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Professor Gail Goodman Receives Distinguished Research Award

Professor Gail Goodman receives the Academic Senate Faculty Distinguished Research Award

Dr. Gail Goodman received the prestigious Academic Senate Faculty Distinguished Research Award for her outstanding research program. Dr. Goodman’s studies on children’s maltreatment and trauma, their experiences as witnesses in legal cases, and on theoretical and applied issues of memory development have been of enormous practical benefit to child victims and mental health or legal professionals who assess, treat, and protect child victims. Her research has given rise to an entire subfield at the intersection of psychology and law.

Dr. Goodman’s curriculum vitae reveals a tremendous publication record (over 300 chapters, books, and journal articles), receipt of the field’s highest awards (e.g., three American Psychological Association [APA] Distinguished Contributions Awards, the James McKeen Cattell Award for Lifetime Contributions from the Association for Psychological Science, the Distinguished Contributions to Psychology & Law Award of Division 41 (American Psychology-Law Society), the Urie Bronfenbrenner Award for Lifetime Contribution to Developmental Psychology, the Robert Chin Award, and the Nicholas Hobbs Award), generous funding from government agencies, and the highest recognition from professional organizations and her colleagues in the field. She has served as President of APA’s Division 7 (Developmental Psychology), 41 (American Psychology-Law Society), and 37 (Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice) and of Division 37's Section on Child Maltreatment. She has also received numerous awards for teaching and mentoring of students, reflecting the fact that she has facilitated the careers of dozens of undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

The impact of Dr. Goodman’s efforts extends far beyond the academic arena. Her work has affected global policy on children and youth and is now reflected in constitutional law of the US and doctrines of other countries. It also affects basic practice used daily in social service and legal domains: Largely due to her research, practitioners know more than ever about the effects of trauma on children’s memory, as well as on children’s suggestibility; the emotional effects of abuse and court involvement on child victims; how to interview children and youth suspected of having been abused; and how courts can accommodate children’s special needs. Dr. Goodman’s research was cited pivotally in the US Supreme Court's majority opinion in Maryland v Craig (1990); her research was at the core of the court’s decision and of the Justices’ rationale for an interpretation of the US Constitution’s 6th Amendment.