MSU College of Social Science Service Award: Dr. Neal Schmitt and Dr. Kara Schmitt

September 27, 2023 - Shelly DeJong

Dr. Neal Schmitt and Dr. Kara Schmitt smile at the camera while in the stands of a sporting event. They wear Spartan gear.

Congratulations to Dr. Neal Schmitt, University Distinguished Professor emeritus of Psychology and Management at Michigan State University, and Dr. Kara Schmitt, who served as the Director of Testing for the State for 30 years, for receiving the 2023 College of Social Science Service Award. This award is presented to MSU College of Social Science supporters who have demonstrated service to the college or meritorious public service on a local, state, national, or international level. 

“Neal and Kara have both given so much of their time and talents to MSU through their leadership and service to the Department of Psychology and the College for many years as well as their long-time engagement in the MSU community’s performing arts, sporting events, and campus life," said Dr. Ann Marie Ryan, psychology professor who worked with Dr. Neal Schmitt for many years. “Their legacy lives on through the Ilgen-Schmitt Endowment Fund which provides resources for graduate students.” 

Dr. Neal Schmitt was a faculty member in Psychology from 1974 to 2010, where he was department chair from 2000-2010. He also served as interim dean of the College of Social Science from 2015 to 2016. The recipient of numerous professional awards, Dr. Neal Schmitt has authored three textbooks, co-edited four books, and has published approximately 250 peer-reviewed papers and chapters. 

As an organizational psychologist, Dr. Neal Schmitt's research focused on personnel and selection and academic admissions. He developed procedures to assess college students’ ability and motivation in noncognitive domains to predict their success in college. His projects explored constructive and predictive validity of measures and the impact they had on people who take the measures as well as the institutions that used them in their decision making. 

Dr. Kara Schmitt and her staff were responsible for the examinations associated with 65 professions licensed by the State. During her tenure, she also served on numerous national psychometric committees, authoring informational materials for these programs, and auditing national examination programs. She has made over 80 presentations at national conferences and is the author of two books dealing with the general area of credentialing.  

The awardees were recognized at the College of Social Science’s Alumni Awards Ceremony on September 22, 2023.