Darwyn Linder ’61

2011 Distinguished Citizen Award

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Darwyn Linder describes his career in turning points, starting in 1959 when then-Math Department Chair Ezra Camp offered him an assistantship and invited him to stay at Macalester instead of transferring to an engineering program. Linder accepted. He thrived in the small classes with one-on-one faculty interaction, a model he would carry with him for the rest of his career.

Linder entered a graduate mathematics program but learned math wasn’t his calling. He thought back to his summers as a canoe trip guide at YMCA’s Camp Widjiwagan, where the group dynamics of the youth excursions had fascinated him. Before long, he enrolled in the University of Minnesota’s PhD psychology track. Linder went on to teach at Duke University before tackling one of his biggest challenges in 1972, when he moved to Arizona State University to teach and serve as the founding director of the Social Psychology Graduate Training Program.

There Linder guided many honors program students through their undergraduate honors theses and many master’s and PhD candidates through their graduate work. "Having the opportunity to develop that program from scratch was a real turning point," he says. "The fun part of the work is watching students become capable and independent. It never gets old." He also implemented cooperative learning programs in ASU’s undergraduate engineering program. Linder has published extensively in top psychological research journals, coauthored an introductory psychology text book, and served as department chair for eight of the 33 years he spent at ASU.

Now retired, Darwyn splits his time between his residences in Snowmass and suburban Denver. He teaches skiing in Aspen and advises the ski school on sports psychology.