This award is in honor of Norman Richard Ellis, retired professor of psychology at The University of Alabama, and designed to promote education of students in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Alabama.

Norman Ellis, longtime teacher and scholar, received his bachelor of arts from Howard College in 1951, his Master of Arts in Psychology from the University of Alabama in 1953, and his Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology from Louisiana State University. Dr.Ellis taught at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College before joining the faculty of the University of Alabama in 1964, where he received the Burnum Distinguished Faculty Award in 1984, the Outstanding Scholar award in 1986, and was designated an emeritus professor of psychology in 1991.

An internationally recognized researcher in the fields of mental deficiency and memory, Dr. Ellis edited the groundbreaking 1963 publication Handbook of Mental Deficiency, served as editor of Aberrant Development in Infancy, and founded and served as chief editor of the International Review of Research in Mental Retardation.

During his long and distinguished career, Dr. Ellis received the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Award, the Edgar A. Doll Memorial Award for distinguished contributions in research, training, and leadership, and was a finalist for the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. International Awards. Dr. Ellis was invited to the White House in 1967 for the signing of the Mental Retardation Bill, and was honored in 1972 by the American Association on Mental Deficiency as “one of the world’s leading behavioral scientists in mental retardation.”

Criteria for this award are as follows:

  • Psychology major
  • Junior or senior undergraduate student (preference given to seniors)
  • Academic achievement