PSC Honors Archive, 2009
Distinguished University Professorship, Jacquelynne Eccles. One of the world’s pre-eminent developmental psychologists, Jacquelynne Eccles’ work in the area of personality and social development has had a major impact on our understanding of how different contexts shape adolescent development. She is the William McKeachie and Paul Pintrich Distinguished University Professor of Psychology and Education; professor of psychology, Department of Psychology, LSA; professor of education, SoE; and research professor, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR. In particular, her large-scale longitudinal studies have provided important insights into gender differences in motivation and achievement, showing that these differences result from socialization processes in schools and families rather than from inherent biological differences. Her research and scholarship have had important policy implications for school reform, particularly in the redesign of middle schools to make them motivating and less stressful for adolescents. Eccles’ scholarly reach is well illustrated by her leadership of the MacArthur Network on Successful Pathways through Middle Childhood, a major nine-year effort in which she fostered research alliances among individuals who would not otherwise have become aware of common interests. Throughout her career, Eccles has published more than 200 articles, chapters and books, and has garnered about $20 million in grant awards. She has provided scientific leadership on many boards and panels. In addition, she has provided editorial leadership for the top journals in her field. In recognition of her achievements and acknowledgment of how fundamentally her scholarship has shaped the thinking of developmental scientists, she has won numerous awards and been honored by the leading national societies in psychology and child development. In 2006 she received the Outstanding Mentor Award from the Developmental Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association for contributions “to developmental psychology through the education and training of the next generation of research leaders in developmental psychology.” She has been a major leader, and now administrator, in the Combined Program in Education and Psychology. She currently serves on the Department of Psychology’s executive committee, and she also is active in various service roles at ISR, the Institute for Research on Women and Gender, and the SoE.