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Association for Faculty Women Fran McSweeney

Fran McSweeney

Dr. Frances McSweeney, Recipient of the 2001
Samuel H. Smith Leadership Award
from AFW

Fran McSweeney

Fran McSweeney was the second recipient of AFW’s Samuel H. Smith Leadership Award.  The award was named after former WSU President Sam Smith to honor his efforts to promote women at WSU. It is presented annually to AFW members who have advanced the cause of women at WSU through their leadership.


AFW Frances McSweeney holds the position of Edward R. Meyer Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychology. She was honored as the Washington State University Woman of Distinction for 1999-2000, and she presented the 1994-95 WSU Distinguished Faculty Address. Dr McSweeney has served as President of the Association for Faculty Women (1983-84), President of the Association of Research Professors (1988-89), and Chair of the WSU Faculty Senate (2000-01). Her many outstanding contributions on behalf of women in education are best summarized by the nominating letter written by Samantha Swindell:”[Dr. McSweeney’s] academic success is a collective reflection of her exceptional research skills, her recognition as a leader in her field and her dedication as a faculty member. As a researcher, Fran has authored over 90 articles and 77 paper presentations. She is a leader in the area of animal learning, having given 26 invited addresses and been awarded 14 research grants. Fran currently reviews grant proposals for two divisions of the National Institute of Mental Health and sits on the editorial boards of two international journals. She is an active member of the Association for Behavior Analysis (ABA) both as a member of the governing council and as the Senior Co-Chair of the planning committee for ABA’s annual meeting. Fran also sits of the Board of Directors for the Society of the Advancement of Behavior Analysis. As a faculty member in the Psychology Department, Fran has taught 10 different courses and served on 11 department committees, 4 of which she has chaired. She was also the Chair of this department for 9 years.”While Fran’s personal accomplishments are numerous, her professional commitment to the work of other women is exceptional. … [Recent publications include articles] highlighting the status of women in several subdivisions of psychology. She provides a compelling argument for gender inequality within the field and several suggestions for dealing with this issue. … Through her participation in numerous university committees, e.g., Salary Equality Committee, Discriminatory Practices Committee on Sexual Harassment, etc., Fran has remained consistently committed to the interests and needs of faculty women. [Dr McSweeney] and Marlene Adrian were the first people appointed to handle sexual harassment complaints at the university. Fran and Vicki McCracken successfully convinced the university to build a separate locker room for female faculty members. Lastly, at the individual level, Fran has thoughtfully mentored the careers of female graduate students. Because animal learning remains a predominantly male area of study, it is important to point out that nearly half (6 of 14) of Fran’s doctoral students have been. Words cannot adequately express the profound inspiration Fran has been to me as a mentor, teacher, and researcher. Speaking on behalf of so many former students, I would like to say that Fran encouraged, challenged, and supported us during our graduate careers. She directed us while giving us a tremendous amount of latitude and freedom in our learning. She has profoundly touched my life and I will be forever indebted to her for the wisdom, instruction and time she has given me.

“Dr. Frances McSweeney has excelled in every aspect of her professional career. She has encouraged the work and efforts of other women through her participation in a variety of other local, national and international forums.”




Fran McSweeney and Leslie Sprunger Fran McSweeney and Selection Committee
Fran McSweeney (left) with Leslie Sprunger (right), Chair of the 2001 Samuel H. Smith Leadership Award Committee. Fran (top, center) with the 2001 Samuel H. Smith Leadership Award Committee: Gail Furman (top, left), Sue Gill (bottom) , and Leslie Sprunger (top, right).