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UCSC Psychology Professor Awarded UC Merced’s Spendlove Prize

November 13, 2009

Public Invited to Evening Lecture Focusing on Connection

MERCED - Faye J. Crosby, a social psychologist and expert on
affirmative action, is the recipient of this year’s Alice and
Clifford Spendlove Prize in Social Justice, Diplomacy and
Tolerance. The University of California, Merced, will bestow the
prize to Crosby during her public lecture on Nov. 20.

“Faye Crosby’s pioneering work in sex and race discrimination is
timeless and remains very socially relevant,” said Sherrie
Spendlove, founder of the prize. “She is especially deserving of
the Spendlove Prize for her part in helping to transform American
society so that it is more welcoming of diversity and genuine power
sharing. She has been a vocal advocate for the path to inclusion
and power sharing rather than the old, outdated dominance method of leadership.”

A UC Santa Cruz professor since 1997, Crosby investigates the
foundation of people’s reactions to affirmative action. Her most
recent books include “Affirmative Action Is Dead: Long Live
Affirmative Action” and “Sex Discrimination in the Workplace.”

Crosby’s research has focused on individual attitudes in the
context of social change. She discovered the phenomenon known as
“the denial of personal disadvantage,” which explains how people
often see themselves as exempt from the injustices that affect
groups with which they identify.

Crosby has also fulfilled leadership roles in many institutions
and is the founder of Nag’s Heart, an organization that supports
women and men who work for gender equity. She was a professor at
Rhode Island College, Smith College, The Kellogg School of
Management and Yale.

Crosby was nominated for the Spendlove Prize by the Society for
the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI), also known as
Division 9 of the American Psychological Association, a nonprofit
organization of psychologists and social scientists.

“It is thrilling to receive an award from one of the UC campuses
and especially from UC Merced, the newest campus where the
pioneering spirit seems to be married to a dedication to excellence
in research,” Crosby said. “I have spent my life working for social
justice, and I believe that diplomacy and tolerance are essential
parts of social justice.”

A Merced native, Spendlove established the award in honor of her
parents, Clifford and Alice Spendlove, to recognize individuals who
exemplify the delivery of social justice, diplomacy and tolerance
in local and global society.

“Given the closeness of my own family, an award given by a
daughter in the name of her beloved parents resonates deeply with
me,” Crosby said. “By honoring the values of prior generations, we
give inspiration to future generations.”

Recipients of the award present a lecture to the campus and
local community. Crosby’s talk will be held at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 20,
in Room 355 of the Kolligian Library. A question-and-answer session
will be included.

Her lecture will center on the theme of connection.

“Whenever we mistakenly imagine that we are acting alone, we are
open to negative feelings and can become paralyzed in our actions,”
Crosby said. “In all worthy actions, there are structures and
supports both seen and unseen. Recognition of the inter-connections
of events and of people liberates the spirit and allows us to build
a better future.”

The Spendlove Prize selection committee is chaired by the dean
of the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts and is made
up of a representative from the Spendlove family or designee; an
undergraduate student; a graduate student; a faculty member; and
representatives from the UC Merced community.

“Faye is a role model and inspiration for students,
faculty and the larger community,” said Hans Björnsson, UC
Merced’s interim dean of the School of Social Sciences, Humanities
and Arts. “As this year’s Spendlove Prize in Social Justice,
Diplomacy and Tolerance recipient, we are honoring her scholarship
and her activism.”

The first award, given at campus opening in 2005,
went to Dr. Charles J. Ogletree Jr., a Merced native who is now a
law professor and the founding executive director of the Charles
Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard
University. In 2007, the prize was awarded to John Y. Tateishi, an
activist for civil rights who led the successful redress campaign
for Japanese-Americans in the aftermath of their WWII internment.
Childhelp founders Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson received the
prize in 2008 for their lifelong commitment to helping children in
need. O’Meara and Fedderson have devoted 50 years of their lives to
the prevention and treatment of child abuse in the U.S. and in
several foreign countries.

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