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John Fantuzzo: Albert M. Greenfield Professor of Human Relations
February 5, 2008, Volume 54, No. 20



Provost Ronald J. Daniels and Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs Vincent Price are pleased to announce that Dr. John W. Fantuzzo, Diana Rausnitz Riklis Professor of Education in the Graduate School of Education, has been appointed the fourth Albert M. Greenfield Professor of Human Relations, effective January 1, 2008.

Dr. Fantuzzo has devoted his career to helping low-income children in high-risk urban settings. He has worked closely with Head Start for more than 20 years, conducting landmark studies on the impact of violence and early social/emotional adjustment problems on school readiness and early school success. These studies have identified key risk factors that threaten academic achievement, providing educators and policy-makers with a comprehensive understanding of the multiple, overlapping risks that can imperil children's academic achievement and educational well-being.

Working with Dr. Dennis Culhane of the School of Social Policy and Practice and Dr. Trevor Hadley of the department of psychiatry in the School of Medicine, Dr. Fantuzzo developed the Kids Integrated Data System (KIDS), an integrated database that allows investigators to combine records on individual Philadelphia residents to follow them from birth to age 18. This integrated system greatly improves the ability of professionals to identify multiple risks and study their cumulative and interactive impacts on educational outcomes. KIDS is now being expanded as a resource for large cities across the country.

Dr. Fantuzzo is also working with his GSE colleagues on a large research project that develops and tests new strategies to enhance the school readiness of low-income, urban preschoolers. This study, funded by a consortium of government agencies, has already created significant improvement in math and reading skills in its first trial group.

"John perfectly embodies the values of the Greenfield professorship," said Provost Daniels. "His commitment to improving the lives of children has made a meaningful difference in our community and across the country. And it is matched only by his dedication to his own students at Penn, who consistently praise his caring, attentiveness, and dedication."

Dr. Fantuzzo developed and directs Penn's Riepe Mentors Program, which involves undergraduates in Riepe College House in mentoring young students in West Philadelphia schools. In 2005, he received Penn's Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Involvement Award, which recognizes members of the Penn and West Philadelphia communities whose active service to others best exemplifies the ideals of Dr. King. In 2004, he was the third recipient of the Head Start Research Mentor Award, previously awarded only to those most directly involved in the program's founding.

A GSE faculty member since 1988, Dr. Fantuzzo earned a PhD in clinical psychology from the Fuller Graduate School of Psychology (1980), an MA in theology from the Fuller Theological Seminary (1976), and a BA in Psychology magna cum laude from Marietta College (1974). He previously taught at California State University at Fullerton, and the University of Rochester.

The Albert M. Greenfield professorship, designated for a distinguished scholar in the field of human relations, was created in 1972 by a gift from the Albert M. Greenfield Foundation. The foundation supports activities that carry on the humanitarian vision of the late Mr. Greenfield, who chaired the board of Bankers Securities Corporation and the Philadelphia Planning Commission.

The Honorable Louis Pollak, Judge of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and former dean of the law schools at Penn and Yale University was appointed the first Greenfield Professor in 1974. He was followed in 1982 by Dr. Houston Baker, now professor of English at Vanderbilt, and in 1999 by Dr. Lawrence Sherman, director of Penn's Jerry Lee Center of Criminology, who was recently named Wolfson Professor of Criminology at the University of Cambridge.

Almanac - February 5, 2008, Volume 54, No. 20