James E. Gruber, U-MDearborn professor of sociology, and Jayne Thorson, assistant dean for faculty affairs at the Medical School, will receive this years Sarah Goddard Power Awards in a ceremony at 4 p.m. Feb. 14 in the Hussey Room, Michigan League. The awards will be presented by Regent Rebecca McGowan. A reception follows the program.
Sponsored by the Academic Womens Caucus, the award honors the accomplishments of members of the University community who have distinguished themselves through their leadership, scholarship and sustained service on behalf of women.
In his research, he has examined the causes, conditions and outcomes of sexual harassment, and he is an internationally recognized expert on the topic. As both a social psychologist and an expert in related legal matters, he has combined research and practical implementation. He has presented his work on the sexual harassment experiences of women worldwide in referred papers and presentations in the United States, Scandinavia, Canada and the former U.S.S.R.
On the Dearborn campus, Gruber has been active in the Womens Studies Program and on committees as an advocate for women. He teaches in the program, served on the Agenda for Women Committee and participated in the Commission for Women.
He has helped educate the public about sexual harassment through media discussion in the Detroit Free Press and on various TV and radio shows.
Gruber received Dearborns Susan B. Anthony Award in 1993 for his support of women and feminist ideals. He also received the Distinguished Service Award in 1996.
One nominator noted that Thorson encourages womens success, illustrated in one instance by the creation of two positions dedicated to the professional development of Medical School staff, three-quarters of whom are women.
She fights tirelessly to champion womens issues and to ensure that womens circumstances are improved, regardless of the popularity of these choices, her award citation notes.
Thorson is the author of significant studies on the role of women and sexual orientation and has secured a number of grants over the years, including one to help junior women faculty participate in national professional development seminars and one from the U-M Alumnae Council to create a Traditions of Leadership Award.
She also has been a mentor, implementing programs to foster the success of faculty women. Many have turned to her for both professional and personal counseling.
Prior to joining the Medical School, Thorson coordinated the Michigan Agenda for Women and participated in the Presidents Advisory Commission on Womens Issues and a Presidents Task Force on Violence Against Women.