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Career of KSC Political Scientist Joan Roelofs Recognized

KEENE, N.H. 9/26/02 Joan Roelofs, who is well known for her research into green issues, was recognized recently by the American Political Science Association (APSA). The awards ceremony was held in conjunction with APSAs 98th annual meeting, held on August 31 in Boston.

Roelofs received the Distinguished Career Award from the Organized Section on Transformational and Ecological Politics. The award recognizes political scientists who have exemplified the highest standards of this Sections goals throughout their careers. Scholarship that deals with social movements; environmental politics; race, ethnicity, and gender in terms of democratic ideals; and new and improved forms of citizen participation in democratic processes are especially pertinent to ecological and transformational politics.

Roelofs, whose major research interests are green public administration, the political power of foundations, and the ideas of pre-Marxist socialist Charles Fourier, has taught at Keene State since 1979. Her studies are directed to answering questions such as the idealistic: How can we live well in a self- governing community? and the more realistic analysis of power: Who decides what living well is and who is really governing?

Roelofs is well known for her research into and advocacy of green issues. Her book Greening Cities (1996), which addresses ways that communities may adopt sustainable living practices, is required reading for environmental and urban studies courses in universities in the United States, England, and Australia. Her forthcoming book, Foundations and Public Policy: The Mask of Pluralism, describes how foundations use their resources to further political agendas.

Roelofs recently contributed a chapter to the international anthology Sustainable Cities, and her articles and reviews have appeared in many publications, including Capitalism, Nature, Socialism (she also serves on its editorial board), New Political Science, Journal of Politics, and Telos. She has presented widely, including to audiences in the United States and in Europe, and was a faculty fellow in the Institute for Science and Technology Policy at Murdoch University in Australia in 1993-94. In 2000, at the Middlebury College Bicentennial Conference, where she gave a presentation about green cities, Roelofs was awarded the Middlebury College Bicentennial Medal.

Im very pleased that the Section decided to commend my work, says Roelofs. The award, she says, recognizes her approach to teaching as well as her scholarship and activism. I involve my students in the community, as participants in political issues, she explained. Im concerned about working with people who take action, transforming the world with their deeds. Anti- establishment perspectives tend to be marginalized in both the academic and political arenas, so recognition is especially important for those doing this type of work, which all societies need.

A longtime activist, Roelofs has served on the national executive board of the Greens/Green Party USA, campaigned against nuclear power and weapons, and participated in many Monadnock region community organizations. At Keene State, Roelofs served as the KSCEA representative on the occupational safety and health committee. Before coming to Keene State, Roelofs was a faculty member at Mercy College, Empire State College, and New York University. She earned her bachelors degree from Barnard College and her masters degree and doctorate from New York University.

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