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    Virginia Gray Receives Major Accolade

    virginia grayVirginia Gray, Robert Watson Winston Professor, recently received a signal honor: the State Politics and Policy Section of the American Political Science Association has created an award in her honor – The Virginia Gray Award will be given each year to the outstanding book published on state politics and policy in the previous three years.  The goal of the award is to “recognize, reward, and encourage excellence in political science scholarship on state politics and policy.” This award and another are named in honor of two of the giants in the study of state politics and policy – Professors Virginia Gray and Malcolm Jewell, both of whom are widely recognized for their extensive, groundbreaking, and seminal scholarly contributions to the field, as well as for their longstanding leadership in developing the institutions of the profession.

    Gray joined the UNC faculty in 2001 after teaching at the University of Minnesota for nearly three decades.  Her published work includes serving as the coeditor of the leading textbook on state government, Politics in the American States, now in its tenth edition. She has been a visiting professor at universities in Canada, Norway, and the People’s Republic of China. During 2003-04 she was president of the Midwest Political Science Association, and in August 2007 she received a Career Achievement Award from the State Politics and Policy Section of the American Political Science Association. She is an ardent Tar Heel fan.

    Modest as always, Gray comments that “I am surprised, honored and, of course, sincerely grateful that my colleagues have decided to recognize me in this way.”  Department chair Evelyne Huber added that the award, while unexpected, “should not be surprising to anyone who has followed Virginia Gray’s four decades of leadership in the study of state politics and policy. An award of this type is extremely uncommon, and simply reinforces what we here in Chapel Hill have always heard from our colleagues who study in Virginia’s subfield of state politics and policy – for several decades she has set much of the tenor of research on state politics, but her in the United States and abroad.”

    Speaking for the APSA section, of which is he chair, Professor Christopher Mooney commented that “by naming the Virginia  Gray Book Award in her honor, the State Politics and Policy section of the APSA recognizes a giant in the field for her extensive, groundbreaking, and seminal scholarly contributions to the field, as well as for her longstanding leadership in developing the institutions of the profession.”

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