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David Finkelhor Receives University Professorship

By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
February 24, 2010

David Finkelhor, director of the UNH Crimes against Children Research Center, co-director of the Family Research Laboratory, and professor of sociology, has received a University Professorship, the university’s highest form of recognition for excellence in teaching, scholarship and engagement.

An internationally renowned expert on child abuse, Finkelhor has been studying the problems of child victimization, child maltreatment and family violence since 1977. He is well known for his conceptual and empirical work on the problem of child sexual abuse, reflected in publications such as "Sourcebook on Child Sexual Abuse" (Sage, 1986) and "Nursery Crimes" (Sage, 1988).

He has also written about child homicide, missing and abducted children, children exposed to domestic and peer violence and other forms of family violence. Finkelhor is editor and author of 11 books and more than 150 journal articles and book chapters, and has earned a multitude of honors and awards. Most recently he was given the Daniel Douglas Schneider 2009 Child Welfare Book Award for his book "Childhood Victimization: Violence, Crime and Abuse in the Lives of Young People" (Oxford University Press, 2008). In his recent work, he has tried to unify and integrate knowledge about all the diverse forms of child victimization in a field he has termed Developmental Victimology.

Finkelhor founded the Crimes against Children Research Center in 1998. It is dedicated to providing high quality research and statistics to policy makers, practitioners and the public to help understand and reduce the problem of childhood victimization.

In 1994, he was given the Distinguished Child Abuse Professional Award by the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children and in 2004 he was given the Significant Achievement Award from the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers. This latter award is given to an individual whose work has advanced the safety and well-being of those affected by sexual abuse and the larger community.

In 1998, Finkelhor was awarded the Santiago Grisolia Chair by the University of Valencia in Spain. He has served on the boards of Prevent Child Abuse America, the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children and the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.

“I am very honored and grateful to the university community not only for this award but for the consistent and enthusiastic support our research has enjoyed at UNH during my 30 year career here,” says Finkelhor. “Many people on the faculty and in the administration here have contributed to UNH’s emergence over the years as the leading national academic center for the study of child abuse and family violence. It is so important for people to know that if I appear productive and influential, a lot of it has to do with my talented and hard-working co-workers at the FRL and CCRC. Good science is rarely done alone, and I sometimes wish that awards went to groups and communities as well as individuals. Of course, that might be what you’d expect to hear from a sociologist.”

Says Provost John Aber, “David is an outstanding and committed scholar who has brought distinction to the university while also having a substantial impact on the status of abused and vulnerable children.  His work has had global reach, as evidenced by his national and international awards.  He is also a wonderful university citizen, and it will come as no surprise to many that he would want to give much of the credit for this award to his many colleagues.”

Recipients of University Professorships have attained international stature in their discipline because of their significant contributions to the advancement of knowledge or aesthetic understandings. They will have received other widely recognized honors such as international prizes, fellowships, or appointments. Others who have received University Professorships include Kevin Short and Aber. University Professorships are supported through the generosity of the UNH Foundation. The position is held as long as the individual is employed by the university.  



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