James Madison University

Arnold (Arnie) Kahn, Faculty Emeritus

Scholar, Mentor, Force for Change

Arnie earned his doctoral degree at Southern Illinois University. After working at Iowa State University and the Administrative Officer for Social and Ethical Responsibility for the American Psychological Association, Arnie joined the Department of Psychology in 1986 as our Department Head. He joined the faculty in 1988.

Arnie Kahn

In the late 1970s, he was the first (and only) man, to date, to be elected to the Executive Committee of the Division of Psychology of Women. He served as Secretary-Treasurer for 3 years. He is also to date the only man to win the Division’s Heritage Award for Research on Women and Gender (1984) and the Carolyn Wood Sherif Award for Research, Teaching, and Service (2002). The APA Committee on Women and Psychology recognized him as Distinguished Leader for Psychology of Women (2002). He was also awarded he Madison Scholar of the College of Education and Psychology (1998-99).

Arnie’s prolific scholarly career includes over 50 journal articles (published in a host of top journals), multiple book reviews, talks at scholarly meetings, invited addresses, and other publications. His research focused on gender with a specific focus on violence against women. Among his achievements has been to clarify why an event most people would objectively describe as sexual assault are often not acknowledged as rape. His work helps clarify the circumstances in which legal action against perpetrators is appropriate.

Arnie’s course on the Psychology of Women and Gender has a reputation for dramatically changing student perspective to an extent that is atypical from a single course. Arnie was one of the first faculty in our department, together with Virginia Androli Mathie, to conduct research in collaboration with undergraduate students; this approach is now the standard practice. Arnie’s research and thesis students regularly presented their work at professional conferences and co-authored publications. He has been an exceptional contributor to our department: He served on multiple search committees, chaired our Personnel Advisor Committee, and has served as our faculty senator. He has been our representative to the Library, Chair of the College Faculty Development Committee, Chair of the IRB, and a member of many other college and university committees.