For Immediate Release | January 21, 2010


Deric Joyner at (202) 452-8097

WASHINGTON, DC—The National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) is pleased to announce Jessie B. Ramey as winner of the 18th Annual John Heinz Dissertation Award. Ramey, currently a Visiting Scholar in Women’s Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, wrote her dissertation, “A Child Care Crisis: Poor Black and White Families and Orphanages in Pittsburgh, 1878-1929.” while she was a doctoral student in History at Carnegie Mellon University. The dissertation was nominated for the award by Tera W. Hunter of Princeton University and Steve Schlossman and Lisa Tetrault of Carnegie Mellon.

An honorable mention went to young scholar John W. “Jack” Gettens for his work on “Medicaid Expansions: The Work and Program Participation of People With Disabilities” while at Brandeis University. Jack is currently a Research Scientist at the Center for Health Policy and Research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Schrewsbury.

The award, which includes a $2,500 prize, will be presented during the National Academy of Social Insurance’s 21st Annual Conference on January 21, 2010 in Washington, DC. The Teresa and John Heinz Fund of the Heinz Family Foundation supports the award.

The John Heinz Dissertation Award is issued in honor of Senator John Heinz. As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, he helped chart the Social Security rescue effort in 1983 and worked tirelessly to insulate the Social Security Trust Funds from the rest of the Federal budget. John Heinz was a leading expert in the Senate on private pensions and health care and aging policy. He was a member of the Academy’s Board of Advisors from the organization’s inception in 1986. Robert M. Ball, Founding Chair, said, “John Heinz was a leading proponent of Social Security with a true appreciation of the value of social insurance principles in developing public policy. He was a true supporter of the National Academy of Social Insurance and contributed importantly to its objectives.” The National Academy of Social Insurance is privileged to award this prize in his honor.

The award selection committee is chaired by Robert Hudson, Department of Social Welfare Policy, of Boston University, with members: Christine Bishop, Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, Rashi Fein, Department of Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and James Morone, Department of Politics, Brown University.

NASI will soon be accepting nominations for the 2011 Heinz Award. To obtain application forms and additional information visit the student opportunities section of or contact Deric Joyner at or (202) 452-8097

The National Academy of Social Insurance is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization made up of the nation’s leading experts on social insurance. Its mission is to promote understanding of how social insurance contributes to economic security and a vibrant economy.

See related news: News About NASI

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