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Presidential awardee is women's history expert


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Rebecca Kluchin
(Sacramento State/Steve McKay)

Sacramento State President Alexander Gonzalez will present this year’s President’s Award for Research and Creative Activity to History Professor Rebecca Kluchin, author of Fit to Be Tied: Sterilization and Reproductive Rights in America, 1950-1980.

The annual honor is accorded to scholars for recent contributions to their field of research.  A formal ceremony will be held at 4 p.m. Thursday, March 13, at the University Union, Summit Room. A reception will follow at 5 p.m. in the University Union, California Suite.

“Dr. Kluchin’s influential scholarship and extensive publishing record in women’s history and reproductive health have brought great pride to Sacramento State,” Gonzalez says. “I appreciate her willingness to share her knowledge and work with a worldwide audience, and I especially applaud her for using strong scholarship to enhance learning opportunities for students in her classes.”

The professor’s passion for making history come alive in the classroom is reflected in scores of superlative student evaluations. Students routinely commend her for stirring their interest in the subject and making them think.

Kluchin’s love of history began in fourth grade, and it became one of her major subjects at Washington University in St. Louis. Her love of learning was spurred by her parents, who routinely emphasized the value of a college education.

Her doctorate is from Carnegie Mellon University. She has been at Sacramento State since 2005 and in 2010 was awarded the College of Arts and Letters Outstanding Teaching Award. Fit to Be Tied, published in 2009, won the Francis Keller-Sierra Prize from the Western Association of Women’s Historians.  Using court cases, oral interviews and a variety of historical documents, it examines voluntary and forced sterilizations of women, especially poor women and women of color, as a form of neo-eugenics.

Considered a women’s history expert, Kluchin has lectured in various venues, including the Brooklyn School of Law. She has been interviewed by ABC News; BBC World News; Bitch magazine; and RH Reality Check, a reproductive health blog. She will be included in an upcoming PBS documentary, Blindspot: North Carolina’s End to Forced Sterilization.

For media assistance, contact Sacramento State’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156. – Alan Miller