Yale Child Study Center Honors Dr. James P. Comer for Long-Term Service
Dr. James P. Comer, M.D., M.P.H. was honored for his 45 years of service at Yale Child Study Center on June 8, 2012. Dr. John E. Schowalter, Professor Emeritus in the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Training Program, presented Dr. Comer with the award during the graduation ceremony in the Donald Cohen Auditorium.
“It is impossible in the time allotted to mention all of Jim’s major accomplishments, but I will give you a sense of this great man, the Maurice Falk Professor of Child Psychiatry at the Child Study Center," said Dr. Schowalter. “Jim’s vision in the late 1960s was to revolutionize public education for young disadvantaged children. It started here in New Haven but has been copied successfully throughout the United States, as well as internationally. Jim recognized that asking alone for more educational funding was a non-starter, so he championed schools’ innovation and restructuring. He emphasized the engagement of parents, teachers, and school administrators to work together to implement curriculum change based on the best education and child development principles.”
"I've been fortunate and received many awards; and they are all special, but it is very special to be honored for my work by colleagues who know me up close and personal," said Dr. Comer.
In 1967 shortly after his graduation from the child psychiatry program at the Yale Child Study Center, Dr. Comer received a call from Dr. Albert J.Solnit, who at the time was the director of the Child Study Center. He asked Dr. Comer to return to the Center to run an innovative community-based program called the New Haven Intervention Project. Dr. Comer returned to New Haven to direct the project which was later renamed the School Development Program. His book describing this work, School Power: Implications of an Intervention Project, has become required reading for educators, particularly those working with socially and economically marginalized children.