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Syracuse University names four Trustee Professors
Syracuse University names four Trustee ProfessorsMarch 31, 2001Kelly Homan Rodoskikahoman@syr.edu
Four faculty members have been honored with Syracuse University’s inaugural Trustee Professorships. Vice Chancellor and Provost Deborah A. Freund announced the recipients during her March 28 address to the faculty. The recipients are: ? Benita A. Blachman, professor of reading and language arts and special education in the School of Education and professor of psychology in The College of Arts and Sciences, named Trustee Professor of Education and Psychology; ? Douglas J. Holtz-Eakin, professor and chair of the economics department in The College of Arts and Sciences and The Maxwell School and associate director of The Maxwell School’s Center for Policy Research (CPR), named Trustee Professor of Economics; ? Robert J. Thompson, professor of television-radio-film and director of the Center for the Study of Popular Television in the Newhouse School, named Trustee Professor of Television and Popular Culture; and ? John M. Yinger, professor of economics and public administration in The College of Arts and Sciences and The Maxwell School, associate director of the Metropolitan Studies Program in the Center for Policy Research and director of CPR’s Education Finance and Accountability Program, named Trustee Professor of Public Administration and Economics. The University’s Board of Trustees approved the Trustee Professorship Program last year as a way of recruiting and retaining faculty members known nationally and internationally for their scholarship and research. The professorships, bestowed on individuals of world-class distinction, are given at Freund’s discretion. “These individuals exemplify the best of Syracuse University and the best that any university anywhere would have to offer,” Freund says. “We are a stronger, student-centered research university because we are blessed by their talents.” Benita A. Blachman Blachman joined the School of Education faculty in 1980 and has directed the graduate program in learning disabilities since that time. She has published extensively in the area of early literacy, demonstrating that what children know about the phonological (sound) structure of oral language is related to their ability to learn to read. Her research has focused on the language factors that predict reading achievement and on early intervention to prevent reading failure, especially in low-income, inner-city schools. Her 1992 article, “Getting Ready to Read: Learning How Print Maps to Speech,” was selected by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development for national distribution; her edited book “Foundations of Reading Acquisition and Dyslexia: Implications for Early Intervention” (1997) received international acclaim; and her longitudinal intervention research demonstrating the effectiveness of early intervention made a significant contribution to the recommendations in the report of the National Reading Panel (2000) presented to Congress last April. Blachman’s current research (conducted with colleagues at Yale Medical School and the University of Texas-Houston Health Science Center) is supported by a $750,000 research grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and involves investigating the “influence of an intensive, phonologically based reading intervention on the functional organization of the brain in reading disabled children.” Among the awards Blachman has received are the Dina Fitelson Research Award from the International Reading Association (1997) and a Fulbright lectureship in Singapore (1985). She was elected a fellow of the International Academy for Research in Learning Disabilities (1999) and invited to give the prestigious Graham Lecture at the University of Virginia (2000). She serves on numerous editorial and advisory boards, including the Scientific Advisory Board for the National Dyslexia Research Foundation, the Professional Advisory Board for the National Center for Learning Disabilities, and the National Advisory Council for the Neuhaus Center. She also serves on the board of directors for the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading. Blachman received a bachelor’s degree in special education from the University of Illinois-Urbana, a master’s degree in reading from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Connecticut. Douglas J. Holtz-Eakin Holtz-Eakin, who held academic appointments at Columbia and Princeton universities early in his career, returned to academia after serving as a senior staff economist at the Council of Economic Advisers. He joined the SU faculty in 1990 and is currently a professor and chair of the economics department and associate director of the Center for Policy Research in The Maxwell School. In his role as department chair, he has upgraded the economics Ph.D. and M.A. programs and added two new courses. He has published more than 60 articles for top refereed economics journals, including Econometrica, The Journal of Political Economy and The Quarterly Journal of Economics. Holtz-Eakin has been a Faculty Research Fellow and research associate for the National Bureau of Economic Research since 1985. From 1996 to 1998, he served as a member of the Economics Advisory Panel to the National Science Foundation.
He has been a consultant to the New Jersey State and Local Expenditure and Revenue Policy Commission, the State of Arizona Joint Select Committee on State Revenues and Expenditures and the New York State Office for the Aging. In addition, he has received research grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the American Council for Capital Formation and the National Science Foundation, among other organizations. He is editor of the National Tax Journal and is a member of the editorial boards for Economics and Politics, the Journal of Sports Economics, Regional Science and Urban Economics, and Public Works Management and Policy. Holtz-Eakin’s current research interest in entrepreneurship comes from his desire to understand the impact of taxes, social insurance, and regulatory and other policies on economic growth. He serves on the New York Board of Economic Advisors for the Ways and Means Committee of the New York State Assembly. Holtz-Eakin received a bachelor’s degree from Denison University and a Ph.D. from Princeton University. Robert J. Thompson Thompson has become a leading commentator in the United States on television and American life. His commentary has been featured in numerous publications, on radio, and on such TV programs as CBS’ “60 Minutes,” “Dateline NBC” and ABC’s “Good Morning America.” He has written several books on popular television, including “Adventures in Prime Time” (Greenwood Publishing, 1990) and “Television’s Second Golden Age: From ‘Hill Street Blues’ to ‘E.R.'” (Continnum, 1996). He co-authored “Prime Time, Prime Movers: America’s Greatest TV Shows and the People Who Created Them” (Syracuse University Press, 1995) with David Marc, visiting professor in the Newhouse School, and is co-editor of “Television Studies: Textual Analysis” and “Making Television: Authorship and the Production Process.” Thompson’s new book, “The St. Elsewhere Story” is forthcoming this year. In 1991 and 1992, Thompson received the Stephen H. Coltrin Award for Excellence in Communication Theory from the International Radio and Television Society. He is the founding director of the Newhouse School’s Center for the Study of Popular Television and the general editor of an ongoing series of books about television published by SU Press. He is president of the Popular Culture Association and lectures nationwide. Thompson received a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Chicago, and master’s and doctoral degrees from Northwestern University, where he was director of the N.H.S.I. Television and Film Institute. John M. Yinger Yinger is considered among the top handful of American scholars in urban economics, and state and local public finance. He is a pioneer in the development of the “audit” technique of studying housing discrimination that enables researchers to actually measure discrimination. He served as research director for a 1989 national audit study and surveyed literature for the well-known Journal of Economic Perspectives.
His research also includes studying variation in education across school districts, designing state education to support performance standards and determinants of school district efficiency. He has received grants from the Russell Sage Foundation, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the states of Minnesota and Nebraska. Yinger joined The Maxwell School faculty in 1986. Previously, he was an associate professor at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and visiting associate professor at the University of Michigan. He served as a senior staff associate with the Council of Academic Advisors from 1978 to 1979. Yinger published “Closed Doors, Opportunities Lost: The Continuing Costs of Housing Discrimination” (Russell Sage Foundation, 1995) and co-authored “America’s Ailing Cities: Fiscal Health and the Design of Urban Policy” (Johns Hopkins Press, 1991) and “Property Taxes and House Values: The Theory and Estimation of Intrajurisdictional Property Tax Capitalization” (Academic Press, 1988). Among his many awards are the Gustavus Meyers Center Award for the Study of Human Rights in North America (1995), the SU Department of Economics’ award for excellence in the teaching of undergraduate economics (1993 to 1994) and a Chancellor’s Citation for Exceptional Academic Achievement (1996). He received a bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College and a Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University.