Samuel Gaertner has been named the Trustees Distinguished Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Delaware, effective Sept. 1.
Since joining the UD faculty after receiving his doctorate at the City University of New York in 1970, Gaertner has won numerous honors, including the 2012 Career Contribution Award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology.
Among his additional awards are the prestigious Kurt Lewin Memorial Award and the Gordon Allport Intergroup Relations Prize, which he received twice with John Dovidio, professor of psychology at Yale University and a UD alumnus.
Named for the late pioneer in the science of group dynamics and a founder of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI), the Kurt Lewin Memorial Award is presented annually for "outstanding contributions to the development and integration of psychological research and social action.”
The Gordon Allport Intergroup Relations Prize honors the memory of the late Gordon W. Allport, a founder and past president of SPSSI.
Gaertner mentored Dovidio while the latter was a doctoral student at UD, and the two have partnered on numerous research projects studying intergroup relations and, in particular, investigating how prejudice, discrimination and intergroup conflict can be reduced when the members of two groups conceive of themselves as a single, more inclusive group.
Their research has been supported by grants from the Office of Naval Research, the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Science Foundation.
“Professor Gaertner has a national reputation for his longstanding work on prejudice, unintentional bias and racism,” said UD Provost Domenico Grasso. “He has a longstanding record as a distinguished scholar, educator and mentor.”
A member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, thePersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin and Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, Gaertner is currently the co-editor of Social Issues and Policy Review
“I’m grateful to the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, the College of Arts and Sciences and my colleagues and students for their support,” Gaertner said. “While it feels good to receive recognition for my research from organizations beyond this University, I feel especially honored to receive such recognition from my colleagues at the University of Delaware.”