Wayne State University

Wayne State University professor receives two distinguished awards for contributions to interdisciplinary research and education

DETROIT— A Wayne State University professor of humanities in the Department of English and member of the WSU Academy of Scholars recently received two prestigious recognitions for her distinguished contributions to interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research and education.

Julie Thompson Klein, Ph.D., who also is a faculty fellow in WSU’s Office for Teaching and Learning and resident of Ypsilanti, Mich., received the Ramamoorthy & Yeh Transdisciplinary Distinguished Achievement Award and the Joseph Katz Award for Outstanding Leadership in General Education.

The first award was presented to Klein at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, during The Academy of Transdisciplinary Learning & Advanced Studies’ biannual meeting, which addressed global issues on transdisciplinary, transnational and transcultural levels. Klein was a distinguished speaker at the event, presenting “Prospectus for a Shared Conceptual Framework of Transdisciplinarity.”

Next, the Association for General and Liberal Studies (AGLS) executive council announced Klein’s selection as the Joseph Katz Award recipient. The AGLS executive council bases its decision on distinguished contributions to the practice and discourse of general and liberal education, with emphasis on interdisciplinary approaches in Klein’s case.

Klein has previously received local, national and international recognition, including the WSU President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Board of Governor's Distinguished Faculty Award and Distinguished Faculty Fellowship, as well as the final prize in the Eesteren-Fluck & Van Lohuizen Foundation's international competition for new research models for her essay "Applying Interdisciplinary Models to Design, Planning and Policy Making.” She has been invited to numerous symposia on interdisciplinarity in Europe, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand. Klein also received the Boulding Award, conferred by the Association for Integrative Studies in recognition of outstanding scholarship on interdisciplinarity.

Her most recent book, Creating Interdisciplinary Campus Cultures, was co-published by Jossey-Bass and the Association of American Colleges and Universities in early 2010. Klein is working on a new book, Mapping Digital Humanities, and is a lead editor of the University of Michigan series digitalhumanities @ digitalculturebooks.

“With the inherent complexity of society and science, there is an increasing need to explore problems in a way that is not confined to any one discipline,” said Gloria Heppner, associate vice president for research at Wayne State University. “By blurring traditional boundaries, researchers are now collaborating with others outside of their own disciplines to foster new research ideas and approaches to education. Dr. Klein is an international expert in this area, and because of her efforts, she is most deserving of these recognitions.”

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Wayne State University is one of the nation’s pre-eminent public research universities in an urban setting. Through its multidisciplinary approach to research and education, and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, state of Michigan and throughout the world. For more information about research at Wayne State University, visit http://www.research.wayne.edu.