Professor Jill Korbin is retiring

Professor Jill Korbin, Lucy Adams Leffingwell Professor of Anthropology, is retiring July 1, 2022, after 41 years at CWRU. In addition to serving as faculty in the anthropology department, Korbin served as associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences for 18 years, where she helped steer the College through many leadership and programmatic changes.

Known for her groundbreaking research on cross-cultural child abuse and neglect, Dr. Korbin has published widely and received numerous awards and accolades during her distinguished career. These include the Margaret Mead Award from the American Anthropological Association and the Society for Applied Anthropology, which is awarded for anthropological work that makes anthropology accessible to a broad audience. She extended the impact of her work by serving as an AAAS Congressional Science Fellow in Child Development in Senator Bradley’s office. She was a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Australia and has been a member of numerous scientific advisory boards and committees, including the board of ChildFund International and the Doris Duke Fellowship Program for the Promotion of Child Well-Being. She served as President of the Society for Psychological Anthropology from 2017-2019.

At CWRU, Korbin served as the Armington Professor and directed the Charles Rieley Armington Research Program on Values in Children. She directed the Schubert Center for Child Studies and was a founder and director of the Childhood Studies Program. She is an adjunct faculty member at the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences and a faculty associate at its Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development. She developed and directed the Mann Undergraduate Scholars Program in Medical Anthropology and Pediatrics for undergraduate students.

Korbin’s research and mentorship has a global reach, as evidenced by the wide scope of her work, which ranges from collaborations at Hebrew University to research in Amish communities in Ohio. She mentored and taught numerous students and received the Carl F. Wittke Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. She has mentored graduate students and served on dozens of doctoral committees across the university and continues to conduct research and publish with many of her students. Through her collaboration with colleagues at Hebrew University she has mentored Israeli Postdoctoral Scholars who have traveled to Cleveland specifically to work with her. She supported and steered the first publication on child abuse and neglect in Uganda written by Ugandan scholars.

These few paragraphs do not do justice to Jill Korbin’s many accomplishments over her long and impactful career. Her thoughtful and generous service to the university, the department, and the discipline have had a significant impact on all who have had the pleasure of working with her.  From all of us, congratulations and best wishes for your retirement!


Note from Professor Jill Korbin

At the end of this semester I will retire from active teaching and apply for emeritus status. This is a time to reflect. I have been very very fortunate to be able to work as an anthropologist for almost 50 years, a little more than 40 of them here at CWRU. I have been fortunate to have been a faculty member in this truly outstanding department as well as to have had a time being an Associate Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences and being the Director of the Schubert Center for Child Studies. I have been fortunate to have been able to study and write about children, their well-being and their difficulties, most specifically child maltreatment.

I have been privileged to work among extraordinarily accomplished anthropology faculty members who are dedicated to our field and advancing knowledge through research and teaching. I also have been privileged to work with extraordinary students, both graduate and undergraduate, who have gone on to have remarkable careers and lives, contributing to the well-being of people around the world.

Anthropology is a life-changing field. It lets us know that there are commonalities among people but also differences, both to be highly valued. I have been grateful to participate in this project of cross-cultural knowledge. Thank you.

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