Lakeland University Blog

Psychology professor named LU’s top teacher for 2022

Psychology professor named LU’s top teacher for 2022


Psychology professor named LU’s top teacher for 2022

Lakeland University Professor of Psychology Anthony Liguori is the 2022 winner of the annual Underkofler Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award.

Liguori is Lakeland’s 31st winner of the Underkofler, which recognizes outstanding performance in undergraduate teaching.

A member of Lakeland’s faculty since 2013, Liguori is known for challenging and motivating students through rigorous courses while also getting to know them through teaching, academic advising and mentoring so he can position them for future success.

In nominating Liguori for the Underkofler Award, students offered these thoughts:

  • “Every class that I take with him I feel like I have learned so much. He cares about his students and wants to see them enjoying the content and subjects just as much as he does. Dr. Liguori is also my advisor and has helped me find my love for the psychology program and continues to help me as I navigate my career path.”
  • “His teaching and the way he presents his lessons has been one of the most effective. I feel as though I have gotten the most of his classes and it makes me feel like I am getting exactly what I wanted with this psychology major.”
  • “His classes have continuously challenged and inspired me to push myself further than I thought I could go. Everything he does shows how passionate and eager he is to share his knowledge with his students.”
  • “I took a senior-level course with Dr. Liguori as a freshman, and he really aided me with all the tools I needed to not only pass but to learn and succeed. It was the most challenged I have felt at Lakeland thus far, but similarly the most I have taken away coming out of a class.”
  • “He truly is a mentor to me for the work he does as well as the way he teaches. He not only helps me to succeed in psychology, but in figuring out my life path and class schedule with efficiency and care. I really appreciate all that he does for students both in and out of the classroom.”

The comments are no surprise to fellow Lakeland Professor of Psychology Elizabeth Stroot, a previous Underkofler Award winner.

“Students recognize Dr. Liguori’s warmth – whether they visit his office for an impromptu tutoring session or sit in a room with 25 classmates,” Stroot said. “He learns his students’ interests and abilities and he depends on that knowledge to engage and encourage them in the classroom.”

Liguori, who teaches numerous psychology courses within Lakeland’s traditional and Kellett School programs, also serves Lakeland in leadership roles.

He has served as chair of the Program Development Committee, worked with his psychology colleagues to revise the psychology major on two separate occasions, served on the admissions committee and participated in scholarship days and faculty panels for incoming students and their families. He has also served as a mentor to new faculty.

He established LU’s Psi Chi chapter (International Honor Society in Psychology) and serves as the faculty advisor. He has also acted in several of Lakeland’s theatrical productions.

Stroot lauded Liguori for his brilliant mind, passion for psychology, remarkable interpersonal skills and the way fellow faculty love to engage him in discussions about teaching strategies and ideas to help students succeed.

“Dr. Liguori is a success precisely because sharing his passion for psychology at Lakeland and inspiring his students is his life’s work and it means the world to him,” Stroot said. “Every class meeting has a goal, and the content, props, methods and questions are intentionally designed to engage and teach his students. Due to his meticulous planning, every presentation perfectly fits the audience.”

Liguori came to Lakeland from Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., where he had been a faculty member in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology since 1996. He holds a doctorate in experimental psychology from Boston University.

Liguori did post-doctoral training as a research fellow in psychobiology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School for three years and as a research associate in the Human Behavioral Pharmacology Lab at the University of Vermont Department of Psychiatry for two years.

Liguori's research has been published in professional journals, cited in textbooks and supported by more than a dozen grants. He has served as a reviewer for industry publications and a reviewer of research grant applications for the National Institutes of Health. He has been president of the American Psychological Association's Division of Psychopharmacology and Substance Abuse and served as a member of the Council of Representatives of the American Psychological Association.

Liguori received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Georgetown University and a master’s in psychology from Boston University.

The Underkofler Award is presented through the Alliant Energy Foundation and the Wisconsin Foundation for Independent Colleges, Inc. The Underkofler Endowment Fund was created in honor of past Wisconsin Power & Light president and chairman James R. Underkofler to recognize his 48 years of service to the utility industry.