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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 28, 2005

UI's Whitt To Be Inducted Into Iowa Academy Of Education

University of Iowa education professor Elizabeth Whitt is one of four Iowa scholars who will be inducted into the Iowa Academy of Education next month for making significant contributions to the field of education. 

Whitt, a professor in the college's Department of Counseling, Rehabilitation and Student Development, will take part in a recognition ceremony in Des Moines Oct. 14, along with two faculty members from Iowa State University and one from the University of Northern Iowa. The induction of the four will bring to 19 the number of active Iowa scholars in the academy.

All four scholars have published scholarly books, book chapters and articles; obtained highly competitive funds to support their work; presented at national and international conferences; received national and state recognition and awards; and served on editorial boards and in leadership roles for professional organizations. 

The First in the Nation in Education (FINE) Foundation -- a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving student learning through the use of educational research -- established the academy to inform educational policies and practices in Iowa through scholarly works and analysis of significant educational issues and trends. The academy publishes occasional research papers and policy-related papers.

Whitt, who is also her department's program coordinator of graduate programs in student affairs, has earned a national reputation for her research and scholarship on college students and educationally effective colleges and universities. She has co-authored three books on these topics, most recently "Student Success in College: Creating Conditions That Matter."

The book asks, and seeks to answer, the question: "Why are students more likely to thrive at -- and graduate from -- some colleges than others?" It examines schools that have navigated burgeoning student populations, lagging state support and other challenges to create environments where students thrive.

Jamie P. Merisotis, president of the Institute for Higher Education Policy in Washington, D.C., called the volume "one of the most important and timely books ever written about what makes an engaged -- and successful -- student in today's colleges and universities."

In addition to her publications, Whitt and colleague Ernest Pascarella, the Mary Louise Petersen Professor of Higher Education in the UI College of Education, recently launched a new center dedicated to the study of undergraduate education in America, from how academics and social experiences affect students to the methods used by schools to improve students' chances for success in the classroom and beyond graduation.

The mission of the Center for Research on Undergraduate Education (CRUE) is to implement and disseminate research and scholarship that foster understanding of effective undergraduate education. Whitt and Pascarella will seek to fulfill that mission by pursuing and coordinating research and funding initiatives among CRUE faculty and graduate students, and by disseminating research results to national, regional and state audiences via its own publications, refereed journals, scholarly meetings, professional conferences and other means.

Whitt received the Early Career Award from the Association for the Study of Higher Education and was recently selected as a Senior Scholar by the American College Personnel Association. 

Whitt holds a Ph.D. in higher education administration and sociology from Indiana University, and M.A. in college student personnel administration from Michigan State University and a B.A. in history and political science from Drake University.

For more information about the FINE Foundation and the academy visit www.finefoundation.org.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Media: Stephen Pradarelli, 319-384-0007, stephen-pradarelli@uiowa.edu.