Patricia Bell-Scott (’72, ’73, ’76)

Category: Awards | Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna

2018 Distinguished Alumna Award Winner

Award-winning author and scholar Patricia Bell-Scott has earned three degrees at UT: a BS in sociology (1972), an MS in child and family relationships (1973), and a PhD in child and family relationships (1976).

A professor emerita of women’s studies and human development and family science at the University of Georgia, Bell-Scott has also held appointments at the University of Connecticut, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Wellesley College Center for Research on Women, and Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. She cofounded the University of Georgia Teaching Academy and the National Women’s Studies Association.

She has written numerous books, most recently The Firebrand and the First Lady: Portrait of a Friendship: Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Struggle for Social Justice, which won the 2017 Lillian Smith Book Award and was named Booklist best adult nonfiction book of the year by the American Library Association. Praised in the New York Times and the Washington PostThe Firebrand and the First Lady was also longlisted for the National Book Award and named a finalist for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction. Bell-Scott’s other books include Life Notes: Personal Writings by Contemporary Black WomenFlat-Footed Truths: Telling Black Women’s LivesDouble Stitch: Black Women Write About Mothers and Daughters, and the groundbreaking anthology All the Women Are White, All the Blacks Are Men, But Some of Us Are Brave: Black Women’s Studies.

Bell-Scott served as a cofounding editor of SAGE: A Scholarly Journal on Black Women and a contributing editor to Ms. magazine. In 2017 she delivered the New York City Bar Association’s Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Distinguished Lecture on Women and the Law, a prestigious annual event that has featured speakers such as Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and US Supreme Court Associate Justice Elena Kagan.

Bell-Scott has been honored by numerous professional societies and institutions, including the National Council on Family Relations, Research on Women Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association, Division 35 (Psychology of Women) of the American Psychological Association, the National Association for Women in Education, the Association of Black Women Historians, and the National Institute for Women of Color.