Jill Coleman

Jill Coleman, an associate professor of psychology and prolific researcher whose expertise is in stereotyping, prejudice and violence, is the winner of the University’s 2017 Frank Untermyer Teaching Award.

Given by Roosevelt’s St. Clair Drake Center for African and African-American Studies, the award annually recognizes a Roosevelt instructor whose teaching reflects commitment to African and African-American issues and studies. 

A social psychologist who has published nearly a dozen journal articles on race and gender issues, Coleman received the award named for the late Untermyer, a founding Roosevelt instructor, on Oct. 16.

“Frank Untermyer was a great advocate for students in the early days of Roosevelt. He helped many get degrees who otherwise would have fallen through the cracks. It is an honor for me to receive an award named for this leading Roosevelt faculty member,” Coleman said.

Now in her ninth year of teaching at Roosevelt, Coleman frequently has been noted for inspiring teaching, particularly her passion for leading the University’s Psychology of Racism course.

“Jill has consistently received strong evaluations from her students and has proven to be masterful in the way she teaches Psychology of Racism, which touches on many sensitive topics,” said Cami McBride, director of Roosevelt’s Psychology Program.

“She has been able to inspire many students about psychology and they frequently tell us in their evaluations that they have come to love the discipline after taking her classes,” McBride said.

In a lecture entitled “Is She a Nasty Woman or Just Assertive? How Race and Gender Shape Our Judgments,” Coleman shared findings of a study she began in 2014 at Roosevelt, where she surveyed 130 students on their views of women who are assertive on dates.

Assertive white women were viewed more negatively than black women who assert themselves, according to Coleman who hopes to expand the survey to other areas of the country in coming months. 

“Jill connects well with her students, and always has great ideas for research that challenges common thinking. We are delighted that she has received this important teaching award,” said Catherine Campbell, associate dean of Roosevelt’s College of Arts and Sciences.

Coleman is a resident of Mount Prospect, Illinois, and only the third recipient of the Untermyer teaching award.

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