Three New CUNY Distinguished Professors

The Board of Trustees of The City University of New York today named three outstanding scholars as Distinguished Professors, the University’s highest faculty rank, it was announced by Chancellor Matthew Goldstein.

The prestigious designations were approved unanimously by the Board of Trustees. Chancellor Matthew Goldstein stated: “These new Distinguished Professorships add further luster to the University’s outstanding faculty and exemplify CUNY’s commitment to recruit and retain a world-class faculty.”

They are:
Dagmar Herzog, an internationally renowned authority on the history of religion in Europe and the U.S., on the Holocaust and its aftermath, and on the histories of gender and sexuality, who has published widely. John Matteson, winner of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in Biography for Eden’s Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father, whose latest book is The Lives of Margaret Fuller, about the 19th century writer, social critic and pioneer of American feminism. Jeffrey T. Parsons, a leading authority on health behaviors, HIV prevention and HIV medication adherence whose pioneering research has resulted in interventions designed to change risky sexual and drug use behaviors.

Distinguished Professorships are reserved for faculty with records of exceptional performance by national and international standards of excellence in their profession. Successful candidates must demonstrate substantial evidence of outstanding performance, including significant quantities of high-quality work in areas of importance in their disciplines. In addition to superb scholarship, Distinguished Professors are expected to participate in appropriate teaching and service roles in their colleges. The ranking also functions as a tool to recruit new faculty or retain existing faculty whose appointments enrich The City University of New York, especially when candidates require special incentives to influence their decision to accept an offer or to remain with the University.
The New CUNY Distinguished Professors are:

Dagmar Herzog, Distinguished Professor of History, The Graduate School and University Center.
Professor Herzog has published widely in the history of religion in Europe and the U.S., on the Holocaust and its aftermath, and on the histories of gender and sexuality. She recently completed Sexuality in Europe: A Twentieth-Century History (Cambridge UP, 2011).
She is also the author of Sex in Crisis: The New Sexual Revolution and the Future of American Politics (Basic, 2008), Sex after Fascism: Memory and Morality in Twentieth-Century Germany (Princeton UP, 2005), and Intimacy and Exclusion: Religious Politics in Pre-Revolutionary Baden (Princeton UP, 1996; Transaction, 2007).
She is the editor and coeditor of six anthologies, including Brutality and Desire: War and Sexuality in Europe’s Twentieth Century (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009); and Lessons and Legacies VII: The Holocaust in International Perspective (Northwestern UP, 2006). Dr. Herzog has been Professor and Daniel Rose Faculty Scholar at the CUNY Graduate Center since 2005. She recently received a Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation for her outstanding achievements. Professor Herzog will be a Visiting Research Scholar at the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University in 2013, working with other scholars on the theme of “Belief and Unbelief.” She has also held positions as a Member in the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study and as a Mellon Faculty Fellow at Harvard University. Her research has been supported by the Ford Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Social Science Research Council, the German American Exchange Service (DAAD), and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Professor Herzog has also worked as a columnist, covering American politics, for the Berlin-based die tageszeitung, was recently appointed a member of the Board of Editors for the American Historical Review, and is currently at work on a new project on the European and American histories of psychoanalysis, trauma, and desire.

John Matteson, Distinguished Professor of English, John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Professor Matteson has been a member of John Jay College’s Department of English since 1997, where he has served as Faculty Director of the Honors Program. Since 2011 he has been Deputy Director of the Leon Levy Center for Biography, serving as liaison between the Levy Center and The City University of New York with responsibility for joint programs and events, and for coordination of the review of fellowship applications. He received a history degree from Princeton University, a law degree from Harvard, and a Ph.D. in English from Columbia. After working as a litigator in San Francisco and Raleigh, North Carolina in between attending Harvard and Columbia, Professor Matteson decided to devote himself to literature and writing. His first book, Eden’s Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father (W.W. Norton, 2007), won a Pulitzer Prize in Biography. It was also named an Honors Book in Nonfiction by the Massachusetts Book Awards (2008 – 2009) and received a commendation from the Massachusetts State Legislature. The work, which chronicles the relationship between the celebrated author of Little Women and her father Bronson Alcott, is the first to look at their lives jointly. Professor Matteson’s latest book, The Lives of Margaret Fuller (W.W. Norton, 2012), deals with the brilliant writer and social critic, Margaret Fuller (1810–1850), an American feminist pioneer who became the leading female figure in the transcendentalist movement, wrote a celebrated column of literary and social commentary, served as the first foreign correspondent for an American newspaper, and authored the first great work of American feminism: Woman in the Nineteenth Century. Last year Professor Matteson received the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Achievement by a Ph.D. Alumnus from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and the Distinguished Faculty Award from the John Jay College Alumni Association.

Jeffrey T. Parsons, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Hunter College.
Professor Parsons’ work has shed important light on health behaviors, including HIV prevention, HIV medication adherence, sexual behavior, and substance abuse; as well as GLBTQ issues. His pioneering research has resulted in interventions designed to change risky sexual and drug use behaviors. Dr. Parsons joined the Hunter College faculty in 2000 and served as Chair of the Department of Psychology from 2008 – 2010. He is also a Professor at The City University of New York School of Public Health at Hunter College. Since 1996 he has been Director of the Hunter College Center for HIV/AIDS Educational Studies and Training (CHEST), whose projects are based on theories of health behavior change designed to reduce the spread of HIV and improve the lives of persons with HIV. Professor Parsons has been a member of the White House Office on National AIDS Policy HIV and Aging Working Group since 2010, when he was also named to the Social and Behavioral HIV Prevention Research Think Tank by the National Institutes of Health Office on AIDS Research. He served as Chair of the Behavioral and Social Consequences of HIV (BSCH) Study Section of the National Institutes of Health from 2010 – 2012. Since 2010 he has been a member of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene HIV and Alcohol and Other Drug Use Advisory Panel. From 2005 – 2007 he was President of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, Eastern Region. Dr. Parsons edited the book Contemporary Research in Sex Work (Haworth Press, 2005), and has been editor of the journal Sexuality Research and Social Policy since 2011. He has received numerous research grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute for Child and Human Development, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other agencies. A Fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA), his many honors include the Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award from the APA in 2008. In 2004 he was honored by the APA for Outstanding Contributions to the Advancement of Public Interest Policy. Professor Parsons received Hunter College’s Presidential Award for Excellence in Applied Scholarship in 2007.

The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in New York City in 1847 as The Free Academy, the University has 24 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, the William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, the Graduate School and University Center, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, the CUNY School of Law, the CUNY School of Professional Studies and the CUNY School of Public Health. The University serves over 271,000 degree credit students and 269,808 adult, continuing and professional education students. College Now, the University’s academic enrichment program, is offered at CUNY campuses and more than 300 high schools throughout the five boroughs of New York City. The University offers online baccalaureate degrees through the School of Professional Studies and an individualized baccalaureate through the CUNY Baccalaureate Degree. More than 1 million visitors and 2 million page views are served each month by, the University’s website.