Tolchin wins Trachtenberg research award

Susan Tolchin, a professor of public administration and author of a recent book on voter rage, has been awarded the Oscar and Shoshana Trachtenberg Prize for Research Scholarship.

“Dr. Tolchin’s works are about the real world of government and politics and they are shaping that world,” said GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg in a press release. “They are cited in the newspaper; they are cited in Supreme Court decisions; they are discussed in her many television and radio appearances; and they are influencing the public’s thinking about public issues.”

Trachtenberg established the award in memory of his parents, Oscar and Shoshana. The award honors a member of the GW faculty for a notable contribution in the areas of art, literature or advanced study and understanding.

“I’m grateful to GW for having been so supportive of my research, and am especially honored to receive the Trachtenberg Prize,” Tolchin said. “I can think of no greater honor than to receive an award in honor of the president’s parents.”

Tolchin has taught public administration at GW for more than 20 years.

“I love doing interdisciplinary research,” she said. “Good research is defined by passion – passion for a subject and for a social scientist like myself, passion for people in a democratic society.”

Tolchin has written six books dealing with trade policy, international economic issues, federal government administration and public policy, and American politics. Her latest is entitled The Angry American: How Voter Range is Changing the Nation.

Last year, she was awarded the Marshall Dimock Award by the American Society of Public Administration for the best lead article in the organization’s journal.

“I always think of myself as a perpetual student in the sense that writing a book is the best way of learning about a subject,” Tolchin said. “Testifying before Congress and going on radio and television shows broadens my own view of the world, and also allows me to have an impact, however minor, on that world.”

Tolchin said she has learned a great deal from her students, who she said have challenged her and contributed to her work.

“Her wide ranging scholarship enlivens her teaching, making her a gifted seminar leader,” said William H. Becker, a professor of strategic management and public policy, in a press release. “Her past work and continuing research enrich every class.”

Tolchin is the first professor from the School of Business and Public Management to receive the award since it was established in 1991. She will formally receive the award at GW’s Commencement ceremony May 17.

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