facets of the Psychology Department at JMU and abroad. To this date she has served on two search committees and is an active member on the Personal Advisory Committee. Even more impressive, she has been actively serving on CHBS Dean's Faculty Advisory Committee known as DFAC. Her service with DFAC has helped form College mission, vision, and value statements. Furthermore, as a Licensed clinical psychologist and a member of IHHS she has provided her services to the Harrisonburg Community. She has done this through CAPS/ISLA programs and the JMU Poverty Simulation Project. Even farther beyond the JMU and Harrisonburg community, she has served as a board member on both the Virginia Academy of School Psychologists, and Virginia Department of Education Advisory Committee.
One of the most fascinating accomplishments I have learned about Dr. Kipps-Vaughan is her expertise and dedication to understanding childhood suicide. When Chestergield County School System called upon the Virginia Department of Education (VDE) for consult, Dr. Kipps-Vaughan's services were recommended. Her service and dedication locally and at large just show how deserving she is of this prestigious award.
While I have only touched upon her service and goodwill to the community, Dr. Kipps-Vaughan has dedicated her time to being the most outstanding professor possible, but also to ensure the future of her students. This is evident through her creation of new college courses such as the Professional Practice Issues in Rural School Psychology Practice course, which ultimately became a requirement for Graduate Psychology students. She has also collaborated with cross-disciplines to establish the first Interprofesional Collaboration Education Day. Dr. Kipps-Vaughan's true dedication to the psychology department has warranted enthusiasm and admiration by her students and surrounding faculty. This love from her peers is apparent when she received the Outstanding Contributions to Teaching Award twice in 2010 and 2013.
With these closing remarks I would like to read an excerpt from the words of Tecumseh that I believe speak true to Dr. Debi Kipps-Vaughan's life, "Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life, Seek to make your life long and in the service of your people... Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none. When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living."
I present to you one of the 2014 All Together One Award Recipients, Dr. Debi Kipps-Vaughan.