Kecskes Named Distinguished Professor

Albany, NY (September 8, 2015) - Dr. Istvan Kecskes, Educational Theory and Practice, has been appointed to the rank of Distinguished Professor by the State University of New York Board of Trustees. He joins Dr. Daniel Levy of Educational Administration and Policy Studies and emeriti faculty Arthur Applebee, Judith Langer, and Frank Vellutino as the fifth School of Education professor to receive this prestigious designation.

The Distinguished Professorship is a system-wide recognition of the scholarship of SUNY’s most exceptional and accomplished faculty. It is bestowed upon those who have achieved national or international distinction and a prominent reputation within a chosen field. Over the last 50 years, 352 professors across the SUNY system have been promoted to the distinguished rank. Dr. Kecskes was one of only ten professors promoted to this rank in the 2014-15 academic year and the only UAlbany professor to be so recognized.

Dr. Kecskes is an internationally renowned scholar in the field of pragmatics, how speakers convey meaning in specific contexts, standing among the principal leaders in this field. In more than 40 articles and proceedings, ten books, six edited collections, 21 book chapters, and prestigious editorial, speaking, and organizational roles, Dr. Kecskes has had a profound influence on research in areas related to second language learning, the relationship of language and culture, and sociocognitive approaches to linguistics in general and pragmatics specifically.

Robert Bangert-Drowns, dean of the School of Education, remarked, “Dr. Kecskes is a phenomenal scholar of language development, linguistics, and education, and he continues to have profound influences on the work of academics around the world, defining at least two emerging disciplines through his creative contributions and leadership.”

Dr. Bangert-Drowns has worked with Dr. Kecskes since Kecskes came to UAlbany in 1999. “I have been continuously impressed by his enormous integrative capacity in a complex field, his vitality in his areas of intellectual interest, and his passion for his students’ professional development,” said Bangert-Drowns of Kecskes.

Dr. Kecskes is editor of the world's premier academic journal on multilanguage understanding and communication, Intercultural Pragmatics. He is president of the American Pragmatics Association, an organization which promotes both theoretical and applied research in pragmatics and brings together scholars in different subfields of pragmatics. He is also president of the Chinese as a Second Language Research Association, an independent research organization which joins scholars from all over the world whose research focuses on the acquisition, development and use of Chinese as a second language.

Dr. Kecskes encourages his students to travel and study language and culture abroad and started summer school programs in Barcelona and in China, and academic partnerships with universities such as Sorbonne in Paris, University of Pompeu Fabra in Spain, and Stellenbosch University in South Africa.

Dr. Kecskes received a 2011 University at Albany Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Activities, and a 2012 State University Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities.