Jacob and Parthasarathy receive prestigious University awards

October 11, 2021

Brian Jacob and Shobita Parthasarathy have been recognized by the University of Michigan Provost for their scholarly contributions, teaching, and service to the University. They will be honored with other faculty members at a dinner and ceremony on October 18, 2021.

“I'm thrilled that the University has recognized Brian with the Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award and Shobita with the Faculty Recognition Award for their outstanding contributions to their fields,” said Ford School Dean Michael S. Barr. “These are among the University's highest honors and I'm delighted that our Ford School faculty have been recognized for their achievements.”

Brian Jacob, Walter H. Annenberg Professor of Education Policy and professor of public policy, was recognized with the Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award. As one of the nation’s top education policy scholars, Jacob is renowned for his empirically rigorous and policy-relevant research. The first to apply new causal inference tools from economics to education, he pinpointed drivers of educational outcomes and student success.

His research has produced substantive insights into how to improve education and altered the way education policy research is conducted. He is an expert on test-based accountability to improve student outcomes, and was among the first to explore the relationship between teacher effectiveness and student achievement.  

Jacob co-founded the Ford School’s influential Education Policy Initiative and Youth Policy Lab. Passionate about teaching and mentoring, he has guided the work of 55 Ph.D. candidates and postdoctoral fellows. In 2019, he received U-M’s Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award.

Shobita Parthasarathy, professor of public policy and co-founder and director of U-M’s Science, Technology and Public Policy program, received the Faculty Recognition Award. As one of the nation’s top science and technology policy scholars, she studies the equity, ethical, environmental and health dimensions of emerging technologies such as biotechnology and machine learning. Her goal is to develop innovation and innovation policies that serve the public interest and promote social justice.

She is actively engaged in policy development, and has testified before Congress multiple times. Her recent work on facial recognition technology and vaccine hesitancy has added new dimensions to the policy discourse. 

Parthasarathy brings a practical and engaging lens to her courses, and intellectual and methodological diversity to the classroom. She serves as U-M’s representative to the Public Interest Technology University Network and is on the governing council of the Science and Democracy Network, a group of scholars interested in science policy and the politics of science. 

About the awards

The Distinguished Faculty Achievement Awards honor senior faculty who consistently have demonstrated outstanding achievements in the areas of scholarly research or creative endeavors, teaching and mentoring of students and junior colleagues, service and other activities.

The Faculty Recognition Awards are intended for mid-career faculty members who have demonstrated remarkable contributions to the university through achievements in scholarly research or creative endeavors; excellence as a teacher, adviser and mentor; and distinguished participation in service activities of the university and elsewhere. Eligible candidates include full professors with no more than four years in rank, as well as tenured associate professors.

This article was written from excerpts from the University Record.