The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine have recognized Professor Lilia Cortina for her work on their nationwide efforts to combat sexual harassment in higher education.

In a letter addressed to Women’s and Gender Studies Department Chair Ruby C. Tapia, the Presidents of the Academies thanked Professor Cortina for her “profound contributions to the higher education community and to our nation” as a member of the Advisory Committee of their Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education.

According to the letter, Cortina’s expertise is “contributing to a healthier and more equitable higher education environment for generations to come.”  

The Action Collaborative convenes leaders from more than 60 academic and research institutions nationwide to develop evidence-based policies and practices for addressing and preventing sexual harassment on campus.  The group’s work builds on the findings of the Academies’ 2018 consensus study report on sexual harassment of women, which Cortina co-authored as part of a committee.

In an opinion piece published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science on August 19, Cortina and two other committee members – Anna Kirkland, Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Director of the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at Michigan, and Kathryn B.H. Clancy of the University of Illinois – called on colleges and universities to demonstrate “institutional courage” and take immediate, evidence-based steps toward addressing sexual harassment on campus.

“Academia needs to become the place that other institutions look to for inspiration and to model their culture change,” wrote Cortina, Kirkland and Clancy. “Let’s work together to create a more inclusive and just model of American higher education.”

Click here to read the full opinion piece.

Lilia Cortina is Professor of Psychology, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Management & Organizations at the University of Michigan. Her research examines workplace victimization, which can range from subtle social slights to general incivility to blatant harassment and violence. Her scholarship spans the full spectrum, with a particular focus on “gendered” abuses targeted at undervalued groups in organizations.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine are private, nonprofit institutions charged with providing independent, objective advice to the nation on science, technology, engineering, medicine, and health issues.  Members are elected by their peers for distinguished contributions to their disciplines.