‘Groundbreaking’ Work by Dr. Sandra Schmidt Wins Early Career Award
It is with great pleasure that we commend Sandra Schmidt, Assistant Professor in the Program in Social Studies at Teachers College, in receiving the Early Career Award of the National Council for the Social Studies-College and University Faculty Assembly this past November.
Dr. Schmidt researches the intersection of geography and civic education and explores how civic identity and civic efficacy are shaped by engagement in public spaces including schools and museums. She has dedicated her work to include issues of gender and sexuality and particularly on women and sexual minorities engage as citizens. She serves on the executive board of the College and University Faculty Association of National Council of Social Studies, the Queer Studies SIG of AERA, and the Center for Civic Education as well as the editorial board for Theory and Research in Social Education.
The CUFA Early Career Award is given to scholars in their pre-tenured stages of their careers and recognizes a significant program of research on important problems of theory and/or practice in the area of social education.
This year’s award stated that Dr. Schmidt’s work “spans the fields of social studies education, gender and queer studies, geography, and curriculum theory” and “the manner in which she examines the intersection of gender, sexual orientation and place sets her apart from other scholars.” The award further stated, “The process by which she uses spatial understanding to document patterns of inequities is groundbreaking.”
The award noted that Dr. Schmidt takes on research that is underserved, not limited to social justice issues for women and LGBQ. The award goes on to indicate, “Drawing on a mixture of feminist and queer analyses as well spatial theories, Dr. Schmidt maps tensions across borders of sexuality, gender, and marginalization and how these tensions push and pull against the established and dominant fabric of citizenship—jolting its base, fraying it at the edges.“
Dr. Schmidt was commended for her distinguished literary works as well as her research and development projects in Malawi, South Sudan and Ethiopia and her leadership work with Habitat for Humanity abroad. Her highlighted writings included The queer arrangement of school: A spatial study of inequity, Claiming our turf: Students’ civic negotiation of the public space of school, Occupy Wall Street as a Curriculum of Space, and Am I a woman?: The production of woman in U.S. History.