Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Professor receives Buford award

Norman Baldwin, associate professor of political science and director of the master’s of public administration program, was recently named the 2010 recipient of the Lahoma Buford Peace Award.

Deidra Lloyd, director of advancement in the School of Social Work, said the award is less than 10 years old. Lloyd said Tony Walker, an alumnus in the college, established the award because he wanted to recognize someone who helped others. Walker named the award after Lahoma Buford to honor her because he considered her kind demeanor to help other people, Lloyd said.

According to a UA news release, each Buford Peace Award recipient receives $1,000.

Baldwin said he found out two weeks ago that he won the award. He was nominated last year, Baldwin said, but didn’t know about this year. Baldwin said he recently learned that the committee that votes on the award does not have to re-nominate people each year.

“They carry over the nominations from the previous year,” Baldwin said.

Lloyd said the committee unanimously voted for Baldwin to receive the award. Lloyd said the committee nominated Baldwin for his work both as a professor and as a member of the faculty senate, and said all of the work Buford has done makes him a testament to the Buford Peace Award.

“Even his volunteer work and service is admirable,” Lloyd said.

Baldwin said most of his research was on diversity and stereotypes, often disproving myths about the two topics.

Baldwin said he did research about the so-called glass ceiling in the workplace. Baldwin said his glass ceiling research focused on the problems women and other minorities face when trying to gain positions of power and authority, particularly in the military. Baldwin said that in his research, he discovered that dependent care often holds women back from gaining positions with power, jobs that require much travel and jobs with odd hours.

“The cultural structure holds women back because they have disproportional domestic responsibilities,” Baldwin said.

Baldwin said he also looked into stereotypes about the lazy, inefficient, unethical public employee.

“I’ve done research to debunk that stereotype,” Baldwin said.

Baldwin said another stereotype he disproved is one of the blue wall of silence. Baldwin said many people believe the police won’t turn in other police officers who break the law, but the opposite is true. Baldwin said most officers love and respect the law and will turn in others who break it.

Baldwin said one of his projects, research on students’ racial acceptance, actually began as a classroom exercise. Baldwin said he discovered that 62 percent of students are open to interracial dating, a fact which often surprises their parents’ generation.

“Students are generally much more racially accepting than the baby boomer generation,” Baldwin said.

Baldwin said he leads his students through service learning projects in the classroom. Baldwin said the one that stands out most to him was one where his students worked to mitigate a particular death row sentence. Baldwin said his students either made a case for or against the person’s capital sentence based on the evidence.

“I think the students do some really neat and significant things,” Baldwin said

Baldwin said his service includes making the student government more inclusive over the past 20 years, racially integrating the greek system, and advocating domestic partnership benefits at UA.

Baldwin said he is humbled to receive an award named after someone who worked for peace and justice in a gentle and caring manner.

“I’m just enormously flattered to receive an award that’s in honor of Lahoma Buford,” Baldwin said.

Baldwin will receive the award at a ceremony Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at the University Club, and a reception will follow. Lloyd said the first recipient of the Buford Peace Award, Cassandra Simon, will preside over the award ceremony. Lahoma Buford’s son, Barry Buford, will present the award to Baldwin.

More to Discover