The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Rudd Family Visiting Professorship

The Rudd Family Visiting Professorship was established through the generosity of the Andrew and Virginia Rudd family in order to bring talented mid-career and senior adoption scholars to the UMass campus in order to enhance training opportunities, participate in innovative and collaborative research efforts, and expand the implementation of the best adoption practices in the United States and internationally.  Recipients of the professorship are selected for their expertise in adoption and/or adoption-related research, and for their commitment to use their residency to promote dissemination of knowledge to the larger adoption community, including researchers, practitioners, those with personal connections to adoption, policymakers, community members, and students.


Dr. Abbie Goldberg Appointed to Rudd Family Visiting Professorship

While Rudd Visiting Professor at UMass Amherst during spring semester 2021, Dr. Abbie Goldberg will work with Rudd program faculty, students, and staff to accomplish several goals relating to adoption and the educational system, goals including:

  • review the existing research literature about adopted children / families and their relation to educational systems, including awareness and knowledge on the part of school personnel
  • consider designing new survey research to assess needs as perceived by parents and by school personnel
  • evaluate existing materials available through sources such as the Child Welfare Information Gateway
  • produce user-friendly materials in various media (webcasts, documents, infographics, etc.) for parents, educators, and children
  • disseminate such materials widely. During her appointment, she will also make a public presentation based on her work, which will be made available through Rudd video platforms.

Dr. Goldberg is the Jan and Larry Landry University Professor of Psychology at Clark University, where she is also the Director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program. Broadly, her research focuses on how a variety of social locations (e.g., gender, sexual orientation, social class) and contexts (e.g., work, family, community) shape processes of development and mental health. For 15 years, she has been conducting a longitudinal study of adoptive parenthood among lesbian, gay, and heterosexual couples. This landmark study has examined topics such as how parents navigate discussions of sexuality, gender, physical development (e.g., height, weight), and race, when they themselves cannot count on their own experiences of puberty to make guesses about or guide their children, especially in the context of lesbian mothers raising boys and gay fathers raising girls.
She is the author of over 120 peer-reviewed articles and three books: Gay Dads (NYU Press, 2012), Lesbian- and Gay-Parent Families (APA, 2010), and Open Adoption in Diverse Families (Oxford, 2020). She is the co-editor (with Katherine R. Allen) of LGBTQ-Parent Families: Innovations in Research and Implications for Practice (Springer, 2013, 2020), the editor of the SAGE Encyclopedia of LGBTQ Studies (SAGE, 2016), and the co-editor of LGBTQ Divorce and Relationship Dissolution (Oxford, 2019).

Dr. Goldberg has received research funding from the American Psychological Association, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Williams Institute, the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, the National Institutes of Health, and the Spencer Foundation. She is also a Faculty Affiliate of the Rudd Adoption Research Program, and was on the faculty of the Rudd Summer Adoption Research Institutes in 2017 & 2019.

She has also been increasingly studying the relationship that adoptive families have with their children’s schools. For example, her research has provided insights about the importance of the parent community in adoptive parents’ feelings of belonging versus alienation in school settings, as well as the importance and corresponding challenges associated with being highly involved in one’s child’s school as an adoptive parent.


View previous Rudd Family Visiting Professorships here.