FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE            Date:  January 31, 2001 Contact:  Cheryl D. Peck

UIS doctoral student receives Henderson award

            SPRINGFIELD - Barbara E. Ferrara, doctoral student at the University of Illinois at Springfield, has received the third annual Julia J. Henderson Award for 2000-2001.  The award will support Ferrara's study and research in public administration and its application to policy fields, including social welfare, community development, and budget and finance.

            "Barbara has a strong commitment to applied public policy research and its potential to create positive social change," said Glen Hahn Cope, dean of the College of Public Affairs and Administration at UIS. "Her work and her personal and professional values reflect the spirit of engagement that the Julia J. Henderson Award signifies."

Dr. Henderson, a distinguished academic and public servant, established the award fund in 1997 after visiting UIS at the invitation of Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn.  The award of $2,250 is made annually in consideration of the ideals that Dr. Henderson personifies. They include support of forums to encourage intelligent discourse, support of controversial but important ideas, and concern for methods to improve the analysis and delivery of vital governmental services.

Ferrara, associate director of the Institute for Public Affairs at UIS, entered the doctoral program in public administration in fall 1999.  In both her professional and academic roles, she is an advocate of action research.  "Applied research, particularly in public university settings, should result not only in scholarly products, but in an action agenda for improvement of public agency performance and public policy outcomes," she said.

Through her work in the Institute, Ferrara has been involved in a number of applied research projects that have pointed the way to an action agenda, program redesign, or administrative or legislative reform.  For example, she served the past three years as project manager for a study of welfare leavers in Illinois, helping to design the interview instruments used to determine how people are faring once they leave the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program.  She assisted in the preparation of the final report of the study, which was submitted to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services by the Illinois Department of Human Services.

            She is currently a principal investigator in a study of civic engagement in Illinois being conducted by the UIS Survey Research Office and Illinois Issues magazine, and cosponsored by the United Way of Illinois and the Woods Fund of Chicago.

            In addition to her research activities, Ferrara is deeply involved in the effort to create a state version of C-SPAN for Illinois.  She wrote the successful grant proposals that are funding the two-year feasibility study being carried out through the Institute to assess the start-up requirements for a state public affairs television network.  "'The Illinois Channel' will connect citizens directly to their state government and enhance the efforts of advocacy groups, teachers, associations, the media, and many others," she said.

Dr. Henderson is a graduate of the University of Illinois and was awarded a fellowship by the Graduate School of Public Administration at Harvard in 1944, the first woman ever to be admitted.  From 1946 to 1971, she worked in various capacities as a United Nations official.  In 1971, after receiving a leave of absence by the UN, she served as Secretary-General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, with headquarters in London.

Beginning in 1978, Dr. Henderson served as a consultant to the UN Fund for Population Activities and the International Planned Parenthood Federation.  Since retiring in 1990, she has been an active member of the United Nations Association, the Southwest Florida Peace Education Coalition, and the Board of Population Action International in Washington.