Michelle Purdy wins AERA new scholar history book award

Michelle Purdy, assistant professor of education in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, received the 2019 new scholar book award from the history and historiography division of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) for her book “Transforming The Elite: Black Students and the Desegregation of Private Schools” (University of North Carolina Press, 2018).

The award, which recognizes excellence in education research, was presented April 7 at the AERA annual meeting in Toronto.

Her book tells the stories of young African Americans who broke the color barrier during the late 1960s and early 1970s at The Westminster Schools in Atlanta, one of the South’s most prestigious private schools. Purdy and alumni of the school discussed the school’s desegregation history as part of the “On Second Thought” radio program broadcast April 4 on Georgia Pubic Broadcasting.

In addition, AERA President Vanessa Siddle Walker, of Emory University, invited Purdy to be a program co-chair for the group’s 2020 annual meeting, which traditionally attracts more than half of its 25,000 members. The 2020 annual meeting theme is “The Power and Possibilities for the Public Good When Researchers and Organizational Stakeholders Collaborate.”

Purdy was promoted to associate professor of education with tenure, effective July 1.