SILVER SPRING, MD, July 09, 2021 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Marquis Who's Who, the world's premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to present Judith V. Torney-Purta, PhD, with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. An accomplished listee, Dr. Torney-Purta celebrates many years' experience in her professional network, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes she has accrued in her field. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.
She earned her A.B. in Psychology with Great Distinction from Stanford University in 1959 and her Ph.D. in Human Development from the University of Chicago in 1965. Over more than 50 years Dr. Torney-Purta garnered a stellar reputation as a professor at the University of Maryland (College Park) between 1981 and 2014, during which time she taught psychology and human development primarily at the graduate level. She became Professor Emerita in 2014. For more than fifty years she conducted research in the area of political socialization, the process by which children and adolescents learn about civic structures and develop political beliefs. She previously served as a professor and the vice chairperson of the psychology department at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Beginning her tenure as an assistant professor of education in 1969, she advanced to become a professor of psychology at that university in 1977. Dr. Torney-Purta began her career in higher education as an assistant professor of psychology at the Illinois Institute of Technology from 1967 to 1969.
Beginning in the 1970s she was the senior research leader of the Civic Education Studies of the IEA (the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement) headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. These studies involved tests and survey conducted in more than thirty countries in the 1970s and again in the 1990s. Encouraging a collaborative atmosphere across teams of researchers from countries with different situations for civic education and encouraging the participation of early career scholars were among her aims.
In addition to her primary professional endeavors, Dr. Torney-Purta also served as a visiting professor at the Stanford University School of Education in 1988 and 1991. Likewise, she maintained her involvement as a member of the Board on Comparative and International Studies in Education for the National Research Council at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. from 1988 until 1995. She served as a member of the U.S. National Committee for Psychological Science at the National Academy of Sciences from 2006 to 2016; Dr. Torney-Purta was associated with research at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching from 2003 to 2007.
She was elected in 2014 as a Member of the National Academy of Education, where she has served on the Post-Doctoral Fellowship Review Committee and on the Committee for the Civic Reasoning and Discourse Project.
Esteemed for her prolific scholarly output, Dr. Torney-Purta has written several books on the subject of the process by which children and adolescents acquire civic knowledge, political awareness and motivation for civic participation. Originally written in 1967 and reissued in 2005, "The Development of Political Attitudes in Children" notably obtained an award from the National Education Association. Furthermore, she co-authored "Strengthening Democracy in the Americas" in 2004 and "Citizenship and Education in Twenty Eight Countries: Civic Knowledge and Engagement at Age Fourteen" in 2001. She has further provided her wealth of knowledge in chapters in books edited by her colleagues as well as numerous articles for professional journals. Dr. Torney-Purta co-edited a book "Influences of the IEA Civic and Citizenship Education Studies: Practice, Policy and Research across Countries and Regions" with Barbara Malak-Minkiewicz published by Springer in 2021. This volume contains chapters by authors from fourteen countries as well as reflective chapters that include reviews of civic education research and practice in three world regions (Latin America, Europe, and Asia) and from the viewpoint of several disciplines. Her current efforts are aimed at encouraging secondary analysis of data from the IEA civic education studies (as well as other large scale survey research). She serves as a member of the Advisory Committee of CivicLEADS.org (a data archive at the University of Michigan).
Though she initially considered a career in mathematics or science, at her high school in the mid-1950s only boys were allowed to take advanced courses in these subjects. However, she discovered her talent for conducting and analyzing survey research in the fields of psychology and sociology at Stanford University, from which she earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1959. One of her extracurricular activities was as an announcer at the Stanford radio station (KZSU); she was one of the only women anywhere in the United States to hold such a position at that time. After completing postgraduate coursework at Harvard University, she continued her academic studies at the University of Chicago earning a Master of Arts in human development in 1962 and a Doctor of Philosophy in 1965. During the course of her doctoral studies, Dr. Torney-Purta secured a leading position in the burgeoning research on political socialization. She co-authored one of the first books in this field and continued through her career with five subsequent books and many articles on related topics.
In a career filled with highlights, Dr. Torney-Purta is proud to have fostered collaborative relationships involving many talented colleagues across Europe and Latin America as well as mentoring many early-career scholars. In light of her contributions, she received several accolades. These include the International Landmark Research Award from the University of Maryland in 2005, the Decade of Behavior Research Award in Democracy in 2005, the Award for Contributions to Psychology Internationally from the American Psychological Association in 2009, the R. Nevitt Sanford Award from the International Society for Political Psychology in 2001 and a Career Research Award from the National Council for Social Studies in 1977.
Dr. Torney-Purta has maintained her affiliation with a number of professional organizations over many decades. She was acknowledged as a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and of the American Psychological Society. She served as a committee chairperson for the American Educational Research Association, the Society for Research in Child Development and the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA). She was elected an Honorary Member of the IEA General Assembly (Amsterdam) recognizing nearly four decades of work in leading that organization's research studies on civic education.
Dr. Torney-Purta has been married to her husband, Paul, since 1980. She has two daughters from a previous marriage, now both professionals. Throughout her life she has enjoyed such diversions as folk singing and leading children's choirs. Reflecting on a groundbreaking career of research, Dr. Torney-Purta is grateful for mentors and colleagues, who are too numerous to list.
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