The Robert Hendersen Leadership Award

Kitty Cats

Named after the Psychology Department’s longest-serving and most transformative Chair, the Robert Hendersen Leadership Award recognizes students who demonstrate effective leadership and commitment to others in their campus, community, or work environments, and whose engagement in these activities has drawn upon or enriched their knowledge of psychology.

Each academic year, a single student will receive this award following careful consideration of all candidates.  The winner will be formally recognized by the Psychology Department at an event during the winter semester.

In order to be eligible for the Robert Hendersen Leadership Award, candidates must (a) have declared a major in psychology or behavioral neuroscience, (b) be of junior or senior standing, (c) have a GPA of 3.5 or above, and (d) be currently enrolled at Grand Valley State University.

Applications for the 2023-2024 Academic Year

If you are a student who meets the above eligibility criteria and you would like to apply for this award, click or tap the following link for instructions and additional information.  Please note that completed applications are due by midnight on Friday, January 26.

I Would Like to Apply


If you know a student who you think would be a good candidate for this award and you would like to nominate them, click or tap the following link for instructions and additional information.  Please note that nominations must be received by midnight on Friday, December 8.

I Would Like to Nominate Someone

2023 Recipient of the Robert Hendersen Leadership Award

Mackenzie Payton

Mackenzie Payton

How did you become interested in psychology?

My interest in psychology stemmed from my natural curiosity about people and why they act the way they do. I also have a passion for learning, and majoring in psychology provided me with an abundance of areas and specialties to learn about. Psychology also paired well with my double major in Advertising and Public Relations, as I could combine the insights I’ve learned in Psychology courses and implement them in a creative capacity.

How have your leadership opportunities enriched your experience as a student?

While at GVSU, the leadership roles I have served in have enriched my educational experience in many ways, including professional development, honing technical skills, and community building on and off campus. I have made countless close connections among students, staff, and faculty that have shaped my career goals and future aspirations. These connections also allowed me to explore my many passions and have led to amazing networking opportunities which I am incredibly grateful for.


What are you planning to do after graduation?

After graduation, I am looking to work for a few years before pursuing a master's in I-O Psychology. I hope to use my degrees in the entertainment industry with a focus on self-compassion, DEI, or team dynamics.

Page last modified October 31, 2023