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Florence Levin Denmark

(1931- )

DENMARK, FLORENCE LEVIN (1931– ), U.S. psychologist. Born and educated in Philadelphia, Florence Levin received her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania; after her marriage to Stanley Denmark, she completed a Ph.D. in social psychology at the University of Pennsylvania in 1958. Denmark taught as an adjunct professor at Queens College while raising three young children. She began teaching at Hunter College in 1964, ultimately serving as director of the doctoral program in psychology at CUNY Graduate Center. In 1984, she was appointed Thomas Hunter Professor in the Social Sciences at Hunter and four years later she was named the first Robert Scott Pace Professor of Psychology at Pace University, where she also served as chair of the Department of Psychology.

Denmark published widely on prejudice and discrimination against women and minorities. She is internationally known for her pioneering research and contributions to the psychology of women, which she helped establish as a legitimate scholarly field. A victim of gender discrimination in the early phases of her career, Denmark was committed to empowering female students and colleagues through organizing conferences, training graduate students, and co-authoring important resource works. These include Women: Dependent or Independent Variable? (1975); The Psychology of Women: Future Directions of Research (1978); Women's Choices, Women's Realities (1983); and Psychology of Women: A Handbook of Issues and Theories (1993).

Denmark was among the founders of the Division on the Psychology of Women of the American Psychological Association in 1973 and served simultaneously as the fifth woman president of the APA (1981–82) and the president of Psi Chi, the psychology honors society. She received many honors for her outstanding contributions to psychology, including the Association for Women in Psychology Distinguished Career Award (1986); the APA Distinguished Contributions to Education and Training in Psychology Award (1987); and the APA Public Interest Award (1992). In 1985, the APA's Committee on Women in Psychology recognized Florence Denmark's achievements with a Distinguished Leadership Citation, commending her for "exceptional organizational skills, administrative expertise, political acumen, and humanitarian leadership to promote equality for women and ethnic minorities and to create new visions for psychologists."

Sources:R. Unger, "Denmark, Florence Levin," in: P.E. Hyman and D. Dash Moore (eds.), Jewish Women in America, vol. 1 (1997), 326; M.A. Paludi and N.F. Russo, "Florence L. Denmark (1931– )," in: A.N. O'Connell and N.F. Russo (eds.), Womenin Psychology: A Bio-Bibliographic Sourcebook (1990), 75–87; "Florence L. Denmark," in: A.N. O'Connell and N.F. Russo (eds.), Models of Achievements: Reflections of Eminent Women in Psychology, vol. 2 (1988), 279–93.

[Harriet Pass Freidenreich (2nd ed.)]

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