From CU-Boulder News Release April 4, 2005

CU-Boulder Sociologist Wins University's Top Teaching And Research Award

The University of Colorado Boulder's highest faculty recognition for teaching and research, the Hazel Barnes Prize, has been awarded to sociology professor and women's studies senior scholar Janet Jacobs.

Jacobs will receive an engraved University Medal and a $20,000 cash award, the largest single faculty award funded by CU-Boulder. She will be recognized at spring commencement exercises May 6 and a reception in her honor will be held during fall semester 2005.

Jacobs' research focuses on women, religion, ethnicity and the social psychology of gender. She is on sabbatical until fall 2005 and is currently working on a study of Holocaust memorial culture and the role that gender plays in memorializing genocide in Eastern Europe.

"I was really inspired to pursue this research by the way in which trauma and memory are transmitted across generations," Jacobs said. "I'm very interested in how we create a collective memory of political and social trauma and how this memory becomes part of public consciousness."

Jacobs holds three degrees from CU-Boulder: a 1970 bachelor's degree in journalism, a 1977 master's degree in public administration and a doctorate in sociology earned in 1985. She became a sociology teaching assistant in 1981, and served as an assistant, associate and full professor of women's studies through the 1980s and 1990s.

She also is a professor of sociology, a senior scholar in women's studies and an adjunct professor in the department of religious studies. Jacobs directed the women's studies program in 1987-88 and 1997-2000.

"Jacobs shines in her excellent work to feminist scholarship worldwide," said Polly McLean, director of CU-Boulder women's studies. "We are proud to have such a visionary and remarkable colleague and outstanding researcher and teacher in our growing women and gender studies family."

Jacobs' five books include "Divine Disenchantment: Deconverting from New Religious Movements," "Victimized Daughters: Incest and the Development of the Female Self," and most recently, "Hidden Heritage: The Legacy of the Crypto-Jews" for which she received the 2003 Distinguished Book Award from the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. Her work has contributed to the development of new theories of gender and ethnic identity formation.

She is editor of "Religion, Society and Psychoanalysis" and "William James: The Struggle for Life." Her articles have been published in SIGNS: A Journal of Women in Culture and Society, The Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, and The Sociology of Religion.

The Hazel Barnes Prize committee cited Jacobs' excellence in both teaching and research, noting that she has received teaching awards from the Boulder Faculty Assembly and the Graduate School for her excellent teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

"Janet represents the ideal blend of a productive scholar, excellent classroom teacher and mentor to students, and a colleague who gives her all to improve the university," said Dean of Arts and Sciences Todd Gleeson. "It is a privilege to serve with Professor Jacobs, and it is an honor for the college that a member of its faculty be awarded the Hazel Barnes Prize."

"Professor Jacobs' students absolutely adore her, and she is the kind of professor who changes lives as well as minds," said CU-Boulder Professor Jeffrey Cox, director of the Center for the Humanities and Arts.