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AERA Honors HGSE Faculty Members at Annual Meeting

Several Harvard Graduate School of Education faculty members were honored at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) in San Diego last week. The Presidential Citation and Outstanding Reviewer awards were presented, and numerous AERA fellows were named.

Professor Carol Weiss was one of two recipients of the Presidential Citation, given for distinguished service and significant contributions to education research. Current AERA President Lorraine McDonnell of the University of California-Santa Barbara selected this year's honorees.

The AERA's announcement of the award cites Weiss' research on program evaluation methods and knowledge utilization, as well as her conceptualization of evidence-based policy as having profound influence on education policy. The announcement read, "Even as the policy and political terrain has shifted over the past 40 years, her work continues to provide insights about the links among research, policy, and professional practice."

"Carol Weiss launched a new way of thinking about how to conduct rigorous research and bring it to the attention of practitioners and policymakers," said Dean Kathleen McCartney. "She introduced terms like 'theory of change' and the 'enlightenment function of research' which continue to influence educators when we are doing our best work."

Professor Christopher Dede was one of 12 honored as Outstanding Reviewer for Educational Researcher (ER). "I am very pleased to receive AERA's Outstanding Reviewer for Educational Researcher," Dede said. "Helping scholars, particularly young researchers, improve the quality of their manuscripts is an important part of mentoring the next generation of scholars and building capacity in the field."

The AERA letter of invitation praised Dede's work for ER. "Dede has gone far beyond any expectations of an academic journal reviewer in terms of number of timely reviews completed, depth of understanding of the field of research exhibited, and a compassionate voice so necessary in mentoring emerging scholars as authors," it read. "ER would not be the journal it is today without the professional assistance of reviewers like Dr. Christopher Dede."

During the meeting, the AERA also acknowledged many HGSE faculty members as AERA Fellows in recognition of their exceptional scientific or scholarly contributions to education research or significant contributions to the field through the development of research opportunities and settings.

Professor Robert Selman was named a 2009 AERA fellow. Additionally, eight faculty members were acknowledged as the 2008 inaugural fellows: Dean Kathleen McCartney and Professors Courtney Cazden, Howard Gardner, Patricia Graham, Richard Murnane, Judith Singer, Catherine Snow, and Charles Willie

The fellows are nominated by peers, selected and recommended by the Fellows Program Committee, and approved by the elected council governing AERA. The Association expects fellows to be visibly engaged in important AERA programs and activities and to serve as models and mentors for the next generation of scholars.