Christopher H. Browne Distinguished
Professor: Robert Rescorla
Dr. Robert Rescorla has been named as the Christopher H. Browne
Distinguished Professor of Psychology in the School of Arts and Sciences.
This chair is the first of five Browne Distinguished Professorships created
earlier this year by a $10 million gift from Mr. Browne, C'69, a University
Trustee and Chair of the SAS Board of Overseers (Almanac
February 1, 2000).
"Because we have designed the Browne chairs to be among the most
prestigious honors we bestow on our faculty, it is important that the inaugural
appointee be a professor of singular distinction as a scholar, educator,
and University citizen" said SAS Dean Samuel H. Preston. "Bob
Rescorla's extraordinary achievements in all three areas will set a high
standard for SAS faculty."
A world-renowned psychologist, Dr. Rescorla studies simple learning processes
such as Pavlovian conditioning and instrumental learning. In a survey published
10 years ago in The American Psychologist, Dr. Rescorla was cited
as one of the 10 most important contemporary psychologists.
Dr. Rescorla has been a member of the University's faculty since 1981
and in 1986 was named the James M. Skinner Professor of Science. He served
as Chair of the Department of Psychology from 1985 to 1988 and as Dean of
the College from 1994 to 1997. In 1999, he received SAS's highest teaching
honor, the Ira Abrams Memorial Award for Distinguished Teaching.
Dr. Rescorla received his B.A. from Swarthmore College in 1962 and his
Ph.D. from Penn four years later. Among his many honors, Dr. Rescorla is
a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a former Guggenheim Fellow,
and a recipient of the Howard Crosby Warren Medal from the Society of Experimental
On the occasion of the dedication of the new SAS endowed chair gallery
in Logan Hall, Dr. Rescorla will deliver a public lecture, Pavlovian
Conditioning: Animals As Talented Scientists, on Saturday, November
11, at 9:30 a.m. in Room 17, Logan Hall.