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Elaine J. Leeder
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Elaine J. Leeder

About Elaine Leeder Elaine Leeder has devoted her life to remembering and speaking out for the marginalized members of society. In her commitment to moving U.S. prison policies away from an atmosphere of fear and revenge, she also aims to help her own college students make sense of a changing society and influence its direction. Driven by both love for her students and the nation’s vital need for social change, Leeder works tirelessly as an educator, author, and speaker on subjects ranging from the Holocaust to global perspectives on families to therapeutic issues facing female prisoners and their children. Dr. Leeder, Dean of the School of Social Sciences at Sonoma State University in California, has thirty-five years of distinguished accomplishments in academia and public service. She began her career as an undergraduate at Northeastern University, where she earned a B.A. in sociology with a minor in psychology before receiving a master's in social work from Yeshiva University in New York and a second master's degree in public health from the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Leeder earned her Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1985. She served as a sociology professor at Ithaca College before joining the faculty at Sonoma State, where, in addition to her duties as dean, she teaches courses in introductory sociology and family violence. Dr. Leeder is listed in Who's Who of American Women, Who's Who in America, and Who's Who of American Teachers. Her awards include a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, outstanding teacher awards, research and travel grants, and numerous awards from student and community agencies. In addition to her academic career, Dr. Leeder has served as a psychotherapist, consultant, and advocate for social justice. She was a visiting scholar at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., and has twice sailed on the University of Pittsburgh's Semester at Sea. In addition to My Life With Lifers, Dr. Leeder has written more than two dozen articles on sociological and psychological issues. She is the author of four other books: The Gentle General: Rose Pesotta, Anarchist and Labor Organizer (1993); Treating Abuse in Families: A Feminist and Community Approach (1994); The Family in Global Perspective: A Gendered Journey (2003); and Inside and Out: Women, Prison, and Therapy

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