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Graduate Dean's Award

2013 - 2014
Graduate Dean's Award

Mr. Joseph Schmitt earned his Masters of Arts in Psychology in Spring 2014. He was nominated by his faculty and selected by the Dean of Graduate Studies to receive the 2013-2014 Graduate Dean’s Award. Mr. Schmitt maintained a 3.8 GPA during his master’s program. He was also named a co-recipient of the 2013 CSUSM Distinguished Service Learning Award and a Distinguished Service Learning Partner of the Year for his work in Dr. Schultz’s Conservation course and efforts in the San Diego Safari Park.

During his graduate career at CSUSM, he worked in Dr. P. Wesley Schultz’s lab and collaborated on several projects including two local large-scale field studies on household electricity consumption. He worked on Dr. Schultz’s NSF grant in collaboration with San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), and co-authored a manuscript based on the study, which has been submitted for publication in a peer-review journal. He presented his research at several professional meetings including the 2013 Society for Personality and Social Psychology, 2013 Behavior Energy Climate Change and the 2014 SPSP Sustainability Conference. He has also co-authored a book chapter that focused on theoretical approached in social marketing with an emphasis on strategies for promoting energy conservation titled, “Driving Change: Applying Theoretical Models in Social Marketing.” It will appear in the forthcoming Handbook of Persuasion and Social Marketing (Praeger, 2014).  

Mr. Schmitt’s thesis project (Normative Social Influence and the Moderating Role of Group Identification: A Field Experiment on Household Electricity Consumption) explored the use of smart technology in San Marcos homes to conserve energy. He examined whether smart meters and In-Home Displays (IHDs) provided residents with effective feedback for reducing home every levels. To his accomplishment, over 4,000 households participated in the study.

In 2010, he received his B.A. in Psychology from Illinois Wesleyan University in Chicago. He is a first generation college student, who has persevered through economic hardships. He is described by his advisor, Dr. Schultz, as, “an amazingly resilient person, affable, and he brings an infectious energy to his work. In short, Mr. Schmitt makes science fun.”