Two professors honored for volunteer service with Roland Prize

Terry Karl

Terry Karl

James Patell

James Patell

Political science Professor Terry L. Karl and Graduate School of Business Professor James M. Patell will receive the 2007 Miriam Aaron Roland Volunteer Service Prize at the fourth annual Community Partnership Awards Luncheon in May. The prize, announced last week, recognizes Stanford faculty who engage and involve students in integrating academic scholarship with significant and meaningful volunteer service.

The Roland Prize was established in 2004 by alumna Miriam Roland of Montreal, Canada, through an endowment at the Haas Center for Public Service. The prize focuses on the role that public service by faculty can play in higher education. A $5,000 cash reward will be split between Karl and Patell.

Karl, the Gildred Professor in Latin American Studies and senior fellow, by courtesy, at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, motivates her students to consider devoting their lives to community service—particularly to the international community in the area of human rights. In her course Global Politics of Human Rights, Karl encourages students to think critically about daunting issues and use the theoretical foundation as a basis for pursuing social justice.

Involving her undergraduates in every aspect of her research and preparation, Karl has done extensive pro bono work related to human rights and justice. Over the past six years, in partnership with a nongovernmental organization called the Center for Justice and Accountability, Karl has gathered evidence for civil trials against human rights violators in El Salvador. She was an expert witness in those cases, which involved finding evidence, teaching the cases to lawyers, reading thousands of declassified documents, preparing questions for cross-examination and helping formulate statements.

Karl's efforts have set important precedents and established U.S. case law on command responsibility for human rights abuses. In addition, Karl has had an important impact on immigration rights in the United States by investigating and testifying before Congress as an advocate for "temporary protected status" to keep endangered immigrants from being sent back to abusive national conditions and for improvement in the treatment of immigrants—particularly children—at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Karl has directly influenced and served as a mentor for students who have focused on issues ranging from post-genocide Rwanda to HIV/AIDS in South Africa. Her many awards include Stanford's coveted Walter J. Gores Prize for Excellence in Teaching (1997) and Humanities and Sciences Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching (1989).

Patell, the Herbert Hoover Professor of Public and Private Management at the Business School, has inspired MBA students to apply their management skills toward positive social change. As associate dean of the school from 1985 to 1991, Patell provided oversight for the Public Management Program. He revitalized the program, largely through his creation of an initiative that gives students the chance to delve deeply into meeting pressing social needs. Patell also was a founding member of the program's faculty advisory board, helping to ensure stability of the Certificate in Public Management program, which today enrolls more than 25 percent of students at the Business School.

One of Patell's most innovative and important courses, co-founded with David M. Kelley, professor of mechanical engineering, is Entrepreneurial Design for Extreme Affordability. The course brings together students from disciplines as diverse as business, engineering, computer science, medicine and product design to seek practical, market-based solutions to challenges faced by the world's poor.

Last month, the Business School faculty presented Patell with the 2007 Robert T. Davis Award, which recognizes an individual for a lifetime of service and achievement. Currently the co-director of the Alliance for Innovative Manufacturing at Stanford, Patell also is a founding faculty member of the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design.

Provost John Etchemendy will present the Roland Prize to Karl and Patell at the private luncheon, which will be co-sponsored by Stanford's Office of Public Affairs and the Haas Center.