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DATE: Feb. 4, 2003

UM-Dearborn Prof. Lora Bex Lempert receives two major awards for leadership on behalf of women

DEARBORN---Lora Bex Lempert, associate professor of sociology at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, will receive two major awards this month for her leadership, scholarship and service on behalf of women.

On Feb. 11, Lempert will receive the Sarah Goddard Power Award from the University of Michigan Academic Women's Caucus in a ceremony at 4 p.m. in the Hussey Room of the Michigan League. Lempert will share the honor with Seyhan Nurettin Ege, professor emerita of chemistry on the Ann Arbor campus. The Sarah Goddard Power Award is presented annually by the University's Academic Women's Caucus "to individuals who have demonstrated scholarship, leadership and support of women." The ceremony is free and open to the public.

Lempert

(Click on photo for high resolution scan.)

On Feb. 26, Lempert will receive UM-Dearborn's 25th annual Susan B. Anthony Award at a reception and dinner program at the campus's Henry Ford Estate, beginning at 5 p.m. The Susan B. Anthony Award is given annually to a member of the campus community "who exemplifies the dedication, fortitude and involvement of Susan B. Anthony," a leader in the women's suffrage movement.

"I am simultaneously humbled and elated," Lempert said about the two honors. "I am very cognizant that, while I am the honoree, these awards represent the hard work and collaborative efforts of others who have worked tirelessly for gender, racial and ethnic equality. These awards really are a recognition of these collective efforts."

Lempert joined UM-Dearborn in 1994 as an assistant professor of sociology, and she was promoted to associate professor in 1998. She served five years on the campus's "Agenda for Women" committee and was director of the Women's Studies program for two years. She teaches courses in sociology and women's studies, marriage and family problems, family violence, and gender analysis. Lempert also is an assistant research scientist at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender on the Ann Arbor campus.

In 2001, Lempert was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to the sociology department and Women and Gender Studies program of the University of the Western Cape in South Africa.

"We were extraordinarily fortunate then to have Lora Lempert appointed to our program," according to Lindsay Clowes, acting director of Women and Gender Studies at the University of the Western Cape. "A talented teacher, and a congenial and energetic colleague, Lora provided an effective role model to students and faculty as well as the non-governmental organizations with whom she was in regular contact."

During her service as director of the UM-Dearborn Women's Studies program, a certificate program was established and an overall framework developed that led to significant growth of the program. She also created an internship program that provides students with opportunities to analyze social problems as they provide direct service in sites such as shelters for abused women, Head Start programs for children, victim advocacy units in prosecutor's offices, adolescent transitional housing and other programs.

In 2000, when Lempert won UM-Dearborn's Distinguished Teaching Award, she was described by a nominator as "a transformative teacher, waking students up to gender, racial, and social class inequalities, and helping them to understand the interactions between all three." Four of her course syllabuses have been published by the teaching resources unit of the American Sociological Association.

In her family violence class, Lempert modified the national Clothesline Project to bring student research on domestic violence and grassroots activism together on campus. Students create t-shirts that memorialize the violence experienced by individual women and display them in public spaces. "The Clothesline Project is based on a double metaphor: that is, women have traditionally talked to other women as they hung laundry and the clothesline airs society's dirty laundry," she said.

In addition to her teaching and research, Lempert publishes extensively on domestic violence, women's health issues, and issues related to gender and racial equality. She serves on the editorial board of the journal Gender and Society as well as the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, and reviews for the feminist journal Signs.

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