This citation recognizes Dr. Amy Stuart Wells for her extraordinary contributions to sociological
knowledge about how education policies connect with cultural concerns over race, social
stratification, and access to high-quality schooling. Her work examines efforts to equalize schooling
advantages by investigating how culture, ideology, and racial politics affect educational
policy making, implementation, and the structures, opportunities, and outcomes that follow.
Answering significant research questions using rigorous qualitative case study methods informed
by a deep understanding of sociological theory, Dr. Wells demonstrates how the perpetuation of
racial inequality in schools is part of a broader, often subconscious ideology that constrains the
realization of racial justice.
This citation recognizes Dr. John S. Rogers for his extraordinary research investigating whether
and how active engagement by communities negatively affected by schooling inequalities can help
shift policy and practice in ways that bring high-quality educational opportunities and experiences.
Combining Deweyean theory of participatory social inquiry and action, collaboration between
grassroots groups and educators, and careful empirical methods, his public scholarship brings new
insights into the efficacy of community-based action research and social movement organizing. It
teaches us that such public engagement promises to generate both knowledge and power needed to
disrupt the cultural norms and politics of privilege that sustain structures of inequality.
Dr. Kevin G. Welner, Program Chair of the 2016 AERA Annual Meeting, is Professor of
Education at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he directs the National Education Policy
Center (NEPC). The author of 7 books and more than 80 articles and book chapters, he is an
AERA Fellow and recipient of AERA’s Early Career and Palmer O. Johnson Awards. Respected
by academics and persuasive to a fair-minded public and journalists, Dr. Welner and NEPC
provide accessibly written and high-quality research, policy briefs, and other documents to support
democratic deliberation about education policy. For us, his colleagues, he is the funniest serious
person we know.
Dr. Michelle Renée Valladares is Associate Director of the National Education Policy Center,
University of Colorado Boulder. As the Program Vice Chair of this year’s AERA Annual
Meeting, she brings skills and talents drawn from the demanding and intersecting worlds of
scholarly research and teaching, national and state politics, philanthropic foundations, and her
personal lifelong commitment to social justice. Dr. Valladares combines her deep organizational
understanding and grasp of research with a powerful regard for people in and outside the academy.
She is a steady catalyst for finding common purpose and getting important work done well.
Recipients are selected by the President of AERA for distinguished service and/or significant contributions to education research.