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Carol Gilligan to Receive UAlbany Medallion at 2006 Center for Jewish Studies & School of Education Celebration

Contact: Catherine Herman (518) 437-4980

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 17, 2006) -- The University at Albany will honor scholar and acclaimed author Carol Gilligan at the 2006 Center for Jewish Studies and School of Education Celebration. The 250-person celebration marks the beginning of a new Jewish Education Initiative that is a collaboration of the nationally ranked School of Education and the new Center for Jewish Studies. It will be held at The Riverview in Hastings-Hudson, New York, on Wednesday May 3, 2006 at 6 p.m. The celebration is a gift of Mr. Bernard D. Arbit, Class of 1942.

At the event, UAlbany President Kermit L. Hall will award Gilligan the Medallion of the University, the university's highest honor, in recognition of her distinguished career and groundbreaking scholarship, which has fundamentally reshaped the fields of psychology, education, and gender studies. Gilligan will address the gathering.

"As we award Carol Gilligan the Medallion of the University, I am reminded that it is we who are honored," said President Hall. "Her research and extraordinary intellectual pursuit have added color and depth to the American cultural landscape, and we are richer for it."

Gilligan said, "American society has reached an important crossroads with the start of the 21st century. Our future will be determined and shaped, in part, by the success of our education system. The partnership between the Center for Jewish Studies and the School of Education at the University at Albany is exciting and promising, and the synergy they represent - bridging the private and public spheres as well as the arenas of Jewish and public education - is a model of innovation and academic excellence. I am delighted to participate in this year's Center for Jewish Studies and School of Education Celebration, and I look forward to supporting UAlbany's success as a leader of public higher education in the Northeast and the nation."

Mark A. Raider, founding director of the Center for Jewish Studies said, "The impact of Dr. Gilligan's path-finding work on our society is, quite simply, extraordinary and profound. We believe Dr. Gilligan personifies the very best of American and Jewish ethics and values; the world we inhabit is a richer and more humane place as a result of her efforts and achievements."

Susan Phillips, dean of the School of Education, applauded Gilligan's work. "From the perspective of education and psychology," she said, "there are few who have explored so wisely the important facets of culture and value, of person and place, all as they are reflected in learning—wherever it occurs. Dr. Gilligan's work brings to all of us inspiration, direction, and understanding."

Carol Gilligan received an A.B. in English literature from Swarthmore College, a masters degree in clinical psychology from Radcliffe College, and her doctorate in social psychology from Harvard University. Her landmark book In A Different Voice (1982) - based on her work in the Capital District of New York -- is described by Harvard University Press as "the little book that started a revolution." Following In A Different Voice, she studied women's psychology and girls' development and co-authored or edited five books with her students: Mapping the Moral Domain (1988); Making Connections (1990); Women, Girls, and Psychotherapy: Reframing Resistance (1991); Meeting at the Crossroads: Women's Psychology and Girls' Development, (1992) - a New York Times notable book of the year, and Between Voice and Silence: Women and Girls, Race and Relationships (1995). Gilligan received a senior research scholarship award from the Spencer Foundation, a Grawemeyer Award for her contributions to education, a Heinz Award for her contributions to understanding the human condition, and was named by Time Magazine as one of the 25 most influential Americans. Following her research on girls' development, she studied boys and their parents in relationship. Throughout her acclaim, she continues to maintain seminal connections with the Emma Willard School and the Robert C. Parker School in the Capital District of New York.

A member of the Harvard faculty for more than 30 years, Gilligan became Harvard's first professor of gender studies in 1997, occupying the Patricia Albjerg Graham chair. In 1992, she served as Pitt Professor of American History and Institutions at the University of Cambridge, and in 2002 she became a University Professor at New York University. Her 2002 book The Birth of Pleasure, was described by The Times Literary Supplement as "a thrilling new paradigm." Gilligan, who currently teaches classes on gender issues and the psychology and culture of democratic societies, recently taught a freshman honors seminar, "From the Birth of Tragedy to the Birth of Pleasure."

Gilligan is a visiting professor at the University of Cambridge affiliated with the Centre for Gender Studies and with Jesus College. Her play, The Scarlet Letter was produced by Shakespeare and Company in 2002. She contributed a story to 110 Stories: New York Writes After September 11. Her recent scholarly articles include "On The Listening Guide: A Voice Centered, Relational Method," "Recovering Psyche: Reflections on Life History," and "Knowing and Not Knowing: Reflections on Manhood."

Past honorees of the University Medallion include:

  • President Aharon Barak, Supreme Court, State of Israel (October 2000)
  • Abe Foxman, national director, Anti-Defamation League (May 2001)
  • President Itamar Rabinovich, Tel Aviv University, former ambassador to the United States from Israel (April 2002)
  • Edgar M. Bronfman Sr., president of the World Jewish Congress (June 2003)
  • Michael Steinhardt, chairman of the Steinhardt Foundation/Jewish Life Network (September 2004)

For details about the 2006 Center for Jewish Studies and School of Education Celebration, contact Yoel Hirschfeld at (518) 591-8514 or


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