February 20, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Judith Kleinfeld, psychology professor, director of the national Boys Project and co-director of the Northern Studies program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, is this year’s recipient of the University of Alaska Foundation’s prestigious Edith R. Bullock Prize for Excellence.
Ann Parrish, chair of the University of Alaska Foundation Board of Trustees, which awards the prize, made the announcement today. The foundation is the non-profit entity that solicits and manages private donations solely for the benefit of the university.
Parrish said Kleinfeld’s contributions to higher education cover a large range of subjects and opinions, including controversial ones. She has done research on the high and distinctive cognitive abilities of Alaska Natives, studied the weaknesses of the former boarding school system and worked to help children with fetal alcohol syndrome, providing hope for children and their families. The professor researches her subjects with passion and keen insight, Parrish said.
“She is a fearless investigator and candid commentator on many issues important to the times in which we live,” Parrish said. “The University of Alaska is lucky to have such a courageous academic in our midst."
UAF History Professor and past Bullock Prize recipient Terrence Cole nominated Kleinfeld. “Dr. Kleinfeld has many, many achievements over the past four decades--a record surpassed by no one at the University of Alaska, past or present,” he said.
Kleinfeld received her bachelor’s degree in English literature from Wellesley College and both her master’s and doctorate in education from Harvard University. She has taught at the university since 1969.
Her awards and honors for teaching, research and public service include the Robert Piacenza Award for Teaching in the Honors Program, the Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce’s Community Service Award and the Emil Usibelli Award for Distinguished Research. Since 1984 she has written a column every other week on a variety of education and social science issues for the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner and Anchorage Daily News. She is the author of five books and numerous articles.
Two years ago she founded the Boys Project, a national and international consortium of researchers, educators and writers concerned about the gap of boys in educational achievement. The U.S. Department of Education, state and local school boards are now rethinking roles and expectations of boys in the public school system. She has been invited to several White House conferences, where she has spoken on the problems of boys and the strategies that connect boys to school.
"A faculty member with Dr. Kleinfeld's longevity and commitment to issues important to Alaska is a real asset to the university and to the state of Alaska,” said UAF Chancellor Steve Jones. “We at UAF couldn't be more proud to have her as this year's recipient of the Bullock Prize for Excellence."
The Bullock prize, which provides a $20,000 cash award, is the largest single award made annually by the foundation’s Board of Trustees. The prize was created through a charitable gift from the late Edith R. Bullock, who served the university for 30 years as a member of the Board of Regents and the foundation’s Board of Trustees. Bullock was also a member of the Alaska Territorial House of Representatives and Senate.