Dr. Daryl Van Tongeren of the Hope College psychology faculty has been named the recipient of two national early-career awards.
He will be receiving a “10 Under 10” alumni award for 2021 from Virginia Commonwealth University, and the Margaret Gorman Early Career Award for 2022 from the Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, which is a division of the American Psychological Association.
He has been selected for both awards as an outstanding scholar who earned his Ph.D. within the past 10 years. Van Tongeren, who is interim associate provost and an associate professor of psychology at Hope, completed his doctorate at Virginia Commonwealth University in 2011.
Each year, Virginia Commonwealth University’s alumni organization, VCU Alumni, selects 10 graduates within 10 years of graduation who have enjoyed remarkable professional success, made important contributions to their community and/or loyally supported the university. The recipients are drawn from any level — undergraduate, graduate or professional — across the university, which enrolls more than 31,000 students. Van Tongeren and this year’s other honorees will be recognized during a virtual celebration on Friday, Oct. 22.
The Margaret Gorman Early Career Award is presented to one recipient each year whose innovative research in the psychology of religion is marked by scholarly excellence and has implications for theory, practice or further research, and who completed the doctoral degree within 10 years of the submission deadline. The deadline was this past spring for the 2022 award, which will be presented during the APA conference scheduled to be held in Minneapolis in August 2022.
A member of the Hope faculty since 2012, Van Tongeren has received a variety of external honors for his scholarship in psychology. In 2020, he was elected a Fellow of the Society of Experimental Social Psychology, and in 2019 he was elected a Fellow by both the Midwestern Psychological Association and the International Society for Science and Religion. In 2016, the Association for Psychological Science named him a Rising Star, a recognition most often bestowed on scholars at institutions with graduate-level programs.
He has also been honored for his scholarly work by Hope, which named him a Towsley Research Scholar in 2015 and presented him with the college’s Social Sciences Young Investigators Award in 2014. This past May, he delivered Hope’s Commencement address for the graduating Class of ’21.
His research focuses on the social motivation for meaning and its relation to virtues and morality. Specifically, he and his students adopt a social-cognitive approach to study meaning in life, religion and virtues, such as forgiveness and humility.
He is co-author, with his wife, Sara, who is a licensed clinical social worker, of the book “The Courage to Suffer: A New Clinical Framework for Life’s Greatest Crises,” published in March 2020. He has also published more than 190 journal articles and academic book chapters, and has received multiple grants for his research from the John Templeton Foundation as well as from the college.
He regularly involves students as collaborative researchers in his work, both part-time during the school year and full-time during the summer. Several Hope students are co-authors on his publications, and students he mentored in research have twice received regional awards for excellence from the Midwestern Chapter of Psi Chi – The International Honor Society in Psychology.
Prior to coming to Hope, Van Tongeren was a post-doctoral fellow at Virginia Commonwealth University for a year. In addition to his doctorate from Virginia Commonwealth University, he holds a bachelor’s degree from Colorado Christian University (2004) and master’s degree from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (2006).