University of Pittsburgh
February 27, 2008

Pitt Professor Winner of Inaugural Iris Marion Young Award For Political Engagement

Audrey Murrell to be honored for her leadership and social activism in women's and diversity issues

Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH-University of Pittsburgh Associate Professor of Business Administration Audrey Murrell is the winner of the Iris Marion Young Award for Political Engagement, a new honor sponsored by Pitt's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) and Women's Studies Program, which is part of the School of Arts and Sciences.

Murrell will accept the award at a reception from 5 to 6:30 p.m. March 6 in the Lower Lounge of the William Pitt Union, 3959 Fifth Ave., Oakland.

The award honors Iris Marion Young, a philosopher and social theorist of international renown, who was a professor in GSPIA during the 1990s before taking a position at the University of Chicago in 2000. She died of cancer in 2006. During her time in Pittsburgh, Young volunteered and organized on behalf of peace and social justice, fair labor practices, adult literacy, and children's rights, among other causes, and she worked to combat hate groups and poverty.

Murrell was selected from a field of nominees representing Pitt faculty, students and alumni, whose actions have had political impact within the University and beyond. Murrell elicited particular admiration from the selection committee, whose members were looking to pay tribute to Young's work to promote social justice and democracy. One member called Murrell "a creative conceptualizer and energetic motivator of very special and important initiatives."

As director of the David Berg Center for Ethics and Leadership at the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, with appointments in the Department of Psychology and GSPIA, Murrell publishes, teaches, and serves as a consultant in the areas of mentoring, workforce diversity, and leadership development, particularly for women. She has conducted research on the Pittsburgh earnings gap and discrimination in public contracting. She has been active in Leadership Pittsburgh, Family Services of Western Pennsylvania, and the Minority Enterprise Corporation of Southwestern Pennsylvania, and serves as board chair for Urban Youth Action, Inc., board secretary for Northside Christian Health Center, and a board member for the Manchester Citizens Corporation.

Murrell's institutional leadership and her social activism have already earned many awards and honors, including the Chancellor's Distinguished Public and Community Service Award in 1998.