Michelle Fine

PhD Psychology, Teachers College – Columbia University

Michelle Fine is a Distinguished Professor of Social Psychology, Women’s Studies and Urban Education at the Graduate Center, CUNY. A student of Morton Deutsch at Columbia University, Fine was trained in the tradition of Kurt Lewin. Her work addresses theoretical questions of social injustice that sit the intersection of public policy and social research, particularly with respect to youth in schools and criminal justice. After 12 years as The Goldie Anna Chaired Professor of Human Development at the University of Pennsylvania, Fine joined the Graduate Center at the City University of New York in 1992. Fine’s work integrates critical psychological theory with feminist and post-colonial theory, participatory designs, qualitative and quantitative methods and strong commitments to research for social justice. Recent publications include:

Fabricant, M. and Fine, M. (2013). The Changing Politics of Education: Privatization and the Dispossessed Lives of Those Left Behind. Paradigm Publishers.

Fabricant, M. and Fine, M. (2012) Charter Schools and the Corporate Make Over of Public Education. New York: Teachers College Press.

Cammarota, J. and Fine, M. (Eds, 2008) Revolutionizing Education: Youth Participatory Action Research in Motion. New York: Routledge Publishers.

Sirin, S. and Fine, M. (2008) Muslim American Youth : Understanding Hyphenated identities through Multiple Methods. New York: New York University Press.

Weis, L. and Fine, M. (2005) Beyond silenced voices (second edition) Albany: SUNY Press. 2006 AESA Critics’ Choice Awards (American Educational Studies Association)

Weis, L. and Fine, M. (2004) Working Method: Social justice and social research. New York: Routledge Publishers.

Fine, M., Weis, L., Pruitt, L. and Burns, A. (2004) Off white: essays on race, power and resistance. New York: Routledge Publishers.

Fine, M., Roberts, R., Torre, M. and Bloom, J., Burns, A., Chajet, L., Guishard, M. and Payne, Y. (2004) Echoes of Brown: Youth documenting and performing the legacy of Brown v. Board of Education. New York: Teachers College Press.

Fine’s research is considered highly influential and extremely well cited within four academic fields: urban education policy; prison reform; theoretical justice studies within psychology, and mixed methods/participatory action research. Fine has authored or co-authored numerous “classics” within critical psychology and feminist studies, including books and articles on high school dropouts, women with disabilities, the “missing discourse of desire” in sex education classrooms, Muslim American youth, participatory action research methods and the impact of college in prison and post-incarceration. She has authored, co-authored or edited 20 academic books on topics as varied as high school dropouts, women with disabilities, critical race theory, feminist psychology, Muslim American youth, participatory action research methods and the impact of college on women in prison. Usually with students, she has authored or co-authored more than 70 chapters in key national and international volumes and more than 80 articles in peer-reviewed journals in the U.S. and in European psychological journals. Over the past 30 years, Fine has published in most highly competitive journals within the disciplines of psychology and education, including the American Psychologist, the Journal of Social Issues, the Counseling Psychologist, Harvard Educational Review andTeachers College Record.

Over the past decade, Fine’s scholarship has been recognized nationally and internationally with awards, fellowships and prestigious invited lectures. To name a few: In 2000, Fine was an Invited Scholar at the Institute for Maori Studies at the University of New Zealand in Auckland. A year later, she was awarded the Carolyn Sherif Award from the American Psychological Association. In 2002, Fine’s scholarship was recognized with an Honorary Doctoral Degree for Education and Social Justice from the Bank Street College and in 2012 another honorary degree from Lewis and Clark College of Education. During that same period, she served on the “Engaging Schools” panel of the National Academy of Sciences. In 2005, Fine was selected as the First Recipient of the Morton Deutsch Award at Columbia University for Scholarship on Social Justice. Two years later, in 2007 Fine was the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to lecture at BeerSheva and Haifa Universities in Israel and she was the recipient of the 2007 Willystine Goodsell Award at the American Educational Research Association, section on Research on Women and Education. In 2008, Fine was selected as the Featured Scientist for the National Institute for Drug and Alcohol, Adolescent Girls Taskforce, featured on the NIDA website with two of our Graduate Center students. That same year, Fine was honored with The 5th Annual Social Justice Award by the Winter Roundtable on Cross cultural Psychology and Education at Columbia University. At the 2009 American Psychological Association meetings, Fine was an Invited Distinguished Lecturer. During that same year, Fine was named an Inaugural Fellow for the American Educational Research Association and in 2010 she received the Social Justice and Higher Education Award from the College and Community Fellowship Program for Formerly Incarcerated Adults. In 2011, Fine was awarded the Kurt Lewin Award for scholarship from the American Psychological Association, Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues and the next year she won the 2012 Henry Murray Award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology of the American Psychological Association as well as the Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award for Higher Education Faculty. In 2013, Fine was recognized by the American Psychological Association with the Award for Distinguished Contributions to Research in Public Policy, and by the Society for Women in Psychology of the APA for the Bonnie Strickland-Jessica Henderson Daniels Mentoring Award. Most recently, in 2014, she was honored with the Deborah Meier Hero of Education Award from Fair Test.

Within the past decade, Fine has been recognized as a pioneer in the field of Participatory Action Research. She is the founding faculty member of the Public Science Project, a research institute designed by and with community based organizations, housed at the Graduate Center, CUNY which has, at present, a budget of more than $1,000,000 in grants from public institutions and private foundations including the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Surdna Foundation, Open Society Foundation, the New York Community Trust, Overbrook Foundation, Wellspring, ADCO, Atlantic Philanthropy and the Spencer Foundation. The Public Science Project designs and implements theoretically informed and historically enriched research with movements for educational justice and policy reform. The most influential report to be published by Public Science Project is Changing Minds, a participatory action research project conducted with women in and out of prison, studying the impact of college in prison on women, their children, the prison environment and post release outcomes. (A copy of Changing Minds, written by MICHELLE FINE, MARIA ELENA TORRE, KATHY BOUDIN, IRIS BOWEN, JUDITH CLARK, DONNA HYLTON MIGDALIA MARTINEZ, “MISSY”, MELISSA RIVERA. ROSEMARIE A. ROBERTS, PAMELA SMART and DEBORA UPEGUI can be found at web.gc.cuny.edu/che/changingminds.html) “Changing Minds: The Impact of College on Women in Prison” is recognized nationally as the primary empirical basis for the contemporary college in prison movement.

A much sought after Expert Witness in gender and race discrimination education cases, Fine’s research and testimony have been most influential in the victories of women who sued for access to the Citadel Military Academy in Shannon Richey Faulkner and the United States of America v. James E. Jones, et. al. for The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina and Valenzuela et. al. vs. O’Connell and the California State Department of Education and Williams v. California, two class action lawsuits brought on behalf of urban youth of color denied adequate education in California. Most recently, Fine participated with colleagues in drafting the Psychologists Amicus Brief in Graham and Sullivan v. State of Florida.



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