College of Arts and Sciences
During 47 years of leadership, teaching and research at Case Western Reserve, Sandra Russ, the Louis D. Beaumont University Professor of Psychology, made monumental contributions to the College of Arts and Sciences and its Department of Psychological Sciences, as well as the field of child psychology and play-based therapy. Russ, who has a PhD in clinical psychology, became interested in play-based therapy while working with children at Washington University.
After coming to CWRU in 1975 to continue her career in child psychotherapy, Russ saw a need for a standardized tool that could measure children’s affect, creativity and emotion during pretend play, which led her to develop the Affect in Play Scale.
Russ has been recognized by prominent institutions like the American Psychological Association and the National Autism Center for her influential contributions to the field of child development and therapy.
In addition to her prestige as a scholar, Russ has been an active leader at CWRU. She served two terms as chair of the university’s Faculty Senate as well as assistant provost, and led the College of Arts and Sciences as interim dean. As an administrative leader, Russ strived to make CWRU an inclusive institution by implementing affirmative action policies, leading the Minority Scholars Program, and directing the Lilly Fellows Teaching Program with junior faculty.
During her retirement, which Russ refers to as a “long sabbatical,” she plans to continue her research in an effort to help children actualize their creative potential.