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Farewell to Professor James Maas

If you follow us on Facebook, you’ve probably already seen the RSS feed post announcing the imminent retirement of psychology professor Dr. James Maas. If you haven’t, here’s the news: Dr. James Maas is leaving Cornell as of the end of this year.


Readers of this blog undoubtedly know who I’m talking about. In his 48 years as a member of the Cornell faculty, Dr. Maas has taught Psych 101 (which changed to 1101 in 2008) to over 65,000 Cornellians. This is not only a Cornell teaching record, but is also a world teaching record. In recent years, at least, Dr. Maas’ class has enrolled over 1,200 students each fall semester. He has won the Arts College Clark Award for Distinguished Teaching and the American Psychological Association's Distinguished Educator Award.

Outside the classroom, Dr. Maas is a world-renowned sleep psychologist and bestselling author. He is credited with coining the term “power nap” and has devoted his career to discovering the benefits of sleep as well as raising awareness of the importance of sleep to success in our waking lives. According to Dr. Maas, energy, mood, focus, longevity, and, correspondingly, our ability to perform, are all influenced heavily by the quantity and quality of our daily sleep. He regularly appears on national talk shows as a sleep advocate.

I interviewed Dr. Maas last year for The Sunday Forum, a Cornell news interview show on WVBR. If you’re curious about some of his research and his findings on the importance of sleep, I recommend listening to the clip:

Interview with Dr. James Maas from Kyle Scott on Vimeo

What do you remember about Dr. Maas? His tenure spans 48 years of Cornellians and is likely one of the only professors who taught across so many class years. Share your memories below as a comment.

Kyle Scott | Posted on December 29, 2011 (#)

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