ONEONTA, N.Y. -- SUNY Distinguished Service Professor Gretchen S. Sorin, Professor of Museum Studies and Director of the Cooperstown Graduate Program of the SUNY College at Oneonta, has been named the recipient of the University at Albany’s 2010 Distinguished Doctoral Dissertation Award. The prize is awarded to the best dissertation in any field in the University at Albany’s College of Arts and Sciences.
Dr. Sorin received her degree in May of 2009. Her dissertation, entitled “Keep Going: African Americans on the Road in the Era of Jim Crow,” explores the relationship between African Americans and travel from the 1930s to the late 1960s when a little known travel guide was published in New York. The guide, “The Negro Motorist’s Green Book,” listed hotels, restaurants, and other establishments that welcomed black travelers.
Professor Sorin has been active in the museum field for over 35 years, having served as Director of the Cooperstown Graduate Program for the past 15 years. She holds a master’s in History Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program.
Gretchen Sorin has been a consultant to more than 200 museums and historical organizations as a scholar, exhibit curator, and education and interpretive program planner and developer. Her major exhibits include “Through the Eyes of Others: African Americans and Identity in American Art” and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service’s “In the Spirit of Martin: The Living Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”
She is the 2009 recipient of the Katherine Coffey Award, the top honor presented by the Mid Atlantic Association of Museums.
Professor Sorin’s publications include the books “Touring Historic Harlem: Four Walks in Northern Manhattan” with Andrew Dolkart and “In the Spirit of Martin: The Living Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”
The SUNY Oneonta Cooperstown Graduate Program in History Museum Studies, offered in partnership with the New York State Historical Association, is nationally known. Founded in 1964, it prepares students for careers in museums, historical societies, and related agencies.