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Published Monday, May 10, 2004
Luttrell Named Aronson Junior ChairAssociate Professor Wendy Luttrell, a faculty member at HGSE, was recently named the first Nancy Pforzheimer Aronson Junior Chair, an endowed professorship for a non-tenured teacher, which will support her research as long as she remains on the HGSE faculty.
By Julia Laughlin
APPIAN STAFF WRITER

Associate Professor Wendy Luttrell, a faculty member at HGSE, was recently named the first Nancy Pforzheimer Aronson Junior Chair, an endowed professorship for a non-tenured teacher, which will support her research as long as she remains on the HGSE faculty.

At a reception on Thursday, April 22nd, formally honoring Luttrell’s appointment to the Chair, Dean Ellen Condliffe Lagemann remarked that choosing her was an “easy decision.”

Luttrell is no newcomer to being recognized for her strength in teaching. She received awards on three separate occasions for her outstanding teaching: in 2002, she was awarded HGSE’s Morningstar Award for Teaching Excellence; in 1996, a departmental award for teaching; and in 1994, the Richard Lublin Distinguished award for Teaching.

Evaluations by former students who have taken Luttrell’s courses echo the enthusiasm of these awards, with such accolades as “she is amazing,” she “made the classroom feel ‘safe,’” and “her honesty about how hard this work is was refreshing and encouraging.”

Lagemann explained that Luttrell was selected because “she is a wonderful scholar, teacher, and citizen” and because her research meets the terms of the Chair, which are to “advance research and teaching relevant to gender studies.”

Erica Fletcher, a current Ed.M. student, states “appointing Wendy to this chair is a positive first step in putting gender back on the agenda at HGSE after last year's dismantling of the program,” and heralds Luttrell as “one of the most accessible and helpful professors I've had at the Ed. School.”

Luttrell explains that her passion “has always been to engage in research that challenges taken-for-granted assumptions about gender, race, and class.” She sees these as “assumptions that all too often get in the way of educators’ best intentions and desires to promote equity and support the development of youth.”

Luttrell has published many articles and two books involving literacy and gender. In 1998, she won the American Sociological Association Book Award for her first book, School-Smart and Mother-wise: Working-Class Women’s Identity and Schooling, that gave accounts of working-class women becoming literate in an often unwelcoming school system.

Her second and most recent book, published in 2003, Pregnant Bodies, Fertile Minds: Gender, Race, and the Schooling of Pregnant Teens is an ethnographic study spotlighting the educational experiences of another marginalized group: teen mothers.

Luttrell is currently teaching three courses: “Race, Class and Gender in the United States,” “The Logics of Qualitative Research,” and a Doctoral Research Practicum: Project ASSERT (Accessing Strengths and Supporting Effective Resistance in Teaching, which conducts research to inform teachers’ engagement in race, class and gender).

The position’s donor, Nancy Pforzheimer Aronson, a member of HGSE’s Visiting Committee, has supported HGSE for more than a decade, says Pamela Jackson, director of HGSE’s Leadership and Major Gifts. In looking to the future, Luttrell expresses that she is “privileged to continue to pursue [her research goals] with the support of the Aronson Professorship.”

Julia Laughlin, a masters student in the Specialized Program, is a member of the Appian Board of Editors.