Developmental Psychologist Named MacArthur Foundation Fellow

Vonnie C. McLoyd, PhD, Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychology and a Research Scientist at the Center for Human Growth and Development at the University of Michigan, was one of 21 people this year to be selected as a MacArthur Foundation Fellow. Dr. McLoyd, who is currently a visiting professor at Duke University, will receive $280,000 over the next 5 years in recognition of her work in developmental psychology. Also known as the genius awards, the MacArthur fellowships are given to honor creative persons who strive to 'improve the human condition,' according to Adele Simmons, MacArthur Foundation President.

Dr. McLoyd received this prestigous award, primarily, for her research that has focused on the interactive influences of race, ethnicity, family, and economic hardship on human development. She has been a pioneer in attempting to describe the psychological processes through which economic deprivation influences African-American families and children. This work has provided the basic information needed to develop effective prevention and intervention programs for African-American communities.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation makes grants in eight major areas, including health, education, the environment, population, peace and international cooperation, individual creativity, and mass communications. Among the individuals selected for this year's fellowship are an astronomer, a Washington policy analyst, a marine animal physiologist, an organizer of community self-help groups, a novelist, and a pair of dancers.

Fellows are nominated by 125 persons known for expertiese in their respective fields. The Foundation's Board of Directors then selects 20 to 30 each year. To date, 479 fellows have been named since the program began in 1981.

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