Published: Dec. 7, 2006

MSU researcher, associate provost joins honored group of early childhood leaders

EAST LANSING, Mich.Hiram “Hi” Fitzgerald, associate provost for University Outreach and Engagement and University Distinguished Professor of psychology at Michigan State University, has been awarded one of the most prestigious honors in the multidisciplinary field of infancy and early childhood.

Fitzgerald recently accepted the 2006 Dolley Madison Award for Outstanding Lifelong Contribution to the Development and Well-being of Very Young Children and Their Families on Dec 2. He received the award at the annual meeting of ZERO TO THREE: National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families, in Albuquerque, N.M.

The award is named in honor of former first lady Dolley Madison, who established the first federally- funded child welfare program, a home for orphans of the War of 1812.

Previous recipients of the Madison award include Anna Freud, psychoanalyst and daughter of Sigmund Freud; Benjamin Spock, M.D., pediatrician and author of “Baby and Child Care”; Urie Bronfenbrenner, Ph.D., world-renowned theorist of developmental psychology; and Edward Zigler, Ph.D., architect of the federal Head Start program.

Fitzgerald was appointed assistant provost for University Outreach and Engagement in 2001 and associate provost in 2005. He is the steering committee leader for the Higher Education Network for Community Engagement, is actively involved in the national evaluation of the Early Head Start substudy on fathers, and for 20 years was co-director of the Michigan Longitudinal Study.

In addition, he served as president and executive director of the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health and the International Association for Infant Mental Health. Since 1992, he has been the executive director of the World Association for Infant Mental Health.

Fitzgerald came to MSU in 1967 as an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology.

ZERO TO THREE is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the healthy development and well-being of infants, toddlers and their families. Founded in 1977 by top developmental experts, the organization disseminates key developmental information, trains providers, promotes model approaches and standards of practice, and works to increase public awareness about the significance of the first three years of life.


Michigan State University has been advancing knowledge and transforming lives through innovative teaching, research and outreach for 150 years. MSU is known internationally as a major public university with global reach and extraordinary impact. Its 14 degree-granting colleges attract scholars worldwide who are interested in combining education with practical problem solving.


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