Public Service Awards 2008

Jean A. King

Professor of Psychiatry
UMass Medical SchoolAmherst

A faculty member at UMass Medical School since 1994, Jean A. King, Ph.D. has provided outstanding leadership through her academic expertise in neuroscience, her passion for faculty mentoring, and her commitment to helping the disadvantaged. She is an invaluable advocate for adolescent girls and a mentor to women of all ages in the community.

For the past 16 years, Dr. King has been instrumentally involved in the work of Daybreak Resources for Women and Children of Worcester, a non-profit organization that provides shelters and services for victims of domestic violence. Daybreak engages with employers, state agencies, and schools in the area to educate people and raise awareness about domestic violence. Since its beginning, Daybreak has reached about 10,000 women through its shelter, hotline, and other programs.

In her roles as board member and chair, Dr. King organizes five fund-raising events per year to support Daybreak's programs for battered women. One such event is the "Great Guys Award Night," which honors men in the area who have been influential in preventing domestic violence and supporting victims of that violence, including police officers, judges, and political activists. So far, 16 men have received this award, which has been a key part of engaging men in domestic violence prevention activities. Dr. King also organizes the annual Daybreak Breakfast, which features an influential speaker and educates about 300 people each year on domestic violence policy. Recently, Dr. King brought female authors from the New England area, including renowned author Anita Shreve, to Worcester for a Daybreak benefit entitled "Women Authors in New England." In addition, she organizes one walk and one bike ride per year to raise funds.

Thanks to her outstanding skills in community outreach and event organization, Dr. King has encouraged greater community awareness of and involvement in the prevention of domestic violence. At UMass Medical School, Dr. King is a superb role model for women faculty. She is deeply involved in the Women's Faculty Committee and its mentorship programs while maintaining an outstanding academic record and devotion to community service.

"My life goal is to impact people in positive way," says Dr. King. "I am interested in every level of the process: from prevention, to getting people out, to stopping the cycle of violence. At the end of the day, what you remember is what you did for others. I always knew I had to give back."

Dr. King is a professor of psychiatry in the neuroscience program at UMass Medical School. She earned her Ph.D. at New York University.

Public Service Awards 2009


Public Service Awards 2008