Hoyt receives Distinguished Scholarship Award

August 27, 2021
The University of Richmond presents social psychologist and leadership studies scholar Crystal L. Hoyt with the Distinguished Scholarship Award

Dr. Crystal L. Hoyt has a reputation. Just ask her students and academic colleagues.

Multitudes of students have counted the social psychologist as a faculty mentor during the 18 years she has served a joint appointment as a leadership studies and psychology professor at the University of Richmond. Current and former students have co-authored 30 some peer-reviewed academic publications with her. Many have co-presented research with her at academic conferences. Some, inspired by her teaching, have pursued doctorates in psychology.

Likewise, Hoyt is highly regarded in academic circles. The Association of Psychological Science and the Society for Personality and Social Psychology each named her a fellow, in 2018 and 2020, respectively. She has served as the associate dean of academic affairs at the Jepson School of Leadership Studies since 2016 and was named the Colonel Leo K. and Gaylee Thorsness Endowed Chair in Ethical Leadership in 2019. The University bestowed its Distinguished Educator Award on her in 2009.

Last week, the University honored Hoyt with its Distinguished Scholarship Award at Colloquy, the annual faculty recognition event that kicks off the academic year.

In presenting the award, President Kevin Hallock lauded the social psychologist’s research on cognitive processes—such as mindsets, self-efficacy, stereotypes, and political ideologies—that influence the experiences and perceptions of stigmatized individuals, such as women and minorities. He recognized her extensive publication record in top-rated academic publications as well as her service on the editorial boards and review panels of journals and the National Science Foundation.

But Hoyt’s research is not for academic audiences only. It has significant implications ranging from increasing the representation of marginalized voices in influential positions in business, politics, and science, to helping ensure that relevant social policies are informed by scientific evidence.

“Through my research, I aim to elucidate the important role of belief systems in fundamental social issues, such as representation gaps in leadership, health and well-being, intergroup discrimination, and poverty and wealth inequality,” the associate dean said.

Underscoring the relevance of her scholarship to contemporary social issues, her research and writing have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, The Boston Globe, NBC’s Today Show, and NPR’s Tell Me More, among others. 

“Grounded in the study of leadership, Crystal Hoyt’s scholarship is a powerful example of how disciplinary tools provide insights into social problems and their potential solutions,” said Sandra Peart, dean of the Jepson School.