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Awards and Recognition: Distinguished Faculty Award 2006

picture of Prof. Pescosolido Bernice A. Pescosolido

Sociologist and Chancellorís Professor Bernice Pescosolido has spent the last 25 years at Indiana University studying social networks Ė the webs that connect individuals to communities and institutions. The focus of her research is how individuals, families and communities respond to illness, particularly behavioral disorders. Pescosolido is the founder and director of the Indiana Consortium for Mental Health Services Research, a regional community of researchers, practitioners and policymakers interested in social networks and mental health issues. The consortium devotes resources to understanding the role of social networks in life crises and in aging. Pescosolido also directs IUís Strategic Directions Initiativeís CONCEPT I Program in Health and Medicine.

In 2005, Pescosolido was awarded a $3.5 million grant by the National Institutes of Health to study attitudes toward mental illness in 15 countries. The five year project, called the International Mental Health Stigma Study, is looking at how attitudes and behaviors of others affect the recovery rate of people with mental illness.

Pescosolido received the 2005 Leo G. Reeder Award for Distinguished Contributions to Medical Sociology, and she was appointed the same year to the Federal Advisory Committee of the National Childrenís Study, which is following the development of a sample of American children from birth through age 21. She has served as vice president of the American Sociological Association and the chairwoman of the ASA Section on Sociology of Mental Health.

Pescosolido is a national authority on mentoring and teaching. In 2002, she received the Graduate Student Associationís Outstanding Mentor Award and, in 2003, she was honored with the Wilbert Hites Mentoring Award. She graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 1974 and earned her doctorate from Yale University in 1982.