A Magazine for the George Mason University Community

Psychology Professor Eden King–We Certainly Think She’s Outstanding

By Jason Jacks on March 8, 2011

Eden King

And you thought you were busy! Right now, Mason psychology professor Eden King is finishing up a book, helping to guide 60 graduate students, preparing for classes, doing her own research, and, oh by the way, all this with a new baby arriving very (and we mean very) soon.

“People are so much nicer to me now,” she said of her pregnancy. It could be that. Or could it be that those extra smiles and opened doors come with the territory when you’re named one of Virginia’s Outstanding Faculty, as King was earlier this year.

King, an assistant professor, was given the award by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia in February, along with a $5,000 check from Dominion. King was recognized in the “rising star” category for her excellence in teaching, research, knowledge integration, and public service.

“I thought there was no way I would get this,” she said of her reaction when nominated for the honor by Mason’s Provost’s Office last fall.

King earned her PhD in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from Rice University in 2006, the same year she joined the faculty at Mason.

Much of King’s work focuses on how people react to others’ appearances, cultures, beliefs, and genders. She’s had students wear head scarves to study the reaction Muslim job seekers encounter from potential employers. She’s also had students alter their appearances to look overweight and pregnant to examine other potential acts of discrimination.

Another major topic in her research has been identifying and overcoming discriminatory barriers in the workplace, particularly among the sexes. A large portion of her research on this topic over the past decade will be included in her forthcoming book, How Women Can Make It Work: The Science of Success.

Despite her extensive research into genders, which has gotten her quoted often in publications across the country, King says, “We are a lot more similar than we are different.”

That might be the case for men and women, but, among faculty in Virginia, King has certainly set herself apart.

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