Blake Wood
Publish Date

The University of Illinois Springfield’s Harry and Deborah Berman Sabbatical Award has been presented to Jennifer Martin, associate professor in the School of Education. She will receive $3,000 to support her research during her sabbatical leave.

Martin plans to use her sabbatical to study, teach and write memoir to uncover and dismantle issues of educational (and other forms of) trauma, and to investigate how writing can impact the wellbeing and healing of women, particularly young women and girls in the prison pipeline.

She plans to teach memoir writing to girls in a juvenile detention facility (or an alternative education setting) to assist residents in healing from trauma through writing, and examine the frequency and severity of educational trauma (both individually and systemically) through survey and focus group research, and how it may contribute to the school-to-prison pipeline.

Martin also plans to write her own memoir focusing on educational (and other forms of) trauma, and how she has healed and survived from them. She has been accepted to the Writers’ Colony in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, to focus on her writing.

“I hope that writing/sharing my story will assist me in teaching students to write their own memoirs, and to share my journey to healing,” she said.

Faculty who are awarded sabbatical leaves may apply for supplemental funding to assist with sabbatical expenses. Awards are granted through a competitive review and selection process.

The award was made possible thanks to the generosity of Harry and Deborah Berman. Harry served as a gerontology professor, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs, provost and interim chancellor. Deborah served in a variety of central administrative positions at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.